Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Which is it?

Expand Messages
  • 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 1 of 7 , Jul 9, 2002
    • 0 Attachment
      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 2 of 7 , Jul 9, 2002
      • 0 Attachment
        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
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.