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 TOOB Half Dome Projection System 
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Two Eyed Hopeful

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Hi everyone, I did not see this posted elsewhere, so correct me if it has already been mentioned. It looks like a pretty decent system, and its actually on sale (about $1600 total):

http://gizmodo.com/5346769/half-dome-screen-wraps-games-and-movies-around-you

http://thinkoutofbox.com/index.html

If I lived in southern California, I would definitely stop by for a demo. If it works well with LCD shutter glasses, it may be an interesting option for flight/driving sims, and it could be migrated to new systems as you upgrade. Has anyone seen one in person who could comment on it?

zazoo


Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:34 am
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Sharp Eyed Eagle!

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great find!!!

That looks awesome, just what I have been looking for. But it still is a bit costly. I just wonder what the distortion/blurriness around the edges are like compared to the jdome. That thing in the center I believe is a parabolic mirror which reflects the projectors beam onto the half dome. I just don't like that thing sitting in front of the view, it kind of takes the immersion away. But man playing wipeout HD on PS3 through this as shown in the video looks awesome. This and Nvidia 3d vision would be mind blowing good!!!!!

Thanks for posting the link


Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:52 pm
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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Yeah, that looks friggin' sick. A bit pricey but I guess it seems cheap in comparison to other dome solutions. Even if I got that thing I have no idea where I would put it. It looks huge! But at the same time there is a lot of warping and I think something like 20% of the pixels are being discarded. So I might still rather do 3 projectors via TH2G/Eyefinity although the advantage to this TOOB solution is that its just one beamer so you could use like the Viewsonic 3D projector.

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Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:57 pm
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Sharp Eyed Eagle!

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Upon further viewing, what I don't like is the position of the mirror. With it sitting right in front of you, it seems distracting and takes the overall immersion away. I wonder if you could make this setup work with the mirror built into the table and have the hole for the beamer under the table and have it beam to the mirror and then have a slit in the table open to allow the mirror to reflect the image onto the half dome, do you think this would be possible?


Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:11 pm
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Two Eyed Hopeful

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A bit pricey but I guess it seems cheap in comparison to other dome solutions.


Yeah, this looks like more of a deal in comparison to those $10k+ dome systems. :shock: :woot The price on some of those military/commercial systems is insane. I keep telling myself again and again that paying back my student loans has to take priority... :lol:

From the picture, it looks like a projector with the right throw distance should be able to be hidden behind the dome and project through the small hole in the base. However, a short-throw projector may have to be positioned "within" the dome, as the YouTube video shows. I, for one, would prefer to have the projector hidden behind the dome. An enterprising user may be able to drill a hole in their desk, mount the projector vertically under the desk, and project the image into a first-surface mirror which would, in turn, project the image onto the parabolic mirror. This would avoid the need to have a short-throw projector "within" the dome--however, it may introduce other issues which my daydreaming has not foreseen--so no one get mad at me if you try it and it doesn't work :lol:

Quote:
That thing in the center I believe is a parabolic mirror which reflects the projectors beam onto the half dome. I just don't like that thing sitting in front of the view, it kind of takes the immersion away.


I agree, the mirror does not look great sitting there--but it may not be that bad in actual gaming situations; it actually looks like you want to make sure you position yourself so that the parabolic mirror is blocking the view of the projector lens (even when the beam is not pointed right at your eyes, it would seem that the light spill from the lens periphery would be a major distraction).

The issue of the parabolic mirror's silhouette being in front of you brings up an interesting possibility. What if you could use the dome projector in tandem with a smaller 120Hz LCD monitor, which would be placed in front of the parabolic mirror (blocking the unsightly view of it), and a TrackIR system? I'm not sure, but if there was a way to clone your projector's output onto the 120Hz monitor (and make sure that both the 3D displays were in sync with the shutter glasses--perhaps with some sort of DVI splitter), you could benefit from the panoramic "world view" afforded by the projection dome and, when you need to check out your cockpit instruments in a flight/driving simulation, you simply use the TrackIR system to "look down" at your 120Hz monitor (which is conveniently in the same location that your cockpit instruments would be)--and you now benefit from a stereoscopic 3D, undistorted view of your instruments.

EDIT: Many projectors have a built-in "mirrored output" function for the purpose of rear-projection or mirror-folded front projection. Thus, the image displayed on the 120Hz LCD monitor should be in the correct non-mirrored mode, while the image displayed by the projector should be flipped by the projector's internal processing. I theorize that this would be the case if it is possible to split the 3d signal "in parallel". However, if one fed the LCD monitor's image "in serial" from the output of the projector (a capability that many projector's have, to allow someone giving a presentation to read a monitor in front of them while a large projection screen is behind them for the audience to look at), you would have to confirm that the LCD monitor is getting a "de-mirrored" signal from the projector...something I am not sure about (but it should work, if text is displayed properly on the LCD monitor the speaker is reading from)...just wanted to throw that uncertainty out there in case someone tried this.

Of course this "tandem-display concept" may not even be possible--hopefully the R/L view of the mirror-reflected projection image is correct (EDIT--see link mentioned below regarding R/L eye swapping in projectors)--if it is, then great, because it should display correctly on the nVidia-certified 120Hz LCD monitor to begin with. But if it's not, then you would have one display with correct R/L images and the other out of sync (L/R)...which would wreck the whole effect. Possibly by folding the projection beam with an additional first-surface mirror or fiddling with the projection settings on the projector itself may fix this...but I don't know, my brain begins to hurt when I think too much about it :lol: . If nVidia or the monitor/projector manufacturers somehow had a way to adjust the sync on their devices, this would seemingly negate this potential issue. This sync issue seems to be affecting even the newer Viewsonic projectors (see damienlabonte's most recent post on the 6221 here--the third post down: http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?s=69817a8baaa35335c10e75bfed9bc687&showtopic=107827). You see that he needs to wear his 3D Vision glasses upside down (but would reflecting the image off of the TOOB dome's parabolic mirror correct this? Hmm... EDIT: ...and would the in-game UI or HUD text be reversed???). Of course, none of this matters anyway if you cannot split the signal into two 3D displays which are in sync with each other...there may be a Dual-Link DVI limitation...

Anyway, I'm just daydreaming...if anyone sees any technical holes in my stream-of-consciousness blatherings, jump in and correct me :mrgreen: At least it's fun to think of the possibilities...

zazoo


Last edited by zazoo on Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:48 pm, edited 7 times in total.



Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:25 pm
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Two Eyed Hopeful

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Upon further viewing, what I don't like is the position of the mirror. With it sitting right in front of you, it seems distracting and takes the overall immersion away. I wonder if you could make this setup work with the mirror built into the table and have the hole for the beamer under the table and have it beam to the mirror and then have a slit in the table open to allow the mirror to reflect the image onto the half dome, do you think this would be possible?


Actually, you came up with a similar concept while I was typing out my long-winded response :lol: . My idea was to use an additional first-surface mirror to fold the beam. However, the additional first-surface mirror may add an additional obstruction to the view, depending on how large it needs to be. Your idea may be better--though the light spill from the lens may shine in your eyes (see my post above).

zazoo


Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:28 pm
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Two Eyed Hopeful

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But at the same time there is a lot of warping and I think something like 20% of the pixels are being discarded. So I might still rather do 3 projectors via TH2G/Eyefinity although the advantage to this TOOB solution is that its just one beamer so you could use like the Viewsonic 3D projector.


Check out this paper by Paul Bourke: http://local.wasp.uwa.edu.au/~pbourke/miscellaneous/domemirror/faq.html which I saw posted by martinlandau in this thread: http://www.mtbs3d.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=3690&hilit=dome. About one page down in the paper, it talks about projector aspect ratios to use with dome projection. It states that for dome setups like this, a 16:9 projector results in fewer cropped pixels. Since the stereo3D Viewsonic projectors on the market are all 4:3 (XGA resolution), it may be wise to wait for the next generation of stereo3D projectors, which should include 16:9 widescreen models like Optoma's 3D version of the HD65.

It looks like we may be limited to 720p widescreen stereo3D projectors for the short term, though, because of bandwidth issues. HDMI 1.4 should address this to give us enough bandwidth for 1080p stereo3D projectors in the future.

zazoo


Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:39 am
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)
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You will lose far too many pixels for my liking in a half dome config like that.

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Thu Oct 01, 2009 9:01 am
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Sharp Eyed Eagle!

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zazoo wrote:
Quote:
Upon further viewing, what I don't like is the position of the mirror. With it sitting right in front of you, it seems distracting and takes the overall immersion away. I wonder if you could make this setup work with the mirror built into the table and have the hole for the beamer under the table and have it beam to the mirror and then have a slit in the table open to allow the mirror to reflect the image onto the half dome, do you think this would be possible?


Actually, you came up with a similar concept while I was typing out my long-winded response :lol: . My idea was to use an additional first-surface mirror to fold the beam. However, the additional first-surface mirror may add an additional obstruction to the view, depending on how large it needs to be. Your idea may be better--though the light spill from the lens may shine in your eyes (see my post above).

zazoo


Perhaps I should of explained better. With my idea you would not see the hole where the projector beams the image. What my idea incorporates is a special table which sits under the half dome and has a special housing that holds the projector with a hole that beams the projectors beam into a hollow structure through to the mirror that sits inside the table. Which has an opening to reflect the light beams onto the dome overhead. Then the table is curved and narrower bringing you closer into the dome so the curving of the dome closes around your peripheral vision. Now you have some spacing around the hole in the table where the mirror sits flat inside so you can place your peripherals, joystick, mouse keyboard. Perhaps not all at the same time. This should allow full immersion and 3d capability. I think this idea of Okta saying you lose many pixels shouldn't pose too much of a problem, you would be so immersed and when added with 3d capability you will probably forget about the loss of pixels. I did some reading and this dome does work with 3d glasses. That came straight from the inventor.


Thu Oct 01, 2009 9:22 am
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Two Eyed Hopeful

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You will lose far too many pixels for my liking in a half dome config like that.


Yeah Okta, I understand your concern, especially if some elements of a game's HUD are displayed in the upper right or left corners--they would be completely cut off from your view. It seems that there are compromises with every solution out there. In this case we are quite literally "trying to fit a square peg into a round hole." One solution may be to zoom out on the projector until you lose no pixels, but then you are stuck with three edges of the dome (top, left and right) that are not being projected on...I guess you could mask those areas with black velvet. However, zooming out will reduce some of the immersion--you will not be as "enveloped" in the projected image.

smoothy, I think I can see what you are suggesting...getting the parabolic mirror out of the way would be really nice...I guess it would take some design work to see if the light path of the projected image is delivered to the dome surface properly.

zazoo

EDIT: Removed modified half-dome comment...saw incompatibility when beam is directed as shown.


Thu Oct 01, 2009 9:39 am
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Binocular Vision CONFIRMED!

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FYI, I spoke to the head of sales and he said they can make any size rear projection dome with cheaper prices and you obviously don't need the mirror. The mirror I think is quite expensive. I've been in contact and am hoping to buy a 4 footer half dome for my driving rig.

Can somebody in California please visit their showroom?


Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:37 pm
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Binocular Vision CONFIRMED!
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I imagine that rear projection onto a half dome by a single projector is going to result in very significant dimming and loss of resolution as you get towards the edge. See the attached image. If you have a short-throw projector with a 1:1 throw ration, you can only project to a 120 degree angle anyway. And, even then the edge will have zero brightness and resolution. , while a narrower angle projector image would add more, I don't think a single projector on a half sphere is a good idea.
Attachment:
Sphere Angles.JPG


Since peripheral vision really just detects movement, it may not be a bad thing to concentrate the resolution towards the center. However, if you are going with rear projection, I would think that something less than a half sphere would be a better choice. Perhaps a 90Deg portion of a sphere would be the best compromise.

An interior projection would do a much better job of covering a half sphere if you use a very wide angle projector, or by using a spherical mirror. The resolution and brightness would be evenly spread.

Another approach is to use 3 low-cost projectors for the rear-screen projection. But, that will require additional software and hardware for your computer.

You might want to consider abandoning the sphere entirely and using an entirely different approach. See the thread viewtopic.php?p=24025#p24025 for one approach.

I have read that eliminating the seam between images or projection screens helps to create the feeling of immersion into a VR world. Projecting onto a curved (not spherical) screen is one option. But, since you are specifically talking about a race car simulation, you already have the front vertical supports of the car in the way. Why not build a simple frame that simulates the interior of the car frame. Then use 3 32" tvs with 1080p resolution (they can be hand for under $260 each). When placing the TV's, align the bezels to be where your view of the car's frame is. This may be the cheapest option, even with the additional costs for the computer hardware and software.

Of course, these cheap TVs are not going to do stereoscopic. But, after 20 feet, your own eye's stereoscopic vision is non existent. If you were to add one more monitor, a small flat screen monitor placed where the car's console is, then, you would have a simulator with A LOT of resolution.

Joe Dunfee


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Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:59 pm
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Binocular Vision CONFIRMED!

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It was just info for anybody that didn't like the mirror in the dome. With three projectors the affect would be amazing and pretty low cost. Check out the frex three projector videos on YouTube.


Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:32 pm
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Two Eyed Hopeful

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Not to get off the topic of domes, but I always thought this curved projection setup looked great. The projectors are nowhere to be seen, the screen sits on a tabletop and the image really seems to fill your field of view. It looks like they are using two widescreen projectors (since they claim a display resolution of "about 3800 x 1200") with software blending of the images.



Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:14 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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this can keep me busy during camping night time..
$1600 is an itchy price.
this dome projection experience is awesome BTW..I got demo at my pal's home.
it is like a realistic aerial view...Real top aerial peak view..
planning camping with inflatable domes...will try that mix with this dome projection experience.


Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:40 am
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One Eyed Hopeful

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Not to revive an old thread but I landed here about three months ago looking to buy one of these things. I couldn't find a way to do that, so I built one. It wasn't all that hard, here's a video of what I came up with as a first pass:



Wed Sep 30, 2015 12:23 pm
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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Most impressive.

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Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:09 pm
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