Make no mistake, OmniFocus projection fully supports fulldome systems – whether with a single channel or multiple edge-blended projectors. We have a broad range of fulldome installations, from planetariums to experiential marketing activations and more. But we’ll always ask our clients to consider truncated projection, and here’s why.

Higher Efficiency with Truncated Projection

Single projector systems are much more efficient when using truncated projection. The image below illustrates why.  Fulldome projection (orange) is limited to the vertical resolution of the panel, while truncated projection (blue) uses the full horizontal resolution.  For a typical 16×10 aspect ratio, this translates to 67% higher resolution and brightness in the image.

Experience Design with Truncated Screen Shapes

As a rule of thumb, fulldome projection is optimized for concentric seating, while truncated projection is optimized for theatrical seating where all the audience is facing forward. Fulldome projection into a 180° hemisphere puts all the image above the audience.  While this is great for night sky astronomy, it forces the subject matter to be at the top center of the dome which is not ideal for many immersive experiences – especially feet-on-the-ground stories like walking through the pyramids of Egypt, understanding geological features, or walking through 360° spaces in client design reviews. Truncated screen shapes allow us to use theatrical seating with the audience all facing forward, and further allows us to extend the screen below the audience horizon. This greatly enhances the storytelling capabilities. With the exception of the Evolver, all GeoDome screens extend below the horizon, vastly improving the audience’s sense of presence.  Many modern dome theaters use theatrical seating combined with a tilted fulldome to compensate for the limitations of fulldome projection.  This provides some image below the audience (in front).  On the other hand, the image quickly moves above their horizon and the rear 25% of the screen is rarely even seen at all!  Rather than trying to force fulldome projection to work with theatrical seating, we recommend considering truncated instead.