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49Just for Kicks -- a Wee Quiz

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  • Ryan Wyatt
    Dec 4, 2000
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      During a phone conversation with another fulldome list member the other
      day, we lamented the lack of discussion on issues relating to aesthetics.
      Technology, technology, technology,... Let's inject a different thread!

      So in the interest of generating some listserve chit-chat, I thought
      I'd make a request:

      Name your three favorite immersive video sequences -- or at least
      three sequences that knock your socks off -- and describe what makes
      them work for you.

      And I suppose I have to start the ball rolling. In no particular order...

      Mike Carroll's shanty film, with the rough-hewn cross timbers. I know
      there's a better way of indicating which scene I'm talking about, but
      it's one in which the observer truly feels transported to a terrestrial
      location. The immersive quality complements a composition that uses
      high contrast elements (the aforementioned timbers) to break up the
      visual -- and to help conceal the seams between projectors!

      Sybil Media's futuristic trip from the Earth to the Moon, created for
      Houston's "Destination: Moon" program. It's a toss-up for me between
      this and Sybil's brilliantly understated space station, as it appeared,
      flying in from the rear of the theater with the Earth reflected on
      its solar panels, in the 1998 IPS demo. I pick the flight to the Moon
      for its complexity of composition and the double-axis rotation that
      creates a strong sense of movement (and perhaps queasiness). Nice use
      of the medium, and one of the sequences that argues strongly in favor
      of a full dome of imagery.

      Tom Casey's flight by Jupiter and Saturn. I like it mostly because
      it's exactly how I envisioned using fulldome video to teach astronomy.
      Especially if you bring something like this up immediately after
      showing the terrestrial planets on small, single video projectors.
      No, really, Jupiter is the *biggest* planet! Plus, Jupiter just keeps
      getting closer and closer and closer till it fills the entire dome.
      A pleasant feeling.

      Hmmm. I guess this is my honorable mention section. I also really enjoy
      Kevin Beaulieu's piece for the SkyVision Project, which captures a sense
      of motion that's more energetic and playful than most content-oriented
      pieces have the luxury of being. Hayden Planetarium's Orion Nebula awed
      me, but more for its astronomical content than its aesthetics. And I like
      Aaron McEuen's flight over the globe created for Evans & Sutherland, again
      for its playfulness.

      My apologies for the SkyVision bias, but it's easiest to talk about
      what we know most intimately, I suppose.

      Anyone care to chime in?

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