Moon Landing Conspiracy Theories Busted By... Unreal Engine 4 And NVIDIA?

One of the more popular conspiracy theories is that NASA never put humans on the Moon and that the Apollo 11 spaceflight, carrying US astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, was a fabrication. Mythbusters famously tackled the issue in an episode and now NVIDIA, of all companies, has had a crack using the latest in game engines and its new and rather fast 900 series of GPUs.

This post was originally published on Gizmodo Australia.

The 10-minute video above outlines how NVIDIA went about recreating scenes from the 1969 Moon landing, using archival photos and footage, to show how lighting and shadows would actually appear on the lunar surface. Many conspiracy theories posit that the illumination in the images is incorrect and would require the use of multiple light sources, rather than one (the Sun, if you were wondering).

Using Epic's Unreal Engine 4, NVIDIA's artists had complete control over every element in the scene and unsurprisingly, were able to replicate the exact conditions on the Moon, down to the placement of individual rocks.

The result? Almost identical scenes to those seen in the NASA-provided material, completely explaining how everything was lit without introducing additional light sources. Of course, I doubt a video from a graphics chip company showing off its hardware is going to convince your diehard tinfoil hat-wearing conspiracy nut.

GAME24: Debunking Lunar Landing Conspiracies with Maxwell and VXGI [YouTube, via Fast Company]


    That was pretty interesting.
    Knowing we went to the moon makes me happy. But knowing we can just fake future moon landings makes me sad.

    His explanation of ambient light was fairly condescending, but then I recalled those Americans earlier and saw the merit.

    Last edited 20/09/14 3:31 pm

    So.. now the conspiracy theorists will say they have "proof" that we can fake the moon landings instead using advanced technology that was only made recently available?

    What's with all the knocking of people that subscribe to 'conspiracy theories'? I like the fact that people question their governments these days. There's not enough of it.

    Impressive video though!

      Because those people are actively trying to hold back advancements, trying to make one of mankind's greatest achievements meaningless, and just plain annoying.

      Questioning governments and authority is one thing, and it should be encouraged and promoted in a democracy.

      Insisting that some crackpot theory with no basis in scientific method is true "because" is stupid and people should be kicked for spouting nonsense like that.

    I meant conspiracy theorists in general - there's a lot of nutters out there, sure. But even with the Moon landing, the Space Race was also an arms race - it wasn't just for the good of mankind, it was also a 'my rocket is bigger and better than your rocket' contest.

    Last edited 21/09/14 10:31 pm

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