Mawson’s Room 8k
Computational Photography & Photogrammetry in action: in the service of a story.
A mood piece about Douglas Mawson’s bunk – as he may have woken up to see it in the Antarctic summer – apart from the 100+ years of change that subsequently accumulated. A kind of icy re-imagining of sleep and awakening. It is a fascinating place, rich with history and the re-imaginary – a kind of story you might want to pour yourself into. And it’s hard to get to, which makes it more peculiar – a good thing. An effort.
There are two versions embedded here for testing purposes: an 8k (7680×4320) Vimeo version and the original HD (1920×1080) Vimeo version. I’ll get round to testing Youtube some time as well. Currently it looks like the maximum they will play at is 4k embedded on MacOS Safari and Chrome browsers: this may change depending upon your platform.
This is an 8k rendering of a 3D photogrammetric reconstruction of Mawson’s Room. The model needs quite a bit of refinement – it’s mainly a technical test render at 8k to find optimal ffmpeg settings and to see how it looks: a ‘computer game’-like quality. The original file (available for download via Vimeo) is an 8k Prores422 file, which will need a very fast computer to play.
The photogrammetric reconstruction and animation derives from images I shot in 2010 during the Mawson’s Huts Foundation Expedition of that summer. It’s amazing how one can data-mine photo archives and use techniques of computational photography to create new space and perspectives for the telling of tales. This is just a first experiment.
The bunk dates from the 1911-14 Australasian Antarctic Expedition to East Antarctica – Commonwealth Bay. East Antarctica was almost entirely unknown at the time.
My videoblogs of the expedition are here: petermorse.com.au/antarctica/antarctica-2009-10/
It’s wonderful to daydream yourself into the waking and sleeping moments of early Antarctic explorers, when the world was a very different place and this was all new and undiscovered.
And I should really acknowledge the music here – it has really helped: the wonderful work of Kai Engel