Space Echoes

This is an immersive stereoscopic animation happened in ICAT Cube with Cyclorama. 3D Animations and 3D sound compositions was presented in unison to create a sensation of other worldly experiences. The visual components of the animations were projected onto a Cyclorama screen that is 16 feet tall by 32 feet wide. Audience members wore 3D goggles while listening to 3D musical compositions relayed from an array of 139 speakers, collectively creating a new kind of visual and auditory encounter.

I worked with Thomas Tucker and Eric Lyons, Thomas was responsible for original concept, modeling and animation; Eric was responsible for sound track. I was responsible for cleaning up, lighting, shading, stereoscopic camera setting, rendering, post editing and troubleshooting. This is a two-month project.




This is Cyclorama system in The Cube at Virginia Tech ICAT (Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology). It basically contains two curved panels and 4 projectors. The system was installed at August 2016 and I am the first person who was actually working on stereoscopic animation, which was an exciting and challenging experience.


Cyclorama notes

Understanding comfortable stereography

Understanding comfortable stereography

Mid stage of understanding stereoscopic cameras

Bunny example render

Checkers generated specific for Cyclorama 

Final stage of understanding stereoscopic cameras

Final demo of setting up stereoscopic cameras

Texturing and shading the models

Early stage of shading and lighting the "jelly fish"

Final shading of "jelly fish"

Final render of stereoscopic camera

Presentation with Thomas Tucker and Eric Lyons

Photo taken at Space Echoes show



This is the note I wrote on the whiteboard when I was trying to figure out the setting up of stereoscopic cameras and the best resolution for animation. 



Uncomfortable stereography is always a problem, and I am here facing the problem of curved screen and 360 degree projection.

The article "Understanding Comfortable Stereography" helped me a lot and let me get a better understanding of stereoscopic cameras, it was written by Affonso Beato, ASC, ABC.

You can find the article here:



The field of vision is also very important in this project. Visitors are actually walking into the Cyclorama space to view the piece of art, so I need to understand the relationship between digital 3D world and real physical world. Understanding human's comfortable FOV helps me setting up cameras and other render details.


Stereoscopic effect basically is creating a 3D depth of field which is either pop-out or hide-behind. The bunny example here is pop-out effect, the object is standing in front of the Zero Parallax which indicate the actual screen in physical space. 


This is the successful render of bunny scene with stereoscopic camera setting. Viewers inside Cyclorama with 3D glasses on can actually comfortably feel the depth of this bunny. The image on top is demonstrating left eye, and the image at bottom is demonstrating right eye.


This is the checker image I created specific for Cyclorama using. First, we can use the square pixel to check distortion problem. Second, we can use the number to identify focusing area and edge area. 


After tons of testing and failures, I finally figured out the relationship between digital 3D space and real physical  space. The distance between camera to focus area indicates the distance between viewer to 3D effect focus area; the Zero Parallax  in Maya indicates the distance between viewer to panel screen; the Interaxial Separation in Maya indicates the distance between two eyes which is around 6.3cm. And we need to keep digital and physical data at same ratio to make it working.


This is the video I created as a demo showcasing the setup of stereoscopic camera.

The cylinder in the center of frame indicates the screen of Cyclorama; the camera indicates human eyes; the sphere through the cylinder indicates the place has no stereoscopic effect;

At this example, the 3D depth effect will showing when the bird's head reaching out through cylinder, and also the part behind the cylinder. Viewer will have the best experience when standing by the side of the screen where has the camera.


At the same, I was working on shading the models. After cleaning up the meshes and grouping them, I applied different materials onto them to express the original concept by Thomas Tucker.


This is a video showcasing the process of shading and lighting the "jelly fish" group. I researched many underwater color palette and jelly fish color concept as references, and then generated some texture specific for the original concept by Thomas Tucker.


This is the final texturing and shading of "jelly fish". The coloring idea is keeping Sci-fi and organic.


This is the final render of stereoscopic camera which fits perfectly on the Cyclorama screen. And the animation is 24 fps projected with 4 projectors with two facing one panel and two facing the other panel.


This is the presentation of this Cyclorama project before the show. I was explaining the setting up of stereoscopic camera using the bunny example in the photo (taken by Lei Zhang).


The photo is taken at the Space Echoes show inside the CUBE at Virginia Tech ICAT. Visitors here are wearing 3D goggles watching the second section "spin" with 3D sound track by Eric. photo taken by Lei Zhang


This is a video breakdown made near the end of this project briefly introducing the process and progress.

Video breakdown of the project

2016. 10

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