Electrosonic has completed the refurbishment of the ShowDome at Our Dynamic Earth (ODE) in Edinburgh.
Described as a two-phase project, Electrosonic has given the space a full-dome projection upgrade, a new theatre layout, 106 new seats, and a state-of-the-art server and content management system.
ODE showcases earth science by taking visitors on a journey through our planet’s past, present and future through interactive exhibits and a stop in the 14m ShowDome theatre, originally opened in 1999.
“The client came to us for our ideas and proposal, which we developed with them,” said Electrosonic project manager Phil Downie. “The objectives were to upgrade the theatre to provide a higher-quality feel and experience for the audience, and to increase the flexibility of show playback and show management. The solution was to increase the capacity available to store shows ready for playback, improve the efficiency of the ‘workflow’ of the show data, increase the level of control for planetarium systems, and to have a wireless touch-panel interface.”
Phase one of the project included replacing the former projection system with a system featuring five channels of LED projection. The existing seating was removed, the floor was reinforced and new tiered flooring was installed along with 106 seats, in a new forward-facing configuration. A stage was built at the front of the theatre to support the needs of staff, corporate guests and presenters.
“The refurbishment delivered a higher-quality theatre with the capability to provide ambience and mood and, thus, an enhanced audience experience,” explained Downie. “The ShowDome is also capable of more diverse applications with a stage for presentations and performances.”
In the second phase of the project, two 7thSense media server systems feed the projection of full-dome films inside the theatre. One of the servers represents a new configuration, which eliminates the requirement for time-consuming slicing and encoding of large, full-dome masters for a multi-channel dome display.
“The new server improves the efficiency of the ‘workflow’ of the show data in several ways,” noted Downie. “Slicing the shows into each channel is no longer needed, and when storing the shows for back up, only the masters have to be stored. There are no sliced channel files, which hugely reduces the storage required.”
The ShowDome is currently presenting “Supervolcanoes,” an immersive planetarium show that looks back at rare classes of volcanic eruptions and moves beyond Earth to explore the impact of giant eruptions around our solar system.