Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have fulldome videos with X by Y dimensions?

Probably, and you can create a specialized size to suit your needs.

All videos for sale here (DomeSavers », DomeLoops », and DomeArts ») are delivered as standard MP4 video files containing both video and (sometimes) audio. They contain “circle movies” with a square video area with a circular area of color that’s pre-warped for projection through a fisheye lens. The dimensions available are:

  • 1080 x 1080
  • 1920 x 1920
  • 2048 x 2048 (‘2K’)
  • 3072 x 3072 (‘3K’)
  • 4096 x 4096 (‘4K’)

If you don’t see your specific size, then you may be able to adjust the size using the instructions described here:  Resizing a Fulldome Video »

Order the video that’s the next size larger than what you want, and resize that down to fit your dome. You could try to “up-size” a video, but it will be very blurry.

Do you support videos for <my dome projector make/model>?

Probably. At the very least we can get there from here.  The number of unique formats out there would boggle your mind.  Fortunately, many of the newer projection systems accept fairly standard formats.  As for the specific formats supported here, what you see is what you get.

Check with your projection system vendor whether these videos can be played through your projection system. Even if they don’t support MP4 files directly, it’s very likely that they can help you convert it.  They may even be willing to send you the software that they use to convert videos for your projector. If you’re not sure, then ask them.  They’re nice people, they like you, and they want you to be happy.

A few if-thens may help you answer the question yourself:

If you have a single-projector system, then it’s very likely that you can play these videos on it without modification.

If you’re using VLC from VideoLan » to run shows, then it’ll work just fine. This is also true if you have the VLCWarper plugin offered by Loch Ness Productions ». You’ll probably want to download the 1920 x 1920 videos. The only issue you’re likely to encounter is that the bit-rate of the video files might be too high. You can fix that by generating a new video file with a lower bit-rate (see explanation »).

If you have a multi-projector system, then you may have to generate a dome master » and then ‘slice’ the video before playing. Some higher-end systems can do that on-the-fly, but all such systems have utilities that accept a dome master or video file and produce the correct files to be played on each projector. (Check with your projection system vendor if you’re not sure.)

My video player opens the file okay, but then things get all blocky, streaky, or freeze up.

That usually means your computer can’t decompress the video fast enough. It’s doing the best it can, but it just can’t keep up.

There are two ways to work around this issue:

  • The videos sold here are shipped in MP4 files with the quality settings turned up high. You may have to generate a version of the file that has a lower bitrate (see explanation »)
  • Generate a dome master from the original file (see explanation »)

Can you send me the dome master for format X by Y?

No, but you can generate one yourself! It’s not hard.

A “dome master” is really just a series of JPG or PNG image files, each corresponding to a single frame in the video. There are free tools that can take in a video file and produce precisely that. I’ve written a page that explains how: “Creating a Dome Master from a MOV or MP4 file” ».

My downloads keep failing. What should I do?

Well, that happens sometimes. If you have a good, solid internet connection, then it really shouldn’t happen very often. If you don’t have a good, fast internet connection, then you’ll probably need to find one. Yes, the video files are very large. The 4K files can easily exceed a gigabyte or five. They’re already compressed (MP4), so there’s not much that we can do on that front without sacrificing image quality. The files themselves are stored in the Amazon Cloud (Simple Storage Service & Cloudfront), so the reliability on that end isn’t an issue (usually).

If you keep having repeated failures, first check to see that you you have a very reliable network connection. If you do, then you can check to see if Amazon Simple Storage Service (US Standard) (a.k.a., “S3”) or the Amazon CDN (“Cloudfront”) are experiencing problems ». If they are, then you’ll have to wait for the issue to clear on their end.

If it’s none of those things, then send an email to “support at digitalchaotics dot com” explaining your problem. We’ll see what we can do. We might just have to send you a hard drive via FedEx (an extra charge, unfortunately).

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