The fulldome world is a small but growing community. I experienced this directly while attending my first ever fulldome conference at the Imersa Summit 2013. And I sense that it was landmark event for fulldome show producers; a tipping point has been reached. There was a obvious excitement in the air that digital fulldome theaters has finally come of age.
Discussions were wide ranging: production pipeline, script writing challenges, 3D animation techniques, video cameras options available, raising show prices, 4k domes being commonplace, VJ-ing in the dome, creating audio EQ standards, gamma workflow, storytelling par excellence, hardware/projectors FYI, 360° video, gaming in the dome, 60fps/8k/3D which will win, dome as a frame-less medium, the infamous convergence, and tons of show screenings.
Through all of seminars I aimed to look for the 3D animators and pick their brains. We have the difficult job of creating detailed immersive spaces that are not forgiving of visual glitches. The sense of scale we must deal with often calls for careful tricks; traveling from tiny things to the incredibly distant. Cameras are extremely sensitive to most subtle shifts since the camera is effectively a spaceship with the audience inside. We are regularly visualizing astronomical miscellania that the rest of the CG community rarely touch upon. And since we are a very small genre of the CG community, I wondered if we needed a listserve specific for fulldome animators. And so from these conversations I created a google group called FAR: Fulldome Animators Resource.
But I quickly realized that I was treating the listserve more like a blog. I was eager to share what I’ve learned by working at a planetarium. Yet I needed to differentiate between seeking help and sharing randomly. So here we are! Expect to read about 3D animation production, software tutorials, fisheye photography, storytelling, show reviews, and thoughts on fulldome in general. Perhaps even some interviews.
My name is Jason Fletcher. Since 2010 I’ve worked as a Science Visualizer & Live Presenter at the Charles Hayden Planetarium, Museum of Science, Boston.