Just Beautiful

I remember Nathan House’s 1997 “Planetary Traveler” which was entirely rendered in KPT Bryce.[amazon] It was an insane amount of work.

Back in 1996, rendering a full-resolution 720p image in Bryce took about 30 minutes per frame. (At 30fps for a 32 minute show, that’s some 30,000hr)

I have always admired the artists at NASA: they do incredible work – it’s hard to tell what’s a photo and what’s a rendering or a painting. Look at this:

There were times when I was watching that, that I had to remind myself, “it has to be a rendering because there’s no camera out there to record that.”

I got a bit choked up at the end of the Cassini video, even though the ending has already been thoroughly spoilered. (It’s like my dad said, when mom asked him if he wanted to go see Titanic, “Why? I already know how it ends.”)

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Titanic: My grandfather was a kid when the Titanic sank. He never expressed any interest in going on big ships. And if he had the choice between flying and driving, he drove. To someone who remembers the cloth-covered stuff they were flying in WWI, “airplane” doesn’t have the same connotations as “United Airlines” does nowadays.


  1. Crimson Clupeidae says

    I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to ride in one of those cloth covered (welded steel frame and dope and fabric skin) 19402 era birds. :)

    I rode in a 1942 Beech staggerwing (in 2006). I love old birds like that.

    Heading out to the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum this morning as a matter of fact.

    I’ve been lucky enough to get to work on a Lockheed Constellation as an engineer.

  2. says

    Crimson Clupeidae@#2:
    Sounds like you’ve had some amazing experiences! I would probably make the “wee wee of terror” in one of those things.

    There’s a funny story I probably should do a posting about, about old planes… I’ll see if I can remember to do that.