Portfolio & Projects
Media Video/Images/PDFs
Course: Interactive and Immersive Cinema

This elective will be offered semester 1 or 2- 2011, most likely in combination with the Immersive real-time 3D applications with Unity 3D elective.

SOMA 2860
Units of Credit: 6
Contact hours per week 3

Volker Kuchelmeister

How to enrol:
Send an email to kuchel@unsw.edu.au detailing which year/course you are enrolled in, your student ID, and briefly describing your background and relevant skills and experience.
Note that numbers will be limited.

Who can join?
The course is open to undergraduate (2nd year minimum) and postgraduate students from any degree or faculty.
There are no strict prerequisite courses, but students are required to have sufficient practical experience with a relevant tools or technology to allow meaningful contribution to the course. This could be one or more of the following, (but is not limited to):

• Practical experience in location video and sound recording
• Post processing with After Effects, FinalCutPro and QuickTime
• Audio editing and post processing with Adobe Soundbooth or Apple Soundtrack
• Modeling or animating in Maya or 3DS Max
• Authoring in Quartz Composer

Course Summary:

Digital cinema opened up new horizons in film production: new techniques, new audiences, new languages make films more and more all embracing.
Some of the areas benefiting from those advances is virtual/cultural heritage, museological education and immersive entertainment. It is now possible to offer audiences telepresent experiences that are unprecedented in their level of realism and immersive qualities. 360º global video recording, multi-channel sound, immersive projection environments and new concepts in interactivity and narratives go way beyond the traditional passive movie watching experience.
This lab-based course will provide an introduction into Immersive Interactive Cinema and technologies and will give students the opportunity to work in small groups on a mixed-reality immersive cinema project for the iCinema Research Centre iDome platform. On completion, the works will be exhibited in the iCinema Scientia facility.
We will use the omni-directional camera system Ladybug and multi-channel directional sound recording equipment for on location capture and After Effects for post production and compositing. Apple Quartz Composer, a node based graphic application development environment, will be used for presentation, interactivity and playback on screen and in the iDome.

Spherical Camera Ladybug 2, Video still

iDome installations. BackOBourke, iCinema Centre

How to enroll ?
Send an email to kuchel@unsw.edu.au detailing which year/course you are enrolled in, your student ID, and briefly describing your background and relevant skills and experience.
Once you've done this, the student centre will be notified of your right to enroll in the course.
Note that numbers will be limited.

Video: Omni Directional Capture and Playback Systems

Video: iDome platform and applications

Course Aims:
The aim of this course is to introduce the students to immersive visualisualisation concepts and technologies and provide an opportunity to use this knowledge in the production of mixed-reality installation.

Student learning outcomes
• Awareness of the cultural and historic context of immersive imagery
• Acquire knowledge in fisheye, panoramic and spherical projections and image acquisition
• Compositing and post-production of ultra-high resolution spherical imagery
• Basic Multi-track sound editing and processing
• Basic skills in Quartz Composer, 3D graphic and OpenGL
• Experience in conceptualising interactive immersive applications
• Effective communication of ideas and work in a small team

Graduate Attributes Developed in this Course
• Demonstrate the ability to engage in collaborative endeavors.
• The ability to critically and constructively resolve problems and issues.
• Continue to acquire, practice, develop and evaluate skills and the application of new technologies to enhance communication in a range of ways.

Approach to learning and teaching/ Teaching Strategies
After the initial introduction and demonstrations, this course will take on the character of a workshop. A relative large amount of time is set aside to go on location and capture 360º footage with the Ladybug and 4-channel directional sound. This will be a team effort and each student in the group will be assigned with a task (production, directing, camera control, sound recording, …). The lecturer will be on location as an observer and to help out if there are technical problems or for advice if it is needed.
Back in the lab, the students will get an introduction to After Effects for image post processing, Adobe Soundbooth or Apple Soundtrack for multi-track sound editing and Quartz Composer to author the project. Each student has to take on a task in this team effort so all the assets can be integrated in the final application.


Assessment task Due date Weight
Attendance and participation in group project na 30%
Project proposal and pitch to be announced 30%
Project outcome to be announced 40%

Please refer to this URL for the general UNSW assessment policy.

Please refer to this URL for the general UNSW plagiarism policy


Week 1 Welcome and introduction to immersive cinema.
History (Panorama Mesdag in The Hague, Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, ..)
Immersive cinematic formats, Cinerama, iMax, Planetariums, …

Week 2 iCinema projects showcase at the Scientia Facility

Week 3 Projections (panoramic, spherical, cube, fisheye,...) and more examples

Week 4 Introduction to Quartz Composer

Week 5 Presentation Assignment 1
Introduction Ladybug camera system and 4 channel sound recording

Week 6 On location shoot

Week 7 On location shoot

Week 8 On location shoot

Week 9 Compositing and editing After Effects

Week 10 Compositing and editing After Effects

Week 11 Implementation in Quartz Composer

Week 12 Presentation final projects/Assignment 2


We will be working mainly in a CoFA Mac lab with Apple Quartz Composer and After Effects CS4.
If students own a Apple Mac (Mac OS X 10.5 is minimum), it is worth installing the free Apple Developer Tools which include Quartz Composer.



Electronic resources:
iDome: http://www.icinema.unsw.edu.au/projects/infra_dome.html
Spherecam: http://www.icinema.unsw.edu.au/projects/infra_spherecam_1.html
Project Conversation@the Studio: http://www.icinema.unsw.edu.au/projects/prj_convostudio_1.html
Project Historical Darling River Journey: http://www.icinema.unsw.edu.au/projects/prj_bourke.html
Project There is still time, brother: http://www.icinema.unsw.edu.au/projects/prj_wooster.html
Project Eavesdrop: http://www.icinema.unsw.edu.au/projects/prj_eavesdrop.html
• P. Bourke, Warp Mesh Patch For Quartz Composer: http://local.wasp.uwa.edu.au/~pbourke/miscellaneous/domemirror/warppatch/index.html
• P. Bourke, Dome Projection Using A Spherical Mirror: http://local.wasp.uwa.edu.au/~pbourke/miscellaneous/domemirror/index.html


Oettermann, Stephan. The panorama :history of a mass medium. 1997.
UNSW/COFA Library: CFA 751.74/1 / SQ 751.7409/1
"The significance of panorama painting in the nineteenth century is frequently cited in contemporary debates about visuality and the emergence of the modern spectator. Stephan Oettermann's The Panorama is the first major historical study to appear in English of the rich phenomenon of the panorama, one of the most influential forms of visual entertainment in the nineteenth century. In this richly illustrated book Oettermann gives readers a concrete sense of the structural and experiential reality of the panorama, and the many forms it took throughout Europe and North America" -- amazon.com

Grau, Oliver. Virtual Art. From Illusion to Immersion. 2003.
UNSW/COFA Library: CFA 751.7401.1
In this book Oliver Grau shows how virtual art fits into the art history of illusion and immersion. He describes the metamorphosis of the concepts of art and the image and relates those concepts to interactive art, interface design, agents, telepresence, and image evolution. Grau retells art history as media history, helping us to understand the phenomenon of virtual reality beyond the hype.

Crary, Jonathan. Techniques of the observer: on vision and modernity in the nineteenth century.1992.
UNSW/COFA Library: CFA 701.15/43 B / 701.15/44
"Crary outlines a genealogy of vision that challenges some standard assumptions about the history of film, photography, and modernist art. He argues against a continuity of Renaissance traditions, and for an abrupt break from classical models early in the 19th century." -- Booknews

Crary, Jonathan. Suspensions of perception: attention, spectacle, and modern culture. 1999.
UNSW/COFA Library: CFA 153.7/5 / P 153.7/76
"Is human vision universal and largely unchanging, or historically conditioned? What happened to the Western understanding of vision when the camera obscura, a simple pinhole camera popular in the 17th and 18th centuries gave way to the Kodak? Columbia University art historian Crary brings a multidisciplinary approach to such questions, and though his work is densely written for an academic audience, it can be fun to read if only for the illustrations of such wacky 19th-century optical toys and devices as the phenakistiscope and the Kaiserpanorama." -- amazon.com

Comment, Bernhard. The Panorama. 2003.
ISBN: 1861891237
"Invented in 1788, panoramas -- vast circular canvases designed to be viewed from centrally placed platforms -- reached the height of their popularity at the time of the 1900 Universal Exhibition. Attracting crowds of admirers in the cities in which they were installed, the more ambitious panoramas drew on the skill of specialist painters to achieve the utmost verisimilitude. This superbly illustrated volume is the first to chart this artistic phenomenon in depth." -- amazon.com

Comment, Bernard. The Painted Panorama. 2000.
ISBN: 0810943654
"Panoramas-immense paintings, often in the round-were enormously popular during the 19th century, both in Europe and in America. Illustrated with hundreds of colorplates, including seven large double gatefolds, Bernard Comment's incisive and detailed study traces the history of an unusual art form, placing these elaborate 360-degree paintings in a full historical, social, and cultural context." -- amazon.com