Las Vegas Sphere Projection/Rendering
I'm trying to work out how to design for the new Los Vegas Sphere and can't work out the rendering aspect. It seems to have some complex 3d scenes that work from many angles on the ground which seems tricky - is something like this accomplishable in C4D? I'm guessing it could be done with UVs somehow but haven't been able to work it out
Here's a link to a video I found with the 3D elements:
I have gotten anamorphic 3D billboards to work but this one has stumped me again. Any help would be amazing!
Dr. Sassi last edited by Dr. Sassi
Please have a look here:
An earlier local report tells the resolution, which I doubt is accurate, but the image aspect ratio feels like a close call.
I believe this site should also be bookmarked, even if it certainly needs some updates.
The Sphere has two large LED screens, inside and outside. (Your video link points to the outside.)
Both have the problems of serving an image in a 2D plane, even bending into a sphere or a curved rectangular; there is no parallax other than what is baked into the image.
I have used Cinema 4D for years now to produce those things, but more for my artwork, or for fun, like the one below, to demo the Cinema 4D 3D camera
Yes, there are options to create your UV setup, place equirectangular images into it, and get a wide variety of results in return.
In other words, Cinema 4D has had excellent tools for years, and creating this kind of material with them is fun. But yes, it needs some practice.
It depends on what you like to produce on the Sphere.
For the outside:
• The most straightforward way is a Chrome Sphere, (with the Normals to the inside), that represents the LED Sphere and is then baked.
• A more sophisticated version would be to shoot like one would do for Photogrammetry while keeping the image's Point of Interest the same and revolving around it, then Stitch these images.
• Perhaps have a more Collage based idea and then project parts from the outside. With such separated images, specific points around the MSG Sphere could be seen as ideal viewing points, while some framing graphics might help improve this illusion. This would work similarly to what I have showcased solutions for Anamorphic productions on Cineversity's Forum over the years.
• Besides, the Cinema 4D 360ºx180º camera can produce from the start an equirectangular image.
In all four ways mentioned above, and there are more, you need to crop the lower area to get the needed data, as Equirectangular images are in 2:1 format. Since Equirectangular images are vast data wasters the closer it gets to the poles, I believe (meaning I have no first-hand data so far) that a six-panel view is used and that the bottom view is tossed, meaning either left black, which can be compressed highly, or the studio has created their format. Starting with Cinema 4D, you already have all options; see Attribute Manager> Spherical Camera> Mapping.
Redshift 3D has a Spherical Camera as well. To the best of my current knowledge the size is 19Kx 13.5K, however, I hope I can get more accurate data at one point.
The inside might be more straightforward or way more complex, depending on how the Sphere Studio treats its Audience. Like with all HDR images you can access in the Asset Browser, they are shot from a single point, and they are only correct from a single camera point of view in any 3D app, including Cinema 4D. The parallax of the world has been baked into a 2D image, that is mentioned as a 16K x16K image.
When this image is projected onto a curved canvas, like a sphere segment, the middle point of that sphere would be the ideal viewpoint for the results. The link makes it clear that people sitting close to the canvas must look to the stage as a center point to enjoy the show. Since our eyes have a tiny spot of sharpness, focusing on the stage will allow for a brilliant experience.
If they have developed an option to bend the image a little bit to allow for a wider ideal viewing spot is not to my knowledge, but I assume it has been explored. After all, around 18K people per show expect to get a great show. Hence I believe there has been some effort put into this. Since this is an old set design problem, which has seen a lot of solutions, I'm confident that this has been explored.
As a side note, this technology differs from LED Film Volumes. In those, the camera is captured, and the perspective on the LED wall is adapted. This can work for several cameras if their view does not overlap.
As a personal side note, I made my first "Little Planet" in the late '90s (Apples VR Studio), and I have stopped shooting 360ºx180º since; while my equipment has undoubtedly improved, it is, after all, a mixture of Engineering and Art to get this working. In other words, to make my point, I'm super interested in this, and I will explore it further while hoping that I get a tour at one point, being only a few miles away from their Burbank studio. I hope to give then more than this small text. I love this kind of work.
The beauty is, of course, that we can pre-visualize everything in Cinema 4D and get animated visuals mixed with location (context) footage.
Dr. Sassi last edited by
P.S.: Here is a little example, I hope it gives some clarity about it. I used the first example of your Video link to produce it.
All elements are created in Cinema 4D. The ball is from the Asset Browser. To animate the balls would be just a question of time.
Thanks so much for your reply, it was immensely helpful!
Haven't given the inside view an attempt yet but glad I've got my head around the outside using the chrome ball method. The photogrammetry-type solution also seems good but I feel like that would involve a lot more rendering.
Thanks again for such a helpful post. Hopefully you get a studio tour soon!
Dr. Sassi last edited by
Thank you very much, weird-dealer; visual feedback like yours makes my day!
Yes, I hope to get more data soon and be able to share more first-hand information.
I am incredibly excited about LED Volumes, and you might imagine how much more this excites me.
I hope to see a lot of work from many artists here on it at one point. I will do my best to support it.
My best wishes