Shut down your hand coded website, cancel your trip to the anti-NASA convention in Boise, Bay Area chip-maker Nvidia has debunked the conspiracy theories around the Apollo 11 moon landing using their latest graphics chip.
That no stars are visible in the backgrounds and that Buzz Aldren is visibly lit while in the shadows are two of the long lasting gripes about the famous photos shot in July of 1969 on the Sea of Tranquility. Even if you were not among the few that think Neil Armstrong’s pictures were a fake, the technology that Nvidia is showcasing is still pretty revolutionary for the world of computer generated imaging.
The Maxwell chip utilizes what Nvidia calls Voxel Global Illumination technology to accurately render in real time multiple light sources and how those sources bounce or interact with all different types of surfaces. In order to replicate the landing pictures, the Nvidia team had to create a virtual model that involved representing bounced light from a variety of sources including the Lunar Lander, the Moon, moon dust, and even Armstrong himself.
Commented Mark Daly, Nvidia’s senior director of content development. “The sun and the light coming off of the moon’s surface are doing the majority of the work, but there’s probably a 10ish-percentage of additional light coming off of Neil Armstrong’s space suit.”
Geek out and watch Nvidia’s short film on the project below.
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