Author: stephen v2

LeVar Burton Narration announce
LeVar Burton to Narrate
Happy Holidays! As long-time fans know, the film script had no narration after 2009. But by 2014, I realized sparse, elegant narration would be key to making the film work well. I kept quiet until the right narration was ready.But not narration by any just narrator - I wanted the gifted voice of a trained actor --intelligent, expressive and truthful. I listened to dozens of voices and one person stood out.We are honored, excited and humbled to have LeVar Burton agree to narrate the film. Much more about this over the next few months. "Your Name Here" - in the credits with LeVar Burton If you want to have your name in the film along with LeVar Burton's, you need to act fast. The credits of the film will be put together soon, so we are closing the window for donations that include a screen credit at the end of this year - just a few days away. And if you are one of our awesome backers, you can move up the list closer to LeVar. Your generous donations will help us cover the recording and mixing costs of the narration.Tax Deductible donations can be made here: DONATE Regular donations can be made here: DONATEA complete list of perks for donors/backers is here:  PERKS...
Bryan Adams & ISR – new video
Bryan Adams, yeah that Bryan Adams, released a new music video that he also directed, "Please Stay" that uses footage from the film in a beautiful way. It's a bucket list level thrill for me as songs like "Run to You", "Cuts like a Knife" and "Summer of Sixty-Nine" are always in my top playlist rotation.How did this happen? Well, it almost didn't. I got a very simple email back in early September signed "Bryan Adams (singer / songwriter)" wanting to use footage in a new music video he was directing to promote his new album.I immediately thought it was fake. The email did say "There is stock footage available from video outlets, but your footage is way cooler." True, but compliments and flattery are part of social engineering attacks.I won't confess how close I came to deleting it as some weird phishing spam thing, but I decided to check the DNS, mail headers etc. Sure enough, it came from this domain which looked pretty damn official: http://www.bryanadams.com/. I read up on Bryan Adams at Wikipedia. Turns out he he's a pretty cool guy with a vibrant creative career.More to the point - he's a stunningly good photographer. http://bryanadamsphotography.com/ - spend some time there, well worth it.Huh. Go figure.So I replied, trying not to be too OMG! OMG! OMG! Bryan Adams! I love you so much!!! etc. etc. We ended up exchanging emails, eventually bringing in a couple of his production folks and I sent them a bunch of footage to use for the shoot. It was a comfortable, easy process and I could not be more pleased with how it turned out. Bryan has a great eye for visuals and really cool to see how people play with this imagery we've created.But beyond the video, it speaks to the very core of the film. Bryan Adams was obviously searching for something beyond the usual CGI/stock space footage that is available and what we are used to seeing.He had a very different reaction, as many people do, to real images from space animated with multiplane verses CGI footage you see everywhere. Real images have "a quality" that drives myself and the entire group of image processors on the film to create and share this imagery.Bryan Adams is an accomplished singer, songwriter, photographer but at the end of day, he's like every other fan and volunteer of the film. We all love these images and want them as part of fabric of our lives.  They are truly universal in every sense of the word and the entire heart of this film.Thanks again to Bryan and his entire team for doing such a fantastic job and letting "In Saturn's Rings" be a small part of it....
September/October 2017 screenshots
In case you've missed our social media posts recently, here is some stuff from the Milky Way Grand Zoom, SDSS flybys and the final mosaic by the Cassini spacecraft before it plunged into Saturn (with a quote from the film)....
ISR to attend Cassini Grand Finale
CASSINI's Grand Finale - We will be there Live! In case you have not heard, the end of Cassini's historic mission is Sept. 15th next week with a dramatic plunge into Saturn's atmosphere. It is both a sad and joyous occasion and we are thrilled to have be invited to attend with full media credentials. What does that mean for you?Exclusive live coverage on our social media on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook - with some live streams We will be filming interviews, filming Mission Control and more for the Behind-the-scenes materials for the DVD/Blu-Ray releases We will be making useful contacts with JPL, NASA and other space folk to help with the premiere of the film next MaySo be sure to follow along - we leave September 12th and return the 16th. And yes, we will leave plenty of final renders churning while we are gone. You can learn more about the Grand Finale direct from JPL/NASA here: https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/grand-finale/overview/...
May 4th 2018
The film premieres on the giant screen on May 4th, 2018, International Space Day and Star Wars day, locations to be announced soon....
New Screenshots NGC 1300 Approach
Film production is rolling along and official release date announcement coming soon (yes, this one is for real :) Here are some screenshots off the render farm. This is the approach through SDSS data to high resolution Hubble image of NGC 1300 galaxy. ...
Screenshot Gallery #1 – Zeitgeist
If you've been following on Instagram or Twitter, work is completing on the Zeitgeist section of the film that illustrates the loss of the night sky which I believe contributes to a lack of interest in space & space exploration.Here is preliminary frames (not color corrected and photo arrangements etc. will vary in final version) featuring Colin Legg's stunning 5 camera timelapse and 88,000 public domain historical images....
Twitter & Instagram alive & kicking
As the film is coming together, we have lot more we can share now that the many long months of work on the mother of all renders is complete.So we have our Twitter (@insaturnsrings) and Instagram (in_saturns_rings) feeds up and running. And they will stay running daily with rare exceptions. We will be sharing quick and dirty images, screen captures and exclusive video filmed off monitors of footage, project files and other BTS material that won't be released online any other way as on Facebook & email we tend to share more formal type information.Twitter and Instagram will have similar content but not exactly the same with retweets etc.Real insider stuff - enjoy! ...
Update on Final Renders – Screenshots!
Work on the film is humming along, especially now that the most complex photoanimation is in the can so to speak - thanks again to our volunteer render machines that made 5.5 years of machine render time happen in 3 months.We are still on schedule from the release date (Q2/3 2018) we announced last September. Footage for the first third of the film is coming out in batches - pictured here are two galaxy flyby's - Arp 273 (the complex one) and NGC 3370. Footage is final  although a final color correction will take place with finished renders when the entire film is complete.Also, we have reprocessed Colin Legg's 5 camera, 11-days and nights time-lapse footage to extract 25% more resolution for 8K renders and much improved day to night and night to day transitions. Thanks to Colin for all his hard work making that happen. A frame from in the the historical imagery (Zeitgeist) sequence that illustrates the loss of the night sky through human history is included to tweak your interest in the film and no, this is not a secret sequel to "Skull Island" - :)More and more footage will be piling up this year culminating in a our first official trailer (no more teasers!) in mid September in honor of Cassini's Grand Finale....
Casualties of War
It's been a quiet period on the blog but a long churn on the film. The most complicated render in photoanimation history is wrapping up. Roughly 50 computers (15 here and 25 awesome volunteers) have been churning since January. Here are the specs:Total of 970 frames for an approx 40 second shot of slow approach into 5.1 million galaxies images Render output is 5600 x 4200 32-bit TIFF file Average render time per frame across all machines is 35 hours One fast 6 core machine would need almost 4 years to render the shot! With roughly 300 cores, we will be done in about 3 months - mid AprilHowever, there have been casualties from machines running 24X7 churning so much data. Here are just the losses in the 15 machines here:Intel Socket 1500 motherboard (BIOS failure) 8GB DDR3 Stick (one of 8 in 64GB Box and under warranty) 250GB Crucial SSD 480GB Crucial SSD (both Crucials were just a couple months over 3 years old - won't purchase anymore) APC 700VA UPS Seagate 4GB Drive (only 3 months old under warranty) 4 machines that had been upgraded from Window 7 required resets and clean installs to render stableAll in all with about two weeks left, pretty good for low end build your own boxes that average about 3 years old. ...