Dome Projection Software


The software listing below is only part of what is available for geodesic dome projection. Also note that some applications display images but will not display movies.

tgawarp (also includes jpgwarp) Full dome projection using a spherical mirror requires that the fisheye frames be distorted such that the result on the dome looks correct.This can be done in realtime using a locally developed QuickTime player but it can sometimes be useful to prewarp the frames of a fisheye movie.Reasons for doing this include playback from non-Apple hardware or playback from a lower end platform that may not be able to support the warp-on-the-fly technique. The description of how a frame is warped is defined by a so called warp mesh. An example of such a mesh is given here:
IMGWarper for Windows Commercial ($45USD). Pre-warp fisheye images for spherical-mirror movie making.
Works with TGA, JPG and PNG files
Immersive Display Designer Immersive Display Designer is a tool that provides a intuitive virtual environments for designing immersive display solutions and applying the solutions in a flight simulator environments.The main advantage of this idea is that it does not require expensive projector setups capable of projecting fish eye scenes. It uses “off-the-shelf” spherical mirror mostly called “Safety mirrors” or “Security mirrors”.Different screens can be used to project the fish eye scene. This version supports dome (truncated en full), cylindrical and box (room) screens. The best results can be achieved by a dome screen, however the cylinder and box screens setups produce just as good results.
warpplayer QuickTime movie player with realtime warping and navigation Intended primarily for fulldome projection using a spherical mirror.

“warpplayer” is a Mac OS-X application that takes a QuickTime movie and a description of how to distort each frame. The movie is played and distorted on the fly. There are many applications for this and some of them will be discussed below, the main reason for developing this was for movie playback in fulldome (eg: planetarium environments) where a spherical mirror is used to distort the fisheye frames of the movie.

In addition to the realtime warping, the application allows navigation while the movie is playing. The exact navigation that is appropriate depends on the input image projection, for example, for a fisheye image the movie can be rotated about the pole while it is playing. For a movie where each frame is a cylindrical projection the view direction can be rotated horizontally during playback.

Also used as a navigable movie player

meshmapper Calibration tool for dome projection using a spherical mirror and single projector.
Available for Mac OS-X”meshmapper” is a utility that allows one to create precise warping maps for projection systems using a single projector and a spherical mirror, a technique called variously “sphemir” and “mirrordome”. These may be upright domes such as these, planetariums such as this, and even more exotic spherical environments such as these. The following is a brief outline of the procedure one might use, please note that because the software described here is “utility” style UNIX application, one is expected to have some technical skills … it is also still evolving.


Planetarium software

Celestia The free space simulation that lets you explore our universe in three dimensions. Celestia runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.
Unlike most planetarium software,Celestia doesn’t confine you to the surface of the Earth. You can travel throughout the solar system, to any of over 100,000 stars, or even beyond the galaxy. All movement in Celestia is seamless;the exponential zoom feature lets you explore space across a huge range of scales, from galaxy clusters down to spacecraft only a few meters across. A ‘point-and-goto’ interface makes it simple to navigate through the universe to the object you want to visit.Celestia is expandable. Celestia comes with a large catalog of stars, galaxies, planets, moons, asteroids, comets, and spacecraft. If that’s not enough, you can download dozens of easy to install add-ons with more objects.
EarthDesk in a Dome The following allows one to display current/live Earth images interactively on a planetarium dome (or iDome) using either a fisheye projection system or a spherical mirror based system. It uses EarthDesk to generate the spherical projections, and Quartz Composer to manage the display. It is provided mainly as a demonstration for those who may not have used Quartz Composer, an excellent tool for interactive graphics.Quartz Composer

Quartz Composer is supplied free of charge with the Apple XCode development systems (also free). You are encouraged to look through the Quartz Composer patch in order to understand what is occuring. When you are ready to run the composition you need to enter full screen mode.


“pbmesh” is a Quartz Composer patch that implements the image warping technique used by the author to warp fisheye images for spherical mirror based projection (although it has a much wider range of application). pbmesh is also free, it needs to be copied into

/Library/Graphics/Quartz Composer Patches

This must be exactly as shown above, it is NOT the same as a similar appearing directory called “Quartz Composer Plugins”.

Nightshade Astronomy Simulator

Nightshade is free, open source astronomy simulation and visualization software for teaching and exploring astronomy, Earth science, and related topics. Nightshade is a fork of the award-winning Stellarium software, but tailored for planetarium and educator use.

The emphasis is on usability, realism, feature stability, and performance. It is backward compatible with scripts for Stellarium 0.8.2 and earlier using the StratoScriptTM language developed and maintained by Digitalis Education Solutions, Inc.

It is available for Linux, Windows, Mac OSX, and other platforms.

Stellarium Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope.
It is being used in planetarium projectors. Just set your coordinates and go.

  • Default catalogue of over 600,000 stars
  • Extra catalogues with more than 210 million stars
  • Asterisms and illustrations of the constellations
  • Constellations for twelve different cultures
  • Images of nebulae (full Messier catalogue)
  • Realistic Milky Way
  • Very realistic atmosphere, sunrise and sunset
  • The planets and their satellites
Stellarium Console Stellarium Console works under Windows 7 in conjunction with Stellarium.Let’s imagine the possibility to record you actions on the console, save them on a file, share them with other people, add an audio track. Then, you can play them with just a click! These are the main news in this version. News, that you cannot find in any other software for digital planetaria, not even in the most renowned software.The use of the software is very simple and intuitive: click on the REC button and from now on every keystroke on the console will be recorded with the correct timing. You might use the free “Training” edition to create your lesson comfortably at home, save it, share it with colleagues, and then play it on the Professional edition in a second step. If you have prepared also an audio track, your lesson in the planetarium will require just a simple click on the console. The software will do the work!Many bugs have been fixed and many other features have been added (for example the possibility to show the constellation names in a different language). In addition, Stellarium is going to be even more international: now it speaks Italian, English, French, Spanish and Turkish!

Download now the last free version “Training” or call us and we will give you a free code to try the “Professional” edition for 60 days.

Super promotion for the entire 2013! Stellarium Console Professional for only € 99,00.  You can buy the license directly on the website.

World Wide Telescope Immerse yourself in a seamless beautiful environment.From web to desktop to full dome planetarium, WorldWide Telescope (WWT) enables you to explore the universe, bringing together imagery from the best ground and space-based telescopes in the world and combining it with 3D navigation. Experience narrated guided tours from astronomers and educators featuring interesting places in the sky. You can research and import your own data and visualize it, then create a tour to share with others.A web-based version of WorldWide Telescope is also available. This version enables seamless, guided explorations of the universe from within a web browser on PC and Intel Mac OS X by using the power of Microsoft Silverlight 4.0.






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