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Re: Which is it?

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  • Christine
    ... Like many others, I m waiting hopefully for the day (year) when fulldome on a large dome can be achieved with a single projector, so I don t think the
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 8, 2002
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      > I opt for Full Dome Video System. I don't have one - yet - but that
      > terminology seems adequate. It also implies that more than one
      > projector is provding the image. All though the 6 projector slide
      > systems many of us have are simply refered to as the "all sky" or
      > at least ours is. Maybe we should have called it an "all sky slide
      > system"? Should we classify systems by amount of dome covered
      > and the format used? That way the name describes the format,
      > the amount of dome covered and single or multiple projectors
      > in use.

      Like many others, I'm waiting hopefully for the day (year) when fulldome
      on a large dome can be achieved with a single projector, so I don't think
      the number of projectors should be relevant. But Mikey brings up an
      excellent point. Perhaps the term "fulldome" will reduce the confusion
      with "allskies"; I have discussed planetarium technology with a few
      people who have confused the two.

      Christine Shupla
      Planetarium Director
      Arizona Science Center
      (602) 716-2078
      shuplac@...
    • ryan_j_wyatt
      Alex Barnett (alexb@spacecentre.co.uk) has had some trouble ... I ll note briefly that I thought about this when I created this list. My prejudice for fulldome
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 8, 2002
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        Alex Barnett (alexb@...) has had some trouble
        posting messages, but she passed this on to me to post:

        > And for those of us that are partial domes.......?
        > Can we think of a more inclusive term cause some of us
        > are really sick of being thought of as second class citizens
        > because we don't have the capital funds and technicians
        > to maintain a boatload of video projectors.....<big grin>

        I'll note briefly that I thought about this when I created this list.
        My prejudice for fulldome video is well-documented, so I won't
        make myself out to be totally egalitarian, but I honestly did want
        to be inclusive. I wasn't creative enough to come up with
        a snappy name, however.

        "Immersive video" seems to me the simplest means of
        referring to the larger set of systems that cover significant
        proportions of the audience's field of view. "Fulldome video"
        would then be a subset of the "immersive video" family.


        Ryan Wyatt, Science Visualizer
        Rose Center for Earth & Space
        American Museum of Natural History
        79th Street & Central Park West
        New York, NY 10024
        212.313.7903 vox
        212.313.7868 fax
      • Schmidt Mickey Civ 50 ES/CC
        Well now, we have different parameters. I thought only about full dome earlier but we can and should be more inclusive. It seems to me Spitz has a several
        Message 3 of 7 , Jul 9, 2002
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          Well now, we have different parameters. I thought only about full dome
          earlier but we can and should be more inclusive. It seems to me Spitz
          has a several sky coverage systems ranging from horizon to their
          Electric Sky.

          So we have a whole class of digital projection systems. To be all
          inclusive it suppose it would include simple (relative term in this context)
          such as those capable of mono-chrome, wire frame drawings (vector
          graphics) i.e.Digistar and also include the more impressive raster
          systems.

          The smallest projection system would be a single or several
          stand-alone projectors at the rear of the theater producing as large
          an image as possible ranging from a horizon system or video pan
          system to something like an Ominmax type coverage (about 60%
          of the dome) to full dome 100% of the dome. Are there hyperdome
          systems?

          Inclusion of all these users would allow for topics of discussion by all,
          those wishing to reach every market with their products could design
          their products to be sectioned out for each of the various formats.
          If that is the case, then I think it becomes important that an industry
          standard is achieved. My understanding is that Spitz, Sky Skan, and
          Evans & Sutherland have some compatability. I understand that SGI
          systems (in the Rose Center and soon to be in Denver) are not
          compatible with the aforementioned products. I cannot speak to
          Minolta, Goto or other systems at this time.

          As a group we should express the need for system standards and
          publish a list or an article describing how close the various
          manufactures are to some sort of universal standard? Or at least
          how much image rectification must be dome to move between the
          various systems.

          That would be a start.

          Mickey
        • Ryan Wyatt
          Mickey correctly identified the need for standards. In the process ... First off, we don t have an SGI system per se. In addition, I d say the Rose Center
          Message 4 of 7 , Jul 9, 2002
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            Mickey correctly identified the need for standards. In the process
            of describing the need for such standards, he wrote:

            >My understanding is that Spitz, Sky Skan, and Evans & Sutherland
            >have some compatability. I understand that SGI systems (in the Rose
            >Center and soon to be in Denver) are not compatible with the
            >aforementioned products.

            First off, we don't have an "SGI system" per se. In addition, I'd
            say the Rose Center has managed a fair degree of compatibility with
            other systems so far.

            To the first point... We have an SGI Onyx that is used as one source
            (among many) feeding an array of seven SeOS projectors with geometric
            correction and edge-blending done in real time. The integration work
            was not done by SGI, to the best of my knowledge; instead, much of
            the effort that went into creating a coherent system has been done
            in-house and by the folks at Trimension. Also, the SGI is not used
            to run shows. It *is* used for astronomical research, for content
            creation, and as a real-time feed running software created by NCSA
            and other collaborators.

            The fulldome system (software plus hardware) we have in place here is
            as unique as the Rose Center. I can't speak to Denver's situation,
            but I know that their approach differs from ours not insignificantly.

            Secondly -- and more importantly -- the system here is "compatible"
            with others' insofar as we could easily take an
            appropriately-formatted playback program created for Sky-Skan's or
            Spitz's or E&S's system and convert it to run on ours. We haven't
            done this explicitly, but we have done effectively the same thing,
            using "dome masters" to create a program that runs in our theater.
            We have obviously done the reverse, taking portions of "Passport to
            the Universe" and "The Search for Life" and adapting them to run on
            Sky-Skan's SkyVision system in Albuquerque (see my posting from 20
            June, "Fulldome at the American Astronomical Society Meeting").

            So to what degree is that "not compatible"? Not significantly, in
            the quotidian sense. Unless you want to do flexible, real-time
            activities with software based on NCSA's CAVE libraries... Then you
            need an SGI or something similar. :)

            Anyway, dome masters are the closest thing to a standard we have at
            this point. A dome master is simply a circular fisheye-ish view of
            the entire dome. I think Spitz, Sky-Skan, and E&S can all deal with
            dome masters; I know we can.

            >I cannot speak to Minolta, Goto or other systems at this time.

            Minolta's system is theoretically compatible with the others
            mentioned so far -- the MediaGlobe should be able to take dome
            masters and create a program that will run on the system. At this
            juncture, however, we should discuss theory versus practice!

            In mid-June, Minolta kindly set up a MediaGlobe on the sixth floor of
            the Rose Center, and we used the opportunity to try creating a few
            movies for the MediaGlobe to play. With a brief period of
            experimentation, we weren't able to create appropriately-formatted
            files to run on the MediaGlobe. More time would have helped, and we
            hope to try something out soon. The folks at STScI have created
            sequences that run just dandy on the MediaGlobe, so I don't think
            this is a serious problem -- just a snag.

            In our experiments with SkyVision, we've had a few problems with file
            formats for the dome masters: currently, each image requires an
            additional conversion step before it can be read by the SkyVision
            software.

            So, what works fine in theory always requires practice to work out the bugs...

            >Or at least how much image rectification must be dome to move
            >between the various systems.

            Here are some of the challenges, off the top of my head...

            + recommended resolutions
            + compression codecs
            + color preservation
            + gamma tests / black levels
            + frame rate
            + file format for dome masters

            I'm sure there are many more! And Mickey's absolutely correct in
            saying that we need to start discussing standards with some
            seriousness.

            Thanks for reading!


            Ryan Wyatt, Science Visualizer
            Rose Center for Earth & Space
            American Museum of Natural History
            79th Street & Central Park West
            New York, NY 10024
            212.313.7903 vox
            212.313.7868 fax
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