Archives for posts with tag: fulldome

When I first started working in the fulldome environment, one of my biggest frustrations in the dome was the inevitable washing out of images. At IAIA, our 24′ digital dome currently has 6 – PLUS U7 projectors. Each of these projectors has 3500 ANSI with a contract ratio of 2000:1. Add this low contrast ratio to the photon splash that occurs in a spherical theater and images that look gorgeous on a monitor become lifeless on the dome. High Dynamic Range (HDR) techniques solve the problem.

The average human eye sees at about 10,000:1 contrast ratio. A high end DSLR camera shoots a single image at around 2000:1 contrast ratio. Place this images in the dome with a projection system of 2000:1 and add photon splash and the image washes out to about 500:1 (just a guess, not an actual measurement). The details of the images are simply lost in translation. My first approach in attempts to solve this problem was to increase the contrast and the saturation of the image. Although this would help, it still left me completely frustrated.

While reviewing the materials for the highly anticipated xRez training session, I began to review the techniques they would be teaching. High Dynamic Resolution immediately caught my eye. While in Portland’s Powell’s Books, I picked up two books; Practical HDR by Jack Howard and Practical HDR by David Nightingale. Through these two texts I began to see the world and the images I shoot in a completely different light. Not only has this process saved my photographs for the dome, it has enhanced my overall photographic skills for all mediums.

After learning about HDR, I immediately began to shoot bracketed photos with my Canon x3i using the automated settings in the menu. I tried Photoshop’s Merge to HDR Pro with fair results. Then I downloaded a trial of Photomatrix Pro. Within 10 minutes I purchased the full version and was hooked.

My first HDR photo. Bagby Hot Springs, Oregon.

Some people say that HDR is just a fad technique and things look to fake and overly illustrated, but take this image and place it on a digital dome and it is an excellent solution. There are many variations within HDR tonemapping techniques from illustrative to realistic. My tastes tend towards more realistic results, but I find some images call for the more grungy illustrated look.

Single shot

HDR photo

Fall 2011, the first assignment my students tackled in the Digital Dome Production I course was shooting HDR photos using a Canon x3i and a Sunex 5.6mm f/5.6 Super Fisheye lens. The assignment taught students to begin to visual the sphere and understand placement of images on the dome. They experimented with angles, perspectives, and various subjects. At the same time, they were learning HDR and creating stunning images that popped on the dome.
IAIA Tutorial on shooting HDR

Student Images

IAIA Dorms by Bryan Akipa

Railyard by Fernando Charley

Bridge by Jessie Bennett

Wood by Louva Hartwell

Duck Pond by Joseph "Seph" Turnipseed

From this foundation, my student developed skills in 360° spherical panos and 360° horizontal panos all using the HDR process. I am very interested in exploring HDR video processes and am currently developing ways to increase contrast in video for the digital dome. Look for more posts in the future with these tests.

For more information on HDR, check out
Wikipedia
A Versatile HDR Video Production System
And you know a web search will find all kinds of wonderful information.

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.

Here at the Institute of American Indian Arts, our students work on Macintosh work stations to create their art. When creating the Digital Dome Production course we ran into a major obstacle, how to run PC based software on a Mac. In the dome we run Sky-Skan’s DigitalSky 2 software, but Sky-Skan does not offer support for running the software on a Macintosh.

We had our trusty student intern, Joseph “Seph” Turnipseed at the helm of this task. After several attempts, Seph was able to successfully install Windows 95 using Bootcamp and install DigitalSky 2. A couple of tweaks later and now our students can preview their files before going into the dome to test. It’s a great way to get to know the software and learn scripting.

To access the how to document click here.

Stay tuned for more blog entries outlining specifics on how we access the Mac partition and Mac formatted drives from Window and techniques we use to create for the dome.

Deadline:November 15, 2011
Apply here

Type of opportunity: Digital Artwork for Dome by Indigenous artists and/or about Indigenous people

Organization name: Digital Dome at Institute of American Indian Arts: College of Contemporary Arts (IAIA)
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Description of opportunity:
The Institute of American Indian Arts: College of Contemporary Native Arts is pleased to announce a call for digital artwork for their new Digital Dome. The Digital Dome @ IAIA seeks digital works by Indigenous artists or about Indigenous people. The work will be selected by Ethan Bach, Digital Dome Director and Ryan Rice, Museum for Contemporary Native Arts Curator and will be programmed to coincide with ISEA2012.
Entries are sought that utilize the immersive environment. Fulldome work or other digital work will be considered including video (with or without audio), digital still images, animation, 3D objects and panorama photography. A residency/workshop on producing artwork for the Digital Dome will be considered, dependent on funding.

Project resources:
Digital Dome technology and staff will be available to selected artists.

Description of site/venue:
The Digital Dome @ IAIA offers a unique combination of black box, planetarium, fulldome, and the world’s only full range articulating dome. The dome structure weighs 8,000 pounds, hangs from the ceiling, and can rotate 0° to 90° or can be place near the ceiling or the floor. This immersive, high-resolution environment is created by a 24-foot wide spherical screen, six projectors, and a 6.1 surround sound system. The Digital Dome @ IAIA is involved in groundbreaking research funded by the National Science Foundation for the fulldome, including the ability to display interactive content in collaboration with UNM ARTSLab and the Santa Fe Complex.

Application requirements:
Initial Submissions:

Video: Link to Vimeo or Youtube file or an .mov file on
DVD Stills: Email stills to digitaldome@iaia.edu or provide link.
If work is chosen for the show, the artist must provide a dome master (IAIA can provide support in creating a dome master when necessary):
Dome Master:
NTFS or HFS+(OS X) formatted hard drive, “DomeMaster” format required (circular image within square frame — example available upon request), 30 frame per second image sequence, image sequence of frames, must be at least 2048 x 2048 (2k) in PNG file format, use 5 digit numbering sequence. For example: firstname_lastname2011_00000.png. Submit sound as 6-channel mono wav files, 48khz, 16-bit (even if using a stereo or mono mix).
Need help creating a dome master? See ARTS Lab Tutorials: Hue’s Beginner’s Guide to Fulldome Production

Description of sponsoring organization:
IAIA is a four-year institution of higher education, which helps foster the spirit and vision of Native American and Alaska Native people. Founded in 1962, the Institute of American Indian Arts offers academic excellence to both Native and non-Native populations. Their goal is to advance and support contemporary native art and artists.

The Institute of American Indian Arts is accepting submissions for digital dome projects to be exhibited during currents 2012: The Santa Fe International New Media Festival – June 22 thru July 8, 2012 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. The selected work will be screened at the Digital Dome @ IAIA housed in the new Science and Technology building at the Institute of American Indian Arts.

Currents / Digital Dome @ IAIA 2011

We are looking for work that makes use of the dome for its artistic potential rather than as a museum presentation or fulldome show. All thematic concepts will be considered.

Submission Deadline: March 2, 2012 / Submission is Free.

Initial Submissions:

Please complete the online Submission Form by clicking here

Video for dome projection:
Email link to Vimeo or Youtube file or mail .mov on DVD

Stills for dome projection:
Email stills or provide link.

Provide brief artist bio and statement

Email contact: digitaldome@iaia.edu

Mailing Address:
IAIA
Ethan Bach
SCITECH 109
83 Avan Nu Po Road
Santa Fe, NM 87508, USA

If your work is chosen for the currents 2012 Festival, you must provide a dome master:

Dome Master:
* NTFS or HFS+(OS X) formatted hard drive (Please include cables and necessary hardware)
* “DomeMaster” format required (circular image within square frame — example available upon request)
* 30 Frame per second image sequence
* Image sequence of frames, must be at least 2048 x 2048 or preferably 4096 x 4096
* Use 5 digit numbering sequence, eg. firstname_lastname2011_00000.png
* Submit sound as 6-channel mono wav files, 48khz, 16-bit (even if using a stereo or mono mix)
* No titles, credits, watermarks or logos within viewable area.

Need help creating a dome master, click here.

Information on the Digital Dome at the Institute of American Indian Arts

If you have any questions, contact Ethan Bach at digitaldome@iaia.edu

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.

Digital Dome @ IAIA has recently had the pleasure of meeting Klaus Dufke who is teaching Motion Graphics at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam in the Design Department. Our Dome Director, Ethan Bach, discovered this program through the call for work for the Currents @ the Digital Dome 2011 show, which took place on June 11. Two students projects were submitted from the University of Applied Sciences (UAS) and both projects were accepted into the show. Impressed by the work, Ethan contacted the professor, Klaus Dufke, who was more than willing to share his information. Turns out that UAS not only turns out interesting student work, but they have created a virtual dome testing software rightly named, DomeTester.

The DomeTester is a previsualization tool that takes flat images and places them on a three dimensional dome object that can navigate various perspectives of the virtual dome. This tool is amazing and will be a great help in creating work, teaching about the dome, and working with artists who do not have direct access to a dome. Before even looking at the software, Ethan was warned to “handle with care” as the DomeTester is still in development and has a hard time handling the computer memory.

This tool is easy to use, extremely helpful and accurate, and will become a staple in teaching courses here at the Digital Dome @ IAIA. As we were warned, the application is a bit RAM intensive. Our computer’s fan ran high while the software was running. I would recommend using this software for short intervals until the processing issue is handled. This should by no means keep anyone from using this tool to its full extent.

DomeTester is a freeware for Mac, Windows, and Linux. More information on DomeTester can be found on this translated link.

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/

We are getting geared up to show some terrific dome work next Saturday, June 11 from 1pm to 4pm at the Digital Dome @ IAIA as part of the Currents 2011: New Media Arts Festival. Our two student interns are doing a terrific job of making dome masters – thanks Leena Minifie and Seph Turniseed.

Several local and international artists will be showing work. Check out the list of work to be shown in the press release below.

No.217 by Lea Weber-Schafer and Julia Wiesner

Currents 2011: Digital Dome @ IAIA

Santa Fe, New Mexico – June 1, 2011 – Currents 2011 and Digital Dome @ IAIA presents video art from around the world including Australia, Germany, Columbia and the United States at the Digital Dome. Become part of the immersive environment of this one-of-a-kind digital dome through this dynamic space of multidimensional imaging and sound.

The Digital Dome @ IAIA will be inaugurated as a fine art space for the larger Santa Fe community with Currents 2011. As Currents moves into its second year, many more venues are available in Santa Fe. The Digital Dome @ IAIA opened in November 2010 where hundreds of people turned out to witness the unveiling of this unique fulldome theater. The digital dome is the only dome in the world that is fully articulating – it can move up or down and can rotate from 0° to 90°.

Currents 2011: Digital Dome @ IAIA will not only showcase work on the dome, but will also showcase single channel video and interactive design in the lobby.

Artist work includes James Brody, Orlando Leibovitz, and Andrew Elijah Edward’s Big Bang, Ethan Bach and Charles Veasey’s Collaborate, David Colagiovanni’s Charting Course for the Unknown, Bonnie Lane’s An Ordinary Grind, Daniel Weik and Moritz Degen’s 3910, Lea Weber-Schafer and Julia Wiesner’s No.217, Jonathan Strawn and Allison Hagerman’s Cathedral, Javier Felipe’s GrandPaw’s Song, Florian-Ayala Fauna’s Falling into a Dream, Mitchell Marti’s DataMiner, Ruben Olguin’s Mind Glitch, Louva Hartwell’s Mandala, Sydney Davis’ xyz, Leena Minifie’s Interconnectivity, and Bryan Akipa’s Ta-Hok-Mu.

Charting Course for the Unknown by David Colagiovanni

This event will take place on Saturday June 11, 2011 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The Digital Dome @ IAIA is located just past the Santa Fe Community College at the Science and Technology building at the Institute of American Indian Arts at 83 Avan Nu Po Road. From SFCC, turn right onto Avenida Del Sur. At the three-way stop, turn left onto Avan Nu Po Road. Take your third left into the IAIA campus. The Science and Technology building is straight ahead.

Please visit our online presence on Facebook www.facebook.com/DigitalDomeIAIA or our blog www.DigitalDomeIAIA.wordpress.com.

Contact: Kirsten Jasna,  505-424-2309, kjasna@iaia.edu or Ethan Bach, 505-424-2349, ebach@iaia.edu for more information.

Parallel Studios is accepting submissions for Digital Dome projects to be exhibited during currents 2011: The Santa Fe International New Media Festival – June 10 – 19, 2011 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. The selected work will be screened at the digital dome housed in the new Science and Technology building at the Institute of American Indian Arts.
We are looking for work that makes use of the dome for its artistic potential rather than as a museum presentation or dome demonstration. All thematic concepts will be considered.

Deadline May 10, 2011

for submission info:    http://www.currents2011.com/digitaldomesubmission.html for info on currents 2011: http://www.currents2011.com