One of the iconic images of the Apollo 11 mission is the one that astronaut Neil Armstrong took from his partner Buzz Aldrin and shows him giving the first steps on the moon.
When they are fulfilled 52 years of that space event, an artist managed to recreate what Armstrong, who took the photo, was seeing at the time through the reflection in the helmet.
Visual effects artist Michael Ranger posted last week on the site Reddit a 360 degree panorama that records the astronaut’s point of view. Something that no one imagined until then.
To achieve this effect, Ranger obtained a high resolution copy of the original photo and applied various levels of zoom to Aldrin’s visor, treating it as a 360 degree panoramic photograph and processing it in Street View of Google Maps.
The historic photo Neil Armstrong took of astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the lunar surface. POT
Recreation was possible thanks to the helmet and especially the reflective part, can be considered as a mirror ball and from the spherical format, it can be simulated that it is a traditional 2D photograph.
“What makes this process exciting for me is the fact that it is a real event. If I have any indication that something like this is false, my interest in it completely evaporates. This is great because it’s real! ”Ranger explains.
Reconstruction of the original photo, taken in 1969, Aldrin is standing near the leg of the lunar module ‘Eagle’ with his left arm curled up, meanwhile, a shadow is visible in the reflection of the visor and the module glows in sunlight.
Through this process, you can also see the full moon landing module and Armstrong. holding Hasselblad camera at chest level. It’s even possible to see a fuzzy image of the Earth just above Aldrin’s visor.
Aldrin in the sea of the tranquility of the moon. Photo NEIL ARMSTRONG / NASA
To discuss the fidelity of the real colors, the artist made some adjustments to the colors of the photographs, starting from the golden references of the helmets and correcting some spurious pixels to give an even greater sense of realism.
Take back the past
It is not the first time that ‘hidden’ images have been revealed from a NASA mission, since last year, a film restoration specialist used artificial intelligence to improve some shots of other space travel in order to offer a Crisp experience of the best moments of the mission.
Through AI a quality of 24 frames per second was achieved to give a more natural look to the recording. DutchSteamMachine
The author of that work goes by the nickname DutchSteamMachine and has enhanced videos of the Apollo 11, Apollo 15 and Apollo 16 moon landings that were shot on 16mm film and achieved 24 frames per second quality to give you a more natural look to the recording.
The technology used by DutchSteamMachine is called DAIN (Depth-Aware video frame INterpolation), which consists of compensating for defects in old videos, such as blurry images, by introducing animated frames in real ones, with the intention that the recording takes place in a more fluid.
For every five minutes of video generated, up to 20 hours of work are required. “I wanted to provide an experience not seen before in these old images,” commented the expert.