Dome Pioneer Ian McLennan on Cosm’s CX Display LED Dome

Dome Pioneer Ian McLennan on Cosm’s CX Display LED Dome

On March 10th, the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) staged a special Innovations Day at the Cosm Experience Center as part of its annual Film Expo, which took place at Universal City Walk in Los Angeles. This was the first in-person GSCA event in over 2 years.

Over 45 of the Film Expo attendees traveled from LA to Salt Lake City to join us – including over a dozen people from outside of the US who braved international travel.

The group was astonished and amazed and has been very vocal about their excitement and support. Ian McLennan, one of the most influential planetarians in the world, who himself revolutionized planetariums in the 1960s and 1970s, called CX Display (branded as DomeX for the planetarium industry) “the first quantum leap I have seen in this industry.

Ian shared his glowing reflections with the attractions industry via an article at InPark Magazine.

Ian McLennan in front of the LED dome at the Cosm Experience Center. Image courtesy Derek Threinen.

Ian McLennan in front of the LED dome at the Cosm Experience Center. Image courtesy Derek Threinen.

GSCA visitors to Cosm Experience Center

GSCA visitors to Cosm Experience Center.

GSCA visitors to Cosm Experience Center

Kirk Johnson with one of the 7,970 LED replaceable modules which simply snap into place with magnetic clips. The modules are perforated to allow sound effects (as well as air flow) to pass through the dome superstructure). Courtesy Ian McLennan.

NBC Sports Selected its Immersive 8K Live Video  Feed and VR Experience Provider for the 2022 Olympic & Paralymic  Winter Games

NBC Sports Selected its Immersive 8K Live Video Feed and VR Experience Provider for the 2022 Olympic & Paralymic Winter Games

Viewers Worldwide Had Access to the Most Advanced Winter Games Viewing Experience Ever Delivered with 150+ Hours of LIVE Sporting Events, Immersive Features, and Highlights

NBC Sports selected Cosm to provide ultra-high resolution immersive 8K streaming feeds for its virtual reality coverage of the XXIV Olympic Winter Games, from Beijing, China, February 2–20.

NBCUniversal provided coverage of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games from Feb. 2-20, featuring a Winter Olympics-record 2,800+ hours of coverage across NBC, Peacock, USA Network, CNBC, and the NBC Sports app. It was NBCUniversal’s 18th Olympic Games, 12th consecutive overall, and sixth straight Winter Games, all the most by any U.S. media company. Delivered through the NBC Olympics VR by Xfinity App, NBC Sports and Cosm captured and produced more than 150 hours of 180-degree live coverage and 360-degree on-demand immersive feeds spanning popular sports such as figure skating, ice hockey, snowboarding, freestyle skiing, and more. Currently, the app, which is available to download in the Meta Quest 2 app store, offers viewers a chance to relive the excitement of the Games with on demand coverage of six top sports, as well as features and highlights for an additional 10 sports.

“Cosm has been a great partner in the design, development and execution of this ground-breaking project to deliver live 8K streams in a VR telepresence experience to viewers nationwide” said Zane Vella, Vice President, Audience Development and Innovation, Comcast Cable.

“Cosm is thrilled to have worked with NBC Sports and Comcast to deliver this first-of-its-kind activation. Our goal was to give fans the feeling of being there, and we delivered,” said Cosm President and CEO Jeb Terry. “We showcased our first-in-class capability for delivering real-time sports content via ultra-high resolution 8K streaming, and also set the stage for the future of immersive entertainment. It was an honor to work with partners like NBC Sports and Comcast who continually strive to improve and innovate the fan experience.”

“What was truly unique about this work with the innovative NBC Sports and Comcast team was leveraging technology for live and on-demand videos, encoding them as OMAF-based “tiled” video streams, a format that makes delivery of ultra-high resolution 8K video streams possible to viewer headsets. This historic first for 8K 180-degree resolution feeds delivers the most immersive experience ever seen in live VR sports,” said Cosm Chief Product and Technology Officer Devin Poolman.

About NBC Sports
NBC Sports connects people to the moments that matter most and serves sports fans 24/7 with premier live events, insightful studio shows, and compelling original programming. The sports media company presents premier content across linear platforms NBC, USA Network, Golf Channel, and Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, as well numerous digital sites, including Peacock. It also consists of NBC Sports Next, a subdivision of NBC Sports and home to all NBCUniversal digital applications in sports and technology within its three groups: Youth & Recreational Sports, Golf, and Betting & Gaming. NBC Sports possesses an unparalleled collection of media rights agreements, partnering with some of the most prestigious sports properties in the world: the International Olympic Committee and United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, the NFL, NASCAR, INDYCAR, PGA TOUR, The R&A, PGA of America, USGA, Churchill Downs, Premier League, Tour de France, Roland-Garros, and many more.

App scene
Camera installation
Cosm crew discusses camera
App scene

Cosm Studios is Proud to Partner With Baobab Studios

Cosm Studios is Proud to Partner With Baobab Studios

Cosm Studios partners with Baobab Studios to bring NAMOO to planetarium and fulldome theaters globally

Cosm Studios announced it will enter an exclusive agreement with Baobab Studios to distribute Erick Oh’s acclaimed animated short, Namoo, to planetariums and fulldome theaters around the world. Baobab Studios has created a 360 fulldome experience adapted from the VR version of Namoo for Cosm.

NAMOO is a narrative poem brought to life through hand-crafted animation. Inspired by the passing of the director’s grandfather, NAMOO – which translates to “tree” in Korean – follows the beautiful and heartbreaking moments of a man’s life, from beginning to end. It was written and directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Erick Oh (OPERA) and marks his most personal and ambitious work to date. The film was produced by nine-time Emmy Award-winning Baobab Studios, executive produced by John Cho and produced by Larry Cutler, Eric Darnell, Maureen Fan, and Kane Lee. The film was named one of the 15 shortlisted films by the Academy, was nominated for two Annie Awards, was named Best Animated Short from the 2022 Gold List Awards, and was nominated for a Producers Guild of America (PGA) Innovation Award. The theatrical version of the short has been acquired by Warner 150 and is now streaming on HBO Max, and the VR experience is currently available on Meta Quest.

“Baobab is one of the most respected animation studios in our industry,” said Neil Carty, Head of Cosm Studios. “These creative content producers are known for their immersive storytelling and diverse characters. We look forward to our collaboration as we bring Namoo out of the headset and into planetariums and fulldome theaters where audiences will have an opportunity to experience the film together in 360 for the first time.”

“The vision Baobab shares with Cosm to uniquely transform Namoo for planetariums and domes around the entire globe marries our love of both the theatrical and immersive collective viewing experiences in the most awe-inspiring way we can imagine as filmmakers,” said Kane Lee, Baobab Studios’ Head of Content. “We couldn’t be more excited to kick off our collaboration with Cosm than with a project that at its core not only embraces art and innovation, but the full human experience.”

About Baobab Studios
Founded by Maureen Fan, Eric Darnell, and Larry Cutler in 2015, nine-time Emmy® Award-winning Baobab Studios is the world’s leading independent interactive animation studio. With a mission to inspire you to dream and bring out your sense of wonder by making you matter, Baobab Studios has released eight projects to date — INVASION!; ASTEROIDS!; JACK CROW: THE LEGEND; BONFIRE; BABA YAGA; PAPER BIRDS; and NAMOO — all to critical acclaim and commercial success. Named Fast Company’s 2018 Most Innovative Company, its awarding winning works (traditional, VR, and AR) have been viewed millions of times and have starred such diverse talents as John Legend, Oprah, Kate Winslet, Jennifer Hudson, Glenn Close, Daisy Ridley, Constance Wu, Diego Luna, Liza Koshy, Tye Sheridan, Elizabeth Banks, Ethan Hawke, Lupita Nyong’o, Ali Wong and Edward Norton. The studio’s IP is currently being adapted into books (MacMillan, Penguin Random House), film (Roth/Kirsch, Disney), original series with the premium streamers, and games. Recently the studio announced a deal with Disney+ to develop an animated anthology series called THE WITCHVERSE, based on the Emmy-winning VR short film, BABA YAGA.

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"NAMOO" on Cosm Experience Center dome
"NAMOO" on Cosm Experience Center dome
"NAMOO" poster

“Atlas of a Changing Earth” Explores Earth’s Future

“Atlas of a Changing Earth” Explores Earth’s Future

New documentary brings together the power of supercomputers and the detail of satellite images mapping every square meter of Earth to visualize our planet’s future in the wake of climate change

A new immersive documentary, Atlas of a Changing Earth, explores how images from space are shedding new light on our planet’s evolution in the wake of rising global temperatures. Atlas of a Changing Earth is being distributed by Cosm Studios and is available for booking now as a 24-minute fulldome show for planetariums, museums and science centers, and as a 50-minute, 4K flat screen show for television and streaming distribution worldwide.

The show has already been booked by several museums, including Museum of the Rockies and Morehead Planetarium, and it will be featured on Amazon Prime Video and distributed to broadcast television in Europe through TVF International.

Atlas of a Changing Earth is being featured at a number of upcoming festivals and industry events. It was screened at Dome Fest West in Los Angeles, Oct. 8–10, 2021, where it was honored as Best Environmental Film. It has also been selected to be shown at IEEE’s VIS 2021 virtual forum Oct. 24-29, and the Minsk International Fulldome Festival Oct 14-17 in the Republic of Belarus. ACM SIGGRAPH, a virtual event in 2021 available through Oct. 29, features excerpts from Atlas of a Changing Earth in its program.

Taking viewers into the dynamic processes that cause coastal glaciers to melt, Atlas of a Changing Earth and explores how rising seas could threaten coastlines around the world. Satellite imagery is being used to map every square meter of the planet, providing a highly detailed view of remote areas of the world like Antarctica and Greenland. The cutting-edge visuals in Atlas of a Changing Earth were produced by the confluence of new satellite mapping techniques and the power of supercomputer visualizations, revealing Earth in a degree of precise detail scarcely imagined a generation ago.

Atlas of a Changing Earth is directed by Thomas Lucas of Thomas Lucas Productions and produced by Mike Bruno, Dr. Donna J. Cox, Robert Patterson and Bradley Thompson. It builds on the success of two award-winning Earth science shows distributed by Spitz and Evans & Sutherland: Dynamic Earth: Exploring Earth’s Climate Engine (2012) and Birth of Planet Earth (2019). It also reunites the accomplished team that worked on those successful shows — for their final collaboration.

After the completion of Atlas of a Changing Earth this year, Bruno, the director of Spitz Creative Media, retired after 39 years with Spitz, and Cox retired after 36 years at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a Professor of Art & Design and Director of the Advanced Visualization Lab (AVL). Their documentaries have been distributed to over 150 planetaria in a dozen languages.

Atlas of a Changing Earth premiered at Spitz Digital Institute 2021 and screened on the Evans & Sutherland DomeX LED dome system at The Cosm Experience Center in Salt Lake City, where participants in the Digistar Users Group (DUG) meeting October 4-8 were able to view it. Cosm CEO and President Jeb Terry, Jr. says, “This show is cutting-edge digital cinema, so it’s only fitting to feature it on DomeX, the world’s first 8K immersive LED dome.”

In Atlas of a Changing Earth, audiences will see how scientists can now track and predict changes in ice coverage in detail through a combination of time-lapse footage and climate model simulations. This technology enables viewers to experience the impact sea rise could have on coastal cities around the world through flood simulations. Atlas of a Changing Earth also takes audiences underneath a glacier to show how ocean currents can melt even massive ice sheets.

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) contributed hundreds of thousands of hours of supercomputing time to produce the stunning images in the show. Kalina Borkiewicz, Principal Research Programmer for the NCSA explains, “Supercomputing is one of the only ways to process the huge amounts of complex data required to make predictions about our future climate and to accurately show the fascinating intricacies of the present glacier melt.”

These compelling visualizations help audiences better understand the potential impacts of climate change. Brad Thompson, Animation/CG Director for Cosm Studios says, “Science can be complex, and people rely on the theaters and institutions that show this content to help them understand it.” Thompson’s fulldome credits include award-winning productions “Dynamic Earth,” “Black Holes: the Other Side of Infinity” and “Supervolcanoes,” and he shares that he learns something new himself with every show he works on. “This time, working on the flood simulator, I learned how much water is tied up ice sheets and glaciers, and how little sea rise it would take to devastate coastal cities. It’s common knowledge that climate change can cause sea levels to rise. But seeing flooding in Miami and Amsterdam visualized in Atlas of a Changing Earth allows viewers to understand and experience the devastation rising seas would create,” says Thompson.

“This documentary is so timely and important,” says Borkiewicz, “because Atlas of a Changing Earth conveys the extent to which climate change has already altered the environment. But it also demonstrates that there is still time to act. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions now can protect polar ice sheets while slowing the floods, wildfires and extreme weather events caused by climate change.”

Atlas of a Changing Earth is narrated by actress January LaVoy, best known for her role as Noelle Ortiz-Stubbs on the long-running ABC daytime drama One Life to Live. The documentary is a co-production of the Advanced Visualization Lab at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications/University of Illinois, Spitz Creative Media, NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio and documentary producer Thomas Lucas. Principal collaborators include Ohio State’s Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, University of Minnesota’s Polar Geospatial Center, the University of Illinois Blue Waters Project, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the National Science Foundation.

"Atlas of a Changing Earth" poster
Still from "Atlas of a Changing Earth"
Evans & Sutherland Shares the Future of Giant Screen Cinema at GSCA Virtual Film Expo, Spotlights DomeX Immersive Experience

Evans & Sutherland Shares the Future of Giant Screen Cinema at GSCA Virtual Film Expo, Spotlights DomeX Immersive Experience

We’ve long been a supporter of, and an advocate for the Giant Screen Cinema community, and we’re incredibly excited for what the future holds.

So, it was our pleasure for Evans & Sutherland, a Cosm Company, to spotlight our groundbreaking advances in immersive innovation for the Giant Screen Cinema community at the GSCA Virtual Film Expo last week.  As the show’s exclusive Virtual Partner, we presented technical advances in content and dome display from the Cosm Experience Center’s DomeX, our new 20-meter diameter 8K LED immersive dome on the campus of the E&S global headquarters.

There’s never been a more important time to support the Giant Screen Cinema community. As GSCA theaters have adapted to the challenges of the pandemic in the last year, we have invested deeply in the future success of the industry by developing innovations that will impact their long-term success and appeal to audiences.

An impactful, new audience experience: In a specially produced virtual tour of DomeX, we proudly provided a comprehensive overview of the dome system, delivering a more immersive and first-of-its-kind user experience. With the LED immersive dome, audiences view richer, deeper, and more accurate colors, while benefiting from unparalleled brightness and contrast levels.  As the embodiment of next-generation LED immersive experiences, DomeX is the only one of its kind in the world, and a key investment in our unwavering support industry.

A display to transport your audiences: Over the years of DomeX development, we have carefully considered engineering the best possible display.  Until now, all dome displays consisted of a projection system and reflective screen service.  Audiences were subject to quality of display that was only as good as the projector and screen used.  With the DomeX LED immersive dome, we have improved the user experience immensely and transport the audience to another dimension, thanks to the 8K display.

From “Cosm black” to brightness. Other structural and design improvements of DomeX also contribute to the user experience.  As an example, because the DomeX’s panels are matte black, cross-reflection is virtually eliminated.    Likewise, the brightness of a DomeX dome is an astonishing 150 foot-lamberts, ten times brighter than the current cinema standard.  In terms of audio, sound is able to pass through the perforated panels, creating a truly wow moment for audiences.

Limitless content possibilities: For the Giant Screen Cinema operator, there’s virtually no limit to content possibilities with new, emerging opportunities to make programs more immediate, more local, more diverse, and more relevant to theaters.

Evans & Sutherland is constantly striving to advance technology and ultimately, audience excitement about immersive cinema. We’re hopeful our investments in Giant Screen Cinema impact the success of GSC theaters, as we push visual fidelity as never before.

We hope you’re as excited about the future of the Giant Cinema Screen industry as we are, and we hope to see you in person at future shows and industry events.  We encourage and welcome you to visit DomeX in person and see for yourself how we’re revolutionizing the dome experience.

E&S Director of Business Development Scott Huggins presents from DomeX at the Cosm Experience Center for GSCA Virtual Film Expo 2021

Scott Huggins, Director of Business Development for E&S, virtually presents the future of Giant Screen Cinema to GSCA from Cosm Experience Center’s DomeX.

E&S Executive Vice President & General Manager Kirk Johnson with Cosm CEO Jeb Terry in front of DomeX immersive LED dome at the Cosm Experience Center

“As industry innovators and the leaders in dome display, we see investment in Giant Screen Cinema as central to our mission.  We’re excited about the future of technology and constantly improving audience experiences.”  – Kirk Johnson, E&S Executive Vice President and General Manager, pictured with Cosm CEO Jeb Terry in front of the DomeX immersive LED Dome at the Cosm Experience Center at E&S HQ in Salt Lake City. 

Our takeaways from The Society of German-Speaking Planetaria (GDP) Annual Meeting

Our takeaways from The Society of German-Speaking Planetaria (GDP) Annual Meeting

The future of LED display tech is here

Evans & Sutherland, a Cosm company, was honored to sponsor The Society of German-Speaking Planetaria (GDP) Annual Meeting on April 18. The virtual gathering marked the kickoff of show season in our industry this year to share our technology and enthusiasm for planetariums.

Some takeaways from the show:

The future of LED display tech is here.  First, the virtual format gave us a terrific opportunity to showcase DomeX at our Cosm Experience Center in Salt Lake City. DomeX is a 20-meter diameter 8K LED immersive dome and the only one of its kind in the world. We see this technological marvel as a giant step forward, improving the user experience by delivering rich, deep and accurate colors, as well as brightness and contrast levels never before achieved.

With our partner Cosm company, Spitz, we designed the dome structure to allow panel alignment down to the width of a human hair, while still maintaining easy access and removal of panels, if needed.  We at E&S and Spitz are continually researching and innovating to drive the future of LED display technology.  As travel allows, we hope you’ll visit DomeX in person and see for yourself how we’re revolutionizing the dome experience.

Digistar 7 is new and improved to make your shows amazing. At GDP, we were happy to share an update on our seventh iteration of our core 3D rendering engine, Digistar, which shows real-time rendered environments and live-streamed and recorded videos.  We’ve made the world’s best planetarium software even better with new features like MicroCosmos, SkyID, biodiversity plug-ins, and an improved Show Builder.

NanoSeam enhances the viewing experience for audiences worldwide. The show also provided a foundation to profile our Spitz NanoSeam dome installations.  Since 2007, NanoSeam domes have been the most popular choice for planetariums and remain so today, with more than 30 new installations and re-panels since the start of last year. Customers tell us they love the seamless immersive experience made available by Nanoseam technology.  To date, we’ve installed more than 250 NanoSeam screens throughout the world, including Berlin, Amberg, and Heilbronn in the German-speaking region.

The pandemic didn’t stop us from welcoming new users into the family. Despite the pandemic, we’ve been fortunate to install a dozen new and upgraded Digistar sites in Europe this past year, including Curiosum, the new science center in Umeå, Planetarium Hamburg, Tycho Brahe Planetarium, and more to demonstrate our leading technology and know-how. We hope you’ll have a chance to visit them soon.

Get ready for great, new shows to share with your visitors. Our creators have been working diligently to produce inspiring and engaging full dome content, including Atlas of a Changing Earth and Black Hole: First Picture, which premiere later this year.  We’ve had a sneak preview and know audiences will love them.  Stay tuned!

How can we help you power your experience? If you’d like a virtual tour of DomeX at the Cosm Experience Center or to take another look at our Digistar 7 features, you’ll find them on our E&S GDP site. We hope you’re as excited about the future of our industry as we are and looking forward to seeing you at coming shows.

Exterior of planetarium at Curiosum in Umeå, Sweden
Digistar 7 imagery on the dome at Tycho Brahe Planetarium in Copenhagen, Denmark
Hamburg Planetarium