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Physical Simulation Reveals the True Face of Titan

Press Release From: Optis
Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2017

OPTIS transformed the optical data collected by NASA and ESA on the surface of Titan-during the Cassini-Huygens mission - in highly realistic images of the surface of this Saturn satellite

OPTIS, global provider of light and optical simulation software, announced the creation of realistic visualizations of Titan and the use of this technology for the first time in a documentary.

Titan is the second largest satellite of the solar system. Its many similarities with Earth make this moon the ideal candidate for a possible extraterrestrial life. If this distant star remains inaccessible to human exploration in real life, what about a virtual exploration?

NASA and ESA collected precise data of Titan's environment thanks to the Cassini-Huygens space mission, launched in 1997. OPTIS, which creates realistic visualizations of the real world from physical data, took up the challenge of using these data to recreate the appearance of Titan. "If we can do it on Earth, we can do it on Titan," says Jacques Delacour, OPTIS CEO. 

"The data provided information about how the sun illuminated Titan, about its atmosphere and how light is absorbed and diffused by its environment. We had all the necessary elements to create a realistic visualization of what a human could see on the surface of Titan, through physical simulation," commented Vincent Hourdin, research engineer at OPTIS. "We started with simple numbers, which we transformed into images with our cutting-edge technology." 

This challenge comes as part of a request by AGAT Films&Cie, a producer, and directors Jonathan Tavel and Frédéric Ramade, for their documentary Last Call For Titan. The OPTIS realistic simulations allowed the documentary production team to color the images of the film for a more real-life space exploration.

Last Call For Titan will first be broadcast in France this September, then in Japan, in the Middle East, in Greece, and the USA. The film highlights the adventure of the space mission Cassini-Huygens and offers tracks to discover the extent of the possibilities to come.

To close this project, Cassini-Huygens: the "Grand finale," held at the City of Science and Industry on September 15, will follow the Cassini scuttling live before attending the screening of the film Last Call For Titan. OPTIS will also present its Titan simulations as part of a VR experience, for an immersive exploration of Titan.

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