Exploration Museum

After the success of the film "Quest for Life" Metavision was invited to bid on the design and construction of a new museum at the Kennedy Space Center.

The theme of "Exploration in the New Millenium" was carried out in the building design by Mr. Peter Inova.  The curving interior spaces begin with wall murals depicting the previous 1000 years of exploration, leading guests past a Mars landing craft, stereoscopic images of Mars from Pathfinder and through two triple screen video presentations.

Ron constructed a small real-time model to demonstrate the concept. Based on blueprints of the actual building shell, the model was later used to proof the heights at which full-scale satellite models were hung.

Realtime CG model of museum

The "Planetary Explorer" is a dynamic tour of our solar system and the first of two triple screen shows in the museum. The 12 minute presentation was modelled and rendered by Ron Fischer using Maya and composited by Brad Moylan using Adobe After Effects. All shots were completed at 30 fps in three channels of video. The script was written by Mr. Richard Dowling. The presentation space in the museum suggests the bridge of a starship with 3 twelve by eight foot video screens. It can be seen in the upper left corner of the image above.

To enhance the idea that we're on the bridge of a starship the screens are covered by "saftey doors" between presentations. At the start of the show, chrome handled locks release and the doors slide away to reveal deep space.

Metal doors opening to space

We first zoom into the solar system, finally diving toward the glare of our sun. A moment later we pull back to reveal an erupting solar flare. The gray panels in the frame below separate the three video channels as projected.

Pullback past a Solar Flare

Other dramatic moments include a swing around the dark side of planet earth.

Swing around dark side of Earth

Diving through the asteroid belt.

Diving through the asteroid belt

Flying through Saturn's rings.

Saturn with Uranus in background

In the latter area of the museum is the more fanciful "Space Race: 3000" show. For this presentation Ron created the fusion starship called the "Ramslammer"...

Ramslammer fusion starship

and a laser sail starship called "The Laser Belle"...

Laser Belle starship Laser focus point on starship

...and two CG sets: a cityscape with animated monorail...

Futuristic cityscape with monorail

and the command bridge of the laser sail starship.

Command bridge of Laser Belle

He also built an unusual Maya shader to suggest space warp effects, along with a particle system for the exhaust of the fusion powered starship.

Ron's sequences were modelled and then animated to the pre-recorded soundtrack using Alias Wavefront's Maya. Compositing was done by Brad Moylan using Adobe After Effects.