Textures can be displayed on the sphere and rotate around the poles of the
sphere, as in planetary rotation. A good example of a texture is Mars. In the
Mars folder you will find just one image, named for its resolution, which is
projected on the sphere. Often, the textures are available in several different
resolutions. As the resolution increases, so does the loading time on the
sphere. Textures can be rotated in any way using the functions either in the
Control menu of the SOS Stream GUI or in the remote, and by default rotate
around the poles of the sphere. Textures will rotate indefinitely until pause
is pressed or another dataset is loaded.
SOS will accept most common formats (JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, etc.), but JPEG and
PNG are preferred for images and image sequences. In addition to pointing to
files that are local on your computer, you can also use URLs, such as
There are several different ways that time series work. In its raw form a time
series is an image sequence. SOS will display in sequential order all the
images in a single directory. The images can also be converted to an MPEG4.
This is the preferred format for showing time series because the system can
play the MPEG4 files at a higher resolution and faster frame rate than the
image sequences and they take up less disk space. There is no limit to the
length of a time series.
Time series by default don’t rotate, but can also be set to rotate while they
are animating through a feature in the playlist and a button on the remote.
Transitions, special effects, and other computer graphics techniques can be
added to a sequence through the use of off the shelf software like Final Cut
Pro. Time series will loop indefinitely until pause is pressed or another
dataset is loaded.
Render the video with the MPEG4 video codec at a minimum of 25 mbps. Just
because a file has a .mp4 extension does not mean it will play perfectly on
SOS. Be sure to check the codec that was used to render the file. The H.264
codec should not be used because it can cause errors in the SOS software.
The software also has the ability to display KML (Keyhole Markup Language)
files and load images directly from an Open GeoSpatial Consortium (OGC) Web
Mapping Service (WMS) on Science On a Sphere. The Datasets
Manual contains more details about these formats.
The recommended resolutions are 2048x1024 for time series and 4096x2048
for textures, though other 2x1 resolutions, such as 3000x1500 will work. Higher
resolutions are possible for the animations, but not all SOS systems in the SOS
Users Collaborative Network are able to animate at 30 frames per second for
higher resolutions. Make sure to render the videos with square (1:1) pixels for
proper playback. If possible, the highest resolution of the animation that is
generated should also be provided, in addition to the 2048x1024 file, so that
it is available for new and upgraded sites that have the ability to play them.
If an image sequence is provided, it will be rendered into a MPEG4 file that is
2048x1024 unless there is a specific reason to keep the animation as an image
sequence. For single images, resolutions above 4096x2048 are possible, though
load time increases with resolution size.
As of release 5.0, the SOS software is capable of working with higher
resolution 4K projectors. If you wish to create higher resolution images and
movies to take advantage of the higher resolution quality of 4K projection, the
same 2:1 ratio rules apply. Movies with 4096x2048 resolutions will work on such
systems, although decreased FPS rates may be necessary and the load time will
be longer. Single images of 8192x4096 will display well on 4K projectors and
images as large as 16384x8192 should still work, although resolutions above
8192x4096 will result in only slightly increased quality. We recommend that you
test any high resolution images and movies you create on a full 4K projector
system to ensure they will display as you expect.
The audio player for SOS is fairly versatile and most common formats will work
with SOS, such as mp3, mpeg4, wav, ogg, and aif. The audio file can either be a
standalone file or embedded in the same MPEG4 file as the video.