From Florida - the Land of National (US) Turmoil.
Just a couple of tips from an All-Dome Production facility.
My production suite is primarily Mac Based MP G4's. I'm using
QuickTime as my cross-platform file format so far so good. I
had some problems with Mac .tga files working on my SkyVision
Renderer, but QuickTime has taken care of my compatibility issues.
I've discovered that I can use Flash to quickly create some very
compelling animations for Full Dome Video. I have great control over
the location of content (including text). Flash is Vector-based; I
create a movie that is small (400x400) so I can play back the
animation at 30 fps. When I am happy with the animation, be it space
ships flying to the moon or credits spiraling around the center of
the frame, I export as a QuickTime movie at whatever resolution I
want (2200x2200 4400x4400). Flash scales the Vector-based
graphics up as it creates each frame and the end result is a
beautiful high-resolution movie ready to be exported as a .tga
sequence and rendered in SkyVision. If you're an educational
facility Flash retails for only $99.00.
A question for the experienced:
Is there interest in creating and distributing among members a
Standard Star Field model for the various 3D packages? I have a few
software packages in my Tool Kit (Electric Image 2.9, Form Z, Strata)
and will be looking into MAYA, Light Wave, etc. in the future. I need
an accurate star field to use in my space animations.
If we had the same star fields I think it would help in the
continuity of our shows as we mix and match sequences when shared or
purchased content becomes available. I know a stylized star field has
its place, but I'd like to see if we could adopt a realistic star
field as a standard and share it among the membership.
Director of Planetaria
Pensacola Christian College
Pensacola, FL 32523