Monday, March 11, 2013

Microsoft WorldWide Telescope for fulldome

The Microsoft WorldWide Telescope has planetarium features - fulldome projection, warped view as well as fisheye, and the option to use custom warp files in Paul Bourke's format. Unfortunately the tours are bandwidth hungry, and render on the fly, so that many landscapes etc are seen blurry and partly downloaded when played. The "Render to video" feature for the Tours has an option to "wait for downloads to complete" but the feature seems buggy. When I try to render a dome master, it shows the files being written, but no files are seen in the chosen folder. When I try to render low res files, like 640x480, the files do render, but apparently the file write is not able to keep up with the video being played in realtime, so the app crashes instead of doing an async render. This test was done with version

This version also crashed on my WinXP machine when doing full screen in full dome fisheye format. But later, after a system restart, full-screen mode did not crash. But it does show visible "stitch boundaries" - quite spoils the night sky look!

Since my main interest in checking out MS WWT was to try and render fulldome masters, and it does not seem to be doing that for me, I'll uninstall it for now.

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