Re: uni vs. omni, and a name for it, please!
- Tom Kwasnitschka said:
I think this part of the discussion ultimately leads to the need for
content producers to accommodate different layouts, whatever that may
mean in particular. Others may prefer to specialize. Standardization of
theatre layout to such a degree is unpractical and not even desirable.
Would anyone of the theatre design consultants like to comment on these
matters? I would be very interested to learn why customers order tilted
domes, or whether this is something that is brought up in the planning
The tilting of domes is for many good reasons. Ones that I often use in
discussions are the types of content that will be viewed. Where would you
hold a book so that you could comfortably read it? Where is the TV in your
living room relative to where you sit to watch it? Much of this comes down
to human factors and how our senses work. We have no airborne predators and
therefore do not have any natural need to pay attention to what happens
above us. If you put a group of people in a VR cave, where the floor is a
projection screen, and wiggle some string on the ground, the place will
empty in seconds with much screaming and panic. We are acutely sensitive to
what happens on the ground. Where do you look when you are walking? So
tilting a screen is the way in which humans can have information presented
at a comfortable viewing angle and within our natural area of focus.
The degree to which a screen is tilted will have a number of influences too.
Planetariums are designed horizontally in order to provide an accurate
reconstruction of the night sky. Their purpose is to position stars in a way
that people could go home and recognise them from their back yard. Once we
depart from earth bound astronomy the need for horizontal screens disappears
entirely. So planetariums that add fulldome capability will usually be
horizontal or will compromise this by having a small tilt.
Digital Dome theatres that are being newly designed and built will not
generally be horizontal. What would be the point? The images will generally
have a right way up and we can and should put them where they can be
comfortably viewed, and where our senses are focussed. When we walk down the
street we are conscious that the ground is passing underneath us. With a
good level of downward field of view this is re-created and provides more
realism. Commonly a Digital Dome theatre will have a tilt between 20 and 30
degrees. When a theatre is tilted by these amounts it will often rise
through a couple of floors of a building thus enabling entry and egress on
The University of Teesside, UK had a dome tilted 90 degrees and it is the
most immersive environment that I have ever been in. When you flew through a
building it triggered every sense of movement and was by far the most
compelling experience of forward motion and immersion. I believe that a
major theme park in California has a hang glider ride which puts the
audience facing into a 90 degree dome too, but Ive not seen it.
In my opinion, which I am happy to modify (and do regularly), the only good
reason for NOT tilting a dome is if you are teaching earth based astronomy.
The degree of tilt for all tilted domes can depend on architectural impact,
teaching and educational values, subject material and visitor experience.
To clarify an item from my previous post, I see fulldome as a capability,
not a theatre. You can have a Planetarium Theatre or a Digital Dome Theatre
and either of these can have fulldome capability.