Voyage to the Planets is a multiple award winning, six-part documentary series produced by Australian filmmaker, Richard Smith. It was broadcast in Australia on ABC TV in June of 2010, and includes an online interactive project incorporating similar educational content and film footage. Using the extensive NASA archive of imagery and information, the documentary explores the potential pleasures and pitfalls of visiting the other planets in our Solar System. This collaboration with the iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinematic Research involved adapting the T_Visionarium project and Advanced Visualisation and Interaction Environment (AVIE) technology to manufacture an interface for navigating through selected astronomical data and images. Sequences for each episode were filmed in the AVIE using NASA footage that was segmented and converted into 3D clusters using iCinema software. This application tested the potential of the AVIE technology for deployment as an interactive database and an interactive browser for use in various fields of study and methods of presentation.

Filming Voyage to the Planets in AVIE

Previously, the AVIE was used to feature projects exploring narrative interaction between users and virtual environments. Voyage to the Planets extended the use of the AVIE ’s value as a platform for kinaesthetic experiences, demonstrating the flexibility of the technology for improving experience in other mediums.

Voyage to the Planets was the winner of the 2011 Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM) Award for Best Factual Television Series, and the 2011 Scinema Award for Best Television Series. Producer and writer, Dr. Richard Smith, won the 2011 Science Writer Award at Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards for his work on Voyage to the Planets, and Episode 3 of Voyage to the Planets won the 2010 China Dragon Bronze Award from the China International Conference of Science and History Producers. The series was also shortlisted for an award at the 5th International Science Film Festival, Athens, 2010.

This project was commissioned by Essential Media and Entertainment for National Geographic, and was produced in collaboration between the iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinematic Research, the National Geographic Channel US and the ABC, Australia.

Project Directors: Dennis Del Favero, Adrian Hardjorno

ABC TV, 2010