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FAQs

Because VR-MAX entails special creative concerns, production techniques and equipment, we've assembled a knowledge base to address the most common topics and questions. For questions not covered in the FAQ, please CONTACT US.

Immersive technology

VR-MAX presentations are projected onto a curved screen that completely surrounds the viewer's field of vision, taking advantage of peripheral vision. VR-MAX creates, on a relatively small screen, the same effect as an Omni theater. The effect is immersive. It can even be vertigo-inducing, if you want it to be. The effect cannot be recreated on a website video or DVD.

Curved / Warped Video

The videos on this website have a spherical warp and curved edges because VR-MAX screens are spherical. The immersive effect cannot be recreated on a traditional, flat screen like a computer monitor or television. If you'd like to see what a VR-MAX experience is like, contact us to find out when a presentation may be available in your area.

Existing footage

VR-MAX presentations are shot with a special lens. Existing footage will appear warped when projected onto the curved screen. Some computer-generated imagery (CGI) can be re-rendered for the VR-MAX presentation if all components are provided. Critical existing footage that can't be re-shot, like interviews or historic content, can be boxed into a portion of the screen.

Re-use of VR-MAX footage

Computer-generated imagery (CGI) can be re-rendered for DVD, Web or other flat-screen media. Live-capture footage can be re-used, but the spherical warp cannot be removed.

Program length

2-3 minutes is the optimal cost-effective length for a commercial production. Of course, planetariums produce educational content that runs 40 minutes or more.

Production costs

VR-MAX is a high-end presentation technology. Exact costs vary widely based on length, content and type of imagery. We can provide a ballpark estimate based on a very high-level understanding of your needs. (See "Our Services" page for the kinds of information we need to get started.) We provide detailed proposals and costs prior to beginning an engagement.

Lead times

Three months from conception to finished program is the shortest timeframe we recommend. Exact production schedule varies by concept and is included in the VR-MAX proposal.

Presentation content

VR-MAX content is developed through concepts, scripts, and storyboards like any other type of presentation. The content is designed to support or extend the existing brand and creative strategy and to support marketing goals and objectives. Sign-offs are received before production begins.

CGI vs. Live Capture

In general, use CGI to create the fantastic. Use Live Capture to showcase the real. More important than any generalization, however, is finding the right creative approach for the story you have to tell.

Computer Generated Graphics (CGI)

CGI can show what a camera can't capture.

Examples:

  • The inside of the body or an engine
  • A first-person ride through outer space or beneath the ocean
  • Animated mascots or logos
  • Seamless POV journeys (no edits or cuts)
Live Capture

Live capture conveys the reality of people, places, and products.

Examples:

  • Architectural walkthroughs
  • Product showcases, especially for products and services that cannot be easily transported or easily explained
  • Edited POV journeys
Playback platform

The VR-MAX presentation can be run on any laptop computer with at least 4 GB of Ram and a high-quality graphics card.

Mac vs. PC operating systems

VR-MAX presentations can be run on either the Mac or PC operating system, but the optimum playback formats vary. The decision about Mac or PC must be made before the production process is finished.

Projectors

VR-MAX presentations require a specialized projector. We can provide information about rental costs and resources.

Sound system

We recommend designing the sound system for your particular storytelling needs. A very basic 2.1 sound system (Left and Right speakers and Bass) is included with the rental.

Electrical requirements

Dome systems require four standard 110 volt outlets—one each for the fan/inflation system, projector, sound system, and playback device.

Screens

Fully-enclosed dome exteriors are igloo-shaped, flat black, with large, ribbed sections and a rectangular, protruding entrance.

Standard dome screens are shaped like a satellite dish or contact lens. Exteriors are black, and free-standing with supportive ribbing along the back curve of the dome.

Customization

A custom wrap can be created with any branding message. Allow three weeks lead time.

Location requirements

The domed screen and projector require a flat surface, standard electrical access, and sufficient space to keep all sides clear of obstacles. Domes should not be placed near water or flame, or anywhere they may press against lighting fixtures.

Lighting requirements

G4 domes have exposed screens. They must be placed in a low-light area or inside an environment that blocks light from above and all sides. Full domes are enclosed and require no additional darkening.

Sturdiness

Domes are made of strong vinyl. Although the risk of accidental puncture is low, any sharp object applied with force could puncture a dome. Sharp objects should be kept away from the dome. Domes are shipped with patch kits in case a hole or tear occurs. Domes can withstand some wind and drizzle, but heavy moisture will ruin them.

Outdoor use

Domes set up outdoors require additional weather protection. Rented or leased domes cannot be left outdoors after exhibit hours, even under a weatherproof canopy. They will require daily setup and take-down, which requires about an hour each. Domes exposed to water will be ruined and will need to be replaced at full purchase cost.

Set-up and take-down

Set-up and takedown require about 90 minutes from unpacking to show time and vice-versa.

Staffing

Anyone with basic understanding of computers and projectors can be trained to set up and take down the domed screen and projector and to run a VR-MAX presentation. Allow a full workday for training in setup and use of the equipment.

Dome Purchase

Domes are available for sale. Six weeks is the lead time for a standard design. A custom wrap can be created with any branding message. Add three weeks to the lead time, since the wrap must be fitted to the completed dome. A design that takes advantage of the dome shape is recommended.