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50Re: [fulldome] Just for Kicks -- a Wee Quiz

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  • Ken Miller
    Dec 4, 2000
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      Hi Ryan,

      OK, I'll bite on your invitation to talk about the aesthetics of full-dome
      programming. And, I'll try to inject another viewpoint...from Japan.

      GOTO's Virtuarium generally renders in real-time, with input from audience
      members actually giving quantitative input to the computer. The following are
      my favorite items from Fujigawa, where a program takes visitors at a river
      interpretive center on a virtual ride aboard a "transformer" vehicle on several
      of the most famous rivers of the solar system:

      1. The audience input device is a paddle, about like a ping pong paddle, with
      reflective tape on it. An infrared illuminator shines down on the audience.
      The audience member "paddles" in the air to reflect IR pulses to the computer's
      camera. More frantic paddling = more speed on the raft/boat/rocket. Lots of
      fun and laughs, and visible participation gets everyone into the act. (Other
      inputs are more calm, simply holding your paddle up or not to vote on the next
      river to visit, and there's also an audio input in one section, where shouts
      direct the program.)

      2. Wind effects when speeding, and even CO2 fog rolling down the tilted seating
      deck during an Amazon River tour make the program truly multi-sensory.

      3. At one point, after a flight from Earth to Mars and a loop around Olympus
      Mons, etc. the craft makes a water landing on a river....we go speeding along,
      zigging and zagging like a New Zealand jet boat, until suddenly, the banks of
      the river start to grow on either side! Taller and taller canyon walls...until
      you realize that the river level is lowering...and fast! Finally, we come
      skidding to a stop on the bottom of the Grand Canyon of Mars, with (Japanese)
      dialog explaining that while the disappearance of Mars' water probably didn't
      happen that fast, the mystery of where. when, and how it went away still
      remains. This bit provides some fun and an astronomical lesson well learned, as
      we sit there on the bottom of the canyon, watching the stars slowly glide across
      the gap in the canyon walls above.

      I realize that not many have seen this program, but I urge you to visit Japan,
      where there are hours of full-dome Virtuarium video programming now being shown
      daily. We're working on getting some of it to the USA for display, but don't
      wait for us to bring small sections of it to you. Go to Japan and see for
      yourself! I'll be happy to suggest sites you'll want to visit, and my GOTO
      colleagues in Japan will help you get the most out of your visit while you are there.

      As for my other favorites, I'll vote with you on Tom Casey's engulfing Jupiter
      effect. It just smacks of BIG! An excellent use of the medium.

      After that, I'll vote for most any effect that enters from any direction in the
      REAR half of the dome. I'm afraid that we are still thinking of ourselves
      presenting on 3 slide screen areas, left/center/right, in our unidirectional
      domes, and bringing most elements in front and center. Part of the beauty of
      sneaking up behind people is that they will swivel their heads, move around a
      bit, and truly enjoy the full capabilities of the dome. We've got a truly
      unique environment in the dome, let's remember to use it!


      Ken

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      Goto USA Toll Free: (888) 847-5800
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