Archives for posts with tag: ARTSLab

In February, our Digital Dome Director, Ethan Bach will present a workshop at IMERSA Summit in Denver, Colorado. The session is entitled, “Fulldome 101” and will focus on examples and methods for creating in the spherical fulldome theater. Ethan will be joined by UNM ARTS Lab’s Hue Walker and others who bring years of experience and various methods to explore for the digital dome.

The 2012 IMERSA Summit is set to take place 3-5 February 2012 at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS). “Learning from our past, Visualizing our future – Winning solutions for the digital dome” is the theme. The two-and-a-half-day Summit is organized by IMERSA (Immersive Media, Entertainment, Research, Science & Arts) – a nonprofit trade group formed in 2008 to boost the adoption and creative application of the digital dome and other immersive media formats.

In the visitor attractions business, digital dome, aka “fulldome,” is getting attention from museums, science centers and theme parks as they transition from film-based systems to digital projection and seek to provide ever-more immersive experiences. Fulldome cinema already boasts a network of more than 1200 permanent and portable domes around the world with the potential for many more. This inherently immersive, medium is being widely adopted in Europe and Asia as well as the US to create great story- based guest experiences, and to leverage trans-media opportunities for entertainment and education in 2D, 3D and 4D.

Within the planetarium community and educational institutions, it is anticipated that virtually all dome theaters will eventually upgrade to digital dome technology. The tendency is either to integrate a fulldome system together with an opto-mechanical starball projector, or to replace the starball altogether. Depending on the size of the theater, the number of projectors in a fulldome system can range from a single fisheye unit to a series of 6, 8 or more, linked and edge-blended.

Digital dome theaters are central to prominent visitor attractions around the world such as City of Dreams in Macau (“Dragons Treasure”); the Adler Planetarium in Chicago (“Deep Space Adventure”); the American Museum of Natural History (Rose Planetarium), Madame Tussauds London (“Marvel Superheroes 3D), Futuroscope in Poitiers, France (“Arthur”) and Universal Studios (“The Simpsons Ride” and “Harry Potter: The Forbidden Journey”) and Griffith Observatory (Centered in the Universe) in Los Angeles to name a few examples. The growing library of fulldome shows includes original custom productions from exhibitors and system providers as well as independent producers. Major special venue distributors such as nWave Pictures, SK Films and National Geographic are also getting into the act and starting to make titles available for digital dome exhibition.

“Because of digital technology, multiple industry sectors are converging, and we have a lot to talk about on the creative side, technology side and the business side,” says IMERSA co-founder Dan Neafus, who is director of the Gates Planetarium. “We’re working to develop standards and specifications and deal with what is called ‘pixel envy.’ Fulldome is pretty far along in terms of animation content, but mainstream filmmakers are eager to see better options for live action photography. When it comes to image acquisition, there are tricks for capturing material in a way that not only optimizes the special projection environment in the dome, but that can maximize the opportunities for cross-platform distribution. Everyone wants to see more viable business models for production, distribution and exhibition and not repeat previous mistakes.

We are preparing for the much anticipated three day fulldome production workshop with xRez. xRez are the creators of the spectacular dome show, Crossing Worlds
This workshop is a collaborative effort between xRez, IAIA, and UNM ARTSLab.

Using high resolution panoramic imagery integrated into 3D software allowed them to take advantage of it’s powerful flexibility while presenting real-world imagery. They developed a method utilizing a stitched panoramic HD capture, where they can far exceed even the highest resolution of emerging digital cinema solutions. Their first dome film format film, “Crossing Worlds” won a coveted “Domie” for Best Design in a Dome at DomeFest 09 in Albuquerque, NM and was later shown in the world’s highest resolution dome theater at Dome Day Asia. A visual tone poem designed for the emerging fulldome planetarium format, “Crossing Worlds” utilizes spherical photography from the American desert west to immerse the viewer in a transcendent spectrum of austere landscapes.

This hands-on workshop will cover basic approaches to capture and integration of real- world locations and CGI elements for fulldome production. The initial focus will be on photographic techniques, such as spherical panoramic background photography, HDRI capture, and photogrammetry for set reconstruction. Site survey techniques will be demonstrated as well as a brand new technique for 3d point cloud data capture based on Microsoft Photosynth software. Later classroom study will include formatting the content shot and integrating in Autodesk Maya for fulldome production.

We will have 2 components to the workshop, first a one-day field session to capture a nearby location (Pecos National Monument) covering spherical panoramic shooting, HDRI capture, gigapixel capture, and shooting for photogrammetry. The participants will perform most of the techniques illustrated w/ shooting rigs. The second phase will be a 2-day classroom session that will consist of software demonstrations in Photoshop, PTGui, Autopano, HDRShop, Maya, and Nuke to illustrate post-production workflow methodology. Integration of CGI elements within an image-based panoramic digital set will be the goal, and several completed works will be shown.

In preparation for this workshop to include purchasing new equipment to create four dome production kits and working on our shooting skills. Our kits include: Gigipan Epic Pro, Canon 600D, Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8 IS lens, Sunex SuperFisheye lens, and supportive gear.

Digital Dome @ IAIA fulldome kit

We will use these new skills to teach students at the Institute of American Indian Arts digital dome production courses. More to come on this workshop.

Attendees watching Digital Dome Works

We thank all the participants  and attendees for our Event at Currents 2011.Overall it was a major success with over 100 people in attendance for the 3 hour event.

This is the first time that IAIA Digital Dome has hosted a public new media event displaying international and national artists. With it’s success at our backs we are already in the the planning stages for more public events where people from all over the world can submit their works. We will be posting these calls for work and artist in residence as they develop. 

Our Digital Dome at the Institute of American Indian Arts offers a variety of innovative space ideal for research, video production, full-dome production, special events, fund-raising events, and events that support our mission of combining science, art, and technology.

List of Artists That Particpated Below:

DIGITAL DOME WORKS
Ethan Bach, Charles Veasey (USA) www.ethanbach.com www.charlesveasey.com
David Colagiovanni (USA) www.colagiovanni.net
Bonnie Lane (Australia) www.bonnielane.net
Jonathan Strawn, Allison Hagerman (USA)http://finearts.unm.edu/artslab.htm
University of Applied Sciences – Potsdam http://design.fh-potsdam.de/
Daniel Wiek, Moritz Degan (Germany)
Lea Weber-Schafer, Julia Weisner (Germany)
UNM Students http://finearts.unm.edu/artslab.htm
DataMiner, Mitchell Marti (USA)
Mind Glitch, Ruben Olguin (USA)
IAIA Students – www.iaia.edu
Sydney Davis (USA)
Bryan Akipa (USA)
IAIA STUDENTS & STAFF -DOME STILLS
Louva Hartwell  (Navajo)
Ethan Bach
Jamelyn Ebelecker (Santa Clara)
Daniel Grignon (Menominee Nation)
Aaron Natewa (Zuni)
SINGLE CHANNEL ARTISTS
Orlando Leibovitz, Andrew Elijah Edwards, and James Brody (USA) www.orlandoleibovitz.com
Javier Felipe Gonzales Echeverri (Columbia)
Florian-Ayala Fauna (USA)
Leena Minifie (Canada) IAIA Student (Tsimshian, Gitxaala) http://www.storiesfirst.ca/

Eric Hanson and Greg Downing from xRez will be in New Mexico in July 2011 to share their first of its kind techniques for  gigapixel 360° panoramas in the fulldome environment.

xRez specializes in “creative imaging and visual effects practice which explores the intersection of high-end computer graphics and advances in digital photography.” During this workshop, Eric and Greg will show us how to create similar effects as in their fulldome show, Crossing Worlds (as seen below). The techniques includes “new technologies arising in computational photography such as multi-spectral imaging, photogrammetry, terrain modeling, photo-clouds, [and] polynomial texture mapping.”

From the Digital Dome @ IAIA, Ethan Bach and Carlos Peinado along with students will participate in this dynamic hands on three day training. From UNM ARTSLab, David Beining, Hugh Walker, and John Strawn will be in attendance. Each will be trained as trainers in this technique in order to pass the skills along to students, fulldome producers, computer scientists, animators, and artists.