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A Little Christmas Story

Tue Dec 25, 2018 5:46 pm

This video commemorates the Apollo 8 mission. It's a little late for Christmas, I know, but I'll share it anyway. I have not posted it before because it's a little, shall we say, personal to my family. My father does the narration, and he is not a professional narrator (neither were the astronauts!) But, since it's the 50th anniversary of the flight, I'll post it.

I got the idea for this show on Christmas Day, five years ago, when, remembering the flight, I had my father read the beginning of Genesis. Silent Night was playing in the background. It sounded good. Of course, Apollo 8 famously read Genesis on Christmas Eve from the Moon.

That broadcast from the Moon gets to me still.

And then of course, Apollo 8 took the Earthrise photograph. Bring those two things together, and you've got a slideshow.

I've tinkered with the show over the years. I've added an introduction, which sets the scene, for anyone who does not know much about Apollo 8.

There's a lot going on technically in this show. I won't go into the details here, except to say that originally, the last shot was a panning, tilting move up to the horizon. But I could not get the different elements to move in sync (or rather, slightly out of sync) like a wanted, so I've had to change it to a static horizon. I guess it could be done with modifiers, but that is beyond me, given the time I have.

I hope you enjoy. It is about 3:15.


Re: A Little Christmas Story

Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:34 am

Very cool presentation, and the music was perfect. Sounds like a great tradition that you share on Christmas Eve.


Re: A Little Christmas Story

Thu Dec 27, 2018 6:20 pm

Nice video, and narration. Didn't realize it has been 50 years already.

If I understand what you're saying about that last shot...that sounds like a good candidate for a 3D program like BluffTitler. It's nearly impossible to sync layers like that unless you have a camera layer. Then it's just a matter of lining up your layers and moving the camera as if it was in the same place as the lunar orbiter.


Re: A Little Christmas Story

Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:19 am

I'm not sure how BluffTitler would work here. And I know nothing about a camera layer. So, you could be right.

In any case, here is what I was trying to achieve--almost. Except when the camera movement stops, the horizon should stay in about the same place. I was not able to do that. The stars go down with the horizon (but not as fast as the horizon) as the camera pans up. But as the camera stops panning, the stars reverse course and start to rise. But this needs to be smooth. I found the stars would lurch and jerk, if I wasn't careful.

Also, the moon surface has to be coordinated with the horizon. It moves down, simulating in 2D what you would see if you were in orbit motion.

I wish I could get it to work because I think the show is more effective with the panning slide than the static slide. It's a better "reveal". But then, I've already spent too much time on this.

This demo is about a minute.


Re: A Little Christmas Story

Sat Dec 29, 2018 2:09 pm

I did this in AE instead of Bluff because I found a 3D model that works better for me in Element 3D, an AE plugin, but the same thing could be done in BT. I tried to embed the video but it didn't work. Sigh!

The perspective might be off. After I did this I was thinking the moon should be rotating, but stationary in the frame, and the Earth should rise from behind the moon. But I wanted to show you what I had in mind.

https://vimeo.com/308721350 (deleted 1-2-19)

Last edited by heckydog on Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: A Little Christmas Story

Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:59 pm

This one is closer to the demo video you referenced. This file size is 50MB, 48 seconds, MP4, 1920x0180


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