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Great “from here to there” digital animation

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 18, 2004

Great “from here to there” digital animation of the Mars rover.

Reader comments

adamJan 18, 2004 at 10:47PM

Wow, that was excellent. The animation did a great job of making it seem like the Mars rover was more than just a machine with the way it was exploring the planet just like any human would. Also liked the American Beauty-esque soundtrack.

dowingbaJan 18, 2004 at 11:00PM

I loved the cinematography.

DinahJan 18, 2004 at 11:06PM

Very nice visualization tool. I assume this was made to help explain the mission to lay audiences.

The more I see of stuff like this and of the actual results of robotic exploration the more I think trying to send humans offworld in the next 15-20 years is not the best use of our money.

Alex ReynoldsJan 19, 2004 at 12:18AM

How do I know this digital animation wasn’t doctored by Pixar?

Ryan AbramsJan 19, 2004 at 12:30AM

The best part is when the FBI warning comes up right before the animator steals music from star wars and american beauty. I’m guessing from the lack of appearance in the text box of credits below the quicktime that it wasn’t licensed. But yeah, apart from the hypocrisy, the animation was pretty cool.

dowingbaJan 19, 2004 at 1:34AM

Check the credits at the end of the video. It says everything is used by permission and such.

FlorianJan 19, 2004 at 7:20AM

I think it did a very good job in showing the distances and the unbelievable obstacles this mission had to cross.

Ryan AbramsJan 19, 2004 at 7:44AM

dowingba: ah ha! nice. Well, I retract my bitter and cynical assumptions regarding the video’s music usage, and am left with a very cool animation that reveals the animators good taste in film score. Good stuff all around. :)

Florian: I agree. I just kept thinking.. “Man, I hope it doesn’t get stuck on a rock.”

PeteJan 19, 2004 at 10:30AM

I loved the part where the robot watched the sun go down and then dipped its head to hibernate. I actually went “Awwww….” and then was very glad that there was no-one around.

PatJan 19, 2004 at 10:50AM

Boy oh boy, that Gustav Holst. Amazing how he reaches out from beyond the grave to determine the timing of the rover’s bounces! Now that’s composing!

MikeJan 19, 2004 at 7:16PM

Decomposing, actually. ;-)

Søren DalsgaardJan 19, 2004 at 7:30PM

I saw the clip on NASA tv without the music and liked it much better with just the sound effects (d’oh! - in space, yes I know…) and no music.

On the JPL home page however, they only have a completely silent clip. Does anybody know where I can download a nice quality clip with the sound effects?

benJan 20, 2004 at 12:30AM

#5 is ALIVE!!!
I especially liked the entry into Martian atmosphere.

JackJan 20, 2004 at 5:16AM

Great video — now if only we can keep those damn damn Jawas away from the rover…

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.

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