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ZKM | Institute for Visual Media

Research & Development

PanoramaTechnology

A focal point of the R&D activities of the ZKM | Institute for Visual Media is the field of immersive projection environments and the development of software solutions for artistic projects.

The most recent development in this field is the so-called »PanoramaScreen«, a cylindrical projection environment for 360°-panoramic projections, which was jointly developed by the ZKM | Institute for Visual Media and the iCinema Research Centre, Sydney. To display imagery on this screen, a special software system was developed at the Institute for Visual Media: the Panorama Display Software [PDS].

PanoramaScreen | Panorama Display Software

PanoramaScreen

The PanoramaScreen is a cylindrical projection environment for 360°-panoramic projections, which has been developed at the ZKM | Institute for Visual Media in collaboration with the iCinema Research Centre, Sydney since 2005.
The screen has been implemented to display panoramic movies via 4 or 6 projectors, such as 3D animations or video footage. For the recording of 360°-moving imagery, the Institute specially developed a high resolution 360°-PanoramaCamera.
The screen can also be used for stereoscopic VR-applications. Furthermore, the environment is equipped with an 8-channel audio system and offers by means of the Panorama Display Software, a software system developed at the Institute, a wide range of applications for interactive real-time applications, which are being further developed in the context of international artistic and research projects and co-operations.

The first version of the PanoramaScreen [PSI] measures 3.50m in height and 10m in diameter. The second version of the environment with currently a higher resolution  [PSII] measures 2.80m in height and 8m in diameter.


Technical data

-    PSI: h: 3.50m, Ø 10m / PSII: h: 2.80m, Ø 8 m
-    4-6 projectors [resolution: 8.192x928 pixel]
-    Panorama Display Software [custom software for displaying panoramic movies]
-    8-chanel audio system
-    full panoramic moving imagery [video, 3D-animations], stereoscopic VR-applications]
-    interactive real-time applications


PanoramaScreen I [PSI]: Technical Data:

Dimensions of Screen I:

Diameter:   10.00m
Perimeter:   31.41m
Height:   3.50m
Image ratio:   8.97:1

4 Projector configuration:
4x Sanyo PLC XF60, 6500 ANSI Lumen, 1,024x768 pixel

Effective image dimensions:
Width:   3,840 pixel
Height:   432 pixel

PanoramaScreen II [PSII]: Technical Data:

Dimensions of Screen II:

Diameter:   8.00m
Perimeter:   25.13m
Height:   2.80m
Image ratio:   8.97:1

6 Projector configuration:
6 x projectiondesign F20 SX+, 3000 ANSI Lumen, 1,400x1,050 pixel
6 x Schneider Kreuznach Cine-Digitar-Converter, 0,72 1,400x1,050 pixel

Effective image dimensions:

Width:   8,192 pixel
Height:   928 pixel

PanoramaScreen III [PanoramaLab]: Technical Data:

Dimensions of Screen III:

Diameter:   6.00m
Height:   2.16m
Image ratio:   8.97:1

6 Projector configuration:
6 x projectiondesign F32-WUXGA projectors, 5,000 ANSI Lumen each
1,920x1,200 pixel

Effective image dimensions:

Width:   10,048 pixel
Height:   1.120 pixel

Credits
Concept and realization: Bernd Lintermann
Production team: Jan Gerigk, Torsten Ziegler, Manfred Hauffen, Arne Grässer
Production: ZKM | Institute for Visual Media

The PanoramaScreen is based on Jeffrey Shaw’s interactive panoramic cinema research and was jointly developed by the ZKM | Institute for Visual Media, Karlsruhe [D] and the UNSW iCinema Research Centre, Sydney [AUS].
Screen manufacturing: Huib Nelissen Decor en Constructiewerken, Haarlem [NL].

The development of the PanoramaTechnology was supported by the Information Technology Funding Program of the federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg [BW-FIT] in the framework of the research association »Information at your fingertips - Interactive Visualization for Gigapixel Displays« [2006-2009].

projectiondesign supports the ZKM_PanoramaLab with its F32-WUGXA projectors.

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Panorama Display Software

Since 2005, the Institute for Visual Media is developing a special software system for the playback of imagery on various display systems, the so-called »Panorama Display Software« [PDS].
The software system enables the projection of high-resolution video on surfaces of any shape and the manipulation of the projected imagery in real-time.

The software distributes high-resolution imagery via several graphics cards to several projectors. The parts of the projected images are being distorted and overlap in such a way that the viewer perceives a homogeneous panoramic image. For the PanoramaScreen, PDS uses a panoramic distortion resulting in the seamless merging of the left and right image fields of the projectors.

The software uses OpenGL, which allows software developers the use of all functions of state-of-the-art graphics cards. The geometric distortion used to adapt the image to the curved screen as well as the edge blending are calculated in software and can be adapted to different projection environments and visual contents.

The plugin architecture of the software enables the addition of software components for custom applications. So it is possible to realize effects, such as, color manipulation, motion blur or pixel distortion, with of Open GL shaders by using plugins. External applications can control the software via TCP/IP or OSC, a widely used protocol for audio applications.

The application runs on a single computer and distributes the complete image information of each frame to all the graphics boards in the system thus enabling the distribution of any part of the image to any location on the screen.

Currently, video material of up to 16,384 x 1,024 at 25 fps can be processed.

Technical data:

Operating system:
Linux

Currently used hardware:
SLI capable mainboard with 3 PCIe slots
3x NVidia GeForce 8800 GTX graphics cards
4x WD Raptor hard disks in RAID-0 set up

Credits:
Concept and development: Bernd Lintermann
Assistance: Joachim Tesch, Nikolaus Völzow
Production: ZKM | Institute for Visual Media

The development of the PanoramaTechnology was funded through the Information Technology Funding Program of the federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg [BW-FIT] in the context of the research association »Information at your fingertips - Interactive Visualization for Gigapixel Dispalys«.

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Projects:

The PanoramaTechnology was used to realized the following projects:

· Bernd Lintermann, Torsten Belschner, Mahsa Jenabi, Werner A. König: »CloudBrowsing« [2008-09]
· Matthias Fritsch: »Parallaxe« [2008]
· Christian Ziegler: »rickshaw bangalore« [2006-08]
· Robert Darroll, Sean Reed: »Oracle« [2005-07]
· Bernd Lintermann, Joachim Böttger, Torsten Belschner: »Globorama« [2005-07]
· The Wooster Group: »THERE IS STILL TIME . . BROTHER« [2007]
· Jean Michel Bruyère: »CaMg[Co3]2« [2007]
· Bernd Lintermann, Torsten Belschner: »Sono reMorphed« [2007]

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