Dome projection using a spherical mirror

The following is a collection of material related to the projection into a hemispherical dome using a spherical mirror, a projection technique developed by the author in 2003 and variously referred to as "sphemir" or "mirrordome". For information related more towards fisheye lens and projection see is also included in the second half of this document.

Please note that I am available to assist you with your fulldome projection projects. This can be on an informal basis (just email me your questions) all the way to formally quoting, personally doing onsite installations, providing training and ongoing support. In the former case I am more then happy to advise (free of charge) but please first read the FAQ below since it is where I document answers to the questions I've received so far, as such it has a good chance of answering your questions. If you wish to formally engage me then also read the FAQ and then contact me by email.

The original paper presentation: Using a spherical mirror for projection into immersive environments. Proceedings of the 3rd international conference on Computer graphics and interactive techniques in Australasia and South East Asia. pp 281-284.

Photographic gallery of some fulldome installations using both spherical mirror and fisheye lenses.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions Primarily targeted at those contemplating creating their own dome projection system based upon the spherical mirror.

iDome: Image gallery of the iDome, specifications and various applications

iDome as a preview environment for fulldome movies.

Seamans mission, Melbourne

Presentation at the Western Alliance Planetarium Conference by Bentley Ousley: Spherical Mirror Projection for Large Domes

Sketchup to iDome. Moving Sketchup models to the iDome, via the Unity3D game engine.

EarthDesk in the dome. Display current Earth globe interactively in a dome.

Screen Capture and Warping. Example with SkySafari. Warping fisheye application images with QuartzComposer using screen capture.

Immersive gaming: a low cost projection environment. JMM (Journal of MultiMedia), Volume 3, Issue 1, May 2008, pp 41-46.

Two very simple show controllers based upon Quartz Composer. One based upon keystrokes and support for some alternative interface devices. Another designed with a graphical user interface and able to be run on a single computer or remotely using a separate playback and GUI computer.

Why warp?. Is there a reason for planetarium display software to be able to warp fisheye images even if they are not using a spherical mirror?

Technical information for developers .. warp mesh files.

A calibration tool that creates precise map files for spherical mirror projection.

An image warper to create prewarped movies.

Notes on the use of Stellarium or Nightshade with spherical mirror projection.
Comparison of image quality between fisheye and warped images.
Stellarium landscape from the Australia outback

Direct rendering of warped fisheye views for spherical mirror projection

Wide field of view projection in a rectangular room

The current mirror specification used by the author and supplied as a first surface product by Acril.

Software with mesh file support for fisheye warping

Amateras full dome movie player, and much more

World Wide Telescope and spherical mirror projection support.

Software Bisque and spherical mirror projection support.

A real time "warp-on-the-fly" movie player for Windows and Apple Mac

A real time "warp-on-the-fly" movie player for Apple Mac. Includes navigation modes that was originally designed for spherical mirror projection (mirrordome) but also supports many other movie projections that just fisheye.

warppatch. A Quartz Composer patch that implements the warping of images and movie frames suitable for novel projection problems into immersive spaces, including the spherical mirror based methods.
Vuo, from version 0.8, now support warp meshes

An interactive panorama viewer for domes including support for warping for the spherical mirror.

Creating fisheye image sequences with Unity3D

Using the Unity game engine and spherical mirror projection

Using Blender games in the iDome

"The brain is an enchanted loom where millions of flashing shuttles weave a dissolving pattern. A.S. Byatt

Material of a historic nature

The original web page created late in 2003. [Now out of date on a few points]

One of the early presentations given to the Australasian Planetarium Society. [Now out of date on a few points]

One of the early presentations given on this approach. [Now out of date on a few points]

While the author developed this technique for current digital projection, it has been used in the past for film, see Patent 2,299,682.

Information related to general dome/fisheye content

The following is a collection of material related to the general generation and projection of fisheye content onto hemispherical dome surfaces, for example, planetariums.

DomeLab documentation
DomeLab content creation workshop
Presentation slides: Capturing assets for fulldome

Image slicing for fulldome (and other applications).

Image warping for offaxis fisheye lens/projectors

Tests of various fisheye lenses and the Red Scarlet 4K video camera

Conversion of footage from the Lucy camera

Report on small dome technology
Summary of single and dual fisheye systems in common usage.

Magic Planet display

Angular fisheye projections. Including offaxis fisheye projections. Summary of the mathematics.

cube2fish. Creating fisheye images from cubic maps.

Unity3D. Creating fisheye images in the Unity3D game engine.

spheremapper. Geometric correction of fisheye images for direction projection into a hemisphere.

Fisheye "rectification". Correcting for radial non-linearity in a fisheye.

Testing various fisheye capture options. Includes low end cameras such as the Oneshot and Lomography still camera, mid range such as the Canon HV20 (with Nikon FC-E9 fisheye lens) for video capture, high end SLR cameras such as the Canon 5D range, up to high end cameras like the Red Scarlet. Canon 5D MkII + Canon 8-155 zoom fisheye + iDome

Fisheye and spherical capture using the LadyBug camera. Including an exercise to capture footage of iron ore ship loading fir a remote operations prototype.

Tilting and rotating fisheye images. Compensating for dome orientation and or clipped fisheye lens capture.

Creating fisheye projections from spherical maps and panoramic images

Converting fisheye images to .... Panoramic images, perspective projections, (partial) spherical maps.

Converting dual fisheye images into a spherical (equirectangular) projection

Wii + MacBook Pro + Dome Example using the Wii to navigate within an immersive environment.

iSphere. A proposed immersive environment.

Image panels on a fisheye projection. Various ways of mapping perspective projections on fisheye images.

Interactive fisheye image generation. Multipass texture approach.

Fulldome content creation with the Drishti volume rendering software

Experiences With My First 8K Fulldome Production Pipeline

Fisheye lens comparisons, comparison specific to 2.5 projection and Fisheye lens options as they apply to the iDome

A wise man can see more from a mountain than a fool from the bottom of a well. Anon

Material of a historic nature

Full dome projection with three digital projectors

Solar system simulator

Geometry warping for realtime dome graphics

Creating content for the SkyVision full dome projection

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The contents of this web site are © Copyright Paul Bourke or a third party contributor where indicated. You may print or save an electronic copy of parts of this web site for your own personal use. Permission must be sought for any other use. Any source code found here may be freely used provided credits are given to the author. Purchase of credit free licenses of material found on this site can be negotiated with the author. The author can also quote for unique variations and/or higher resolution versions of the images found on this site.