Immersive 360° 3D Dome at Brunel University

Inspire is a new cutting-edge teaching and learning facility at Brunel University London that inspires and engages children in science, technology, engineering, art and maths (STEAM).

One of the crown jewels is the Immerse zone which features a 360° 3D projection dome to transport audiences to the edge of the Universe, inside the human body and beyond.

This Fulldome environment uses multiple projectors seamlessly blended together to form a perfect hemisphere where students can enjoy a shared VR like immersive experience that fills the peripheral vision and jumps off the screen.

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The system was supplied by NSC Creative, a UK based specialist in designing and integrating complex immersive environments and creating content and applications which communicate STEAM topics via immersive storytelling.

Please enjoy the behind the scenes installation video.

At the dome’s heart is a single Screenberry media server that drives and auto-aligns 8 x BenQ LU9235 WUXGA laser projectors to create a 4k x 4k 3D 60fps display. It is the first 3D dome in the UK to utilise laser phosphor light source projectors. The BenQ projectors give the perfect balance of brightness, quality and cost. The latest generation of active 3D glasses from Xpand Vision, the X106 are used to minimise light-loss and give the best eye-popping 3D effect.

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The Screenberry media server provides high resolution and frame rate 3D video playback along with a suite of real-time applications that allow simulation of the night sky and solar system, music visualisers, immersive presentation tools and interactive games. An SDK is available to encourage students and researchers to create their own native applications for visualisation and interactive group collaboration.

The dome is loaded with award-winning Fulldome educational films from NSC Creative that utilise the built in DRM of the Screenberry server to allow flexible licensing options such as pay-per-view.

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Where a fulldome application or content already exists the dome can be used as a giant second screen that users can plugin to via a simple HDMI2.0 UHD video capture port for ultimate flexibility. The dome system can be controlled wirelessly via an iPad or Laptop using optimised applications.

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The 8m diameter negative pressure dome is manufactured by Front Pictures and provides a high-quality but cost-effective solution, especially when compared to a perforated aluminium dome. Front Pictures was also responsible for the optical layout and software commissioning of the FP HDX8 system. The whole solution, dome, IT, AV and software was assembled and integrated onsite in less than 5 days.

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“We have a state-of-art immersive visualisation and learning tool with material for all ages. What is great about NSC Creative is that they look beyond the technology and consider the audience experience, this is because of their long heritage of creating immersive content for these spaces over the last 18 years. They are pioneers in their field and we are thrilled to have one of their domes to inspire the next generation of big thinkers and makers for generations to come.” Michelle Evans, Head of INSPIRE, STEAM Learning Centre.

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“We look forward to seeing what the team at Inspire and Brunel University do with the dome. We are proud to be a part of such an innovative project that will continue our mission to immersive and inspire audiences of all ages from all backgrounds.” Paul Mowbray, Director of NSC Creative.

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The dome was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Garfield Weston Foundation and The HIllingdon Community Trust.  

Key equipment:

  • Screenberry media server
  • Front Pictures N-pressure 8m dome
  • BenQ LU9235 WUXGA laser projectors
  • Xpand X106 3D glasses
  • Datapath Fx4 video wall controllers
  • Magewell Pro capture HDMI 4K Plus
  • PulseEight neo:Ultra HDMI Extender
  • Kramer CLS−AOCH/XL active fibre cable
  • QSYS core 110F and CXD8.4QN amplifier
  • Ecler Arqis 5.1 Speaker System
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Partners

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NSC CREATIVE DOME SOLUTIONS POWERED BY FRONT PICTURES

NSC Creative dome solutions powered by Front Pictures technology deliver the ultimate 360° immersive turn-key experiences for education, entertainment and events. Featuring cutting-edge single server systems that are compatible with all classes of projector thanks to advanced 5 stage auto-alignment and calibration. Media playback is supported up-to 8k 3D 60fps, all delivered via secure pay-per-view licensing technology for the ultimate programming flexibility. A range of innovative apps deliver astronomy, sonic visualisation, presentation and gaming under the dome. High-quality negative pressure domes are available from 3m – 15m suitable for indoor and outdoor use for permanent or temporary installations.

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Explore photos from the installation

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