Types of DatasetsPermalink to Types of Datasets
Texture (Single Image)Permalink to Texture (Single Image)
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.
Image FormatPermalink to Image Format
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 “http://example.com/image.jpg”.
Time Series (Image Sequence or MPEG4)Permalink to Time Series (Image Sequence or MPEG4)
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.
Video FormatPermalink to Video Format
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.
Alternate FormatsPermalink to Alternate Formats
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.
ResolutionPermalink to Resolution
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.
Audio FormatPermalink to Audio Format
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.