Use of Blender in production pipeline of planetarium shows


I’m going to give next saturday a small lecture on the use of Blender in content production for small planetariums, in the 5th European Conference of Small and Portable Planetariums, taking place in Porto and Espinho cities, in Portugal (

My lecture is “The use of free 3D software Blender in content production for planetariums”, and i’m going to give an introduction to Blender, talk about benefits and shortcomings of Blender, show an example (an animation and blend file), talk about the future of Blender and new functionalities useful for astronomy outreach (volumetrics, for instance…a dream almost come true:yes:).

One thing i would like to talk briefly about is the use of Blender in the production of planetarium shows around the world.

So i’m asking you if you work with Blender and make planetarium shows, or content for a planetarium show, and you wouldn’t mind me talking about your projects, to contact me.

Because i have only 20-30 min, it will be a very brief description, just saying that in country X institution Y uses Blender in their pipeline.

But it would be a good idea so i can show people unfamiliar with the software that it is very capable and in some cases, a tried and true software.

Thank you

Hi BellBoy,

That sounds very interesting!

How do you deal with eg a dome system having multiple projectors ( I recently visited one, which I believe had 7 projectors in use to light up the entire dome )? Do you render to a large circular ( and huge ) image, and then break each section of the source image up to associate with the relevant projector ( ending up with 7 images ), and then distort that area of the image back into a wrapping suitable for each projector ( and then making 7 movies of each of the projector segments?

It definitely sounds like a very interesting project! ( especially if your camera rig automatically takes into account the dome shape, and an averaged viewer position ( eg center of the room ).


Hello malCanDo.

My experience in working with production of animations for a planetarium show is limited.
I worked at the Planetário do Porto as a presentator, but a few years later i made some 3D animations (with Blender) for a show at Planetário de Espinho (“Misterious Ball of Fire”), like a meteor crashing into Earth and asteroid collisions.

The planetarium at Espinho has some cool slide projectors that allow all-sky images, but they have few video projectors, that project onto a small area of the dome, so the animations i made didn’t have to concern with full-dome projections.

Actually, i don’t work in a planetarium, but work as freelancer.
I was invicted to give the talk because the organization wanted someone to talk about Blender (in the conference there will be talks about other programs, like Cinema4D or Stellarium). So, i’m going to talk about using Blender for creating images and animations for astronomy outreach, show some examples, etc.

So, i want to show my audience that Blender is already being used in planetariums around the world. I know there’s at least one user in this forum that works in planetarium show production, and Blendernation published an article about Ott Planetarium (what a coincidence), that uses Blender for creating images and animations, in full dome format and all.

You may find their website ( very interesting (i know i did), there are some sections that deal with camera setups and other Blender resources.