The Cosmonova theater at the Swedish Museum of Natural History (SMNH), Stockholm has undergone an innovative digital display upgrade introducing a 23-meter fulldome display as well as a partial dome 3D theater experience. The 262 seat planetarium now displays high-resolution, crisp and colorful content in an hemispherical environment, in addition to a 17-meter (56-foot), windowed 3D display projected across the dome surface. Global Immersion integrated Fidelity 3D™ and Fidelity Bright™ solutions to fulfil the two projects requirements, including full theater and content management, control, automation and playback systems.
The first project oversaw the integration of a Global Immersion Fidelity 3D™ system; completed and opened to the public in May 2008. Consisting of two active stereo Christie® CP2000ZX digital cinema projectors with 3,000 watt Xenon lamps, this stereoscopic 3D solution is cost-effective and facilitates easy operation and maintenance. Double-stacked, the two overlapped channels emit 2k resolution, 34,000 lumens and more than 35.2 trillion colours on the 56-foot (17-meter) window display. Global Immersion also supplied the theater with five hundred pairs of XpanD™ active stereo glasses, increasing the capability and flexibility of the system to allow viewing of both 2D and 3D content.
Opened in October 2008, the upgrade of the planetarium included the installation of a Fidelity Bright™ fulldome solution. Powered by six projectiondesign® high resolution DLP® projector units, this hand-picked and color-matched installation provides a fully immersive experience for the audience. Bright, colourful and resolute, the system will be used to present both real-time and pre-rendered content.
Each projection channel is matched and seamlessly integrated using Global Immersion’s optical edge blending process. This technology engineers the light path of each projected image, and minimizes the visible seam caused by the overlap of images and doubling of the black level.
Ian Dyer, International Commercial Manager at Global Immersion explained, “As with all of our projects, the Cosmonova installation required meticulous attention to detail to ensure the system was blended seamlessly. Each of the six fulldome channels merge invisibly into each other, creating one large immersive and uniform display. It was crucial that these were blended accurately and invisibly – ensuring that the Cosmonova theater retains the true meaning and value of ‘giant screen’”.
Global Immersion Media Server forms a part of the display solution management, streaming high-resolution, uncompressed content of up to 3.5 terabytes per file. In addition, Global Immersion supplied the theater with a content storage, management and manipulation suite which facilitates rapid, straightforward playback and editing of high-resolution content.
“The new fulldome system creates great opportunities for us. In using the upgraded planetarium to display Uniview™ and other content, we give our visitors a magnificently real experience to visualize the Earth and our Universe. It must be the closest you can get to space without actually traveling there”, says Cosmonova Manager, Jessica Christensen.
Christensen continued, “Following a public procurement process for the upgrade, of which Global Immersion was winning vendor, we have entered into a new and exciting era of Cosmonova’s history. The team at Global Immersion has worked hard to get the system up and running and we appreciate their enthusiastic approach. Internally it’s been a long journey as we’ve been planning for this for years, but here we are now - rewarded and thrilled by the positive feedback we already received from our audiences.”
Content And Continuation For Giant-screen
The perforated aluminium dome creates a surface area of 760m2, and provides a canvas upon which a wealth of varied content will be shown by the team at SMNH. Cosmonova will screen a selection of fulldome shows, digital 3D films and IMAX® productions sourced from Spitz Inc., the American Museum of Natural History, National Geographic and other giant screen distributors, in addition to real-time space flight presentations using the data-visualization platform, Uniview™ from SCISS AB.
Dyer continued, “The shift toward digital theater outside of the fulldome industry is becoming increasingly apparent, as is evident with the recent introduction of digital IMAX® technologies. Our extensive history and expertise in the digital display arena ensures that we are fully prepared for the next-generation of large-format digital displays, and are able to meet the increasing demands of theaters that wish to continue the legacy of this breath-taking, giant-screen concept.”
Cosmonova, part of the Swedish Museum of Natural History, is home to the only IMAX® cinema in Sweden, and the country’s largest planetarium and biggest 3D display. Since the opening in 1992, Cosmonova has been committed to increasing the public’s understanding of science and nature on its tilted 760 square meter dome.
About Global Immersion
With over ten years experience in the world of fulldome displays and scientific data, Global Immersion (globalimmersion.com) brings together a broad range of proven technologies, offers a variety of services and provides turnkey solutions from content through to completion. Our truly fresh approach brings a vast heritage to the party, this is coupled with our passion for building innovative, immersive theaters and puts us centre stage as we work worldwide with our international partner network.
Christie is a registered trademark of Christie Digital Systems, Inc. DLP is a registered trademark of Texas Instruments. Fidelity Bright and Fidelity 3D are trademarks of Global Immersion Ltd. IMAX is a registered trademark of IMAX Corporation. National Geographic is a registered trademark of National Geographic Society. projectiondesign is a registered trademark of projectiondesign as Uniview is a trademark of SCISS AB. XpanD is a trademark of X6D Ltd.