Mirage 5000 CAVE - Sneak Preview

These are some pictures of the new CAVE using Mirage 5000 DLP projectors and black screens, and the old CAVE using the usual Marquee CRT projectors and grey screens.

They were taken on 26 July 2001, while the DLP projectors were still being set up and calibrated.

[Of course, the pictures are not scientifically valid, because I couldn't control the camera's exposure, and because the human eye can adapt to the darker CAVE, but they do give a pretty good qualitative idea of the difference between the two CAVEs.]

New CAVE Crayoland in new CAVE Crayoland in new CAVE
Old CAVE Crayoland in new CAVE Crayoland in new CAVE

Test pattern

This is a view of one corner of the new CAVE (three screens) running a test pattern. You can see how the edges do not match exactly yet - there are no electronic adjustments to fine tune the image geometry (the way it's done with CRT projectors), so the edges will have to be matched up by very carefully moving the projectors themselves. Also note the color difference on the floor; because of the brightness of these projectors, this becomes more noticeable and will have to be more precisely adjusted.

The fine black grid and dots on the closeup picture below are not part of the test pattern itself. This is the grid of the DLP's pixel array. This pattern is visible in any solid-color area on the screen, even when standing in the center of the CAVE, a few feet from the screen. It looks sort of like a wire mesh covering the screen, and could prove to be a bit of an annoyance.

The new projectors and glass mirrors

The power of these new projectors can make blemishes on the mirrors very obvious - even ones that you can't see when examining the mirror itself. Mylar mirrors in particular caused noticeable distortions in the projected images, in areas where the mirror is strained slightly; hence we have switched to large glass mirrors.

Unfortunately, Greg fixed the mirrors before I could take any pictures of the problems with the bad ones.

Greg setting things up

Tom Coffin's "Jaws of Death"

In Tom's words, "too intense - human brains can't handle it!!!!!!!!!!"

Last modified 28 July 2001.
Dave Pape, pape@evl.uic.edu