Re: Replacement for 30 ft planetarium projection system
We are using Digitarium Planetarium System.
It is cost effective.
If you need customise stellarium script
(Astronomy software running Digitarium Planetarium system)
you may contact us.
- Currently my company distributes over 20 fulldome shows
covering a variety of earth, space, and life science topics.
More shows are in production from numerous sources around
the world. Besides loading Stellarium in every Discovery
Dome system, we also provide 40+ still images of galaxies,
nebulae and stars. There is a wealth of digital images
available and most of these can be formatted to show on a
Koen Gieskes asked:
> How hard is it to get content for this Discovery Mirror
- There are two ways to get content to a Discovery Dome (which is
distributed by E-Planetarium, hence the confusion). E-Planetarium
distributes both fisheyes from Elumenati, and mirror systems using
the Avela Newtonian-1, which is very compact and protects the mirror
1. You can take a circle-in-a-square fisheye movie and warp it on
the fly using the Swinburne Mirrordome software or Paul Bourke's
warper software. These only run on high-end Macs, and require a
large movie to warp from if you want good results on a HD projector.
This can tax even a fast Mac, to warp 2000x2000 pixel movies in real
time. (if you start from a 1024x1024 movie, it can warp quickly but
you are not taking best advantage of a HD or even SXGA (1400x1050)
projector.) (a pixel is a terrible thing to waste)
2. You can prewarp movies and frames, and just show warped content.
Paul Bourke has a warper software that will warp any number of
frames, and then you can put it back together with any movie software
(even Quicktime pro!). The warping has to be done on a Mac, but then
the resulting movie can be shown on any fast machine with a fast
graphics card (for those who love PC's). The huge advantage of this
is that we can distribute shows that are high enough quality for a
large dome at minimum cost. The projector and the laptop are off the
shelf so as hardware gets better and faster, you can easily upgrade.
We are now using 1920x1080 warped frames, and use essentially all of
the pixels, and fill essentially all of the dome (to see just how
much of the dome is covered, see the image at
http://www.e-planetarium.com/discover.htm - and in a fixed dome, it's
even more coverage because the mirror can be placed against the wall
of your dome, making the shadow zone really only the size of the
mirror! (We'll make another picture with the mirror closer to the
wall to show a better view... that was just a snapshot). And we'll
use a better image to show that the mirror correctly creates a
correct projected geometry and brightness from the warped image.
By using a mirror system you can nearly double the usable pixels from
a 1920x1080 projector (compared to using a 1080 inset circle), and
start from 2200x2200 original frames so that the resolution is
beautiful on the dome, with the sharpest images right where you want
them - front and center. Most producers would NEVER release a
2200x2200 fisheye movie (it's museum quality so is way too valuable
to release), but a distorted movie is "safer" to distribute since a
large theater could not easily un-warp it. By not warping on the fly
you get the nicest possible movie (and 95% of our school rentals ONLY
want to see movies, not live star shows - surprising but true).
Once folks see how nice a content you can get for the price, it's not
surprising that we now have 38 installations in 10 countries, with
new systems being installed in Mexico and Turkey, and two more
countries in negotiation. We now call the system a Discovery Dome
and the users network the Discovery Dome network, to distinguish from
the name of the sales company. The biggest rentals are thru the
Houston Museum of Natural Science, that reached nearly 50,000
students last year and is hiring more on the road staff!
For example, Fort Worth is using our portable system for a temporary
planetarium while their big dome is being upgraded, and will then use
the portable for outreach after their big dome is done.
On the other hand, fisheye systems are nice because you can take a
picture with your fisheye camera and put it on the dome in 30
seconds. And they are more forgiving with setup.. if they are not in
the dead center of the dome, it's not very noticeable. And they are
easy to set up, so yes, I still use and sell a lot of fisheye systems
too. But, as every astronomer knows, it's a lot easier to make a
perfect mirror than a perfect lens, so mirror systems will remain the
most cost effective for the foreseeable future.
>How hard is it to get content for this Discovery Mirror System. If--
>there is enough content or it would come with tools to convert
>standard video content, combined with the Stellarium star data it
>would really form a disruptive solution for the planetarium
>business. Does anyone have experience with these systems in
>combination with a top of the line projector?
>Mario Di Maggio wrote:
>> Not sure what your budget is like, but for a planetarium that size
>> by far the most cost-effective solution would be a fulldome mirror
>> projection system like Discovery Dome.
/ \ Prof. Patricia H. Reiff
/ \ Director, Rice Space Institute
/ _^ ^_ \ Rice University MS108, Houston, TX 77251-1892
/ / O O \ \ email: reiff@...
/ \ V / \ www: http://space.rice.edu/
/ / ""R"" \ \
| \ ""U"" / | "Why does man want to go to the Moon?
| _/|\ /|\_ | .. Why does Rice play Texas?"..JFK, Rice Stadium, 1962
> How hard is it to get content for this Discovery Mirror System.As the originator of the spherical mirror projection option
(which I assume you are referring to), I am not aware of the
"Discovery Mirror System". Is there someone new offering
something along these lines?
Anyway, a quick summary and feel free to bounce questions my
way directly by email.
The spherical mirror approach started off as the "poor mans"
fulldome projection option for fixed domes. It was designed
as a cost effective solution for portable systems. For fixed
domes I originally imagined it as something people would
acquire on a modest budget before going for a more
"standard" but much more expensive approach (fisheye, dual
fisheye, or multiple perspective projectors). However, it is
now possible to install a spherical mirror system that
rivals the quality of fisheye for still less dollars (but
then you should be aware that I am perhaps not unbiased
At the moment if you chose spherical mirror projection you
have two choices: do it yourself or deal with a supplier.
The first is to deal with me and other friendly sites (for
example Jack Dunn has already replied to this thread) who
have the system in an informal way essentially building up
the system yourself. There is nothing proprietary about it
which is something many people like, more control over your
destiny perhaps, all the components are just purchased
separately ... most just commodity items.
If you don't have the inhouse expertise or want to go with a
system integrator then you can talk to the e-planetarium
people or to Swinburne University (where I was employed when
I originally came up with this crazy idea).
Lets say you wanted to go for the best possible spherical
mirror solution, then I recommend a HD projector around the
3500 ansi lumens ... this will cost in the order of
US$25000. Computer about $3000, miscellaneous $1000 (mirror,
cables, software ...). Then you need show lease but that
applies to any system. Please note these are VERY rough (I
normally deal in Australian dollars), let me know and I can
tell you what items to get quotes for.
And lastly, in order to ward off questions I answer over and
over, there is a FAQ here
[TinyURL: http://tinyurl.com/34qxee --Moderator]
In particular, the sections on perceived resolution
.... the size of the dome is irrelevant.
- Try Obscura digital , they and thier sister company pacific domes just built a planetarium in San Francisco .
Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your homepage.
Out of curiosity, which installation are you referring to? To my
knowledge, they haven't built a planetarium (other than temporary ones)
since their primary focus is corporate events. They do use our
projectors inside of their smaller geodesic domes for various tours
(Pioneer and others) as well as Uniview demonstrations.
I've been meaning to post a note about a recent event to this list: In
October we worked with them to create a 90' dome on Google's campus
displaying stills (from allsky.de) and time-lapse scenes we shot from
around the world as well as renderings of the Digital Universe Atlas
through Uniview. A brief video of the event is at
jennifer hans wrote:
> Try Obscura digital , they and thier sister company pacific domes just
> built a planetarium in San Francisco .