Monday February 23, 2015

Media Monday: Interstellar Graphics

InterstellarLast night, the movie Interstellar took home the Oscar for Best Visual Effects. The most notable and impressive effects in the film are the black hole, Gargantua, and the wormhole through which the spacecraft travels. The visual effects team for the movie, Double Negative, collaborated with Kip Thorne, a prominent astrophysicist, for assistance in writing the math for the software to generate realistic images of these objects. Light and reflections are usually created in films through a technique called ray tracing. However, ray-tracing software usually only renders light that is moving in a straight line, whereas the light of a black hole is warped through gravitational lensing. The new rendering software created by the Interstellar team sometimes took up to 100 hours to create one frame, and the movie as a whole added up to 800 terabytes of data. 

All in all, the Oscar for Best Visual Effects was definitely well-deserved for the both beautiful and scientifically accurate images created by Kip Thorne and the Double Negative team. 

Read more about the effects here: http://www.wired.com/2014/10/astrophysics-interstellar-black-hole/

See a video of interviews with the film creators here: http://video.wired.com/watch/exclusive-the-science-of-interstellar-wired

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