Animating the Universe

An interview with NASA's David Ladd at NAB Show

At NAB Show 2016, PILOT spoke with David Ladd, multimedia producer and editor of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Television Department. Ladd and his colleagues at the Goddard Space Flight Center’s Television Department create the stunning animations and visualizations of the universe that grace screens around the globe.

Ladd spoke about how NASA is adapting its methods with the latest in visual technologies, similar to the broadcast industry. In November 2015, NASA launched their UHD channel where they host new 4K content.

“Our job is not only to do science, but it’s also to communicate that science to the general public.”

Although they sound similar, animations and visualizations are two very specific and distinct products. Visualizations are motion graphics that are built from data collected by NASA. Ladd said that a visualization “takes data from a satellite to construct…for example, a computer model of the far side of the moon, whereas an animation is your classic motion graphic, and they hold the artistic license to create things.”

Ladd emphasized the importance of blending science with visual media, “Our job,” he said, “is not only to do science, but to communicate that science to the general public.”

All of the animations and visualizations created by Ladd and his colleagues are in the public domain. “You can get all of our creations for free on our website,” he said. “We really like seeing people use our stuff in their own things.”

Check out the full interview above.

By |July 5, 2016|Videos, Blog, InnoMinute, Television|Comments Off on Animating the Universe