FULLDOME@ H o m e  R u n  P i c t u r e s

Home Run Pictures has been producing fulldome content since 1998. A solar system tour ending with the ISS in orbit over the audience used to demo the first SkySkan fulldome projection system at the International Planetarium Society conference in Londan was created in the few months prior and lierally FedEx'd just in time for the evening demostration show. The audince responded with a standing ovation as the fulldome era in planetariums began. Since then, our animators and designers have created content for dozens of planetarium shows and even a few full shows. Here is a showcase of some of our favorite sequences... click on the movie links below each description to see a Quicktime movie of the sequence, some do not have audio currently - (you may need to install Quicktime extensions in some browsers). IMAGES ARE SIMULATED IMMERSIVE VIEWS INSIDE THE PLANETARIUM

"Microcosm: The Adventure Within"

[2001] The first full show co-produced with Evans & Sutherland in 2002, Microcosm: The Adventure Within, was inspired by the 1960's film Fantastic Voyage. This time a pair of doctors race through the human body in a tiny submarine in an attempt to save the female patient who is infected with a drug-resistant virus. Along the way, the audience learns about the workings of the human body. This early fulldome program was the first to use a non-astronomy storyline to show that planets and stars were not the only subject available for producers of educational fulldome content. CLICK FOR MOVIE

Sun Simulation for the Buhl Planetaraium at Carnegie Science Center's "Solar Quest"

[2013] Another complete show produced by Home Run Pictures in 2012, Solar Quest, was funded by the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory mission. Featured in the program were the dramatic close-up imagery taken from cameras on the SDO spacecraft. Of course, a show on the Sun would not be complete without an immersive fulldome version of our Earth's star. Home Run Pictures' animator Glen Johnson took five months to develop a realistic model of the Sun using Autodesk Maya Fluid-dynamics and a lot of home-grown MEL scripting. The resulting animation sequence gave the audience a roller-coaster ride down close to the surface of the Sun. CLICK FOR MOVIE

Exploration of Asteroid Eros for "Future" NASA's "The Great Planet Adventures"

[2014] A dramatic sequence produced by Home Run Pictures for the Louisiana Art & Science Museum and the Houston Museum of Natural Science, The Great Planet Adventures depicts possible future NASA exploration of the planets. The asteroid Eros is a possible Near Earth Object destination. Using prototype NASA vehicle configurations and existing International Space Station modules, a plausable spacecraft and exploration vehicle is shown on a future mission. The asteroid Eros needed to be re-modeled accurately from a simplistic existing model with much more detailed texturing allowing both far-away and close-up views. CLICK FOR MOVIE

Immersive Tour of Titanic Sinking and Wreck Site for "Night of the Titanic"

[2008] After working with The Discovery Channel on their Titanic documantaries creating animated simulations of sinking theories, Home Run Pictures repurposed the models and produced fulldome versions of the key events in the infamous sinking. Besides the surface scenes showing the massive ship's stern rising up and breaking in two, we created a very realistic tour of the wreck site using actual highly detailed stitched together imagery. The resulting scenes gives audiences an immersive panoramic view, almost as if you were sitting is one of the lifeboats or two mile down in a tiny submersible (3D versions were also produced). CLICK FOR MOVIE --- CLICK FOR RED-BLUE 3D MOVIE

Dramatic Tornado Sequence for NASA Immersive Earth's "Force Five"

[2010] There are some events you really hope to never experience, like being caught in a tornado. But with the immersive reality that a fulldome show can project, safe in your seat, you could experience it without most of the terror. Home Run Pictures produced a close-encounter with a tornado for the NASA Imersive Earth's Force Five show. Autodesk Fluid Dynamics were used to create the twister and many, many layers of particle system renders were used to create the effect of the strong winds stirring up the dust and debris as well as a farm house getting ripped apart just a few feet in front of you... well at least it seems that close. CLICK FOR MOVIE

Life-sized Dinosaurs in the Immersive for "Dinosaur Prophesy"

[2005] The Houston Museum of Natural Science's Dinosaur Prophecy fulldome show dealt with events creating climate changes that caused various dinosaur epochs to end. The T-rex and the KT impact, flooding, volcanic eruptions, etc. Home Run Pictures was comissioned to create sequences for these various events in an immersive feel to personalize the experience. Dinosaurs from the periods were modeled, rigged for motion and textured with some of the latest theories as guides. Paleotologists gave input during the production process to insure that the scenes were scientifically accurate based on current evidence. CLICK FOR MOVIE --- CLICK FOR MOVIE

"Traveler's Guide To Mars " Exploration of the Red Planet for Buhl Planetarium

[2009] As the premier show for their new fulldome theater, the Buhl Planetarium at Carnegie Science Center decided the red planet was the appropriate destination. A script with a future exploration team searching for life on Mars was the theme requiring spacecraft and life-like astronauts to be visualized. Motion capture was employed to create the explorors who at times were the narrators. Actual terrain from NASA MOLA data was employed at the several locations chosen for our explorers to survey. Visuals for the entire 20 minute show were produced at Home Run Pictures with extra animators brought on board to handle a short schedule to meet the premier's opening. CLICK FOR MOVIE

Venus and Uranus in "The Great Planet Adventures" for LASM and HMNS

[2014] Louisiana Art & Science Museum and Houston Museum of Natural Science's The Great Planet Adventures fulldome show is a futuristic look at how NASA may colonize the Solar System. Possible scenerios for how a colony or exploration base can become self sustaining was developed for each location. How would explorers survive in the harsh environments, how would power be generated, and how would they entertain themselves were some of the concepts visualized. Home Run Pictures working with science advisors designed spacecraft and living quarters and brought them to life for realistic visualizations. Here is a look at Venus and Uranus. CLICK FOR MOVIE --- CLICK FOR MOVIE

Buhl Planetarium's Solar Dynamics Observatory "Solar Quest"

[2013] Working with the Buhl Planetarium at Carnegie Science Center, Home Run Pictures created a 10 minute fulldome program titled Solar Quest. The NASA funded program would feature the amazing imagery of the Sun captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft. Designed to be a background description of the mission, sequences were scripted that described the Earth's electro-magnetic field and the fusion process inside the Sun. Detailed computer models of the International Space Station, huge textures of the Earth and special code to create complex atomic level visualizations were the norm for this production. CLICK FOR MOVIE --- CLICK FOR MOVIE

"We Choose Space" for NASA Funded Future Space Educational Public Outreach

[2012] As the dramatic closing sequence for the NASA funded We Choose Space, Home Run Pictures was asked to create a realistic future Lunar colony on the ridge of the Shackeltom Crater at the Moon's southern pole. An igloo-like structure was designed with the idea that the ice mined from inside the ever-in-darkness crator could be used in a geodesic dome to protect the residents from the solar radiation. An old Walter Cronkite narration was used that also described future Lunar Olympic games where 120 foot pole vaults and high-flying gymnasts would compete in the low-G environment. CLICK FOR MOVIE

10,000 Years Ago Kansas Meteor Event for NASA Immersive Earth's "Impact Earth"

[2008] As part of the fulldome program, Impact Earth, a show funded by a 5 year NASA Immersive Earth grant, Home Run Pictures worked along side the Houston Museum of Natural Science to dig up a meteorite in a Kansas wheatfield. NASA ground penetrating radar (GPR), designed to some day be used on Mars rovers to locate ground water was employed sucessfully to locate a 150 pound rock from an impact that scientists say occured 10,000 years ago. We designed a possible "witness" scenario, a paleo-indian keeping night-watch over his tribe's camp. Animator, Gerry Crouse, who also has an archeology background, modeled an appropriate-era campsite where the paleo-indian is startled as the meteor explodes over head, dropping many of the rocks found spread over the Kansas site. The find was also featured on Discovery Channel's (TDC) science news program. CLICK FOR MOVIE --- CLICK FOR TDC MOVIE

Time-lapse of Jupiter's Cloud-cover for "The Great Planet Adventures"

[2014] The gas giant Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, has a turbulant atmosphere of brightly colored clouds. Home Run Pictures animators wanted to create an introduction to the planet in a NASA funded planetarium show and instead of the usual static orbital view... show a time-lapse view of the clouds in motion. NASA scientists have created a short time-lapse movie from individual stills taken by an orbiting probe, but their movie is short and quite low-resolution... also there are artifacts from the probe's imager present in the sequence. Starting with the NASA imagery and then through several processes of pixel interpolation and other corrective measures, we were able to create a nicely resolved animation of the clouds in motion for use in the fulldome planetarium program. CLICK FOR MOVIE

Corral Reef and Whale Scene for "Night of the Titanic"

[2008] Yes, the Titanic sank because it hit an iceberg, but the Houston Museum of Natural Science's Night of the Titanic fulldome show builds the story around the reasons those icebergs were further south than usual and became an obstacle in the big ship's course. Ocean currents played a role in the disaster and the program explains the various circumstances, all which had to be just so, for the fatefull strike to be possible, like cold temperature, a clear, moonless sky, etc. Home Run Pictures' animator, Gerry Crouse, used Autodesk Maya's PaintEfx toolset to create various corral lifeforms, all in motion from the underwater turbulance along with various fish and other sea creatures. CLICK FOR MOVIE

NOAA's Hurricane Hunter Reconnaissance Plane for NASA Immersive Earth's "Force Five"

[2010] Fulldome's immersive feel is well utilized as you, the audience, feel like you are sitting behind the pilots of a NOAA "Hurricane Hunter" P3 as it flys into the storm. A highly detailed model of the plane was created complete with pilots and scientists at the controls. Autodesk Maya FluidEfx then was used to create a hurricane complete with a crashing sea. This program featured storms in their nastiest Force Five levels, all giving the viewers the close-up look you would not want to see in real life. All that is missing is the wind and mist hitting your face. CLICK FOR MOVIE

Real Data Used to Create Earth's Magnetic Field Event for NASA, Rice University's "Magnetism"

[2016] A fulldome program is visually a dramatic experience when immersed in imagery making the audience feel they are almost there. But take it one step further and create the visuals using real data acquired by NASA spacecraft and the experience becomes even more. Taking data supplied from NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft Home Run Pictures' animators visualized a simulated strike of a coronal mass ejection or CME showing the Earth's electromagnetic field flexing, breaking and reconnecting as it protects life on our planet. Other scenes included showing a CME initiated aurora from the International Space Station, the magnetic fields of other planets in our Solar System and various details of how the Earth's protective field functions. CLICK FOR MOVIE

Sharks Use the Earth's Magnetic Field to Navigate for a Rice University NSF Grant

[2016] Explaining three-dimensional concepts is far more understandable when you are experiencing it in an immersive environment. Also studies show that retension of what you learn in an immersive experience is much better... makes sense since we experience life immersively. For an NSF grant, describing how sharks can sense the Earth's magnetic field and use it to navigate was dramatically shown in fulldome. The sequence was used as a chapter in a NASA Rice University funded program on magnetism and our planet's electromagnetic field. CLICK FOR MOVIE


More to come...

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