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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Large Format Forum   » IMAX dome vs. flat (Page 1)

 
This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3 
 
Author Topic: IMAX dome vs. flat
Mike Olpin
Chop Chop!

Posts: 1852
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 05-26-2004 02:30 PM      Profile for Mike Olpin   Email Mike Olpin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Which do you prefer? I preffer flat because as far as I can tell you see more of the image. It seems like the domes tend to clip the edges off a little. Also from what I've seen, the domes dont seem to focus as nicely, and have strange distortion in some shots.

Your thoughts?

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Brad Miller
Administrator

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From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 05-26-2004 02:49 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
I find that the IMAX format is generally too tall. We have two eyes side by side, and as such we see "wider" than "taller". As a result, I find the domes more enjoyable simply because I get lost in the film more. With the flat screens, you can see the edges of the screen and that loses some of the effect of such a large image. You will notice most IMAX films are framed to have excess headroom anyway, so the way I have always noticed things, the top part was not necessarily meant to be seen. At least that's my take on it.

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Thomas Jonsson
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 215
From: Bromolla, Sweden
Registered: Sep 2003


 - posted 05-26-2004 03:45 PM      Profile for Thomas Jonsson   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think Imax Dome is great for underwater and
space films. But other types of films suffer
too much from the severe distortion caused by
the dome. Also, the light bouncing around are
washing out details on darker objekts. So in
that case I prefer the flat screen.

But I really enjoy both.

Thomas

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Scott Jentsch
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1001
From: New Berlin, WI, USA
Registered: Apr 2003


 - posted 05-26-2004 04:20 PM      Profile for Scott Jentsch   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Jentsch   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I can't handle the distortion the dome creates on films not created for domes. It's unfortunate that our local museum put in a dome, but I guess it is more "museum-like" to have a dome...

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John Walsh
Film God

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From: Connecticut, USA, Earth, Milky Way
Registered: Oct 1999


 - posted 05-26-2004 05:14 PM      Profile for John Walsh   Email John Walsh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I dislike the dome also, again because of the distortion.

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Mark Lensenmayer
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1572
From: Upper Arlington, OH
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 05-26-2004 05:25 PM      Profile for Mark Lensenmayer   Email Mark Lensenmayer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Films shot especially for the dome look great. Some flat films look good, especially underwater movies. Anything with horizon lines or actually any straight line looks very weird.

Most effective flat film I've seen in a dome was about whales. This giant animal coming out of the murkiness was a terrific scene. A film I saw about stormchasers wasn't good at all on the dome.

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Paul Mayer
Oh get out of it Melvin, before it pulls you under!

Posts: 3833
From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: Feb 2000


 - posted 05-26-2004 05:29 PM      Profile for Paul Mayer   Author's Homepage   Email Paul Mayer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I liked both, both as an operator and as a viewer, but prefer the flat screen for its better focus and lack of distortion. One advantage of working in the typical dome booth is it's quieter than the typical flat screen booth. With the machine up in its doghouse it's actually nice down below, not sounding like the inside of a Vietnam-era Huey gunship on an insert mission. [Smile]

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Ron Lacheur
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 643
From: British Columbia, Canada
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 05-26-2004 05:33 PM      Profile for Ron Lacheur   Email Ron Lacheur   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I prefer the flat IMAX screens. After seeing " Mission to Mir " on the Dome, and when the rocket took off it started to curve sharply to the left, which was very distracting.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
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From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-26-2004 06:38 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I much prefer the flat Large format screen system... can't handle the distortion a dome creates either. Also, no need to say "That I" name here cause there are many other L.F. flat and dome systems out there. Some but very few things look appropriate on a dome system. They are built generally because of lack of space at a facility vs. the amount of space it takes to build a flat screen auditorium.

Brads thought of the flat screen being too tall is somewhat appropriate but "Big I" cameraman are trained to compose differently and to keep action or the center of attraction so to say in the lower third of the frame. Unfortunately some DP's decide not to follow the "Big I's" compositional suggestions and still make use of the whole frame anyway... and then yes, it can be annoying. That top area is mainly intended in composition for slightly exceeding periphial vision.

Mark

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Brian Michael Weidemann
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From: Costa Mesa, CA United States
Registered: Feb 2004


 - posted 05-27-2004 12:47 AM      Profile for Brian Michael Weidemann   Author's Homepage   Email Brian Michael Weidemann   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Relating to "flat" screen IMAX: yes, the "official" horizon mark for framing is about 2/3 down, not the center. The realism of something shot this way is indeed the extended image outside of peripheral. The sky will appear more like sky because it's there, but you don't focus on it. And if you're seated close to the screen (about row 7), as the system is designed (especially for 3D), the screen does extend along the horizontal peripheral quite well also. Of course, if you sit in the back row, you're just going to be watching a big television.

Ever seen an IMAX brand title on DVD? It definitely looks like they didn't frame it correctly ... unless there are titles that have some "formatted to fit your television" cropping and stuff.

I haven't seen enough IMAX dome presentations, but I wasn't too impressed with those I did see. There were marks (seams?) all over that were really noticeable during light scenes. I prefer the "flat".

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

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From: Toronto Ontario Canada
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 - posted 05-27-2004 09:18 AM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The first OmniMax film was Atmos and it looked good on a dome and not so good like like most Omnimax films look distorted on the flat screen.

As for horizon lines and the like one of the old rules of composition is divide the frame into what used to be reffered to as the golden thirds and place the centres of interest on there junctions

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Christian Appelt
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: Frankfurt, Germany
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 - posted 05-27-2004 05:09 PM      Profile for Christian Appelt   Email Christian Appelt   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I understand that many standard IMAX films are shown on dome screens with certain limitations.

But was is not the original concept of IMAX Dome (wasn't it called Omnimax back then?) to use special wide angle lenses in photography to account for the dome projection, while IMAX films were shot with slightly longer focal lengths?
In other words, was it ever intended to run "flat" IMAX on dome screens, or was this just a commercial necessity?

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

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From: Toronto Ontario Canada
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 - posted 05-27-2004 05:49 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Omnimax was developed as a film system for planetariums
yes a fish eye lens is used on the camera for a true omnimax film

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

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From: Bountiful, Utah
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 - posted 05-27-2004 09:08 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, the fisheye on the camera makes it appear properly when projected on the dome, but I can only think of one or possibly two films done exclusively with the fisheye lens. When done right the dome system can definately increase the pukeability of a given scene.

Mark

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Mark J. Marshall
Film God

Posts: 3172
From: New Castle, DE, USA
Registered: Aug 2002


 - posted 05-27-2004 09:47 PM      Profile for Mark J. Marshall     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Can anyone post a scan of a standard flat IMAX frame vs an IMAX dome frame? I'm sure the flat frame looks normal, I'm just wondering what a frame of the dome formatted film looks like.

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