When in Dome…

The Morehead Planetarium & Science Center Production Blog

Head in the Clouds

by Peter Althoff

April 26, 2010 | No comments | Production, Shows, When in Dome

Conjure the image of a cloud, shouldn’t be too hard… Except now take that white fluffy cloud and try to imagine it “cartoony”, this became a bit more of a challenge. We are going for a non photo-realistic rendering (NPR) style aka Toon Rendering for this next piece. This created a challenge for developing atmospheric effects such as clouds. Bellow are a few of the screen tests we’ve done to determine which look and feel we’ll go with.

MoreRealistic

This is a digitally created representation of a very real looking set of clouds.

Realistic

this is a similar, yet slightly altered state of realistic clouds. In it we pushed the fluffy askpects and made them more solid

PainterlyClouds

This is what we are calling “painterly” clouds. He we are playing with what feels like a cloud, even though they don’t look realistic.

SuperCartoony

This is “cartoony” representation of clouds, that is close in style to the other hard surface elements of the show.


Although the “cartoony”  clouds are the most consistent with the visual style, we are leaning toward the painterly set. The issues that exist with moving through the cartoon clouds would result in hitting  hollow point inside these empty objects. Not to mention they’re rather resource intensive. They contain millions of polygons, that when rendered take up valuable processing time. We also realized with the painterly clouds we want people to feel as though they’re traveling through the familiar into this flat “cartoony” world, and since they feel like a real cloud, they will be accepted as such.


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