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WAC Mea Culpa Too

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  • Carolyn Sumners
    A preliminary hello from Houston I m still in recovery mode from WAC, but I was glad we could meet on production and on standards for full dome. The agreement
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 1, 1904
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      A preliminary hello from Houston

      I'm still in recovery mode from WAC, but I was glad we could meet on
      production and on standards for full dome. The agreement that we
      need to work together to have critical theater mass for getting
      productions made was very important. I'll try to get my report together
      on all the marketing comments over the weekend.

      Meanwhile, what impressed me most was Passport to the Universe
      showing on our dome with 4-year-old Barcos (without any tubes having
      been changed) and really looking good. Thanks to Steve and Ryan.

      Through a marvel of Barco switchery, we had both Sky-Skan and E&S
      high def as well as our low def all playing through the same Barco
      projectors. It wasn't perfect, but I thought everyone's stuff looked really
      good.

      The real winner may have been Spitz. After weeks of making the Barcos
      handle three different systems, Spitz strolled in, scooted their projector
      between our Digistar and a small Sony projector in the center of the
      room, plugged it in, and had a wonderful image in less than 4 hours.
      Lots of pure envy from the Barco alignment teams.

      Two other winners were the small domes -- both E&S and the
      MediaGlobe. These are going to give the big domes so much more
      distribution for materials -- and they both looked so good -- anything
      to make the pie bigger is very exciting.

      More to come.

      Carolyn
    • Kris McCall
      I was really hoping to hear something about the fulldome discussion that was supposed to take place in Houston, but the list has been dead since, and I am
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 5, 2002
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        I was really hoping to hear something about the fulldome discussion that
        was supposed to take place in Houston, but the list has been dead since,
        and I am beginning to wonder if there was any useful discourse.

        Is there anything happening with standards ?

        Is there any joint effort between the fulldome vendors and the star
        projector vendors to seamlessly blend the technologies and use them each
        to their fullest potential ?

        I thought there would surely be some comments about the demos and the
        systems, etc., but nothing.

        Hello !!!! Is there anbody out there ?

        Kris McCall
        Sudekum Planetarium
        Nashville, TN
      • Don Davis
        I wish I could have gone but life is busy these days. A critical issue I presume was discussed is what the ideal dome tilt should be. If I were building a
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 5, 2002
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          I wish I could have gone but life is busy these days. A
          critical issue I presume was discussed is what the ideal
          dome tilt should be. If I were building a domed theater from
          scratch I would want a dome tilt of 22.5 degrees to provide
          some foreground scenery below the horizon line to the
          audience. Some people are opting for a smaller tilt. It
          would be nice to be able to provide more than a thin sliver
          of a scene while preserving a natural horizon line. If one
          wants to arbitrarily use a tipped horizon, such as by
          presenting a domed theater terrestrial scene in a flat dome,
          the audience can quickly adjust to the convention however I
          regard the ability to provide at least some of the audience
          with an eye level horizon a big part of that makes a tilted
          dome worthwhile.

          One issue I would like to hear about is the required
          resolution for the circular all dome files. It is important
          to render them as hi res as needed but the 'point of
          diminishing returns' provided by various current projection
          methods is important to know, so deadline driven rendering
          time isn't wasted. As for 'blending technologies', it seems
          to me that a sequence of all dome images should be
          convertable to any full dome projection system already. As
          the inventory of all dome imagery grows the biggest issues
          in using sequences from various sources will probably not be
          technical in nature but the obtaining of use rights.

          I like the systems which do not require a central projector,
          however if such a future high quality projector was only
          large enough to take up a seats worth of space without
          blocking anyones view the ideal of providing to central
          viewers a nearly distortion free view could still be
          addressed. I recall a huge factor in a central projector was
          the cost of a good fisheye projection lens, which alone may
          well cost as much as several good video projectors using
          more conventional optics. Of course the hassles of keeping a
          series of projectors maintained and aligned enters into the
          picture as well, but at the moment, so far as I know, a
          series of hi def projectors seem to provide the best all
          dome moving images.

          Don Davis
        • Ryan Wyatt
          ... Actually, the *quality* of the discourse is what has kept me from finishing my write-up: I spent two hours organizing my copious noted from the standards
          Message 4 of 5 , Nov 5, 2002
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            Kris McCall inquired:
            >I was really hoping to hear something about the fulldome discussion
            >that was supposed to take place in Houston, but the list has been
            >dead since, and I am beginning to wonder if there was any useful
            >discourse.

            Actually, the *quality* of the discourse is what has kept me from
            finishing my write-up: I spent two hours organizing my copious noted
            from the standards meeting, and I didn't finish! I've been meaning
            to get back to it. Sorry that hasn't already happened.

            Carolyn Sumners also agreed to post minutes for an ad-hoc discussion
            that she organized on the topic of fulldome video production and
            distribution issues.

            So I would hope that at least two documents of interest would come of
            the Western Alliance Conference.

            >Is there anything happening with standards ?

            Short answer: fruitful discussion happened, and more may come of it
            (see below).

            >Is there any joint effort between the fulldome vendors and the star
            >projector vendors to seamlessly blend the technologies and use them
            >each to their fullest potential ?

            Short answer: we thought IPS should initiate broader discussion by
            inviting vendors to participate in an effort to define and adopt
            standards.

            >I thought there would surely be some comments about the demos and
            >the systems, etc., but nothing.

            My trigger finger is twitching over the "Approve" button. :)


            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
          • Don Davis
            Digital domes are gradually makng more news. National Public Radio did a show Science Friday discussing the new Planetarium media. With Realplayer the entire
            Message 5 of 5 , Nov 24, 2002
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              Digital domes are gradually makng more news. National Public
              Radio did a show 'Science Friday' discussing the new Planetarium
              media. With Realplayer the entire show can be heard, at least for
              a few days, at:

              http://discover.npr.org/rundowns/rundown.jhtml?prgId=5&prgDate=current

              Although the topics wandered freely, some interesting discussion
              took place regarding trends in Planetarium technology and shows.
              There was for once some discussion of programming other than
              that originating from the Rose center, which up to now has
              understandably dominated east coast based media reports
              on the subject. The work originating from the Western US was
              ommited, but as more facilities come on line and shows proliferate
              I expect that will change.

              Among the discussion points worth mentioning are the experience
              of someone who brought friends from India to an all dome video
              show of East Coast origin. The Indian guests considered the show
              condescendingly written. {Perhaps this reflects the general education
              level in the US rather than the efforts to presumably taylor the script
              around the supposed comprehension level of the audience. The
              decline of American education compared to other places may be
              an ominous trend to urgently address.}

              Another caller related an experience of finding his way back to camp
              after getting lost because he knew where the north star was after
              learning how to find it in Planetarium shows. This maintained some
              perspective on the role of the Planetarium even in the digital era.
              Teaching that ability may save many people over the years, and
              of course every dome with stars can be used for this.

              Don Davis
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