The 3D Dome (1995)

The first virtualization setup, called the 3D Dome, was built in 1995 and used 51 cameras mounted on a geodesic dome, 5 m in diameter. It used industrial grade National Television Standards Committee (NTSC), monochrome (later replaced by color), analog charge-coupled device (CCD) video cameras for image capture. The system used lenses with 3.6 mm focal length for a field of view close to 90 degrees. The cameras’ arrangement provided all-around views of the event, and they were close enough to each other so that the computer vision stereo algorithms worked well. The cameras looked at the center of the dome and had a volume of intersection close to 3m x 3m x 2m. The cameras were synchronized with a common sync signal, and the Vertical Time Interval Code (VITC) was inserted into their video output. The system recorded output of each camera on a separate consumer grade S-VHS VCR for later digitization and processing. The cost of the setup was about US$1,000 per channel.

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