When in Dome…

The Morehead Planetarium & Science Center Production Blog

Visual Storytelling

by Peter Althoff

July 10, 2009 | 1comment | Shows

Pixar has done it again with another amazing short. No dialog, just wonderful character animation coupled with very tight storytelling.

Often times we fall prey to the documentary style show production on a dome. The format being a heavy handed narration and visuals that directly correspond to concepts discussed by the disembodied voice of the narrator. This short as I said has absolutely zero dialog, just the characters reacting to their environment, and each other, but a touching story is still told.

Often we talk about the dome as an immersive environment but the flat screen can be equally immersive. The only distinction is how well we get our audience to empathize and become enveloped in whatever it is we show them. Surrounding someone with an environment doesn’t place them in a scene, but getting them emotionally involved in what it is they’re seeing makes it an experience. A concept that I’ll be trying to understand and emulate in projects to come.

One other thing that I thoroughly enjoy about this short and the most recent release “UP” is there use of clouds, fog, and sky. Still grappling with getting volumetric fluids to look good and work correctly on the dome.

Comments

There is one comment for this post.

  1. Tom Casey on July 18, 2009 5:42 am

    Great post! It’s a good observation. My young son always reads the scripts we get for fulldome shows… his comments are usually “same old story Dad, show some animation and say a bunch of science stuff.” Wrapping the science around a story is a harder script to write, but well worth the effort.

    As for the clouds, we we experiencing the same issue… working on a hurricane and tornado sequence for a weather show.

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