"Lightcraft Concept " for National Geographic Explorer's "Destination Space"


Imagine a futuristic city where residents travel to other points on the planet in saucer shaped vehicles powered by energy beamed from orbiting satellites. Encased in small pods filled with liquid to protect against 30 g accelerations while lifted into orbit to arrive on the other side of the world in 45 minutes. It's not that far-fetched according to experts.

There are designs for just such a vehicle and experiments testing the propulsion concepts have already shown the idea is feasible. Home Run Pictures created a two minute animation depicting the concept for airing on the National Geographic Explorer documentary "Destination Space." Lightcraft represents a creative visualization of a highly technical engineering concept. For this project, theoretical ideas needed to be translated in minute detail into a visually interesting animation... the challenge being good strong communication between people with differing thought processes... engineer and computer animator. So the final outcome is both scientically accurate and visually exciting. Computer animation techniques, because of the mixture of the technical and creative, is an excellent media for bringing engineering principles to life as visualizations.

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Home Run Pictures animators Tom Nypaver and Desiree Roy worked with engineering theorists Dr. Leik Myrabo at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to create the visualization. Production company Rubin Tarrant Productions produced for National Geographic Television.


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