Dome Screening at SIGGRAPH 2015

Our short fulldome film Waiting Far Away has been selected to be screened during SIGGRAPH 2015! So if you will be attending then please check it out.

Scheduled within the Art Reel: Part 1 sessions:
— Monday, Aug 10 /// 10:45am-11:00am
— Tuesday, Aug 11 /// 12:45pm-1:00pm
— Tuesday, Aug 11 /// 3:45pm-4:00pm
— Wednesday, Aug 12 /// 12:45pm-1:00pm
— Wednesday, Aug 12 /// 4:45pm-5:00pm
— Thursday, Aug 13 /// 12:45pm-1:00pm

The VR Village Dome will be in Exhibit Hall G in the South Building of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Cycle – Fulldome Short

Prior to teaching the MassArt 2015 course, Eric wanted to get more in-depth experience with fulldome production. So he spent the summer camping and shot a bunch of beautiful timelapse photography with a fisheye lens. Then he selected the best timelapse shots, did some tests in the dome, composed the music in 5.1 surround, and edited together this stunning piece for the dome.

Eric Freeman is an electronic music producer, multi-instrumentalist, photographer and video artist. In his music production, Eric weaves together elements of world, electronic, and experimental sounds to create a sonic landscape accompanied by visuals. His recent video work is a combination of light painting photography and time lapse.

Shot with a Canon 6d, Canon 8-15mm lens, and a Kessler parallax motorized rail system.


Domemasters Freely Available

  • Available for planetarium use. Contact me and I’ll give you an address to ship an external hard drive. Please include a SASE or IRC.
  • 4k domemaster frames, 30fps, 5.1 & stereo audio, (195GB).
  • 2k Quicktime MOV available for download by request (2.0GB).
  • 1k Quicktime MOV available for download by request (2.6GB).

Terms: permission to freely screen to the public in planetariums as you see fit. You must screen the short in full and unedited. Not to be used in other shows without permission.


Screenings

International Planetariums
— ESO Supernova planetarium (Garching, Germany)
— GEMS American Academy, Planetarium (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
— Hvězdárna a Planetárium Brno (Brno, Czech Republic)
— Stuttgart Planetarium (Stuttgart, Germany)
— Digital Mobile Planetarium Wenu Mapu (Rio Negro, Argentina)
— Anápolis Planetarium (Anápolis, Brazil)
— ARK Dome (Geneva, Switzerland)
— Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Planetarium (Mashhad, Iran)
— Baikonur Planetarium (Poland)
— StratoSphere Domes (Eastbourne, England)
— Roi-Et Planetarium, Science and Cultural Center for Education (Phitsanulok, Thailand)

USA Planetariums
— Museum of Science, Charles Hayden Planetarium (Boston, MA)
— Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL)
— IAIA: Institute of American Indian Arts, Digital Dome (Santa Fe, NM)
— Science Museum of Virginia, Planetarium (Richmond, VA)
— Glastonbury Planetarium (Glastonbury, CT)
— West Virginia University Planetarium (Morgantown, WV)
— Northside ISD Planetarium (San Antonio, TX)
— Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, Planetarium (Fort Collins, CO)
— Sudekum Planetarium, Adventure Science Center (Nashville, TN)
— SMSU Planetarium (Marshall, MN)
— Neag Planetarium, Reading Public Museum (Reading, PA)

Cycle_EricFreeman_Poster

The Unknown Between – MassArt 2015: Fulldome Show

During the 2015 Spring semester at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, students explored the topic of hypnagogia. In less than 5 months these students collaborated on all aspects of storytelling, concept development, surround sound design, and 4k fulldome production to create an immersive experience which explores the moment between wakefulness and sleep.

Its amazing that the students were able to complete a 4k show with 5.1 surround sound… within one semester!
MassArt_SIM
Due to the success of the previous MassArt 2013 show, we decided to work again with MassArt to bring art students into the planetarium. This semester the course was taught by Eric Freeman with Nita Sturiale in an advisory role. Special thanks to Cole Wuilleumier as the TA. Together they did an incredible job of enabling the students to feel creative and comfortable within the often confusing fulldome technical requirements.

Students: Corinne Perreault, Katherine McGrath, Caleb Chase, Michael Degregorio, Michael Dunne, Emily Shapiro, John Steiner, Shannon Whalen, Molly Rennie, Sara Neary, Dan Callahan, Gabriel Golbfarb
Professor: Eric Freeman
Teaching Assistant: Cole Wuilleumier
Advisor: Nita Sturiale
Special Thanks: Jason Fletcher, Toshi Hoo


Domemasters Freely Available

  • Available for planetarium use. Contact me and I’ll give you an address to ship an external hard drive. Please include a SASE or IRC.
  • 4k domemaster frames, 30fps, 5.1 & stereo audio, (183GB).
  • 2k Quicktime MOV available for download by request (6.3GB).
  • 1k Quicktime MOV available for download by request (3.0GB).

Terms: permission to freely screen to the public in planetariums as you see fit. You must screen the short in full and unedited. Not to be used in other shows without permission.


Screenings

International Planetariums
— ESO Supernova planetarium (Garching, Germany)
— GEMS American Academy, Planetarium (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
— Stuttgart Planetarium (Stuttgart, Germany)
— Digital Mobile Planetarium Wenu Mapu (Rio Negro, Argentina)
— ARK Dome (Geneva, Switzerland)
— Baikonur Planetarium (Poland)
— StratoSphere Domes (Eastbourne, England)

USA Planetariums
— Museum of Science, Charles Hayden Planetarium (Boston, MA)
— IAIA: Institute of American Indian Arts, Digital Dome (Santa Fe, NM)
— Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, Planetarium (Fort Collins, CO)
— Northside ISD Planetarium (San Antonio, TX)
— Science Museum of Virginia, Planetarium (Richmond, VA)
— John Carl Pogue Planetarium, Grand Prairie ISD (Grand Prairie, TX)
— SMSU Planetarium (Marshall, MN)
— Neag Planetarium, Reading Public Museum (Reading, PA)

MassArt_UnknownBetween_Poster

Sentient – MassArt 2013: Fulldome Show

During the 2013 Spring semester at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, students explored the topic of consciousness. In less than 5 months these students collaborated on all aspects of storytelling, concept development, sound design, and fulldome production to create an immersive experience which explores the creative, perceptive, and unexplored mind.

What they were able to accomplish in such a short time is pretty astonishing and I’m excited to share their work with you.
MassArt_SIM
This project happened because MassArt Studio for Interrelated Media Professor Nita Sturiale approached us with the idea of having her students create work in the Planetarium. Special thanks also goes out to Lina Maria Giraldo, Karina Tovar, and Eric Freeman. Check out their behind the scenes blog to learn more.

Students: Nicole Barron, Jesslyn Boisclair, Jenna Calderara, Kerri Coburn, Megan Dauphinais, Lila Debas, Nicole Dube, Chip Dunn, Stephen Kelly, Esther Moon, Sam Okerstrom-Lang, Danielle Thibeault, Kelsey Trottier, Cole Wuilleumier, Alexandra Zanca
Professor: Nita Sturiale
Project Manager: Lina Maria Giraldo
Teaching Assistant: Karina Tovar
Special Thanks: Jason Fletcher, Eric Freeman, Max Azanow, R. Berred Ouellette
Sound Source Material: Adam Blake, Jacob Bohlan, Tom Fahey, Brendan Smith


1k Quicktime Freely Available

  • Available for planetarium use. Please contact me if interested.
  • 1k Quicktime MOV available for download by request (3.4GB).

Terms: permission to freely screen to the public in planetariums as you see fit. You must screen the short in full and unedited. Not to be used in other shows without permission.


Screenings

Conferences & Festivals
— 2014 Melbourne International Film Festival, Melbourne Planetarium (Melbourne, Australia)

International Planetariums
— ESO Supernova planetarium (Garching, Germany)
— GEMS American Academy, Planetarium (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
— Hvězdárna a Planetárium Brno (Brno, Czech Republic)
— Stuttgart Planetarium (Stuttgart, Germany)
— Digital Mobile Planetarium Wenu Mapu (Rio Negro, Argentina)
— ARK Dome (Geneva, Switzerland)
— Baikonur Planetarium (Poland)
— Gotoinc Planetarium (Calcutta, India)
— StratoSphere Domes (Eastbourne, England)

USA Planetariums
— Museum of Science, Charles Hayden Planetarium (Boston, MA)
— IAIA: Institute of American Indian Arts, Digital Dome (Santa Fe, NM)
— Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, Planetarium (Fort Collins, CO)
— Sudekum Planetarium, Adventure Science Center (Nashville, TN)
— Taylor Planetarium, Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, MT)
— Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium, Science City (Kansas City, MO)
— Northside ISD Planetarium (San Antonio, TX)
— Science Museum of Virginia, Planetarium (Richmond, VA)
— SMSU Planetarium (Marshall, MN)
— Neag Planetarium, Reading Public Museum (Reading, PA)

MassArt_Sentient_Poster

IX Symposium 2015 – Highlights

I recently attended the IX Symposium 2015 in Montreal, Canada. The Société des Arts Technologiques (SAT) is the perfect venue for such a completely unique event dedicated to immersion. And I am left with so much inspiration to act on! Each day had its own helpful theme to organize the screenings and presentations =
Day 1: Opening /// Day 2: Expansion – Shifting Horizons /// Day 3: Hybridization – Integration Techniques /// Day 4: Emergence – Re-cognizing Complexity /// Day 5: Transcaling – Beyond Boundaries.

The IX Symposium welcomes artists, researchers, educators, producers and distributors to share knowledge and experience about immersive and interactive technologies. It also welcomes broader audiences to world premieres of cutting edge digital works in Society for Arts and Technology’s dome, the Satosphere.

It is truly an open exchange platform through a series of keynotes, panels, demonstrations, performances and immersive productions. It also helps to democratize access to immersive spaces and to the tools and processes used for the creation of original contents. Its important to foster a network facilitating the creation of a community and the circulation of people, ideas, and works. This will help rethink the models of production, the formats, the delivery systems, and the creative processes needed to maintain and nurture an international platform for strong artistic expressions and open innovation.

The Goals for IX 2015

  • Present state of the art practices and technologies in digital art, science, design and engineering.
  • Foster a critical discourse on immersion and experience.
  • Contribute to the creation of standards that ease the creation and distribution of groundbreaking works.
  • Set common goals to accelerate the expansion of this strongly experience-driven medium.
  • Gather an inspired and vibrant community.

The photographer of the symposium was Sebastien Roy
The photos below are ©SebastienRoy.ca – (source of photos)


Opening Ceremony at the Biosphere

Cocktails while listening to Allegra Fuller Snyder give the opening speech to commemorate the architect of the geodesic dome, Buckminster Fuller.


In the Dome

Various fulldome screenings, VJ’s, and performances.


Entropia Performance

A special performance of live immersive music, dome visuals, and a custom LED geodesic dome; which the musician performed from within. Every element was reactive to the music and was entrancing. Here is a video recording of the live performance. Also check out the french video interview or translated text interview.


Presentations & Talks

Various presentations, workshops, and interactives.

The Dome Dialogues – Ethan Bach

An interview with Ethan Bach discussing some of his recent work on Morphos (Fulldome Artist in Residence), IFAA (International Fulldome Arts Alliance), and BETA – Emerging Technology Arts.

Chapters
00:05 – Intro
00:22 – What have you been working on recently?
01:51 – What is Morphos: Artists in Residence?
02:22 – What inspired you to start the program?
04:03 – What medium do the artists typically work in?
06:12 – How did you come to work in fulldome?
09:56 – What is vDome?
12:27 – What is IFAA: International Fulldome Arts Alliance?
15:50 – What is your big dream for IFAA?
20:25 – What do you wish was possible?
25:58 – Have you experimented with dome interactivity?
30:16 – Fulldome business competition

Quotes from the Interview
“I’m currently working on IFAA: the International Fulldome Arts Alliance. Last year at the IX Symposium 2014 in Montreal, a bunch of us got together since we had been thinking about this for a long time. The whole idea of expanding the arts in fulldome and how do we do that. How do we get existing venues and people who have portable domes to get on board with this idea that there needs to be alternative content. So we decided that we would start the IFAA and our mission is to create an open alliance where fulldome venues and artists can come together and start interacting and planning.”

“As a video artist, I’ve always been interested in getting to the emotional experience of the viewer. Trying to help the viewer grasp something that maybe they don’t understand or challenging their views on something. I find that hitting the emotional part of the viewer is the easiest way to do that. And once you add immersive and interactive, it just takes it so much further than you could ever hope for. I’m always trying to express it in a feeling, idea, or concept.”

“The challenge that comes in for me is that we had five artists during the Morphos fulldome artist in residence program and they all have different mediums that they each focus on. And thats what I love; the need to focus on the artist staying within their own skill set. So some of them were doing live action shots or computer renders. One artist had shot fisheye photography of dolphins prior to the residency. So there was a lot of different content that we were working with. We did a weeks worth of workshops and then the artists just have to pound out the work and we provide them with support. And for this upcoming program we are adding a production assistant, so they have help in getting their work ready for a dome preview.”

Bio
Ethan Bach is the CEO of BETA – Emerging Technology Arts, which specializes in immersive and interactive digital environments, especially fulldome. He received an MFA in Electronic Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2008 and BA in Media Production from The Evergreen State College in 1996. His expertise in immersive video art and project management builds from almost 20 years of experience.

Bach served as Principal Investigator for a Department of Defense (DOD) grant developing interactivity for fulldome and a research associate for a National Science Foundation grant developing tools and content for fulldome environments in his former position as the Digital Dome Manager at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA). In just two and a half years he developed five dome courses, an artist in residence program, curated several art shows and created vDome with Charles Veasey. vDome is the world’s first software for the digital dome that runs off a single computer and allows for easy plug and play, VJing, interactive art, and gaming. vDome is currently in open source release. (Source for the bio text)

Interviews at IMERSA 2015 – Recent Challenges

The IMERSA Summit 2015 was intense, fascinating, and gave me a fresh breath of air of where fulldome is headed. Each of the presentations/panels were well prepared and technical problems were solved quickly. And the amount of attendees is just at that equilibrium where you can still meet a fair amount of people.

I ran into many people that are clearly passionate about fulldome and it was inspiring to hear their unique perspectives and experiences. So I realized that I should document a slice of these conversations with one interview question:
What challenges have you recently faced?

Please chime in and share your own recent challenges in the comments below.

Update: May 13, 2015 – Check out this excellent video of the IMERSA Summit 2015 Highlights, which showcases clips from many of my favorite talks. It gives a really great synopsis of what the conference is all about. You can also watch the direct video recordings from the conference.

IMERSA Summit 2015: Panels

IMERSA-logo

We have been asked to participate on several panels at the upcoming IMERSA Summit 2015. So I’ll be apart of the Future Immersion Panel and share some of the techniques we used to shoot 360 video while on location at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Planetarium director David Rabkin will be involved in two panels: Immersive Media Strategies and Challenges and New Directions in Alternative Content.

I’m also excited to announce that From Dream to Discovery has been selected to be screened during IMERSA. It will be shown directly after the Future Immersion Panel, which is perfect since you’ll have just seen behind the scenes.


IMERSA Summit 2015 – Agenda

Thursday February 26, 1:30-2:30 pm
Producers’ Panel: Immersive Media Strategies and Challenges (prerendered fulldome production)
We’ve seen creative and excellent fulldome work in recent years. But we’re still at the beginning of our understanding of experiences made possible via the fulldome medium. With each new concept, we experience new challenges. So we’re early on a steep learning curve. To encourage us to keep moving along it, let’s take on several overlapping-yet-different viewpoints – educator, producer, artist, and visualizer – and explore what’s possible in the fulldome medium and ponder some of the creative and technical challenges that together we face.

Thursday February 26, 8:30-9:30 pm
Future Immersion Panel
From high-resolution camera rigs for live-action capture to innovative immersive spaces; from branded content to breakthroughs in science education programming, this session will give you a front row seat for where immersive media can go next.

Thursday February 26, 10:00 pm
Fulldome film screening – From Dream to Discovery: Inside NASA
Experience the excitement of today’s space missions as you journey from NASA’s test facilities all the way to Pluto. Immerse yourself in the adventure and extremes of spacecraft engineering – from the design of missions like the James Webb Space Telescope and New Horizons, to the rigors of testing, launch and space operations. When humans dare to dream we create truly amazing things.

Saturday February 28, 3:30 pm
New Directions in Alternative Content
Update: Watch a video recording of this talk
Since fulldome is capable of displaying essentially any content, what are some alternate uses of the medium that theaters are using now, and what are other potential uses to delight and engage future audiences

DavidRabkin-JasonFletcher
David Rabkin (Planetarium Director) & Jason Fletcher (Science Visualizer)

Interactive 360 Video – NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

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A while back we visited NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center to shoot 360 video for our recently released planetarium show From Dream to Discovery. So when 360Heros approached us about writing an article to look behind the scenes, we realized that we could share an interactive video where you can control the perspective.

Watch the Interactive 360 Video

Experience it within a Web browser, iPhone, Android phone, Google Cardboard, and Oculus Rift.

If you’re curious to learn more about my experience in shooting 360 video while at Goddard, then be sure to check out the interview too. I share some details about why shooting 360 video for a planetarium dome requires a unique approach. You can also view the whole photo album from our trip to Goddard.

From Dream to Discovery: Inside NASA – Watch the Trailer

Experience the challenges of the next generation of space exploration in this brand-new Planetarium show. By using exciting real-life projects like NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope and the New Horizons mission to Pluto, the show highlights the extreme nature of spacecraft engineering and the life cycle of a space mission – from design and construction to the rigors of testing, launch, and operations. Blast off and take the voyage with us!

FromDreamToDiscovery_Poster


Its been a intense few months. Here are a few things we’ve accomplished:

  • Presented a planetarium workshop and teacher workshop.
  • Traveled to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center to shoot 360 video.
  • Had NASA engineer check-in’s to approve the science.
  • Created extra educational modules that dive deeper into select topics.
  • Fulfilled the formative/summative NASA review.
  • And this week we opened the show to the public!

We’ve finished the concentric version of the show and we’re now working on a unidirectional version which will be finalized for distribution in February 2015.