About half of the scenes in Cosmic Castaways were rendered using Blender, which is a free and open-source 3D animation suite of programs. I don’t think it was intentional — it was more of a case of what software would be better suited for each scene.
George Lucas was right. “A project is never completed, just abandoned.” Cosmic Castaways is like a child. It started as a newborn that we were all excited and proud of. Now it is a freeloading twenty-something without a job that you just want out of your house.
Your soundtrack is the backbone. My friend Alex Mak at the University of Toledo says it best: “You should be able to listen to and enjoy a soundtrack without a video.”
We spent an enormous amount of time working on the script for Cosmic Castaways – almost as much as time as it took to render the show. When we were writing the first draft of our show script, I was reading a book from Seth Godin called Linchpin, which is a manifesto on creativity and shipping projects out the door. One passage from the book had a strong influence on me:
Cosmic Castaways forced me to get better at managing people really fast. The show required scientific knowledge, writing skills, music production, digital rendering of scenes, voice acting, audience research, marketing, etc…
Science on the Half Sphere’s first full-length planetarium show is Cosmic Castaways. In this series of posts, we will talk about how the show was made. The goal is to help other people interested in making full-dome planetarium shows see what we did, and hopefully avoid our mistakes!