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  • Kris McCall
    We are exploring the possibility of incorporating an Elumens VisionStation into a future exhibit area. This is a concave projection screen that an operator can
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 6, 2005
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      We are exploring the possibility of incorporating an Elumens
      VisionStation into a future exhibit area. This is a concave projection
      screen that an operator can sit in front of for an immersive experience.
      See their website for more information.

      In the exhibit plan, it is described as a Planet Pod where visitors
      would be able to fly through or drive on the surfaces of various solar
      system objects: canyons on Mars, the craters on the Moon, the clouds of
      Jupiter, etc.

      However, a media consultant has suggested that there is not nearly
      enough content available to do what we want it to do, and what there is
      allows mostly only for a passive experience where the visitor merely
      watches the scenery race past. If we can't deliver an interactive
      opportunity, then it may be cut from the project.

      We, the planetarium staff, are wondering if this apparent problem could
      be solved using fulldome assets.

      I seems like that detailed topographic maps of the surface of Mars and
      the Moon and Venus should exist. How can we apply fulldome practices to
      this problem OR is it just too different a perspective?

      Your thoughts would be appreciated.

      Kris McCall, Director
      Sudekum Planetarium
      Adventure Science Center
      Nashville, TN
      615-401-5077
    • Brad Thompson
      Hi, Have you seen Eventscope? http://www.eventscope.org/es/. I don t know much about it personally, but it sounds like it might be in the direction of what
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 6, 2005
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        Hi,

        Have you seen Eventscope? http://www.eventscope.org/es/. I don't know
        much about it personally, but it sounds like it might be in the direction
        of what you are looking for. Maybe additional content could be created
        for this realtime engine?

        --
        Brad Thompson - bthompson@...
        Digital Animation & Design - Spitz, Inc.
        http://www.spitzinc.com

        -- "Hush, may I ask you all for silence? The dreamer is still asleep"

        On Wed, 06 Apr 2005 15:27:59 -0500, Kris McCall <krismccall@...>
        wrote:

        > We are exploring the possibility of incorporating an Elumens
        > VisionStation into a future exhibit area. This is a concave projection
        > screen that an operator can sit in front of for an immersive experience.

        > However, a media consultant has suggested that there is not nearly
        > enough content available to do what we want it to do, and what there is
        > allows mostly only for a passive experience where the visitor merely
        > watches the scenery race past. If we can't deliver an interactive
        > opportunity, then it may be cut from the project.

        > We, the planetarium staff, are wondering if this apparent problem could
        > be solved using fulldome assets.
      • Eric Knisley
        Hi Kris-- Eric Knisley here. I m Director of Content Development for Elumens Corporation. I d be happy to talk offline about how we can help you with
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 6, 2005
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          Hi Kris--
          Eric Knisley here. I'm Director of Content Development for Elumens Corporation. I'd be happy to talk offline about how we can help you with VisionStation content, but here are a few ideas right off the bat:

          1. Any 3D application built on OpenGL or DirectX can be enabled for use on an Elumens system using the Elumens SPI API, available free on the website:
          http://www.elumens.com/cgi-bin/softloader.pl
          You'll need access to the application's code base to enable it for the dome. We can help with this.

          2. Many standard 3D apps (especially games) allow the user to force open the field of view arbitrarily. Many gamers use this feature so they can see more of the game environment. An application running at about 130 degrees FOV on a VisionStation will display some distortion (since it's not spherically projected), but will also deliver a very good sense of immersion and 3D. I've played Unreal Tournament like this on the VS and found it to be rockin' good fun. If you can live with the minor distortion, and your app allows the FOV trick, perhaps this approach will work for your purposes.

          3. The free XJ3D VRML browser includes an Elumens switch that makes the browser run in "dome" mode correct for Elumens products:
          http://www.web3d.org/x3d/applications/xj3d/
          Any VRML-based app or dataset can thus be run correctly in the VisionStation.

          4. I just stumbled onto a ShockWave 3D demo that has a fisheye mode, which should work well in a VisionStation:
          http://www.robotduck.com/misc/fisheye/
          I don't a thing about this yet--I literally just found it--but it looks pretty good.

          5. Finally, as you mentioned in your note, there are numerous movies and "passive" demos available, all free, on our content server:
          ftp://content.elumens.com/

          I hope that's helpful. Please drop me a line at erick@... or call (919) 596-8900 x200 if you would like more info. Cheers,

          --ek





          At 04:27 PM 4/6/2005, Kris McCall wrote:

          We are exploring the possibility of incorporating an Elumens
          VisionStation into a future exhibit area. This is a concave projection
          screen that an operator can sit in front of for an immersive experience.
          See their website for more information.

          In the exhibit plan, it is described as a Planet Pod where visitors
          would be able to fly through or drive on the surfaces of various solar
          system objects: canyons on Mars, the craters on the Moon, the clouds of
          Jupiter, etc.

          However, a media consultant has suggested that there is not nearly
          enough content available to do what we want it to do, and what there is
          allows mostly only for a passive experience where the visitor merely
          watches the scenery race past. If we can't deliver an interactive
          opportunity, then it may be cut from the project.

          We, the planetarium staff, are wondering if this apparent problem could
          be solved using fulldome assets.

          I seems like that detailed topographic maps of the surface of Mars and
          the Moon and Venus should exist. How can we apply fulldome practices to
          this problem OR is it just too different a perspective?

          Your thoughts would be appreciated.

          Kris McCall, Director
          Sudekum Planetarium
          Adventure Science Center
          Nashville, TN
          615-401-5077





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        • david mcconville
          Kris, The differences between developing pre-rendered animations for fulldome and Elumens-style systems are minimal. Elumens also has a stitcher engine (much
          Message 4 of 4 , Apr 6, 2005
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            Kris,

            The differences between developing pre-rendered animations for fulldome and
            Elumens-style systems are minimal. Elumens also has a stitcher engine (much
            like Spitz, SkySkan, E&S, et al) that enables stitching of pre-rendered
            multi-camera animations. The primary difference in the camera orientation,
            since, in fulldome terminology, the VisionStation screen is tilted at 90
            degrees from horizontal.

            Another difference is that Elumens systems usually use a "truncated" 4:3
            aspect ratio that provides higher resolution than an inscribed image with
            the single fisheye projection systems (an illustration of this at
            http://www.elumenati.com/pics/truncated-diagram-XGA.jpg). The orientation
            of this truncation changes based on the system configuration. With the
            VisionStation, the truncation is at the bottom of the vertical screen. In
            the "topdome" configuration (the configuration that's being used for the
            NASA-funded Immersive Earth portable planetarium project at
            http://www.e-planetarium.com and some of the SkySkan definiti products),
            the truncation is behind the heads of the users. In this case, it
            essentially looks like an overgrown VisionStation flipped around and placed
            over the heads of the viewers. See
            http://www.elumens.com/products/topdome/topdome-concept.html and
            http://www.elumenati.com/topdome1.jpg and
            http://www.elumenati.com/topdome2.jpg.

            As far as existing software goes, you should check out the wide-angle
            version of the EventScope viewer (http://www.eventscope.org/es/). I believe
            it's used on VisionStations at the Adler Planetarium. While it's not a true
            fisheye perspective, the developers at CMU seem to be happy enough with it
            to offer in on their web site.

            The elumenati are currently exploring the possibility of incorporating
            Elumens spherical projection libraries
            (http://www.elumens.com/technology/software.html) into NASA's World Wind
            (http://worldwind.arc.nasa.gov), which would enable it to work with both
            fulldome and vertically-oriented Elumens systems. We also worked with
            researcher at CMU to create a spherical projection version of the Unreal
            Tournament engine last year (DomeUT - http://www.planetjeff.net). Paul
            Bourke has also done quite a bit of research into formatting applications
            for Elumens and fulldome systems at http://astronomy.swin.edu.au/~pbourke/.
            The AMNH Rose Center for Earth and Space has also incorporated the Elumens
            libraries into some of their real-time applications.

            It helps to know which projects out there need these dome-enabled real-time
            applications so we can focus energy on incorporating spherical correction
            librares into them. If you've got other apps (especially open source) that
            you think would benefit from dome correction, please pass them along.

            cheers,
            david

            --------------------------
            david mcconville
            http://www.elumenati.com
            828.236.9777 (studio)

            At 04:27 PM 4/6/2005, Kris McCall wrote:

            >We are exploring the possibility of incorporating an Elumens
            >VisionStation into a future exhibit area. This is a concave projection
            >screen that an operator can sit in front of for an immersive experience.

            >However, a media consultant has suggested that there is not nearly
            >enough content available to do what we want it to do, and what there is
            >allows mostly only for a passive experience where the visitor merely
            >watches the scenery race past. If we can't deliver an interactive
            >opportunity, then it may be cut from the project.

            >We, the planetarium staff, are wondering if this apparent problem could
            >be solved using fulldome assets.
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