Posted the processing sketch on github.

This October we were invited to take for a spin a unique opportunity, even for ITP. Dave Pentecost over at the Lower East Side Girl’s Club has built an exquisite planetarium because, well, building your own planetarium is indeed very awesome. He wants to usher in an era of DIY smaller projection domes that can connect to each other and have experienced navigators communicate content to audiences everywhere. It is a great achievement.

For the second session of Cosmos, I wanted to explore the new shaders class of processing 2.0 and how they may look on the dome. I don’t know how to write GLSL code, so I went to shadertoy.com to find some examples that felt like space and might look great on the dome. I used the minim library to trigger shaders using an audio track’s timecode. edit: The song is Belle And Sebastien’s I Want The World To Stop. Here it is documented in this video:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_28ldUcgBU&rel=0]

What makes for good media on this dome?  Pixel clarity, a wide color space, lots of saturation and contrast. The dome can be thought of as at least two different surfaces: an over-head experience where the eye-field is filled all around, and a traditional movie projection, where an image is targeted near the base of the dome facing the direction of the reclined viewers. A piece’s narrative can be split to exploit these regions, where some expository or a smaller experience is projected in the front and lower section and action and other immersive content is set for the center of the dome.

Although the use of a regular projector allows for regular video media to be projected, the use of the planetarium processing library is best to test how your content will look on a curved surface like that. I was very surprised how content I had created in after effects ultimately looked. Text can be very different and somehow compromised if you don’t test. i was lucky to have my text at the bottom of the frame and it curved nicely on the dome. Straight is not straight.

Sound can be a very important aspect to this experience. The audio setup is robust enough to draw in viewers, so think of dynamic score.