When in Dome…

The Morehead Planetarium & Science Center Production Blog

The importance of previz in fulldome production

Before diving in, I realize that some of you may not have even heard of the word “previz”. “Previz” or “pre-visualization” is a step in production after storyboarding and before final animation where simple models are laid out in 3D space, basic animation is done and camera moves are locked in place. This allows the [more …]

A Tribute to the Zeiss Mark VI Star Projector

A few months ago, we officially retired the Zeiss Mark VI Star Projector at Morehead Planetarium. We’d had it for 42 years and it served us well. However, the ol’ Zeiss had been getting old and despite the heroic efforts by our Chief Technician, Steve Nichols, to keep it going the decision was made to [more …]

Solar System Odyssey Trailer!

We just released the trailer to our newest show – Solar System Odyssey. We’ll be showing the trailer at ASTC this weekend during SkySkan’s after hours presentation. Our story takes place far in the future with an Earth on the verge of environmental collapse. Billionaire Warren Trout thinks he can make a fortune colonizing the [more …]

Camera Shake on the Dome

One of the things I discovered is that when you want to have a camera shake, normal camera translation doesn’t really work. Hardly any motion is perceived, unless the camera moves enormous distances. What I found to be the most effective approach is to rotate the camera, rather than change its position. This really makes [more …]

A fun example of an Immersive Environment!

A few months ago I had the pleasure of going to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. The Simpsons Ride had recently taken the place of the old Back to the Future ride. Although it was sad to see Marty and Doc gone, The Simpsons Ride was a worthy replacement, and a great example of a [more …]

When to fake it, 2D and 3D particles

If there is one thing we’ve learned in the past, it’s that particles can be expensive in terms of development, implementation, and hardware resources. Though there are many effects that call for particles, and sometimes using them is unavoidable. A workflow we’ve come to use is a process where we generate a particle system in [more …]

A Learning Experience

When we started this project over a year ago, I had a very limited knowledge of Autodesk Maya, and was primarily a 3ds Max user. We made the commitment to do a character driven show so I had to learn this new tool, and I don’t think I could have if it hadn’t been for [more …]

Giant puppets on the Dome?

Now that we’re almost finished with our most recent show, Solar System Odyssey, we’re getting things lined up to start work on our next show. We’ve now produced a science documentary, a cartoon, a horror short and a show based on a best selling children’s book. Now we’re going to make a show featuring…giant puppets. [more …]

Solar System Odyssey Teaser Trailer

We’re finishing up our latest show, Solar System Odyssey, and we’ve just released a teaser trailer on YouTube. Here’s a description of the show and the video: Our story takes place far in the future with an Earth on the verge of environmental collapse. Billionaire Warren Trout thinks he can make a fortune colonizing the [more …]

Magic Tree House and Solar System Odyssey now available for lease

We’ve been really busy cranking away on our latest show, Solar System Odyssey, which we’re due to finish in 2 weeks. So we’ve been neglecting When in Dome a bit. But we’re almost there. Just putting some finishing touches on the visuals and working with master composer Mark Slater to finish up the score (which [more …]

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