Redditor Godd2 spent 4 days collecting and interpolating footage from the Curiosity rover’s descent onto the Martian surface and sped the footage up to 25 frames per second, resulting in the most real-time look at the footage that is available so far.

I downloaded the 1648x1200px pictures from here and imported them into After Effects as an image sequence. Then I stretched the image sequence to run at 25 fps which resulted in a legit frame being copied 4 times until the next real frame came. At this point, I went to the original image sequence and started oding manual motion tracking, watching a crater here or there. I made sure I always had at least two data points at any given time so that I could reposition and rotate for fluid motion.

Then I copied that motion tracking data to some null objects, and told after effects to interpolate the data in between using bezier curves. Here is a picture of that progress.

Well, this wasn’t quite enough because I needed the difference in movement between frames, not motion overall, so I coded for position and rotation with After Effect Expressions.

This gave me a pretty good approximation for the main duration of the descent. Near the end I had to start accounting for changes in scale, and I went in a manually had fun with the heat shield for the first couple seconds of its descent. That’s why it looks extra smooth for the first bit.

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