Mike and his Jesuits...
Mike punt walked into the office the other morning, and remarked on the similarity between my dome projections and anamorphic projections. He was looking at a photograph I'd taken of a fisheye-like tap in my bathroom:
Meeting with Allison
I had an interesting meeting with Allison Stokes from the CETL. It became apparent at this meeting that there is some confusion between "high production values" and "immersive theatre". It will be interesting to see if some of the claims made for domes hold up when compared to high quality 2D visualisations .
I've been continuing by exploration of free tools for dome projection. I've found a few:
This is a free (OpenSource?) Astronomy program, designed for dome projection. Shown here is the end of the partial eclipse on 3rd October. I was looking for a free alternative for Uniview from SCISS. I transpires that Stellarium and Uniview are not the same animal at all. Stellarium is geo-centric - Uniview can show you the view from any point within your dataset. It is also being moved towards a state where it can take many differing types of dataset, so it is not limited to astronomical data...
Quartz Composer is a free tool included with the Apple Developer Tools. It is geared towards graphics rendering, but is actually a 5th generation programming environment. It includes components for live video capture, video streaming. David McConville of The Elumenati talked of using Quartz "...cos its there..." - but I think it has more potential than that. At present I am using a spherical renderer, and applying a transform to the rendered image before I wrap it to the sphere. Of course in any other environment the previous sentence would have meant hours of hard coding - but in actuality it was a few clicks of a mouse...
Its becoming clear that a "development dome" will be a necessity. I have been looking at various options:
This is "LarryDome" used by the people at LochNess - it's made by Shelter Systems and costs $620. The inflatable options are more expensive. There are some very interesting domes available from this UK manufacturer Stargazer:
...The one pictured here is constructed like a drum - the bottom skin is then 'sucked' into the shape
of a hemisphere. They allow for 360 degree access, as punters can just walk underneath the dome.
...These domes are made by a guy from Barcelona I met in Portugal, they cost in the region of €6000. I spent most of the week on Portugal sitting in one of these. I watched Harald Singer's Romeo & Juliet (sitting next to him) in one of these, and the results are convincing.