Valdivia: “I’m ready for my close-up now…”

Oppy has been taking a good close look at an exposed plate of light rock she’s found on her way to Endeavour crater. This rock, christened “Valdivia” by the MER team, is criss-crossed and etched with small, shallow lines which look a lot like the “vugs” Oppy has seen on other rocks during her travels. These features are left behind in rocks when minerals are removed – eroded – from them, so they’re kind of a big, flashing sign on a rock saying “Look! Something happened here! I changed!” 🙂

Anyway, over the weekend Oppy lowered her robot arm down to Valdivia…

…and took some very close up images of its surface with her microscope…

…which I then sharpened-up and generally messed about with before assembling them into a mosaic, to give a wider angle view… I’m quite pleased with this, so please take a moment to c;ick on it to enlarge it and see it in all its “glory” (haha!)…

And here’s a view in 3D…

Looking forward to seeing more of this interesting rock… 🙂

On another subject, I’ve been having a go at making my Mars images more, well, realistic, using some new techniques and processes to turn the triplets of b&w images taken through colour filters into more accurate portarits of how Mars’ surface would really look if you were standing there beside Oppy. Why? Well, I just saw some images created by another imaging enthusiast at the weekend and thought “You know, my pictures really aren’t anywhere near as good-looking as those”, so I decided to knuckle down and try some new stuff.

The image expert in question is James Canvin, another of UMSF’s “image mages” as I like to call them. And James really is a wizard at turning raw MER data into beautiful, and very, very real-looking, portraits of Mars. For example, he’s just processed some old raw images taken back at Skylab crater and turned them into… well, see for yourself…

Now that, dear readers, IS Mars. The colours James gets (see more of his images on his website, here) are as close to the ones on the official MER images as I’ve seen anyone produce. Don’t get em wrong, I love the images I make, and get a lot of fun and enjoyment out of making them, but I would like, sometimes, to make more realistic views. So, using James’ images as a guide I set out to Do Better, tweaking and changing hues and saturations and using this filter and that filter until something came out the other end that looked…better. And this is what I got…

Hmmm. Yeah. Quite pleased with that 🙂

I was looking forward to trying out this new technique on a series of images taken of the western hills, which are now looming very large in Oppy’s sights, but look what came back…

Oh VERY funny, chopping off the tops like that… (rolls eyes)…!

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One Response to Valdivia: “I’m ready for my close-up now…”

  1. Er, pretty sure the crater identified in the May 31, 2011 post as “Skylab” is “Friendship 7” – taken on sol 2586. Skylab was photographed on sol 2595.

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