Vioso configures cylindrical CAVE for Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information

Vioso configures cylindrical CAVE for Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information
Vioso’s auto-calibration technology was used to create a seamlessly curved 3D visualisation theatre in the cylindrical headquarters of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI) in Daejeon.

The new space – a corner-free take on a classic virtual-reality CAVE (cave automatic virtual environment) – is powered by a freely hanging projector rig mounted on the 5.6m-high ceiling, from which 13 Barco UDM-4K15, running dual inputs, are able to project immersive stereoscopic images on the curved walls and floor of the 9m-diameter room.

Located on the campus of KISTI’s National Supercomputing Center, the VR/AR visualisation space was constructed by Seoul-based VizWave, led by managing director Hyunjoo Yun, who drew on her previous experience constructing similar systems (CAVEs, powerwalls, HoloStages, etc.) for other universities and scientific institutions across South Korea. VizWave is also responsible for the maintenance of the projection room on a long-term basis.

The sale of the Vioso system to VizWave was managed by Norbert Schmiedeberg, managing director of ITI-Image Group in Sydney (via its former Korean joint venture, Turnstone Distribution), which has a long history of selling Vioso products and services. The system included the Vioso 6 SIM software, with VIOSO's patented, camera-based automatic warping and blending technology, and a single ViosoO Fulldome Camera Calibration Kit.

Also on site, alongside Yun and Schmiedeberg, were Julia We from Turnstone Korea and Vioso’s simulation expert Jürgen Krahmann, making the KISTI install a true team effort.

For the immersive space at KISTI, the decision was made to equip the Vioso Fulldome Kit with a fisheye lens for calibration, explains technical product manager Krahmann. The main purpose was to minimise the appearance of squared-off corners in the projection – a common issue in most projection environments but deemed unacceptable in the rounded core of the KISTI building, which has a very tight, curved transition from the wall to the floor (described by Yun as an “upside-down dome”), making the use of a fisheye lens essential to create a more seamless and immersive experience.

The need to avoid the visibility of the corners also dictated the dimensions of the 9m × 3.5m projection set-up, Krahmann adds.

“The set-up of the projectors was the first real challenge,” Krahmann recalls, “because initially there were multiple overlaps, which is rather inconvenient for a space like this as it will destroy the black levels. Every projector emits some light, even if the output is black, so that was the first thing we needed to change.”

Using Vioso 6 SIM and the Hi-Res Fulldome Kit with a 185° fisheye lens and 12MP sensor, which covered the entire projection surface, Krahmann was able to get enough resolution to measure the position of all projector pixels on screen across the curvature, despite quadruple overlap and bright surfaces in the cylindrical room. This allowed the calculation of perfect geometry maps and optimal blend zones. The successful calibration was then imported into Dataton WATCHOUT, MiddleVR and WorldViz Vizard. A 10.2-channel audio system and a user tracking system with 12 cameras complete the installation.

With its new visualisation room, KISTI aims to boost the scientific and engineering role played by virtual-reality technology by connecting the VR visualisation systems to the centre’s high-performance computer equipment, such as its fifth supercomputer, ‘Nurion’, and the ‘Neuron’ GPU cluster.

Pics copyright Norbert Schmiedeberg


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