During the fall term of 2020 and into the spring term of 2021, a four member team of capstone students conceived, designed, calculated and constructed a virtual reality planetarium: https://vrplanetarium.cad.rit.edu/
Teammates Oojin Ji, Nic Bove, Chris Eng, and Brenden Jezuit worked with program director Dr. Jessica Lieberman to develop an accessible environment to view the stars, irrespective of common obstacles such as cloud cover, light pollution, or geographical location.
Developed in the Unreal Engine using the HYG Star Database, the program plots the stars in live time to create a realistic and mathematically accurate view of the stars as seen from earth. Working with faculty advisors Joe Geigel and Ihab Mardini, as well as with the dedicated asset contributions of Professor Mardini’s 3D Design students, the team created an engaging virtual world in which any user can experience space unimpeded.
This capstone project was selected for “premier” status at the 2021 Imagine RIT festival and the students hosted a live chat with the community.