SIGGRAPH 2021: Take a Tour of Asteroid Bennu!

The Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater is heavily focused on animated shorts (including a lot of French shorts), but other kinds of projects are also featured.

Scientific Vizualisation, for example, is included in the Festival. This year, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center showcased “Tour of Asteroid Bennu”, a beautiful short film using data and imagery from NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft.

Between 2018 and 2020, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft spent months analyzing the surface, then touched down on Bennu to collect a sample. The spacecraft will return to Earth with its sample in 2023.

Dan Gallagher (KBRwyle): Producer Kel Elkins (USRA): Lead Visualizer Rob Andreoli (AIMM): Videographer Ernie Wright (USRA): Visualizer Aaron E. Lepsch (ADNET): Technical Support

The team also shared a making-of video. We learn that “Tour of Asteroid Bennu” was created using laser altimetry data and high-resolution imagery from OSIRIS-REx. In other word, everything you watched comes from real data. Kel Elkins (Lead Visualizer) and Dan Gallagher (producer) also explain that finding the right lighting was very important, since the complex shapes of the rocks on Bennu can be hard to read.

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