The Immersive Vision Theatre


[pullquote]The thing’s hollow – it goes on forever – and – oh my God – it’s full of stars![/pullquote]

(Clarke 1968)

[row][column size=”1/4″ center=”no” class=””][/column] [column size=”1/4″ center=”no” class=””][/column] [column size=”1/4″ center=”no” class=””][/column] [column size=”1/4″ center=”no” class=””][/column][/row] [divider top=”no” size=”1″] [row][column size=”1/3″ center=”no” class=””]The IVT is a transdisciplinary instrument for the manifestation of (im)material and imaginary worlds. University of Plymouth’s William Day Planetarium (built in 1967) has been reborn as a 40 seat Immersive Vision Theatre (IVT).[/column] [column size=”1/3″ center=”no” class=””]The ‘Fulldome’ architecture now houses a powerful high-resolution projector fitted with a ‘fisheye‘ lens and customised powerful computers to wrap data, models, video and images around its inner surface.[/column] [column size=”1/3″ center=”no” class=””]The IVT is used for a range of learning, entertainment and research activities, including transdisciplinary teaching, bleeding edge research in modelling and data visualisation. [/column][/row] [divider top=”no” size=”1″] [row][column size=”1/3″ center=”no” class=””]

A shared virtual reality… We can fly you to the edge of the observable Universe, through microscopic architectures and nano-landscapes, or immerse you in interactive data-scapes and simulations.

[/column] [column size=”1/3″ center=”no” class=””]We deliver shows for for schools, colleges and community groups and can tailor content to specific learning and curricula requirements.

The IVT delivers regular public shows which can be booked here

or contact for group bookings and project queries:  ivt@plymouth.ac.uk[/column] [column size=”1/3″ center=”no” class=””][/column][/row][divider top=”no” size=”1″]


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Example Research Projects:

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Murmuration was one of the outcomes from the E / M / D / L – EUROPEAN MOBILE DOME LAB for Artistic Research.

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integrates the Quorum algorithmic tools into a real-time geo-located CityScape simulation. [/column] [column size=”1/3″ center=”no” class=””]


Volumetric rendering of a Drosophila, rendering composed of 600 slices at 6 μm…

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The IVT is currently supporting the Environmental Futures and Big Data Impact Lab, assisting Devon-based SMEs with creative thinking to address big data and environmental challenges. This £6.4m part-funded ERDF project is delivered by the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth with the Met Office, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Rothamsted Research, Plymouth College of Art and Exeter City Futures. The University of Plymouth’s partnership is housed in the Sustainable Earth Institute.

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PhD Research

The IVT has supported numerous research and PGR projects including:

[row][column size=”1/4″ center=”no” class=””]Isabella Beyer:

Le Passage – Towards the Concept of a New Knowledge Instrument[/column] [column size=”1/4″ center=”no” class=””]David McConville: 

On the Evolution of the Heavenly Spheres: An Enactive Approach to Cosmography[/column] [column size=”1/4″ center=”no” class=””]Donna Cox: 


involves PGR students from: Coral Manton (i-DAT)/Luke Christison (i-DAT)/Isabella Beyer (Planetary Collegium)/Michael Straeubig (CogNovo).[/column][/row] [/panel]

The extended i-DAT PhD community can be found here: i-dat.org/pgr/
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What is Fulldome?


Fulldome is the term used to describe domed projection environments, traditionally found in planetariums. Fulldomes are not panoramas, CAVEs or Oculus Rifts (although many of the underlying technologies are the same), they provide a unique and highly immersive shared audience experience using single fisheye or multi projector systems. The fulldome is emerging from its planetarium shaped incubator into a brave new world of digital projectors, real-time visualisation software, independent content producers and transdisciplinary collaborations. As these technologies and practices evolve you are just as likely to find a VJ in a dome as you are an astronomer.


[divider top=”no” size=”1″] [row][column size=”1/3″ center=”no” class=””]Example Projects:

[/column] [column size=”1/3″ center=”no” class=””]Services we offer:

  • Fulldome productions
  • VR Productions (VIVE/Oculus/Android, etc)
  • Data visualisation and sonification
  • Tours around the observable universe
  • Workshops (onsite and mobile) in astronomy, animation, graphic design, game making, film, fulldome photography and video, 3D modelling, science education
  • Event venue for digital arts, VJing, fulldome content, live music, performance
  • Lecture space.
  • Training in the creation of fulldome content.
  • Curriculum development and teacher support.
  • Access to tools for the creation of fulldome content.
  • Mobile tours of the universe for: school visits, public events, festivals, outreach
  • Production on tour

[/column][column size=”1/3″ center=”no” class=””]Production Studio:

Fully resourced digital production studio with OS X, Windows and Linux machines running:

  • VR production for VIVE, Oculus Rift, Android (Google Cardboard/Daydream/Gear VR)
  • Uniview (digital atlas of the observable universe by SCISS (http://sciss.se/).
  • Content displaying software includes Resolume, Unity, VVVV, Max MSP, VLC, etc.
  • Development software includes Adobe Master Suite, Fulldome Plugin AE, Unity3D Pro, Blender, Mayer, Ableton, MAX/MSP, PTGui, etc.
  • fisheye camera production and capture.
  • interactive systems, MQTT/OSC control through mobile apps and peripheral equipment (arduinos, sensors, etc).
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IVT Venue:



  • 41 seats, 1 removable for wheelchair access
  • 25 degree tilt
  • truncated fulldome architecture
  • 1400 x 1050 fisheye projector
  • 10.1 spatial sound system
  • Powerful Windows and Mac systems to run visuals
  • Direct laptop input
  • Fulldome production lab including all relevant hardware and software.
  • Foyer for meeting, drinks, and gallery space.
  • Disabled access/toilet.

The IVT delivers regular public shows which can be booked here.

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Inflatable Dome:



  • 2 x Epson Powerlite Projectors with fisheye truncated fisheye lenses
  • or
  • Epson EH-TW9400 Projector and mirror lens configuration
  • Mac Pro tower
  • Windows Laptop
  • Sound system
  • Blower/Fan for inflation.
  • Projector Flight case, Dome bag for transportation
  • Combined weight: 32-38kilos
  • Equipment fits into car boot or back seat.

Set-up/take down:

  • From delivery of all equipment to location setup takes 1 hour, complete pack up takes 30 minutes.
  • Must be setup indoors on a sealed flat floor away from rain and wind, with access to a plug socket.
  • NB: You would need to complete a hire agreement to cover the insurance for the use of the mobile dome.
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William Day Planetarium History:

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IVT (William Day Planetarium) under construction in 1969: 
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Zeiss Starball:


Zeiss Starball, the old optical-mechanical constellation projection system originally installed in the William Day Planetarium. More information on Planetarium projection systems etc can be found here: Le Passage – Towards the Concept of a New Knowledge Instrument by Isabella Beyer.

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Dr Percy Seymour:
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Dr Percy Seymour was the Director of the William Day Planetarium until the early 2000’s. Previously a Senior Lecturer at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, he has published many books and engaged in some interesting debates around cosmic influences. Some of these are discussed here:

Times Higher Education 1996


The Guardian, 2004.

Ad Astra!

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i-DAT Proudly Support FulldomeUK, the international Fulldome festival, http://www.fulldome.org.uk/ 2010/2011/2014/2016/2020…

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i-DAT’s IVT project has been developed in collaboration with:

[row][column size=”1/5″ center=”no” class=””]eviz[/column] [column size=”1/5″ center=”no” class=””]fulldome[/column] [column size=”1/5″ center=”no” class=””]gaianova[/column] [column size=”1/5″ center=”no” class=””]elumen[/column] [column size=”1/5″ center=”no” class=””]Imersa[/column][/row] [row][column size=”1/5″ center=”no” class=””]ACE[/column] [column size=”1/5″ center=”no” class=””]Canadian CA[/column] [column size=”1/5″ center=”no” class=””][/column] [column size=”1/5″ center=”no” class=””]esf[/column] [column size=”1/5″ center=”no” class=””]NSC[/column][/row] [row][column size=”1/5″ center=”no” class=””][/column] [column size=”1/5″ center=”no” class=””][/column] [column size=”1/5″ center=”no” class=””][/column] [column size=”1/5″ center=”no” class=””][/column] [column size=”1/5″ center=”no” class=””][/column] [/row]