For the past twelve years, NASA’s High Resolution Image Science Experiment (HiRISE) has taken 50,000 stereo images mapping the surface of the Red Planet. While the stunning 3D images are all available online, that was simply not enough for Finnish filmmaker Jan Fröjdman. With 3D glasses not readily available, Fröjdman took it upon himself to painstakingly arrange the photos by hand to map out a roaming topography of the planets surface.
The fascinating video captures ravines, mountains, craters, and helps you imagine the sheer audacity and scale of a planet whose tallest mountain is twice the size of Everest. While the original HiRISE photographs are entirely gray-scale, Fröjdman colorized the images then stitched them together using over 33,000 reference points to produce moving images.
Unbeknownst to Fröjdman, who spent over three months creating his animated sci-fi odyssey, a program actually exists that could have basically produced the film for him. Still, you gotta appreciate his hard work.