When in Dome…

The Morehead Planetarium & Science Center Production Blog

Transitionally Transitional

by Jim Kachelries

November 3, 2009 | No comments | When in Dome

We may have briefly touched on this idea, but I wanted to address this more directly.


A lot of techniques used in flat screens naturally do not translate very well into the dome. Wipes used for a flat screen would work differently for domes, linear or radial. Things that should be kept in mind is having to account for the distortion of the projection onto the curved surface. It doesn’t mean you can’t do these sorts of transitions, you just have to approach them with a different understanding.


When knew we wanted to do a linear wipe for a particular scene in Earth, Moon, and Sun; for that show we used an animatic for the flat screen. We didn’t think it to be a problem until we started production. The wipe in question was one coming from the top of the frame to the bottom. The thing was that since you can see above you in the dome, the wipe wouldn’t really be possible, or effective. We had to scramble to figure out another way to have this linear wipe, and to make it fun and interesting at the same time.


The solution was to treat the dome as a sphere, and have our hero, Coyote, flip us onto our backs, letting the wipe come from behind us to the front.


CoyoteFlippingOut


Transitions from one shot to another when not using cuts must really be thought through very carefully for the dome. Creativity can really be challenged, and lots of new and interesting ideas can come from unlikely places.

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