Virtual light show marks space flight anniversary
Friday, 30 April 2021
avr3291Celebrating the first human in space
Russia - On 12 April 2021, the Baikonur Cosmodrome hosted a gala concert to celebrate the spaceflight of the first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. The festivities were broadcast live by the Russia TV network.
The concert’s ‘X-factor’ was a beam of light shooting out from the pit of the launch complex that sent the Vostok-1 spaceship into orbit 60 years ago. The light beam was created by TDS, a full-service production company.
The design concept called for the light beam to be so powerful that more than 60 high-power light projectors would be needed to create it. Another way to accomplish the task was to use augmented reality technology.
“Our team landed at the Baikonur Cosmodrome on 9 April,” reports TDS. “We had only four days to prepare the equipment for filming, install special marks, calculate precise distances using industrial-grade range meters, calibrate five cameras, integrate the light beam into the launch facility, and fine-tune a realistic output picture.
“The broadcast was performed with the five AR cameras, of which two were tracking cameras - including one on a telescopic camera crane - and three static view cameras.
“Our primary challenge was to make the beam look realistic, and integrate it with a physical object - the launch pad, which was a very complicated structure. We accomplished the task by putting a mask on the beam itself. It produced an excellent result. We were able to achieve precise tracking at a distance of 360m (four football fields) from the cameral to the virtual object.
Using the Pixotope virtual graphics software suite, we were able to obtain a truly faithful picture, and Mo-Sys technology helped us to achieve near-perfect tracking.”

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