NSF Grant goes to NCSA’s Advanced Visualization Lab

Spitz Creative Media and Thomas Lucas Productions to collaborate with AVL on three fulldome shows

The National Science Foundation has awarded $1.5 million to a project led by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) that will develop and widely distribute three fulldome shows highlighting visualizations of computational and digitally-enabled science. The project assembles a creative team of producers, technologists, artists, and educators who will collaborate with scientists and researchers across the country.

“The ability to generate and analyze giant data sets has produced a paradigm shift across all fields of inquiry. Compelling visualizations of these data will connect with broad audiences and provide insight into a wide range of natural phenomena,” says AVL director Donna Cox.

The project will produce three ultra-high-resolution digital documentaries that will premiere at giant screen fulldome theaters and will be scaled for wide distribution to smaller theaters found at a growing number of museums, planetariums, science centers, and academic institutions.

“Digital fulldome planetariums are the fastest-growing immersive theater format today,” says Spitz Creative Media director Mike Bruno. “Demand is high for programs with AVL’s brand of dramatic, cinematic, and scientifically accurate visualizations. We expect to reach millions of viewers worldwide over the life of these films.”

The first fulldome documentary, Solar Superstorms, will focus on the sun’s effects on earth’s atmospheric, communications, and power systems and will include supporting educational materials.

Solar Superstorms will debut in 2015.