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NVO and The Digital Planetarium. Ed Lantz Product Development manager Spitz, Inc. NVO Outreach Workshop. July 11, 2002. Dome Theaters. Traditional Planetarium. Large-Format Film Theatre. Digital Planetarium. Traditional Planetaria. Hemispheric Projection Screen Starfield Projector

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Nvo and the digital planetarium l.jpg
NVO and The Digital Planetarium

  • Ed Lantz

  • Product Development manager

  • Spitz, Inc.

  • NVO Outreach Workshop

  • July 11, 2002


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Dome Theaters

Traditional Planetarium

Large-FormatFilm Theatre

Digital Planetarium


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Traditional Planetaria

  • Hemispheric Projection Screen

  • Starfield Projector

    • High-resolution astronomical simulation

  • Hemispheric Slide Projection or “All Skys”

  • Narrow Field Video is Common

  • Laser Graphics - Full or Partial Dome

  • Combination Large-Format Film, Planetarium

  • Total Annual Attendance Worldwide: 87,400,000


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Planetarium Facts

  • Planetarium Worldwide % of

  • Classification # of Theaters Total

  • School/District 999 36%

  • University/College 397 14%

  • Museum/Science Center 375 14%

  • Observatory/Other 201 7%

  • Unclassified 782 28%

  • TOTAL 2754

  • * Courtesy The LNP Planetarium Compendium, Loch Ness Productions, 2000


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Planetarium Facts

  • Dome Size (m) # of Theaters # Tilted Domes

  • 3 - 6 766 2

  • 6 - 9 696 3

  • 9 - 12 463 9

  • 12 - 15 191 23

  • 15 - 18 98 17

  • 18 - 21 102 34

  • 21 - 27 80 40

  • Portable 774

  • * Courtesy The LNP Planetarium Compendium, Loch Ness Productions, 2000


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Large-Format Film Theater

  • Hemispheric Projection Screen

    • Tilted 20-30º typically

  • Large-Format Film

    • 15-perf, 70mm (original IMAX® format)

    • 8-perf, 70mm (increasingly popular format)

  • Dome Diameters from 15m to 28m+

  • 254 LF Theaters Worldwide - Half are Domes*

  • 175 Large-Format Films Released*

  • * From White Oak Associates, Inc. Inventory of Large Format Theaters, 1998 edition


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Digital Planetarium

  • Full Dome or Partial Dome Video Projection

  • Multiple Edge-Blended Projectors or Fisheye

    • CRT, DLP, LCoS projector technologies

  • 30+ Existing/Planned Theaters by 7 Manufacturers

  • Most Use Pre-Rendered, Pre-Recorded Shows

    • Hi-res digital video graphics technologies

  • Realtime 3D Interactive Becoming Affordable


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Digital Dome Manufacturers

  • Evans & Sutherland - Salt Lake City, UT

  • GOTO Optical - Japan

  • Spitz, Inc. - Chadds Ford, PA

  • Sky-Skan - Nashua, NH

  • Trimension, Inc. - Burgess Hill, UK

  • Silicon Graphics/Zeiss/Schneider

  • Minolta - Japan


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Sampling of Digital Planetaria

  • AMNH/Rose Center - New York City

  • Bibliotheca Alexandria - Alexandria, Egypt

  • Burke Baker Planetarium - Houston, Texas

  • Exploration Place - Wichita, Kansas

  • National Space Centre - Leicester, UK

  • LodeStar Planetarium - Albuquerque, NM

  • Northern Lights Centre - Watson Lake, Yukon

  • National Air and Space Museum - DC

  • Adler Planetarium - Chicago


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Sampling of Digital Planetaria

Bibliotheca Alexandria Alexandria, Egypt

LodeStar Planetarium

Albuquerque, NM


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Spherical Projection Formats

Single Projector(Fisheye)

Edge-Blended Projectors


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Edge-Blended Projection

Polar Source is Split Into Sub-Frames and Edge-Blended

Sub Frame 1 Sub Frame 2 Sub Frame 3 Sub Frame 4


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Fisheye Projection

Polar Fisheye Source Image

  • Simple Configuration

  • Limited Hemispheric Resolution (2048x1536 pixels)

  • Requires Projector Inside Theater Space


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Feeding the Digital Planetarium

  • Astronomical Visualization

    • Night sky visualization

      • Naked eye and deep sky

    • 3D visualization and simulation

      • Astrophysical models

      • Digital Galaxy, Cosmic Atlas, Deep Space Explorer, etc.

  • Informal Educational Programming

    • Need compelling, meaningful stories

      • What is our place in the universe?

      • What’s out there?

      • What does it all mean?

        • My future, mankind’s future

    • Data queries & data interpretation

    • Visualization data mining, formatting


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Who Are We?

  • Public Planetaria

    • Science & astronomy educators

    • Media/production staff

    • Astronomers

  • School Planetaria

    • Science and astronomy educators

  • Show Producers

    • Writers

    • Art directors

    • Animators

    • Editors

    • Musicians


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Graphics Formats

  • Pre-Rendered Shows

    • Dome master format

    • Composited Images

      • All-Sky Images

      • Deep-Sky Objects

  • Realtime 3D

    • Texture maps

    • Star/Object Data


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Pre-Rendered Shows

  • Dome Master Formats

    • Spherical mapping format

    • Master format for archiving, distribution, etc.

    • Independent of particular projection geometry

    • Defined only by resolution, field-of-view, file type

      • independent of specific projection scheme


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Polar Fisheye Master

Longitude

+90º

+90º

-90º

Polar Fisheye(Azimuthal Equidistant)

-90º

180º


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Equidistant Cylindrical Master

Equidistant Cylindrical

+90º

Latitude

-90º

-180º

+180º

Longitude



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Cubic Master

Advantage - Efficient File FormatDisadvantage - Scene is Broken Up, Difficult to Preview


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Vis Needs: Pre-Rendered Shows

  • All-Sky Images

    • Celestial sphere at all available wavelengths

      • specified coordinate system

      • compositing must be seamless, no missing data

    • Numerous mappings acceptable

      • azimuthal equidistant (separate hemispheres)

      • equidistant cylindrical

      • Hammer-Aitoff

      • cubic

  • Deep-Sky Objects

    • Need sufficient metadata!


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All-Sky Image Resolution

Number of Pixels Required to Project Eye-Limited Resolution on Hemisphere:

Number of Pixels =

(0.5) (4 steradians) (57.3°/steradian)2 (60 arc min/deg)2

(0.5 arc min/pixel)2

= 300 Million Pixels!!!


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All-Sky Image Resolution

  • Fisheye Projection Systems

    • 1024x1024 or 1536x1536 polar frame

  • Edge-Blended Projection Systems

    • up to 4000x4000 polar frame

  • Highest Resolution All-Sky Images in Use

    • 14,000x7200 equidistant cylindrical (3 arcmin)

    • Nearly 300 MB file!

  • Seamless Transition to High-Magnification Images

    • Deep sky zoom with higher resolution


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Deep Sky Objects

  • Many Excellent Images Available from STScI/Aura

  • Where Do They Go in the Night Sky???

  • Need Metadata!

    • Image angular height/width

    • Image center RA/Dec

    • Image rotation w.r.t. celestial coordinates

    • Image brightness/magnitude?

    • Estimated object distance (for 3D systems)

  • Simplified Search Capability a Plus



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Deep Sky Object Resolution

  • Higher Resolutions allow Seamless Zooms

    • 1024x1024 useful

    • 4000x4000 better

    • 8000x8000 best!


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Image Formats

  • Numerous Formats in Use

    • TARGA is currently most popular format

    • Compression artifacts can be a problem

  • High Dynamic Range Formats Needed

    • Display dynamic range limited (1000:1)

    • HDRI, Cineon, others…


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Other Ideas…

  • Automated Downloads

    • Solar weather

    • Solar system images, data

    • Transient phenomena

    • Current terrestrial/space based images & metadata

    • “Edu” releases – current event items

  • Connecting People & Resources

    • Not all data is accessible online

    • Queries can actually drive future research

    • Amateur astronomer image exchange

    • Astronomers have stories to tell… we need stories



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