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The Planetary Society’s Emily Lakdawalla got a chance to hone her animation skills further with this cool sequence showing clouds drifting over the surface of Mars, made from images taken by the Mars Express orbiter back in October 2010. Awesome!
The region shown here is known as Noachis Terra, in Mars’ southern hemisphere.
The key to making this animation work so well was the use of “tweening”, which helps smooth out the motion between original image frames acquired by the spacecraft’s cameras.
This video represents a milestone for me – I learned how to “tween” an animation! “Tweening” is short for “inbetweening,” a word coined by animators to describe the generation of frames in between two key frames,” stated Emily on The Planetary Society’s blog. “The need is similar with animating space images, because individual photos from space are almost never taken at a high enough frame rate to appear to animate smoothly.
“Making these few seconds of video was a somewhat arduous process, but I think the result was worth it,” she continued. “The process can be broken down into two big tasks: generating the individual animation frames from the raw data, and generating a tweened animation from individual animation frames.”
Well the result was, in my opinion, well worth the effort… it looks awesome! Great job Emily!
Credit: ESA / DLR / FU Berlin (G Neukum); animation by Emily Lakdawalla