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Senior Project - redeye TNG


Image and Animation Facility for Planetarium Laser Displays

Senior Project: 1994-1995
Michael Grusin, Leon Nicodemus, Brian Stuebe and William Thornburg

Fiske Planetarium frequently provides laser shows to the public. These laser shows combine visually interesting lissajous patterns generated on the planetarium dome by a laser projection system with music played on the planetarium's sound system. The software to drive the laser projection system, implemented as one of last year's projects, consisted of three parts: a pattern editor, a script editor, and a show time script executor. The pattern editor provides an interactive user interface to design lissajous patterns by specifying their various parameters. Once an interesting pattern is designed, it may be saved to a pattern library. Patterns can be collected into sequences of patterns called scripts, which also may be saved to a script library. Each pattern in the sequence may have various durations specified. The show time executor plays the script of patterns during a laser show, allowing modification of the script and patterns on the fly if the operator desires. The system was written in C and runs in an MS-DOS environment.

This year's project was an extension of last year's project. It provides a graphical user interface that allows artists to draw arbitrary closed shapes, and to collect these shapes into sequences to form animations. These animation sequences can then be incorporated into pattern scripts in the same manner as the lissajous patterns. The system was written in C++ (including porting the previous project to C++) and runs in an MS-DOS environment.

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