The Universal Sphere
Framestore is proud to be a part of an immersive experience, created in collaboration with Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks Animation, for Comcast’s Philadelphia based planetarium-style theatre, the Universal Sphere.
After nearly 10 months of production and post work, the final 6-minute film is a breathtaking celebration of human invention, exploration and the origin of revolutionary ideas. Throughout the experience, audiences will journey through space, swim alongside a 200-ton whale, fly above the summit of Mount Everest and even sail to the fabled edge of the world.
Unlike a standard movie screen, the sphere offers a nearly real world experience with its 258-degree field of view. Rendered in accurate perspective to the viewer, audiences will feel as if they are truly immersed in the film.
“This project might just be the first of its kind,” said Ben West, creative director at Framestore. “There was an experimental aspect to the process, as we had to combine so many formats and moving parts into one singular experience. The film incorporates elements of cinema, documentary and theme-park rides in a way we’ve never done before, which really pushed the boundaries of our imagination and will hopefully have the same effect on audiences.”
Framestore and DreamWorks Animation were responsible for every aspect of production, from storyboards to live action production to the technical inventions surrounding the dome and format. Bringing the nearly 7K resolution film to life was a massive undertaking, requiring a team of over 100 artists, collaboration across Framestore’s offices in Los Angeles, New York and London, and the development of a bespoke VR system.
“The innovation throughout this entire process was remarkable,” said VFX Supervisor James Healy. “To simulate the sphere experience as the audience would see it, we created a VR system that allowed us to view the content with the freedom to look around and make creative decisions remotely. These solutions are a real testament to our team and the result is an inspiring piece of work.”
Located inside the lobby of Comcast’s Philadelphia headquarters, the Universal Sphere is open to the public by reservation.