Stunning film animates thousands of NASA images to recreate the Apollo missions

Filmmaker Christian Stangl-Apollo missions

Filmmaker Christian Stangl spent over 18 months on the project, and describes it as an ‘animated collage’. It uses techniques such as stop motion and panoramic stitching to bring the photographs to life and create scenes that never happened – such as this shot from the surfact showing a lunar module blasting back to Earth.

By Mark Prigg For

It was created by photographer and filmmaker Christian Stangl over 18 months, who describes it as an ‘animated collage’.

The idea came when Stangl was looking at Project Apollo Archive, a collection of more than 14,000 images from all of the flights in the Apollo program put together by space fans.

‘I was fascinated by the amount and the quality of the Pictures,’ he told PetaPixel.

‘They were thousands of that beautiful high-res photographies made by the famous Hasselblad-Moon camera.

‘When I looked at the Archive, I knew immediately that I want to make a film with these photos!’

Two main techniques were used – stop motion and panoramic stitching.

First Stangl analysed the images to find sets of photos that had the potential to be stitched together.

‘Especially on the lunar surface, the Astronauts often focused on taking 10 or more pictures of one view,’ he said.

To give the appearance of movement, he looked for short sequences of photos which had a recognizable coherent movement, which he said was usually just 2 -4 frames. Read more:


The Project Apollo Archive was created in 1999 by space enthusiast Kipp Teague.
It brings together over 14,000 public domain NASA-provided Apollo mission imagery as it was originally provided in its raw, high-resolution and unprocessed form by the Johnson Space Center.

The full collection can be viewed here.