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Inside the world's first 360-degree CGI theater set (photos)

Live actors and CGI combine for 360-degree immersive theater performance in San Francisco.

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James Martin

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Ferry Park

Inside a 360-degree CGI theater in downtown San Francisco, a cast of 22 performers have joined up with an award-winning creative team to stage a unique production of Peter Pan. The theater, which gives the audience a multi-faceted experience of live action combined with complete surround computer graphics, is a world's first, according to representatives for the production.

Inside the white dome at San Francisco's Ferry Park, 15,000 square feet of hi-resolution video is immersing both the cast and audience in a CGI Neverland created using Maxon's Cinema 4D rendering software.

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Ferry Park

Shipped on a boat from London, the Threesixty Theater seats 1,350 people and is supported with an exoskeleton that keeps the interior free of any obstructions during the performance.
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William Dudley

Designed by UK theater designer William Dudley, the performance integrates technology and live actors in a modernized theater experience. Dudley believes that this digital immersion is driving a renaissance in theater, attracting new attention and the creative minds of artists who can apply digital art to theater set design, opening up never before possible performances.
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Inside the tent

A view inside the tent shows a CGI curtain projection on the 360-degree tent prior to a rehearsal on April 30.
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Computers

Creating such a large-scale CGI project takes a lot of computing power. It took 200 computers four weeks to create the images projected inside the Threesixty Theater.
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12 projectors

At the foot of the round stage, 12 projectors deliver a 360-degree projection, which encompasses more than 15,000 feet of CGI and 10 million pixels, making it the largest surround CGI venue in the world, according to representatives for the production.
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Cinema 4D

Creating a scene from Neverland for Peter Pan using Maxon's Cinema 4D graphics software.
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Cinema 4D

The CGI was created using Maxon's Cinema 4D three-dimensional graphics rendering software.
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Immersive environment

The 360-degree theater give the performances an immersive feel, as the cast and audience fall from the sky into the jungles of Neverland.
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Flying through London

When Peter and Wendy fly to Neverland, the audience flies with them over 400 square miles of virtual London and beyond.

The preview shows are already under way in San Francisco. Peak shows begin May 8 and will run through the summer before leaving on a tour of the United States and eventually returning to London.

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