Created by: Dennis Adderton, Rama Hoetzlein and Jeff Elings

Exhibited: Donald Davidson Library, University of California Santa Barbara

Production: Media Arts & Technology Program, University of California Santa Barbara

Presence is an interactive, six screen, panoramic display that gives an immersive experience of remote locations. By using 360 degree photography, Presence creates a unique sense of place that tracks and follows the viewer. Exhibited at the University of California Donald Davidson Library, the display shifts to follow patrons as they walk through the space. With multiple high resolution images covering the field of vision, its possible to experience the vertigo of a forest canopy or a mountain climb.

Motion capture tracks the viewer, and determines the direction of motion based on optical flow. A single workstation renders the environment as a cube map, and re-projects these onto a six screen display by using three graphics cards in tandem.

This image shows the steps in our photographic process. 1) Many photographs are taken from all directions on location. 2) These are stitched together, to create a single, unified ‘spherical’ image. 3) The spherical image is mapped onto a cube to provide 6 images in a ‘cube map’, ready for rendering. 4) The cube maps are reintegrated into a virtual world using our custom rendering software. 5) And finally output to the display by selecting six ‘views’ into this virtual space.

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