Hi everybody,


I'm posting here some tests renderings using a domemaster lens shader for mental ray that allows for 3D steroscopic images.

It's still a work in progress, and I'd like to make this an open effort, posting all the info, research, user interface, and the source code (later on).


A quick intro about myself. I've been working on computer graphics for too long now, and while I used to be a developer (15 years ago), I'm now mainly doing 3D content. I started evaluating the possibility of steroscopic domemaster images after I was asked by Terry Galloway at the Chabot Space and Science Center in CA to do some research.


I started with Daniel F. Ott Angular fisheye shader, and expanded (a lot) from there.
Daniel's shader can be found here, and it is also included in the DLL I will post soon.


This shader starts from the camera position, and creates two virual cameras (left and right, renderable one at a time) that rotate, constantly looking at the specific point of the dome matching the current rendered pixel.
The shader supports horizontal and vertical domes, and any degree of tilt in-between.


Here are two samples of Center, Left, and Right images, in vertical and horizontal mode.

It's not easy to see the differences here, but look below at the test stereo pairs.


The Center image would match Daniel's shader, but it has a different orientation, as I use some tricks to rotate the coordinate system 90 degrees. The current orientation matches the camera viewport, so it's extremely intuitive to setup the camera.


Of course, withouth some restrictions, this system will creates distortion points and areas where the 3D effect is wrong, reversed, or misaligned. The shader allows the use of maps to control the cameras separation (reduce or eliminate 3D effect), head rotation (force some areas to be looked with the head looking straight), and head tilt.


These are sample maps that I'm using for testing.


Using the Turn and Separation maps above, you can see what happens when rendering a simple grid (Red=Right, Green=Left).


The image above is something I would consider for horizontal or slightly tilted domes, where above/behind the viewer head the 3D effect is eliminated to allow the top of the dome to be looked at without turning the head, and the back with fully turned head.


But maps can be used creatively to control any area of the dome. Here, the Turn map above is used in combination with a simple gradient as a Separation map to have 3D only in the front part of the dome.


I think the math is almost there. The User Interface might need some adjustments, and maybe some automatic correction of distorted areas can be used instead of the maps, but the major issue now is to find a way to create proper maps.


Unfortunatley, I don't have any dome at home to try it, so I rely on simulated previews using a 3D concoction in 3ds Max, but that won't let me verify if the head tilt and rotation is set correctly. I think those values can be only found by experimentation on real domes.


These are some samples from the horizontal and verticals samples above. Relax (don't cross) your eyes to see the 3D effect. It helps is you are a bit shortsighted and take you glasses off :)










I will post more tomorrow. If you have any comments, please post.


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The existing domemaster3d stereo shader .dll file would work with Softimage. All that is required for Softimage support is the creation of a .spdl text file that adds the supporting Softimage GUI settings for the shader. The .spdl values for each GUI control would be adapted from the values in the .mi include file.

If you are willing to help with beta testing I could create the Softimage .spdl file.


Andrew Hazelden

Aaron Bradbury said:

Additionally... We have started work on a new stereoscopic fulldome production and have been taking a look at the alternative options for rendering stereoscopic fulldome. We'd love to hear from anyone who could compile the shader for Softimage or even do a version for final Render.


Hi Andrew,

This sounds great. We would be more than happy to help with beta testing. We have to do a lot of testing before we can go into production anyway to be sure things will work across the farm on heavy scenes etc. We're looking at using Softimage for doing some particle work, so this would be our main focus, but we will help any way we can to further develop these tools.

Is this something we should add to the Google Code page? 



I'm happy to see that the shader is used.

There is not much collaboration going on on google code (no updates to my original submission yet), but I'm hopeful things will move forward soon.

I'm probably a bad coordinator for that project :) but work is giving me no rest this year.

Aaron, I saw your issues on the google code page. They are mainly mental ray issues that are beyond our control. There must be something that mental ray does when things are 90 degrees from the camera.

The legacy one is expected. Probably the best fix is to rename our version of the legacy shader.


Hi Aaron and Roberto.

I created a Softimage version of the domemaster3D lens shader. I would really appreciate it if a few users who have access to Softimage could test it and send me feedback. My email address is andrew@andrewhazelden.com

This is my first mental ray shader for Softimage so everything was new to me as I was developing this.

For more details about the shader read the blog post on the Domemaster3D shader for Softimage.


You can download the beta version of the shader here: Domemaster3D-for-Softimage.zip

The download includes the Softimage x64 windows build of the shader packaged as a .xsiaddon, an installation guide, and a few example scenes.

Source Code

The source code is available on the domemaster-stereo-shader Google Code page. The Linux x64 build of the shader is also available from the Google Code page.

Sample Rendering

This is great Andrew. And your tutorial page is very detailed.

Maybe we can reach more softimage users if we send a link to the pages in the Dome-L and Fulldome mailing list.



Great idea Rob!

I am not a member of those groups. Would you be willing to mention it on the mailing lists for me?



Roberto Ziche said:

This is great Andrew. And your tutorial page is very detailed.

Maybe we can reach more softimage users if we send a link to the pages in the Dome-L and Fulldome mailing list.



I'm on it :)


This is excellent news! Virtual high five's all round. Our Creative supervisor will be very excited this morning.

We'll be testing this over the next few weeks, so will get back to you with any issues/feedback.



Today I released version 1.1 of the Domemaster3D shader for Autodesk Maya. It is now possible to render a stereoscopic domemaster preview of your scene right in the Maya render view!

I have included a new Linux x64 compile + makefile, new icons, and a VERY detailed getting started guide. The PDF guide includes details on how to use the domeAFL_FOV_Stereo shader with Maya's native stereo camera rig system and how to use the rob_lookup_background shader to preview your custom camera separation and head turn maps.

Here are the current shaders included with version 1.1 of the domemaster stereo shader for Autodesk Maya:


Domemaster3D shader version 1.1 for Maya (also includes the PDF guide):


Getting_Started_with_the_Domemaster3D_Shader.pdf ( 3.3MB )

For more details about this release check out the blog page on the new version of the shader.

It's great, really a good news for those working with Domemaster3D production ^^

I am happy to announce the Domemaster3D Stereoscopic Fulldome Shader version 1.2 for Autodesk Maya. The new version adds a Domemaster3D shelf, enables the domeAFL_FOV_Stereo FlipX / FlipY options, adds the fulldomeStereoRig.py python script for automatically setting up: a stereoscopic fulldome camera rig, an automatic screen space "file texture" shading network for the separation and head turn maps, and a screen space ramp texture.


You can download the Domemaster3D version 1.2 shader:


New Features Overview:

The Maya Domemaster3D shelf has buttons for the following features:

  • The "AutoMagic" tool creates a Domemaster3D fulldome stereo camera rig and a hemispherical yellow wireframe test scene
  • The "Stereo Rig" tool creates a standard Domemaster3D stereo camera rig
  • The "Dome Texture" tool creates a screen space file texture
  • The "DomeRamp" tool creates a screen space ramp texture
  • The "DomeAFL_FOV" tool creates a standard 2D domeAFL_FOV node + camera
  • The "DomeAFL_WxH" tool creates a standard 2D domeAFL_WxH node + camera

The Image Orientation fields are now enabled:

This version of the shader enables the image orientation Flip X and Flip Y attributes in the domeAFL_FOV_Stereo shader source code. I compiled a new Mac 64-bit, and Windows 32-bit and 64-bit builds of the shader and there is a Linux makefile included for Linux 64-bit users. If you have a chance to try the feature out the flip feature it would be great to get some feedback on it. The Windows versions of the Domemaster3D shader .dll and mental ray .mi include files should also work with recent versions of 3DS Max.

No Flip:

Flip X:

Flip Y:

Flip X & Y:

The Domemaster3D shader in Maya with the Hypershade / Render / Perspective view layout:

This is the Maya Hypershade view with the different Domemaster3D nodes added to the work area:

I have tried Andrew's shader, it's really good and easy to use.

Using this stereo domemaster3D shader, the camera's "Deph of Field" seems can't be used? Is that true?

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