Making an Impact on Great Lakes Science Center Visitors
Cleveland’s own Great Lakes Science Center asked us to shoot 360-degree panoramas of the inside of their NASA Command Module for use in their Skylab 3 Apollo Command Module Virtual Reality App.
How we Did it: Impact Communications accomplished this using our GoPro Omni virtual reality camera rig – an array of 6 GoPro cameras that essentially shoot in all directions for a 360-degree view. We rigged the camera onto a long pull with an LED light mat wrapped around it and lowered it into the tunnel of the Module, a rare artifact that people are not allowed to enter. We then used a remote from outside to actually snap the pictures. In post-production we then stitched all of the cameras’ photos together and rendered out a flat equirectangular-panoramic view of the entire image. This then gets projected onto a virtual 360-degree sphere in the viewing software. All of this allows the audience to experience viewing the entire inside of the Command Module. The audience points an iPad and can observe the inside in any direction.
Impact Services: For this quick turn project, the Impact team was responsible for the filming and stitching – the process of taking the video or still images from the six GoPro cameras used and literally creating one full image out of them. This includes laying the photos out to their assigned position, overlapping them, blending and manipulating the edges, and then color correcting. Special software is used for this detailed process. In this case, photos of the inside of the Command Module included multiple buttons, gauges, and switches. With the help of Photoshop, Impact was able to create a seamless look.
Fun Fact: When we reached deep inside the Module with the camera, we observed hand-writing on the bottom side walls. This was likely notes the astronauts made when in space. These details are not observable to the museum visitors, as no people, including staff, are permitted inside.