When in Dome…

The Morehead Planetarium & Science Center Production Blog

To Dome, or not to Dome…

by Peter Althoff

June 13, 2009 | No comments | Production, When in Dome

We recently had a discussion on what lends itself to a dome. Seeing as Star projectors are no longer the center piece of the technology,we have an entire surface to expose and fill with content.
Space science has typically been the focus of Planetariums and is a primary focus even today. A dome offers itself to be a simulation of the sky above. Though as the technology gets more sophisticated it has become a way to illustrate space with a little “s”. We can deal with space inside a cell, or explore the volume of a dense molecule.

Some Visual devices we know work on a dome are as follows:
Moving to a large open area from a some what cramped one.
Moving through tunnels.
Flying along the surface of any object. (Moon, Mars, a really long line of text)
Flipping the horizon
Moving through objects
Shifting Perspective

Though a characteristic that seems to be prevalent in our continued exploration of the medium is motion. Still sequences seem to be a thing of the past. Even a slight rotation or scale is better than a static shots. I’m sure this list will continue to grow as we develop new ways to exploit the unique environment of the dome, and we define a visual language for how a dome is used.

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