Fulldome Content Production: A bricoleur's approach

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
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Master's Degree Programme in New Media
Uuden median maisteriohjelma
It has been only a little more than ten years since the introduction in planetaria of digital projection systems that can fill the entire dome of the theater. This technology called fulldome video has considerably changed the experience delivered by these institutions as it brings the immersive power of wide field displays and the possibility of interactive shows to astronomy education. Today, many established venues have upgraded their traditional system and many others are about to follow the trend. This technology facilitates content creation because it allows to make use of the digital tools already available to more conventional digital audiovisual productions such as 3D animation. Therefore fulldome also opens new vistas for artistic expression beyond traditional astronomy and science themed content. As the new medium redefines the experience delivered by dome theaters, it also challenges the identity of these venues. By looking at the technical and cultural aspect of this transition through the media theory of remediation, this thesis identifies areas of tension between tradition and innovation as well as challenges and opportunities for new productions. Complementing this research, a design enquiry on new means of productions inspired by the do-it-yourself methodolgy and defined as design as bricolage is explored. The result is a specification for an open source fulldome production pipeline and an implementation using existing software and custom built tools. The metaphor of bricolage is evaluated as a practical mental model for the activity of design, and provides insights on the practice of design itself. In a synthesis of the theoritical and practical research results, a strategy based on the notion of property rights as distribution (open source) is proposed to promote new alternative fulldome productions. Problems and affordances of this model in the context of fulldome are discussed on the basis of previous implementations in software development and 3d animation production,and including thoughts and comments from members of the fulldome industry.
Reunanen, Markku
bricolage, do-it-yourself, fulldome, open source, planetarium, remediation
Other note
  • One DVD containing videos, images and source code (see appendix D)