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An introduction, and questions about Homebrew Mirror Dome solutions

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  • joefarro22000
    Hello there, wanted to introduce myself and to ask a question so I can learn from those that have done this before me. My name is Joe Farro, I m a computer
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 3 8:53 PM
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      Hello there, wanted to introduce myself and to ask a question so I can learn from those that have done this before me.

      My name is Joe Farro, I'm a computer engineer in the upper northwest. My passions are NUI and bringing projects that normally aren't done in homes..into homes. For instance, I'm working on a Kinect based Touch device right now, and I'm preparing to dive into the world of Mirror Domes, and hopefully add in VR aspects.

      I've been reading around on the net, and I've come across some videos and pdf pages such as those from Paul Bourke (great work btw). I also came across this hemisphere mirror video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBdOZI54A1I

      Ok, so my questions:
      1) Where is the latest and greatest info for doing this in a 'homebrew' manner? For instance...finding mirrors, projector info, etc? My thought is to follow his recommendation of a security mirror to start, but I didn't know if there is a community of vendors or cheaper first surface mirrors (I may be misnaming that)

      2) Pauls work with the iDome and such is really nice, however I'm really interested in getting a full dome working such as in that video...any feedback on this approach? Is there a reason that I'm not seeing more people doing it?

      3) Anyone already working with the Microsoft Kinect Sensor to control shows on the dome? (I'm getting good with the Kinect SDK + Voice, so this is one area I'd like to tackle)

      My approach and goals are to assist the community, so anything I build would be shared, from source to design. I'm just starting on this so please bear with me as I get ready to dive in. My last project took me over a year to complete, and I expect this one to last me about the same amount. Thanks in advance,

      Joe
    • Paul
      ... There are a few suppliers. I usually recommend people start with a plain non-first surface one, costs less than $100. Once they reach a point where the
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 4 4:11 AM
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        > 1) Where is the latest and greatest info for doing this in a 'homebrew' manner? For instance...finding mirrors, projector info, etc? My thought is to follow his recommendation of a security mirror to start, but I didn't know if there is a community of vendors or cheaper first surface mirrors (I may be misnaming that)

        There are a few suppliers. I usually recommend people start with a plain non-first surface one, costs less than $100. Once they reach a point where the image quality is limited by that, then buy the (much) more expensive first surface ones.

        > 2) Pauls work with the iDome and such is really nice, however I'm really interested in getting a full dome working such as in that video...any feedback on this approach? Is there a reason that I'm not seeing more people doing it?

        There have a been a few people doing rooms, I did back in 2003. Even a commercial Chinese company doing a room with a whole hemisphere mirror on the ceiling in the centre and twin projectors pointing up from the floor. One thing you quickly realise is that if you are seeking a seamless effect then the sensitivity to the viewer position is increased, compared to a dome. So straight lines only look straight from a single position, also true in a dome but more pronounced in a rectangular room. For example the camera in the video you sent was set back so the corners looked strange, things didn't move seamlessly across them.

        > 3) Anyone already working with the Microsoft Kinect Sensor to control shows on the dome? (I'm getting good with the Kinect SDK + Voice, so this is one area I'd like to tackle)

        Quite a few people have experimented, not sure how many have become regular uses. I mounted a kinect for one installation on the top of the iDome pointing down, hand movement to pan and move were gesture based. But the kinect is problematic, sure a cute device and people do amazing things, but rather crude in other ways. OK for coarse interfaces, more difficult for precise controls.

        You may also like to look at the small_planetarium yahoo group, some of these things have been discussed there, including homebrew fisheye systems.
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