For the last two years the Domemaster3D shader has been one of the leading mental ray based tools for creating pre-rendered stereoscopic content for the planetarium and fulldome theater markets. The shader currently supports rendering stereoscopic 3D angular fisheye imagery in Maya, 3DS Max, Softimage, and mental ray standalone.
This summer the Oculus Rift HMD (Head Mounted Display) device has started to really take off with artists interested in creating and viewing immersive VR content and this has meant that the Domemaster Stereo Shader developers (Roberto Ziche and Andrew Hazelden) have received a lot of emails asking how to create spherical/latlong/equirectangular stereoscopic output with the Domemaster3D toolset.
Previously you had to render your scenes out to a series of left and right 360 degree angular fisheye renderings and then do a post process on the footage in a compositing package to convert the domemaster formatted imagery into a latlong 360×180 degree format.
I’m happy to announce a better workflow is available now. The new Domemaster3D v1.6 release has implemented a new LatLong_Stereo shader that allows you to create spherical stereo output from inside of Maya/3DS Max/Softimage. This shader is still under ongoing development but I thought there would be interest among the Oculus Rift community to have a chance to try out the development version of the shader now.
Here are two sample spherical stereo renderings I created with the LatLong_Stereo shader that have been encoded into anaglyph format for viewing on YouTube:
Download the Domemaster3D V1.6 Shader
You can download the Domemaster3D shaders from the project’s main blog page here:
The latest versions of the shaders can also be downloaded on the GitHub Releases page:
Rendering the Zenith & Nadir Zones
As a tip, there is a screen space LatLong_Stereo shader separation control texture map included in the Domemaster3D sourceimages folder. This texture can be used to reduce the amount of stereo effect in the nadir/zenith regions of the spherical stereo renderings.
The default separation map texture is located at:
Domemaster3D Maya Visor Presets
There is also a new collection of Maya VISOR presets that are included in the new Domemaster3D V1.6 release. These presets include new domeAFL_FOV, domeAFL_FOV_Stereo, LatLong 2D, and LatLong_Stereo examples along with a collection of 3 examples from Jason Fletcher and the Charles Hayden planetarium that feature a Maya Star Field stimulation, an animated Maya Fluid Effects Sun model, and a volumetric Nebula example.
Visor Importing Tip
Before you import the Domemaster3D Visor items, it is a good idea to have your Maya Import Options set to [x] use namespace, and (x) Merge into selected namespace and rename incoming objects that match. You can change these settings by opening the “File > Import…” with options menu item.