The Sky Tonight Update: Full Moon

full moon

The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 21:09 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Hunters Moon because at this time of year the leaves are falling and the game is fat and ready to hunt. This moon has also been known as the Travel Moon and the Blood Moon.

Let’s Make a Planetarium Show: Part 10 – End Result and Live Version

Everything that we’ve covered thus far has been about how to create an automated, in-the-can, movie-style, Sky Tonight show.  We, of course, also do Live Sky Tonight shows as well.  Both the Live and Auto versions of the Sky Tonight show are two very different beasts, requiring different methods of production.

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Let’s Make a Planetarium Show: Part 9 – Surround Sound FX and Music

If you’re in space and a huge chunk of rock zips right past you, would it make a sound?  No, because there’s nothing in space to carry those sound waves.  However, for years, sound designers have taken many liberties with outer space audio effects.  I have to admit, I take the same liberties from time to time.

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The Sky Tonight Update: Draconids Meteor Shower

Draconids Meteor Shower

The Draconids is a minor meteor shower producing only about 10 meteors per hour. It is produced by dust grains left behind by comet 21P Giacobini-Zinner, which was first discovered in 1900. The Draconids is an unusual shower in that the best viewing is in the early evening instead of early morning like most other showers. The shower runs annually from October 6-10 and peaks this year on the the night of the 8th.

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Let’s Make a Planetarium Show: Part 7 – After Effects

At this point I have an audio track (usually still without music) and all of my scenes and photography stuff rendered and ready to be compiled within After Effects.  It’s within AE that I can crossfade scenes, add any additional video or image elements, warp text or images, create complementary transitions between scenes or pictures, create a dome mask, title sequences, etc.

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Let’s Make a Planetarium Show: Part 6 – Fulldome Photography

One thing I like doing is adding a local segment to a Sky Tonight show.  What better way to do that than to show the audience an actual image or timelapse from a well-known location that they can actually go to.

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Let’s Make a Planetarium Show: Part 5 – Animation and Rendering

When it comes to making animations for any type of show, it’s helpful to use storyboards.

Storyboards help you find a direction as opposed to staring at a blank page or screen waiting for inspiration to strike.  I do storyboards for all my scenes throughout the length of the dialogue.

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Let’s Make a Planetarium Show: Part 4 – Editing Audio and Music

Getting the right voice-over and music for a planetarium show is essential.  If the voice-over artist records a performance that’s too “dry” like they’re reading out of a legal journal, then you’re going to lose the audience.  If the music is too “busy,” then it will distract from the show.  I was very careful in who I chose to do our Sky Tonight narration and when it comes to music I’m extremely particular.  The sound is vital to any type of show.  And it’s this process that I found the most taxing on my patience.

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Let’s Make a Planetarium Show: Part 3 – Digital Sky Animation

The first time I ever went to a planetarium was when I was in second grade.  It was on a field trip and I remember the show dealt with a private detective investigating something dealing with the stars.  I remember this because I had always wanted to have a job like Sherlock Holmes.  So, when I got a job at the planetarium I assumed that all the shows would revolve around a static star field and maybe a half-hour presentation on some of the planets you can find from your backyard.  How wrong I was.

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