2015 Schedule
Interactive: March 13–17  •  Film: March 13–21  •  Music: March 17–22

Astrophysics Goes Hollywood: Cinematic Science

Tuesday, March 17
11:00AM - 12:00PM

Austin Convention Center
Room 18ABCD
Austin Convention Center


The amazing visuals from astronomical observatories like NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes reveal our universe as never before. With awe-inspiring images up to billions of pixels, and dynamic results from supercomputer simulations, the cosmos is primed for big screen display. This panel will discuss the art and science of transforming astrophysics data into cinematic movie sequences for NASA press releases, digital planetariums, and IMAX films.

Such projects require ‘Renaissance teams’, fostering a deep collaboration between creative and technical participants. A combination of astrophysics research codes, Hollywood graphics software, and powerful computers are required to go from photons to pixels to voxels to animation. From interpreting the true 3D structure of our own Milky Way to envisioning the titanic collision of two galaxies to creating the spectacular journey into the Orion Nebula in IMAX “Hubble”, each production is guided by both accuracy and aesthetics.


#sxsw #ConvergeDay


Donna Cox

Dir, Advanced Visualization Laboratory

National Center for Supercomputing Applications

Frank Summers

Outreach Astrophysicist

Space Telescope Science Institute

Robert Hurt

Visualization Scientist

NASA’s Spitzer Science Center/JPL-Caltech


Music Badge, Film Badge, Interactive Badge, Gold Badge, Platinum Badge, Artist Wristband
Solo / Dual / Panel
Entertainment and Immersion

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