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128Glass half full?

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  • Michael V. Magee
    May 15, 2002
      Hi all,

      I just finished reading Ryan Wyatt's message on Dome-L regarding the
      advantages or disadvantages of full-dome over partial-dome video
      systems. It was a most interesting and useful discussion and one I
      would hope to see more of, especially on this group. I have been
      working for the past several years developing plans for building a
      new planetarium as part of a new University of Arizona Science Center
      project here in Tucson. I am also looking into plans for an on-site
      observatory, remote observatory, and a giant screen theater to also
      be part of the new science center. In evaluating the mission, goals
      and needs for the new planetarium I am pushing the concept of
      full-dome video strongly to the rest of our staff, our senior
      advisory board and anyone else who gets a chance to review our plans.
      At this point we are getting ready to submit our application the the
      City of Tucson describing what we hope to do with the new center. I
      have to write brief descriptions of the major components that I am
      responsible for such as the planetarium and giant screen theater.

      We have debated the issues for the new planetarium for some time now
      and some of the key questions that have come up are:

      > Should Full-dome video be included in the planetarium? (I, of
      >course, am strongly urging YES!)

      > Should large format film (such as IMAX) be included within the planetarium?

      > Is large format film needed if full-dome video is part of the
      >planetarium or are they better if separate?

      > Would domed format or flat screen format film be better if in a
      >separate theater from the planetarium?

      > Will full-dome video eventually replace large format film? And,
      >will existing large format film properties be converted to video for
      >showing on full-dome systems?

      > Are the giant screen theater vendors making plans to convert to
      >video and how will this affect full-dome in the future? (I have
      >heard that several digital video large format theaters already exist)

      > Should we try to include full-dome production capability into our
      >plan (at what costs) or will other vendors provide enough product to
      >keep our system useful?

      More questions come up as we continue our planning and I will rely on
      groups such as full-dome and dome-l to provide collegial discussions
      on these and other related topics. It is very beneficial to me to
      hear opinions such as Ryan's and Alex Barnett's as I continue to
      evaluate what form our new planetarium will take. I hope that any or
      all of you on this list will feel free to comment on the questions I
      have posed. I would greatly appreciate your input. Also, any opinions
      about specific vendors of full-dome systems and large format film
      systems would be appreciated. Feel free to respond to me directly by
      email. Some time ago I posed the question to this list about what
      vendors of full-dome are out there and the response was extremely

      Thanks much,

      Michael Magee
      Michael V. Magee Voice: (520) 621-3645
      Planetarium Director FAX: (520) 621-8451
      Flandrau Science Center email: mvmagee@...
      1601 E. University Blvd. pager: (520) 410-3670
      University of Arizona vmail: (520) 621-2001;111-1132
      Tucson, AZ 85721 http://www.flandrau.org/
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