May 25, 2005 astronomer Frank Summers and computer animator Greg Bacon at the Space Telescope Science Institute created a fascinating slide show about their collaboration entitled “Accuracy and Aesthetics, Scientific Visualization Using Hollywood Tools”
Frank Summers and Greg Bacon were the two principle visualizers on a 3 minute IMAX film called “Hubble: Galaxies Across Space and Time“. Frank Summer‘s scientific visualizations have appeared in planetarium shows, television documentaries, educational venues, andthe 1996 Academy award nominated IMAX film “Cosmic Voyage”.
Frank Summers stated in a response to this post “It was on
project that I learned I was a good translator between astronomy and visualization realms – I found I could talk to experts in both fields almost equally well.” He says “I use the phrase “accuracy and aesthetics” because I have both a scientific and an artistic background. I have over 20 years of dance training in jazz, ballet, tap, and ballroom. I was director and choreographer with a student dance group in college. I try to combine that point of view with my analytic and mathematical training to create a fusion that achieves both ends. It doesn’t always work, but it is an inspiring goal.”
Digital craftsman, translators, and discipline straddlers like Frank Summers will serve an increasingly important role as the digital age is defined. The nonprofit organization Accuracy&Aesthetics’ mission is to create tools and maps to make these tasks easier, more correct and complete as time goes on.