Dawn of the Space Age release
- Dear fulldome collegues,
Mirage3D is proud to announce the release of the full dome video show:
Dawn of the Space Age
Celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the launch of the first satellite Sputnik.
The Mirage3D team has spent over two years in producing this show which is completely 3D animated at high resolution.
An historic recontruction is made of all the highlights of space exploration. The audience will feel as if they are participating in the space race, and look the astronauts/cosmonauts in the eyes during their first attempts of conquering space.
Dawn of the Space Age is an inspirational show to encourage the youth in continueing the exploration of space, with the same passion as the previous generation.
More information on Dawn of the Spage Age:
At the recent premiere Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov (72) was present. He liked the detail and accuracy of the animations, and had a feeling of re-living his historic spacewalk in 1965.
Rendered at 4096 x 4096 pixels
running time: 41 minutes
suitable for : all audiences
Language versions available: English, German, Dutch (others available on request)
2573 RK The Hague
+31 70 3457500
- The topic of non-astronomy domes came up
recently...I saw a nice example this past week in
Washington DC. At the National Museum of the
American Indian they have the Lelawi Theater
which shows a 20-minute presentation "Who We
Are". Very nicely done. One comes into the
theater and sits on risers around the edge of the
small dome. In addition to images on the dome
overhead, the center is a cube-like wooden
structure on which images are projected.
Underneath is a rock on which video is also
projected. Around the room are display cases
which illuminate at appropriate spot during the
I asked the presenter about the theater but she
did not know much all she could say was that the
theater was built by someone in Denmark. Anyone
know who put this theater together?
- My colleague Barrie Paveley and I (both now working as consultants at Visual
Acuity in the UK) were both deeply involved in the design and delivery of
the display and systems at Smithsonian.
The show was produced and delivered by Batwin and Robin Productions, Inc.
and we were asked to overcome the many technology challenges.
The building was already in construction at the time we were involved and it
was very challenging trying to back-fit the technologies into spaces that
were not designed to house the equipment. The fulldome display system is
housed in the central box with the four fabric screens around the edge. This
had to have HVAC and all other services fed into it too.
The film shot by Batwin and Robin was digitized into dome masters and edited
using software developed by Adam Neale and Ian MacPherson, now at 7thSense.
The media servers were also designed by them specifically for this project.
There were considerable challenges with getting luminance values right based
on projection angles. The flat screens are basically to tell the story and
the dome is to create the ambience behind the story. The rock is a rear
projected system with a projector and mirror under the floor and can become
a campfire or chunk of ice or stone to suit the story line.
We are finding an increasing interest in immersive technologies from
Cultural Heritage sites as this is a good way to transport audiences into a
historic environment and recreate the atmosphere of the time and place. A
recently opened Cultural Heritage site using fulldome stereoscopic imagery
is at the Foundation of the Hellenic World in Athens, Greece, which Acuity
has worked on for four years.
Another interesting project is at the International Centre for Life in
Newcastle, UK, where the focus is all about the conditions required to
support life. The dome transports kids to extreme environments on Earth and
then looks at Europa, Titan and Mars for similar environments and then pans
back from the Milky Way and asks kids if they think there could be life in
other places. This offers some overlap with astronomy.
- The Lewali theater is a great example of how Dome theatres can be used
creatively. Mark Matthews has already provided some useful background on
the project. Other companies involved were SPL who were the technology
main contractor. They provided the audio and control system and
contracted us (SEOS) as specialist display system provider. Mark was at
SEOS at the time and can be credited with winning the order (thanks
We developed the MPEG server and display system configuration. It uses 5
Barco Sim4's for the main dome and Projection design F1's for the
central screens and the 'rock'. It was one of the first systems I saw
when I joined SEOS and it's a lovely theatre and a very creative way of
presenting non-astro content in a Dome. If you're in the area I do
recommend a visit.
So to answer Kevin's question, for the display system mostly Brits and
for the rest mostly Americans!
To pick up on Mark's other points, SEOS provided the display system for
FHW in Athens (World's first Stereoscopic Fulldome) and CFL in the UK
(working alongside E&S and Skyskan).
Vice President, Visualization
tel: +44 (0) 1444 870 888
mob +44 (0) 7793 414 553
- Thanks for the info -- it was really interesting
to see and I encourage people to go see it for
(A shame it seems that the theater does not get
much publicity within the museum itself or its
publications. We stumbled on it by accident.)
- A couple non-astro domes that I worked on at Spitz include:
Volkswagen's Autostadt, Wolfsburg, Germany - Full sphere outer dome
supported only by four entrance ramps, enclosed in glass building (very
similar to AMNH's Hayden planetarium). It uses 4 edge-blended Barco 12,000
lumen projectors to create a 220-degree vertical by 360 degree horizontal
hyperhemisphere image. Preliminary display design by Spitz, final design
and integration by Furneaux Stewart.
Volkswagen's Glaserne Manufaktur, Dresden, Germany - Challenging custom dome
design with walk-in platform and interactive kiosks. Includes
hyperhemispheric image (with cutout for entrance door) using eight Barco 909
CRT projectors. Four of the projectors are hidden under the platform and
reflect off of mirrors to cover the top of the theater - the other four are
hidden over the entry way and create a 254-degree horizontal panorama that
extends 40-degrees below the spring line. Projection and playback system
design and image mapping software by Spitz, system integration by BRC
We also designed a fulldome system for Winn Entertainment's new casino (a
proposed dome over the water stage - the projectors were too expensive for