30-Year-Old 3-D Movie Made from Viking Data Gets New Life

Article written: 26 Jul , 2011
Updated: 18 Jan , 2016
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Video

Back in 1979, scientists at Stanford University created a 3-D movie from images sent back by the Viking landers on Mars. It was rather novel in that, while 3-D movies had been around since the 1950’s — mostly for low-budget B movies in theaters — this stereographic film was more scientific in nature, but was created for the public to learn more about the Viking mission and Mars, providing a “you are there” experience. It was created using 16mm film, which degrades over time. Considering the unique historical and scientific value of this film, a group from NASA’s Ames Research Center have constructed a new remastered digital version, made from the original 16mm film footage, sound reels, and related documentation.

Plans are underway to hold screenings of this new version of Mars in 3-D in Digital Cinema 3-D format. But in the meantime you can watch it now online in a digital anaglyph version, best viewed with red-cyan 3-D glasses.

Read more about the remastering process and read original papers from the imaging team from Viking at the Ames History Office website.

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6 Responses

  1. very disappointing stereo effects. I used red/blue glasses and cinema glasses I bought to watch Avatar and even crossed my eyes without glasses equivalent to stereo digital camera images (i have made thousands of these with perfect 3d effects, but still the quality was very poor in this movie and often the stereo effect was inverted, i.e., the 3d image was reversed.

    • Anonymous says

      What do you expect, this was produced 30 years ago. Specially for the landscape photographs with all the rocks, it was challenging doing it cross-eyed. Pretty cool nonetheless.

  2. very disappointing stereo effects. I used red/blue glasses and cinema glasses I bought to watch Avatar and even crossed my eyes without glasses equivalent to stereo digital camera images (i have made thousands of these with perfect 3d effects, but still the quality was very poor in this movie and often the stereo effect was inverted, i.e., the 3d image was reversed.

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