We caught up with one of our creators, Theofanis Matsopoulos. He specializes in astrophotography, 3D animation, and fulldome cinematography and video production for digital planetariums and giant screen theaters. Below he shares more about his work and the process of creating a digital space exploration.
What is your background and how did you get into 360 video production?
I have a degree in Electrical Engineering, but I have been working with immersive video since 2013. Being an amateur astronomer since my early adolescence, I was very impressed by various planetarium shows which combine education and entertainment in a fascinating and impressive way. Thus, I decided to learn how to make my own fulldome shows and then became a professional in fulldome productions. Until now, I have produced mostly documentaries for digital planetariums, collaborating with world famous organisations such as European Space Agency (ESA), European Southern Observatory (ESO), and the National Science Foundation NSF/NoirLab.
In 2016 I began the production of my first VR astronomical documentary titled: “Mars the Red Planet VR”, with a length of 11:30 mins. At that time, it was one of the first full length VR astronomical documentaries worldwide. Since then, I have continued to create VR documentaries and clips mostly focused on subjects about space, spacecrafts, and telescopes.
Can you tell us about any upcoming projects?
Now, I am working on a new VR full length documentary about the Solar System. This will be entirely in 8K stereoscopic 3D! This new film will take the viewer on a journey through the planets of our Solar System explaining the conditions that are prevailing on them.
What is your favourite piece of your content available on Blend Media?
My favourite content available on Blend Media is “The Earth in Space” because it is my latest full length VR documentary and it explains why our planet Earth is so unique in the Universe and why we must preserve it.
Can you tell us about the process of making your content?
The first step of the creation of a new content is to come up with an original idea. Then I write the script, most of the time with the support of professional astronomers in order to ensure the correctness of the content, and the last and longest part is the creation of the videos.
What’s the most challenging part of the video creation process?
The most challenging part is the creation of the visuals. This part can consume a lot of time and effort, since the high end specifications required for the VR headsets are demanding in terms of visual design and rendering. Of course, designing the visuals is the most difficult part because I always try to create realistic space environments, using real images taken with telescopes or spacecrafts and realistic models.