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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Hi. I've posted an initial working version of the Vray for Maya Domemaster3D shaders on Github. It can been accessed by opening up the Vray folder:


The Vray Domemaster3D lens shader Wiki is located here:

Domemaster3D Shader Usage

When a DomemasterStereo or LatLongStereo Vray Extra Attribute is added to a camera Shape in Maya and enabled, a custom "Vray translator python script" item is configured automatically and the Maya Render View and Vray Frame Buffer will show the results of rendering with the panoramic lens shaders.

For this first Vray shader update stage I've decided to skip creating an initial Vray Domemaster3D shelf or a custom stereo camera rig since there aren't any complex node connections required.

In my testing of the Vray stereo lens shaders, I was able to use a standard Maya stereo camera rig and assign the center, left and right camera Vray Extra attributes in only a few moments and the lens shaders rendered successfully in the Maya render view with an anaglyph stereo preview.

Note: When using a Maya stereo camera rig it is important to set the interaxial separation to zero and turn the stereo mode to "Off" so the Vray lens shader can control the stereo rendering properties.

Known Issues
The LatLongStereo shader is generally ready to go, but there is still an ongoing issue with mapping the stereo control textures in screen space coordinates when using Vray for Maya that will make it hard to apply the DomemasterStereo shader's regular control texture maps.

A solution to the Maya screen space texture mapping issue has to be found before a turn map can be applied to the DomemasterStereo shader. This is important as the turn map allows you to eliminate a stereoscopic "swirl" effect that can happen in the zenith pole region.

Ongoing Development
An updated version of the lens shaders is planned for release in a few weeks that will improve the camera's ray origin code that should further enhance the lens shader rendering capabilities in scenes with complex camera transformation groupings and hierarchies.

A Vray for 3DS Max GUI version of the Domemaster3D shader is under development but it is not ready for release at this point. Roberto Ziche is working on the 3DS Max integration phase so stay tuned for more details on the 3DS Max porting process.

Hi. Domemaster3D v1.7 is out for Maya/Max + Mental Ray on Github:


Hi. An initial version of the Domemaster3D shaders for Vray on 3DS Max is available on GitHub:


As a note, you need to have the Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 x64 redistributable library installed on your system to use the shader.

You can read the documentation for the VRay shaders here:


Here are two screenshots of the Vray for 3DS Max versions of the Domemaster3D shaders :

There is a new v1.7.2 release for the Domemaster3D for Maya/Max installer.

Some of the notable changes include:

Version 1.7.2 - April 12, 2015


  • Updated the dome diagnostics tool to support RLM environment variables
  • Updated the dome diagnostics tool PlayblastVR OptionVar reading code
  • Updated the dome diagnostics tool Arnold MtoA environment variables
  • Added an entry to the Domemaster3D menu to load the "shelf_Domemaster3D.mel" shelf file.
  • Added a Maya Domemaster3D.mod module file for Maya 2013-2016. This makes it easier to install Domemaster3D in a multi-user environment. This module file was created with the help of Randall Rickert (USC School of Cinematic Arts).
  • Note: If you want to use the new Domemaster3D.mod module file instead of using the standard Maya.env file, you need to clear out and remove the Domemaster3D entries that are placed in the Maya.env file by the Domemaster3D installer. You can find the Maya.env file in the folder: C:\Users\<User Account>\Documents\maya\<Version Number>-x64\Maya.env.

There is a new v1.7.3 release of the Domemaster3D for Maya/Max installer.

Some of the notable changes include:

Version 1.7.3 - April 16, 2015


  • 3DS Max 2016 Install Option


  • Maya 2016 Install Option
  • Maya 2016 Compatibility Release - Updated the Maya 2016 install paths, the Maya 2016 Visor tab script (visorPanel.mel), the MR physical sky files (AEmia_physicalskyTemplate.mel & createMentalRayIndirectLightingTab.mel), and the mental ray for Maya 2016 mentalrayCustomNodeClass.mel script.
  • Updated the dome diagnostics tool to support Vray for Maya on Mac OS X environment variables
  • Updated the Domemaster3D module file entry line for the Maya version specific Python Path:  PYTHONPATH+:=../2016/scripts

Note: When you do a fresh install of Maya 2016 on your workstation you might be looking around for the location of the mental ray files. The current Mental Ray for Maya 2016 installation package has to be downloaded separately from the base Maya 2016 package.

You can access the download page for Mental Ray for Maya 2016 from the following URL:


I've written a new blog post to help you solve a common Maya Fluid Effects / mental ray lens shader artifact when using the LatLong Stereo shader:

The blog post will help you out if you have ever experienced a rendering artifact that looks like this:

Domemaster3D Vray for Maya Shelf

I put together a new Domemaster3D Vray for Maya shelf and created a set of native Maya stereo camera rigs for the Vray DomemasterStereo and LatLongStereo shaders. This means Maya based Vray artists can view the merged left and right eye panoramic stereo renderings from the lens shaders live in the Maya Render View as they work.

Also the new Maya stereo camera rigs automatically link the left and right camera lens shader controls to the center camera attributes so you only have to change them in one place.

You can check it out on GitHub:



The Domemaster3D lens shaders now support Vray 3 for Maya on Mac OS.

The latest lens shader build on GitHub works with Vray and Mac OS X Mavericks and Yosemite. This makes it easier to render quality immersive LatLong Stereo content on a Mac.


There is a new Domemaster3D version 1.7.4 release out for 3DS Max and Maya users. It has several improvements and is now ready for serious production use with the latest versions of Maya 2016 and 3DS Max 2016.

Also, in other news the Domemaster3D Wiki has been improved and there is now a handy table of contents page that is categorized to make it easier to find content. Special thanks goes out to Toshiyuki Takahei for preparing the Japanese translations of the Domemaster3D Wiki pages.

Download Link


There is a new Domemaster3D v1.8 release out for 3DS Max and Maya.

Changes in Domemaster3D v1.8

An issue was fixed with the Maya Domemaster3D shader’s LatLong Stereo menu item so it now works correctly.

The Vray and Arnold shader beta files are now included with the standard Domemaster3D installer so they are easier to access and manually install on your system.

The Arnold shader files are now placed in the folder:

C:\Program Files\Domemaster3D\arnold

The Vray shader files are now placed in the folder:

C:\Program Files\Domemaster3D\vray

If you use Vray 3.2 with 3DS max 2016 you will be happy to know their is a new build of the Domemaster3D shaders available from GitHub just for you.

Note the Vray 3.2 build of the Domemaster3D shaders were compiled with Visual Studio 2013 so you will also need to get the VS2013 x64 redistributable package from Microsoft if you don't have it installed on your computer.

There is a new Domemaster3D v1.8.1 release out for 3DS Max and Maya.


Changes in Domemaster3D v1.8.1


  Added the Vray 3.2 Domemaster3D shader beta files to the folder:
  C:\Program Files\Domemaster3D\vray


  Fixed an issue that would occur with the domeAFL_FOV and domeAFL_FOV_Stereo shader's preview hemisphere mesh alignment when linking the lens shader to an existing camera that is tipped away from the upright initial position. Special thanks goes out to Jason Fletcher for noticing this issue and bringing it to my attention.


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