Well that seems like hardware that is usable.
The “problem” with testing at home on a smaller model is that it will not be the same as the final thing. If you will have 3 projectors in the end, you will need 3 to test stuff out, especially if you have never done anything like this. Because that is the hard part, to make stuff go from one to the next seamlessly and without (or rather “with the right”) distortion. Also creating content that works if it is projected in a dome shape and that is, you know, in some way better that it is inside a dome.
With stuff like this its easy to forget that it needs to have some value that it is in a dome and not just “because you can”. Especially if this is for a final uni project, which I assume it is!? Are you an interaction designer? Or media art?
In either case the content is king. I actually saw an interaction design final project the other day. It was a large floating cube with projections on 4 sides. The visuals were a filmed story that was vj’ed live and live music played by a really good electronic musician. They both sat inside the cube to perform. But yeah, the technical design of it was rather simple, but it was good because of the content (the story of the film and the music).
So I just want to say, having done a master in interaction design, that if this is a uni project dont spend too much time on technicality, but rather on content. Funnily enough I actually wanted to use that dome from the link in my final project, but it quickly became obvious that the dome didn’t add much except complexity.
Anyways, if you want to go for it, go for it. Its certainly possible to do something cool, but just keep in mind the content, because that’s what people will see, the fact that they are sitting in a dome surrounded by video alone will not impress many people.
Yeah I guess a tepee shape could work quite well too. It will be easier to set up, because it has more straight lines and faces and you can use more of the available projector area.
2-3 meters is really small though. You need quite a big structure so that you can sit comfortably lie/sit in the middle of it. Remember the best surround effect is if you are right in the center. The bigger the structure, the more you can be slightly on the side. But for a 2-3 meter one you could only lie down with your head in the middle and your feet sticking out the front. You wouldnt even be able to stand in it, let alone 5 people. Well, the reason cubes and rectangles are used so much is that they just make life infinitely easier, when using projectors. No distortion, no problems with focus and different size pixels, easy mapping, etc. It just makes sense. There is still a lot you can do with 2 or 3 projectors and some flat surfaces. they can be semitransparent, stacked behind each other.
DX11 and EX9 and 2 rendering technologies in vvvv. DX11 is the newer one, using DirectX 11 and has a lot of cool new features, but is quite a bit harder to use (I think so at least). If you are going to be generating content in vvvv, then you should start learning how to use them.
Also dont forget sound. Having surround sound in a dome is really important, because it adds a lot of believability to that 3D environment. That is one of the areas that vvvv is not so strong in (yet), although they have added some serious audio capabilities recently, but I think they are still in alpha stage. So just keep that in mind.