Simone Seagle

Simone Seagle

Independent Web and Educational Software Developer

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A Planetarium Valentine

A Planetarium Valentine

May 14, 2020 Simone Seagle

Photo courtesy Lonnie Anderson

Lonnie Anderson is world famous for his Valentine's Day experiences that he creates for his wife. He does something unique every year that always costs about the same as a traditional dinner and flowers type date, but is wildly original. This year he decided to do a Valentine's Dinner Under the Stars in the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science Planetarium.

The Planetarium staff asked me to create an animation of his wife's name to go with the dinner. I had done similar things in the past for proposals and such, but he asked me to have it look like her name was being written in the stars. In order to pull that off, I did the animation by hand in Photoshop frame by frame. I started with a cursive font and drew over it with a scatter brush using my handy stylus so that it would look like the name was made out of stars. In each frame, just one or two stars of the name appears at a time, so I used Photoshop's frame animation capability. There was probably a more efficient way to do this, but this area isn't my specialty so I don't know what it is. When the animation was done, I exported a video with an alpha channel that could be displayed on the planetarium dome.

If you want to find out more about Lonnie's beautiful dinner and impressive table settings (the glowing star balls are my favorite), you can watch this video on KOAT or read about it on the Albuquerque Journal.