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Posted: 1/27/2006 4:36:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/27/2006 4:38:40 PM EDT by dmaas]
Disney's Roving Mars, an IMAX film I worked on, opens in 16 cities today. I led the team of animators who created one third of the film (all of the CGI parts). Hope you all enjoy.

edit: link fixed
Link Posted: 1/27/2006 4:38:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/27/2006 4:40:21 PM EDT by david_g17]

eta: congrats, I bet it was a lot of work.
Link Posted: 1/27/2006 4:38:11 PM EDT
If it was near me, I would see it.

Link Posted: 1/27/2006 4:38:51 PM EDT
I look forward to seeing this. I read the book and it was pretty freakin cool.. and to think the rovers are still doing their jobs is amazing.

I'm gonna try and see it this weekend
Link Posted: 1/27/2006 11:54:46 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 5:40:45 AM EDT
Congrats!

The wife and I were watching TV this am and saw the trailer. We both looked at each other and said "lets go see that".

Looked really cool.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 5:47:38 AM EDT
Awesome !
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 5:51:05 AM EDT
Awesome! What software did you guys use as your primary animation program? Maya? XSI?
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 6:34:53 AM EDT
Great! I thoroughly enjoyed the first movie. I will make a it point to see it.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 6:38:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By warlord:
Great! I thoroughly enjoyed the first movie. I will make a it point to see it.



"first movie" ?
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 7:22:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CRC:
If it was near me, I would see it.




Damn straight!

Congrats dmaas!
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 7:24:41 AM EDT
all we want to know is "did we really land on Mars". Making it a Disney film one has to wonder....
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 7:40:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/28/2006 7:42:45 AM EDT by warlord]

Originally Posted By RED_5:

Originally Posted By warlord:
Great! I thoroughly enjoyed the first movie. I will make a it point to see it.



"first movie" ?


There was another movie by Dan Mass, it showed the Mars Rover taking off and similulated landing on Mars. I think that movie was up on Dan Mass' website for about a year was withdrawn. He only had permission to use the music, Holst's Venus for one year.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 2:42:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/28/2006 2:43:33 PM EDT by dmaas]
The "first movie" was a 10-minute clip I created for NASA three years ago. (it is still on my website www.maasdigital.com/gallery.html). The IMAX film is better by leaps and bounds. It's got a full Hollywood-quality music score and sound effects track.

For tech info see my thread at CGTalk forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?p=3198348
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 2:46:41 PM EDT
All that work and you couldn't put a fucking minigun on the rover?

That woulda been so cool.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 2:47:41 PM EDT
Congrats.

Technology has sure come a long way since they faked the moon landing.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 2:52:48 PM EDT
Cool man! I saw the commercial for this just the other day! Thats really cool!
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 2:59:04 PM EDT
Cool! I'll likely go see it this week.

Did I miss the Imax movie on Red Flag? That's the one I really want to see!!
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 2:59:14 PM EDT
You go Mr. Lightwave!

Rock on!
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 4:06:49 PM EDT
saw it today, pretty awesome CGI!!!

movie was too short.

could have spent more time on the Rovers from start to launch and more photos and such from Mars.

Having read Squires book "Roving Mars" I think I got more out of the movie than someone who didn't.


Link Posted: 1/28/2006 4:27:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/28/2006 4:28:01 PM EDT by dmaas]
Yeah, they had to cut out a LOT to make the 40-minute mark. (any longer and it wouldn't be eligible for the "Short Documentary" Oscar). The early edits were around 1 hour. I wish they had kept some of the "disaster moments" like loss of contact with Spirit.

I agree that the launch is a little late in the film (minute 17!). Though I think the preceding material is important for giving background info for people who are not familiar with the mission.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 4:40:01 PM EDT
that was an excellent video on your site. good job.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 7:43:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dmaas:
Disney's Roving Mars, an IMAX film I worked on, opens in 16 cities today. I led the team of animators who created one third of the film (all of the CGI parts). Hope you all enjoy.

edit: link fixed




We're going to see it tomorrow. (Sunday) Our 10 year old son is absolutely fascinated with just about anything scientific, and has been bugging me for a week to see it when it comes out. We'll be seeing it at the one in the St. Louis Science Center.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 7:48:12 PM EDT
I hope to take the little ones to see it next time I'm in Fort Lauderdale.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 7:49:08 PM EDT
www.ithacajournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060128/NEWS01/601280339/1002

MAXimum exposure Dryden man's animations appear in Disney film

By ANDREW TUTINO
Journal Staff

DRYDEN - In high school, Dan Maas created an animation that depicted two flying spaceships - one piloted by a fictional alien, the other by his friend.

Little did the self-confessed “space geek” know that animations like his high school creation would lead to the “Big Screen” - big as in IMAX big.

On Friday, the IMAX movie “Roving Mars” opened in 24 theaters across the country. The documentary tells the story of the two terrestrial rovers, “Spirit” and “Opportunity,” that touched down on Mars.
Maas' firm, Maas Digital, did the animation work for about 12 minutes of footage in the 40-minute Disney film, which was directed by George Butler and produced by Frank Marshall.

The animation includes realistic pictures of everything related to the mission, from the Boeing Delta II rocket's position flying around the moon on the day it launched to the specks of dirt on the balloons that absorbed the impact once the rovers bounced to the Mars surface.

“We made use of satellite photos and Rover photos,” Maas said of the work done by the team he assembled to work on the project. “Our intent was to recreate exactly what it looks like on Mars.”

Maas got involved on the Mars project after he convinced Cornell University professor Steven Squyres he could produce quality animation work, something Maas, 24, had worked on since high school.

So from April to November in 2005, Maas and a team of four worked countless hours in his Dryden studio perfecting the realistic animations that depict where rocks, mountains, craters are actually situated on Mars based on satellite images and photographs sent back from the rovers.

The team would do some work, FedEx it to California where the movie was being produced, and repeat the process over and over again. Originally, the contract called for six minutes of animation, but an additional six were added later in the project.

Finally, in December, Maas was able to see the finished product in Los Angeles where an IMAX screen was rented.

“Everyone was sort of giddy,” Maas said. “IMAX is such a special medium. There is no way to get the feel of it unless you are in a theater and looking at it on the large screen. It is such a tremendous rush.”

Maas hired three digital artists — Aja Bogdanoff, John Niehuss and Benjamin Schweighart — and one computer programmer, Justin Wick, to work on the film.

Bogdanoff said she knew little about the Mars rover mission before she started on the project, but that changed after seven months of work.

“The images in the film are identical of how it would have been if someone was standing on the surface of Mars when it landed,” she said. “Countless hours were put into making every single detail was as accurate as possible. It will definitely stand up to the attention of serious space geeks.”

Contact: atutino@ithacajournal.com

Originally published January 28, 2006

Nice work!
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 7:55:08 PM EDT
congradulations! I just did a shot in your honor!

You are doing well at 24....keep it up.


-HS
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 5:35:42 AM EDT
Well, we're not going to see it.

They said on TV that it's there, but it doesn't show on the internet so I called and it's not there.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 5:43:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
I hope to take the little ones to see it next time I'm in Fort Lauderdale.



I don't see any IMAX theatres in FL on the list of cities. Oh Well!
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 5:50:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By dmaas:
Yeah, they had to cut out a LOT to make the 40-minute mark. (any longer and it wouldn't be eligible for the "Short Documentary" Oscar). The early edits were around 1 hour. I wish they had kept some of the "disaster moments" like loss of contact with Spirit.

I agree that the launch is a little late in the film (minute 17!). Though I think the preceding material is important for giving background info for people who are not familiar with the mission.




WTF? "short documentary" ??
crying shame to have good material and then just chop it up for the persuit of an "award". Knowing what I know about the missions, it left a lot to be desired... and now to know that they cut stuff off-

going into the movie I was pretty excited and went as far to say that I would be buying the DVD.

IF the dvd is only what I saw yesterday, I'll pass. If they include all the stuff they choped off, then I'd consider a purchase.


Don't let my comments above take away from your moment. The movie was ok, photos were great, but short in number; AND you guys did an killer job with the CGI. The details were awesome. I can only imagine how detailed they were considering all we got to see was a quick 'real time' glimpse of it.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 5:57:31 AM EDT
What the heck. No aliens, lasers, fights or explosions. I want my money back.
Love the IMAX. I don't see them enough.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 10:23:01 AM EDT
Wow!!!

I just got back from seeing it with my wife. Un f'ing believable! What an extraordinary piece of work.

If you have any interest in the space program or space exploration you must see this film
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 10:42:49 AM EDT
Looks great. Thanks the IMAX offering were getting kinda stale
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 10:47:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By tc556guy:
www.ithacajournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060128/NEWS01/601280339/1002

MAXimum exposure Dryden man's animations appear in Disney film

By ANDREW TUTINO
Journal Staff

DRYDEN - In high school, Dan Maas created an animation that depicted two flying spaceships - one piloted by a fictional alien, the other by his friend.

Little did the self-confessed “space geek” know that animations like his high school creation would lead to the “Big Screen” - big as in IMAX big.

On Friday, the IMAX movie “Roving Mars” opened in 24 theaters across the country. The documentary tells the story of the two terrestrial rovers, “Spirit” and “Opportunity,” that touched down on Mars.
Maas' firm, Maas Digital, did the animation work for about 12 minutes of footage in the 40-minute Disney film, which was directed by George Butler and produced by Frank Marshall.

The animation includes realistic pictures of everything related to the mission, from the Boeing Delta II rocket's position flying around the moon on the day it launched to the specks of dirt on the balloons that absorbed the impact once the rovers bounced to the Mars surface.

“We made use of satellite photos and Rover photos,” Maas said of the work done by the team he assembled to work on the project. “Our intent was to recreate exactly what it looks like on Mars.”

Maas got involved on the Mars project after he convinced Cornell University professor Steven Squyres he could produce quality animation work, something Maas, 24, had worked on since high school.

So from April to November in 2005, Maas and a team of four worked countless hours in his Dryden studio perfecting the realistic animations that depict where rocks, mountains, craters are actually situated on Mars based on satellite images and photographs sent back from the rovers.

The team would do some work, FedEx it to California where the movie was being produced, and repeat the process over and over again. Originally, the contract called for six minutes of animation, but an additional six were added later in the project.

Finally, in December, Maas was able to see the finished product in Los Angeles where an IMAX screen was rented.

“Everyone was sort of giddy,” Maas said. “IMAX is such a special medium. There is no way to get the feel of it unless you are in a theater and looking at it on the large screen. It is such a tremendous rush.”

Maas hired three digital artists — Aja Bogdanoff, John Niehuss and Benjamin Schweighart — and one computer programmer, Justin Wick, to work on the film.

Bogdanoff said she knew little about the Mars rover mission before she started on the project, but that changed after seven months of work.

“The images in the film are identical of how it would have been if someone was standing on the surface of Mars when it landed,” she said. “Countless hours were put into making every single detail was as accurate as possible. It will definitely stand up to the attention of serious space geeks.”

Contact: atutino@ithacajournal.com

Originally published January 28, 2006

Nice work!



Highlighted dmaas's new tag line.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 7:16:36 PM EDT
Haha thanks.

The movie will probably come out on DVD in a few months.

The two hour-long NOVA programs on the mission are available on DVD already. They are not as visually spectacular as the IMAX film, but more in-depth about the science and engineering aspects. Both include about 6 minutes of animation (not as advanced as the IMAX work though):

Mars Dead or Alive (this one got 2 Emmy nominations)
Welcome to Mars
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:00:30 PM EDT
I saw it Sunday in San Francisco. I wish I had more time to study this. Awesome movie and the animations were outstanding.

I have lots of questions but the one item I don't understand; during final staging and seperation, the spinning craft realeases two tethered objects in opposite directions. What purpose do they serve?

I figured something like modifying spin rate but a few ounces of fuel would do that. The tethers might be used to convert cetrifugal energy into a seperation push without explosives, but I'm just guessing.

Did the tech data you created the animations from shed any light on this?

Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:02:59 PM EDT
Sweet!

I'll check it out in Seattle!
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:04:38 PM EDT
... Awesome! Will go see for sure
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:08:38 PM EDT
Awesome stuff. I am a graphic designer and I totally respect what it takes to be a 3d designer and animator. Seems like a whole different part of the brain is involved in that stuff. Really cool.

Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:23:34 PM EDT
cool ! i took my kids to the imax last friday... we got there in time to see sharks3D...
,

now that i know an arfcom member was part of it,,,,, i will go back and take them see this :)

Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:27:54 PM EDT
Outstanding!
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:33:20 PM EDT
I will definitely see this one.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:34:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/7/2006 9:35:56 PM EDT by dmaas]

Originally Posted By Arlis:
I have lots of questions but the one item I don't understand; during final staging and seperation, the spinning craft realeases two tethered objects in opposite directions. What purpose do they serve?


Those are the "yo-yo counterweights." Their purpose is to carry away excess angular momentum, to help slow down the spin rate. The spacecraft does have reaction wheels and thrusters to control its spin, but I think the 20-30 RPM rate is too much for them handle, at least without wasting lots of fuel.

I know at least one or two ARFcommers work on the real Boeing Delta rockets, maybe they can confirm? :)
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 3:55:54 PM EDT
It just struck me as odd that "weight" would be added to a spacecraft when every ounce has to be budgeted for, and the apparent function of what amounts to ballast might be accomplished by less weight in fuel. Its all in the numbers I guess. Thanks for clearing that up.
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