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Courtesy Cornell and Robert Barker/University Photograph

Dan Maas
Computer Graphics Artist
Dcine Inc.

We're sure that every video in this mini-series will include at least some images from computer graphics created by Dan Maas. As the news articles linked to at the end of this introduction explain, in 2000 he was a 19-year old undergraduate at Cornell when he began working with Steve Squyres to create a visualization of the Mars Exploration Rovers mission that's unlike any NASA images before. (Steve Squyres says that many of them were "dry as dust.") Dan made the future Mars Exploration Rovers mission "real" by cinematic techniques that put you, as an observer, right "there" with the spacecraft - high above the launch pad as the separation of rocket stages shakes the air and camera, as if hit by a pressure wave; watching the rocks and dust fly, as the airbags slam into the surface; and then looking across that surface, as if with a feature - film's hand-held "Steadicam," as the rover appears over the horizon. Someone told us that when Dan was introduced to his first full meeting of the Mars Exploration Rovers project, the entire room - PhDs known round the world for their research, some of America's brightest engineers - stood up to applaud this youngest "member" of the team. They realized he'd given them a unique tool with which to excite people across America and around the planet. And we're very glad to say that Dan also agreed to be an Advisor to the "To MARS with MER" project. His story appears here to prove you can make a contribution even before you graduate from college, just a few years out of high school.

Images courtesy of NASA - from Dan's animation

Cornell's story about Dan's work:

(An earlier story, with more anecdotes, written while the animation was half finished.)

An interview with CG Focus, a computer graphics magazine:

Back to BIOgraphies Menu Dan Maas' Biography    1