Immersive Display Designer
Immersive Display Designer is a tool that provides a intuitive virtual environments for designing immersive display solutions and applying the solutions in a flight simulator environments..
Truncated dome screen environment Cylindrical screen environment Box (room) screen environment
Single projector environment Dual projector environment Tripple projector environment
Fish eye projection
This version supports environments based on a projection of a so called fish-eye scenes using a spherical mirror. This idea has been developed initially by Paul Bourke and is explained in detail in his "Dome projection using a spherical mirror" articles.
The main advantage of this idea is that it does not require expensive projector setups capable of projecting fish eye scenes. It uses "off-the-shelf" spherical mirror mostly called "Safety mirrors" or "Security mirrors".
Different screens can be used to project the fish eye scene. This version supports dome (truncated en full), cylindrical and box (room) screens. The best results can be achieved by a dome screen, however the cylinder and box screens setups produce just as good results.
Cylindrical projection is a projection on a cylindrical surface. Using one or more projectors projecting a part of the scene on the inside of the cylindrical screen an immersive vision environrment can be created with a horizontal field of view up to 180 degrees and vertical field of view up to 90 degrees.
In order to apply the designed solution in a flight simulator environment, a plug-in for x-plane is provided. The plug-in uses the parameters from the designed virtual environment to create the appropriate scene (fish eye or panorama) in x-plane and warp the scene in such a way that the image on the screen is projected undistorted.
The following actions describe the steps involved in a creation of an immersive display solution using a spherical mirror and a dome screen environment.
A new "Spherical Mirror + Dome Screen" environment is created. In this environment different parameters can be adjusted:
the field of view, aspect ratio, horizontal and vertical offsets, position and orientation of the projector
the radius, position and orientation of the spherical mirror
the radius and the type of the dome screen (truncated or full)
the example fish-eye scene and the way the scenes are projected using a projector with aspect ratio different than 1:1
the resolution of the warp grid and the visibility of the warp grid on the projector, mirror and the screen
Preview is available all the time during the designing of the immersive display solution. Preview window displays the scene that should be projected from the projector to the mirror.
When the design is finished, the design is exported in a format suitable for the flight simulator environment. In this case, the export generates a configuration data for the x-plane plug-in.
When the x-plane is started and the "immersive display" plug-in is enabled, the plug-in interfaces with the x-plane graphical system and performs a number of extra processing steps.
First a complete 180 degree fish-eye scene is generated in x-plane ....
Than the distortion correction (warping) is applied to the generated fish-eye scene before the image is sent to the video output. This is a multi-pass process and can have effect on the frame rate. The measurements with a more recent nVidia graphics engines showed a minimal frame rate drop of 1 or 2 frames.
When the distorted image is projected back in a real environment, the projected image on the screen looks undistorted for the viewers positioned in the middle of the screen.