April 12, 2017



Click here to download the PDF file.


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Blendy Dome VJ Tutorials on our Youtube Channel soon.


General operation

You will need an external software that supports Syphon technology to play back your content. Set the Syphon resolution to the same resolution as your media. On Blendy Dome VJ, select the Syphon source on the SOURCE tab. We recommend the following software:
Use the software above to mix your clips LIVE, or simply playback your domemaster (1:1) or 360 Panorama (2:1) videos.
  1. Make sure you have all the recommended clip size and codec for all your videos.
  2. Make sure you have enough RAM memory.
  3. Play back your file from an SSD drive (preferably the internal drive of your computer).
  4. Shut down all programs running not being used.
  5. Put Blendy Dome VJ in live mode (LOCK)
  1. Check that your configuration matches the recommended one.
  2. Verify  the codec you are using is the most suitable for your playback software.
  3. Play the files from an SSD drive.
  4. For VJ mixing, use 2K domemaster loops. Mixing two or more 3K or 4K files are not so good yet.
  5. Is your machine overheating? macOS will slow down to cool it.
  6. Is that a Hackintosh? Sorry, you're on your own adventure, we can't help you.
  7. Do you have more than 2 digital video outputs? If so, put your monitor on VGA, or use all active adapters. The current Mac Pro is still the 2013 model (the trashcan), and it has limitations. Please read this document carefully, specially the last note (Connect more than two DVI or HDMI displays), which is the most common scenario. Note that anything you plugin works, but if you don't follow those rules, performance will eventually fall down. The same applies for the current MacBook Pro, never use all 3 video outputs at the same time.
  8. If nothing works, must be some issue with your machine tuning. Things that can affect performance is available memory, disk space, heap size, mixed/incompatible/outdated video drivers, outputs configuration.

Setup & Config

Minimum setup:
  • MacBook Pro Retina, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, NVidia or ATI graphics card.
  • Blendy Dome VJ is NOT compatible with Iris (Intel) graphics card!
  • Matrox TripleHead2Go! DP Edition with VGA, HDMI or DVI adapters.
  • Your system should preferably be MacOS 10.10.
Matrox TripleHead2Go! DP Edition needs to be updated with the latest driver and firmware. Configure each one separately with resolutions needed.

Recommended setup:
  • MacPro 6 to 12 core, 64GB RAM, 1TB SSD, AMD Fire D700 graphics card.
  • Datapath FX4 or X4 configured for 4K input resolution
  • Your system should preferably be MacOS 11.00.
Use Datapath latest driver and firmware.
When you design a high resolution fulldome system you have to account for multiple projectors and their  native resolution. Blendy Dome VJ supports 2 to 8 individual outputs which covers the  majority of the domes in today's commercial  market.
The rim projectors must be placed equidistant from each other, while the zenith (top) projector can be placed anywhere, but preferably  on the back. On Blendy Dome VJ, set the number of outputs and resolution, and turn on the Testcard (on the OUTPUT tab). This will help you make sure that all the projectors are symmetrically positioned. Don't be afraid to reposition all projectors until they are symmetrical. This is the most important part of dome mapping and will save a lot of time later.
Go to System Preferences, Mission Control and disable "Display have separate spaces"
Probably yes, but performance will not be good. Best thing to do is download the demo and try for yourself. Test Tripplehead2Go compatibility with your machine, you may get 3 x 1280 x 720.

Interconnectivity & Compatibility

Yes you can!  Any Syphon supported software will simply work - even your modules in Quartz Composer , Processing or Touch Designer  can easily be connected to Blendy Dome VJ via Syphon.
You can and you should use  Screen Sharing  on a laptop to  freely move around the dome.  You can also use the iPad instead of the laptop which is not ideal, but hey, you  have given us a very good idea for the future!

Codecs & Formats

There are standards in fulldome. These sizes depends exclusively on the projector systems you will be using. You can create your blueprint (which here is called Domemaster) in the following sizes:
  • 1K: 1024 x 1024 pixels
  • 2K: 2048 x 2048 pixels
  • 3K: 3072 x 3072 pixels
  • 4K: 4096 x 4096 pixels
For VJing, we recommend 2K.
All the Quicktime codecs are well accepted, however some have better performance than others. The most recommended are:
  • ProRes 422 LT
  • Hap
  • H.264
  • MP4
  • DXV
  • PhotoJPG
There is a limit to the maximum size in pixels related to H.264. The maximum size of a file in H.264 is 2048 x 2048 pixels.
The best format is:
  • Quicktime Apple ProRes 422 LT or Quicktime DXV3
  • 4096x4096 pixels or 2048x2048 pixels
  • 60 FPS or 30 FPS
  • Audio 48khz, 16bits, stereo *
* The audio configuration and the size in pixels will vary from dome to dome.  

Content Production

Fulldome content media is bound to the Domemaster format. It looks like a fisheye image with a special distortion so the projected image perfectly matches the  spherical screen. There are several plugins that can render Domemaster, including our in-house developed application software called Blendy 360 Cam for Cinema 4D.  You can use it for free if you  already own a Blendy Dome VJ license. It can be purchased separately. For After Effects and Premiere we recommend Mettle.
Sure! Keep an eye on the next VJ University dates and see you there.