Fulldome refers to immersive dome-based video projection environments. The dome, horizontal or tilted, is filled with real-time (interactive) or pre-rendered (linear) computer animations, live capture images, or composited environments.
Although the current technology emerged in the early-to-mid 1990s, fulldome environments have evolved from numerous influences, including immersive art and storytelling, with technological roots in domed architecture, planetariums, multi-projector film environments, flight simulation, and virtual reality.
Initial approaches to moving fulldome imagery used wide-angle lenses, both 35 and 70 mm film, but the expense and ungainly nature of the film medium prevented much progress; furthermore, film formats such as Omnimax did not cover the full two pi steradians of the dome surface, leaving a section of the dome blank (though, due to seating arrangements, that part of the dome was not seen by most viewers). Later approaches to fulldome utilized monochromatic vector graphics systems projected through a fisheye lens. Contemporary configurations employ raster video projectors, either singly or grouped together to cover the dome surface with full-color images and animations.