How do holograms work on stage

Andrew Heinzman writes for How-To Geek and Review Geek. Like a jack-of-all-trades, he handles the writing and image editing for a mess of tech news articles, daily deals, product reviews, and complicated explainers. Read more.

Whether holograms of Tupac and Michael Jackson give you the heebie-jeebies or a dose of nostalgia, you’ve got to admit the technology is impressive. But how does it work? And are these really holograms or just projections?

Of course, not all onstage holograms are posthumous ethical conundrums. The technology has been used to simulcast performances by Janelle Monae and MIA, to throw the Gorillaz avatars on stage with Madonna, and to bring fictional stars, like Hatsune Miku, to life.

Sorry, They Aren’t Holograms

Let’s clear the air real quick. There’s a lot of debate on what is or isn’t a hologram. So, for argument’s sake, we’re going to stick with a very simple definition for the word hologram.

Holograms are freestanding 3D light structures. They aren’t projected onto a surface (that would make them 2D), but they can be diffused by glass, sci-fi moon crystals, or whatever object gets the job done.

So, Princess Leia’s secret message in Star Wars? That’s a hologram. The ghost of Michael Jackson? That isn’t a hologram—it’s projected on a flat surface and exists in 2D (but we’re still going to refer to these as holograms to keep things simple).

How do holograms work on stageThe Richard Balzer Collection

Either way, these holographic concerts are a step in the right direction. But they aren’t exactly a new idea. The holographic performances by Tupac, Janelle Monae, MIA, and others are based on an 1860s parlor trick called Pepper’s Ghost. It’s a simple trick that was used extensively at Victorian fairs, plays, and parties. You’ve seen it in action at Disney’s Haunted Mansion if you’ve ever been to Disneyland.

The Pepper’s Ghost trick is literal smoke and mirrors (well, minus the smoke). A reflective pane of glass is set on a stage and angled down toward a hidden booth. When the hidden booth is illuminated, it reflects an image onto the pane of glass, which then reflects the image toward the audience. At eye level, this image would look squished (remember, the glass is angled). But because the audience looks up at the stage, the image looks “correct,” with a ghostly, translucent quality.

Of course, your garden-variety Pepper’s Ghost trick requires an actor. Last time we checked, Michael Jackson was dead, so we can assume the technology has changed a bit, right?

Musion Eyeliner Projections

Musion Eyeliner sounds like a crappy local band, but it’s actually a patented, modernized version of the Pepper’s Ghost trick. And, in a way, it’s even simpler than Pepper’s Ghost.

Rather than relying on secret rooms, actors, and glass to project humans onto a stage, the Musion Eyeliner trick simply requires a projector and a thin mylar sheet.

How do holograms work on stageMichael Jackson/Youtube

First, the mylar sheet is placed at the front of a stage at a 45-degree angle. Then, a projector in front of the stage shoots an image at the mylar sheet.

And that’s all there is to it—kind of. There also needs to be a source video for these projections. Ideally, the source video is completely still, creating the illusion that a performer is on the stage. This can be done by recording a performance with a still camera, or by creating an expensive 3D model and then rigging it to sing and dance (the Tupac, Jackson, and Roy Orbison holograms are 3D models).

Problems with Tech

Aside from obvious ethical dilemmas, Musion Eyeliner has a lot of technological shortcomings and vulnerabilities:

  • Phase Issues: The most elaborate Musion Eyeliner holograms use multiple projectors to make an image as wide and detailed as possible. But these projectors need to work perfectly with one another. If one falls out of phase, it ruins the image.
  • Wavy Screens: Musion Eyeliner holograms rely on a thin mylar screen, which “waves” like a flag when hit by a good gust of wind. This is very easy to observe in the Michael Jackson hologram video, where the entire stage looks like it’s underwater.
  • Viewing Angle: Again, the audience’s viewing angle determines whether a Musion Eyeliner hologram looks “correct” or “squished.” When viewed from the side, these projections can look flat, like paper.
  • Illumination: Musion Eyeliner projections work best in dark or dim environments. The problem is, they always create bright images, which isn’t a big deal on its own. However, holograms in dark environments can look ridiculously bright and flat—especially when real people wander on stage (as shown in the Tupac performance).
  • Cost: It doesn’t cost much to set up a Musion Eyeliner hologram. But re-creating famous people in 3D costs a ton of money (the Tupac 3D model cost about $400 k). Even with a sold-out auditorium, it’s hard to recoup that kind of expense.

You probably shouldn’t pass judgment on Musion Eyeliner holograms for their technical shortcomings. But the fact that wind can ruin these projections is a sign of just how young this technology is.

The Future of Holograms

Right now, most of your favorite electronics corporations are spending oodles of money on augmented reality. From Instagram filters and Pokemon Go to creepy undead musicians, we’re inching closer and closer to the inevitable: genuine 3D holograms.

It’s hard to know when genuine holograms will become common, but they may be used for entertainment over the next few decades. We already know there’s a market for hologram concerts. The BBC is also currently researching hologram TVs (which are, essentially, small-scale, 3D versions of the Pepper’s Ghost trick).

At the moment, we’re just waiting for the technology to mature a bit. When that happens is anyone’s guess. In the meantime, we’ll just have to live with (and get used to) creepy posthumous concerts and Hatsune Miku.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

How Do Holograms Work on Stage?

If it seems like your cat or dog spends a lot of time napping, you’re not imagining it. Cats doze for 12-16 hours a day while dogs spend 12-14 hours asleep.

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If it seems like your cat or dog spends a lot of time napping, you’re not imagining it. Cats doze for 12-16 hours a day while dogs spend 12-14 hours asleep.

How do holograms work on stage

Whether holograms of Tupac and Michael Jackson give you the heebie-jeebies or a dose of nostalgia, you’ve got to admit the technology is impressive. But how does it work? And are these really holograms or just projections? Read More »

How do holograms work on stage

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Apple now makes it easy to install iOS betas using over-the-air updates. While simple to install, iOS Public Betas can be buggy as well. Fortunately, you can leave the iOS Public Beta at any time. Read More »

How do holograms work on stage

The Department of Justice unsealed a case against 34-year-old Muhammad Fahd yesterday, alleging that the man bribed AT&T call-center employees to unlock cell phones fraudulently. The multi-year scheme resulted in employees receiving more than $1 million in payouts and over two million unlocked phones.

The alleged conspiracy involved AT&T employees using their credentials to install malware and unauthorized hardware. With access to the company’s systems, Fahd was able to unlock handsets well before they were paid off and eligible to leave the carrier’s network.

Fahd was officially arrested in Hong Kong at the request of the U.S. back in February 2018 and was extradited this past Friday. He is facing 14 charges which include conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to violate the Travel Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, two counts of intentional damage to a protected computer, and more. [CNET]

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Back in April, a privately funded Israeli spacecraft called Beresheet crashed into the Moon’s surface after attempting a soft landing. On the craft was an unspecified number of Tardigrades, an animal that can survive the vacuum of space and temperatures as high as 150C and as low as almost absolute zero.

According to the co-founder of the Arch Mission Foundation, the Tardigrades likely survived the crash and could still be alive.

The “water bears” were dehydrated for the voyage before being sent to the moon. Unlike most creatures, Tardigrades don’t die from this process. Instead, the almost millimeter long animal enters into a state called cryptobiosis where they tuck in their head and legs, secrete trehalose which encapsulates the body like a cocoon, and slows their metabolism by 99.9 percent. It’s believed that if the Tardigrades were reintroduced to water, they would come out of their mummified state. [BBC News]

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How do holograms work on stage

Tupac Shakur appeared in concert at the Coachella music festival Sunday night, wowing audiences who watched his image rap with Snoop Dogg.

And now, the Wall Street Journal is reporting (with the puntastic headline “Rapper’s De-Light”) that the late rapper, despite having died in a shooting 15 years ago, may be going on tour.

The image of the rapper is not, in fact, a hologram. The 2D-image is an updated version of a stage trick that dates to the 1800s. In the old version, an actor would hide in a recess below the stage as stagehands used mirrors to project the image of a ghost.

According to a 1999 patent uncovered by the International Business Times, the trick used by the company AV Concepts employs an angled piece of glass placed on the the stage to reflect a projector image onto a screen that looks invisible to the audience.

The team pulled together Tupac’s performance by looking at old footage and creating an animation that incorporated characteristics of the late singer’s movements.

AV Concepts president Nick Smith told the Journal that the company had used the technology to digitally resurrect some deceased executives — though he gave no details on that. The patent on the technology shows an example of a presentation where the presenter is on stage with the projected image of a car.

Over at MTV, writer Gil Kaufmann questioned whether the success of the virtual Tupac would set a trend, particularly for performances including multiple artists. The potential for a surprise appearance from a beloved celebrity performer could be a draw for audiences.

But the trick could be overused, Kaufmann wrote: “For example, if Paul McCartney announced a tour with a virtual John Lennon, Beatles fans would likely see that as being in bad taste and not show up.”

Speaking to Kaufmann, Dave Brooks of the magazine Venues Today said that the trick could have gotten tired quickly even in the Coachella performance, but that the effect was impressive when used sparingly.

How That Tupac Hologram At Coachella Worked

How do holograms work on stage

Near the end of his headlining set at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts festival, Snoop Dogg (left) performed next to a hologram of the deceased Tupac Shakur. Christopher Polk/Getty Images hide caption

Near the end of his headlining set at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts festival, Snoop Dogg (left) performed next to a hologram of the deceased Tupac Shakur.

Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Tupac Shakur was killed more than 15 years ago — three years before the first Coachella Valley Music & Arts festival was held. But thanks to a trick of light, he’s probably the single most talked about musician who performed at this year’s version of the festival.

Monkey See

Tupac At Coachella: A Long History Of Singing Ghosts

Except, well, “performed” is a funny word to use. The Tupac who appeared onstage during the headlining set by Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre on Sunday was a hologram, more a feat of technology and bravado than a performance. (You can watch video, which includes a fair amount of profanity and other NSFW language, here.)

The image looked shockingly good, but how did it work? James Montgomery wrote about the Tupac hologram for MTV news, and explained to NPR’s Audie Cornish that the Digital Domain Media Group, a company that has produced special effects for movies like X-Men: First Class, Transformers: Dark of the Moon and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, used “really old theatrical technology” with a “2012 spin.”

“There’s an overhead projector that sort of reflects down onto basically a tilted piece of glass that’s sort of on the stage floor,” Montgomery says. “That then reflects the, well, reflection onto a mylar sort of screen, and it projects in this sort of 3-D kind of thing where it allows the other performers to sort of walk in front of Tupac and basically interact [with] him.”

Montgomery says the exact technique behind the technology is still a little bit in the dark, so to speak. “You don’t know whether or not they hired an actor to portray him and then sort of put digital clothing over this actor in post-production, or they built it in a computer,” he says.

But the technology is there, and don’t bet it’ll be limited to this single appearance. Already, Snoop and Dre are reportedly thinking about taking the Tupac hologram out on tour. Montgomery thinks it won’t end there.

“Once this becomes a little less cost prohibitive, given the wild popularity of deceased stars like Elvis or Michael Jackson, I can see Las Vegas shelling out a lot of money to have these sort of ‘live reviews,’ ” he says. “It’s also interesting if you look at the current stars of today, someone like Madonna or a Paul McCartney. Are they looking at what happened with Tupac, and are they thinking, maybe I have to rewrite my will and sort of include something that says, ‘I don’t want my likeness projected in 3-D holographic form at any point in the future.’ “

Remember when Tupac performed with Snoop Dogg and Dr Dre at Coachella in 2012? Yes, we’re talking about *that* Tupac Shakur. And yes, we know he died 15 years before.

… But there he was. In hologram form.

Tupac might have been the first, but he’s far from the only deceased star to be given the digital treatment. A Michael Jackson version appeared not long afterwards, and just last year saw a Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly hologram tour of the UK. In China, the late, great Teresa Tang has been singing in arenas again.

An Amy Winehouse hologram tour was also announced, although it’s since been postponed. That one might have been too soon.

How Do These Holograms Work?

Well, a hologram company first builds a digital likeness of the person, either completely using a computer or by using a close body double as a basis and layering a kind of “digital clothing” over them.

They then need to extract the vocals from the person’s songs and painstakingly match this with digital and laser imaging, as well as CGI techniques.

Finally, a surprisingly old technology is used to put the hologram on stage: an overhead projector reflects the image onto glass placed on the stage floor, reflecting the image in 3D.

What Does This Mean for the Music Industry?

The whole concept of holograms creates a messy legal issue, for a start. It’s very likely that in the future, major stars will need to state in their will if they don’t want to be ‘rebuilt’ after they die.

In some parts of the world (or some states of the US), a person’s family keeps hold of the rights to their image – and no one else can profit off that likeness without their permission. In other places, no such rules exist.

It’s very likely that a ton of lawsuits will be brought as holograms become increasingly popular in the industry.

In the short term, though, it’s possible that some stars could see holograms as a way to generate extra revenue streams while they’re still alive. It’s a way of going on tour without going on tour – and potentially charging a premium for “real” live shows.

Plus, of course, like Snoop Dogg, it could be an excuse to perform “with” their heroes and add an extra wow-factor to their own show.

Wherever the situation goes next, it’s going to be a fascinating time for music industry professionals experimenting with digital likenesses – and as the cost of creating holograms falls and falls, expect to see late starts cropping up on stage with living ones (or in solo shows) more than ever before.

With a little help from the Super Bowl and Louis Vuitton

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Share All sharing options for: Designing League of Legends’ stunning holographic Worlds opening ceremony

In 2017, Adam Mackasek helped summon a dragon in Beijing. During the annual League of Legends World Championships at the 80,000-seat Beijing National Stadium — better known as the Bird’s Nest — Mackasek and the rest of Riot Games’ e-sports events team created an augmented reality spectacle when a virtual dragon modeled after an in-game monster flew around the stadium. Mackasek wasn’t able to enjoy the moment for long: just a few minutes after the event ended, his boss came up to him and asked “‘How are you going to do that bigger next year?”

“It was a tongue-in-cheek question, but we got together soon after that ceremony and we talked really seriously about that,” Mackasek says. “And what we came up with was, we don’t want to think about it that way. We don’t want to think of it just being bigger. At some point that’s going to give you diminishing returns. We’re going to think of what is the best show that we can create for this year.”

Last year, the team followed the dragon with an AR K-pop group that became a viral hit. This past weekend in Paris, they did something similar with a lengthy, three-song ceremony that included a virtual hip-hop group. The difference was technology. This time the performance was powered by holograms that helped further blur the line between the real world and the virtual realm of League of Legends. “Everyone always asks, ever since Beijing in 2017, ‘Oh, what augmented reality is Riot going to do this year?’” Mackasek says. “And we wanted to do something that’s even more of a surprise.”

The Paris event was powered by a technology called 3D Holonet, created by a company called Kaleida. Essentially, it’s high-tech metal gauze, which can be stretched out in a translucent screen where you can project holograms and other 3D effects. (It’s the same technology that allowed deceased artists like Michael Jackson and Tupac to posthumously “perform” at events.) “The Holonet allows us to do different types of effects that weren’t necessarily possible with augmented reality,” explains Mackasek.

In between the first two songs, for instance, a giant holographic bubble appeared, masking the performers going on and offstage. And when the hip-hop group True Damage performed, the real-world performers were accompanied by their in-game counterparts. (Like K/DA before it, True Damage is a group that includes five real-world performers, who each represent an in-game character that has all been redesigned with a new streetwear-inspired look.) Using some clever choreography and technical wizardry, it was sometimes hard to tell which was real, as both the human and holographic performers warped across the stage in impossible ways. (This was achieved by filming the performers on a green screen earlier in the year, and then projecting that onto the Holonet.)

Planning for an event of this scale takes a long time. Mackasek says that Riot’s e-sports events team works on the Worlds opening ceremony all year round. In the beginning, they don’t have much to go on. There’s no new musical anthem yet, nor new characters to put into the show. But they have to start designing the event before those hard details are in place.

“What we start with is two things in parallel,” Mackasek explains. “We think about what are the known factors we’re dealing with. Are we outdoors? In daylight or darkness? Things like that. And that informs the tech decisions that we have to make, and sets our constraints in that way. Similarly, we don’t usually have the music in January. Same with art. So what we can do is we talk about the emotional journey that we want our audience to go through. What do we want a viewer to feel throughout the show? What do we want them to feel at the end? We map that out. That’s how we start our creative process.” In this case, the main emotion they wanted to elicit was excitement. “We want people to just be foaming at the mouth, ready to watch these games.”

How do holograms work on stage

Photo: Riot Games

How do holograms work on stage

Photo: Riot Games

How do holograms work on stage

Photo: Riot Games

This process also involves wrangling together multiple teams. There are the actual performers and choreographers designing the performance, the art teams creating new versions of League characters both for the ceremony and in-game, and Riot’s music group putting together the songs. There are also outside elements. Riot partnered with famed lighting designer LeRoy Bennett, who has worked with everyone from Paul McCartney to Beyoncé. Even Louis Vuitton helped out. The fashion house designed a case to house the Worlds championship trophy, and it featured five LCD panels that reflected what was happening during the opening ceremonies. It was featured prominently in the center of the stage for much of the event.

There’s also a narrative element to the event, which ties it together to the 2018 opening ceremony. In the game’s fiction, Akali — one of League’s most popular heroes — left her K-pop group K/DA to find new collaborators, which led to her forming the hip-hop collective True Damage. “What you’re seeing is the continuation of this universe that we’re building around music,” says Toa Dunn, head of Riot’s music group. It’s one that fans are clearly interested in; the music video for K/DA’s song “Pop/Stars” has more than 280 million views on YouTube to date, while True Damage’s “Giants” was viewed more than 5 million times in its first day.

For many fans, the Worlds opening ceremony is akin to the Super Bowl half-time show. Even if they don’t necessarily care about the competition — for those interested, Chinese club FunPlus Phoenix dominated Europe’s G2 to take home the Summoner’s Cup this year — they’ll still tune in to watch the spectacle. In fact, the Super Bowl is one of the biggest inspirations for Riot. Mackasek says that whenever there is a big event like the Super Bowl or an awards show, Riot’s events team will hold a viewing party where they analyze every detail in hopes of finding new ideas. Throughout the year, they attend plenty of concerts and are constantly sharing clips with each other. “It’s not just us eating popcorn and hanging out,” Mackasek says. “It’s work. We sit down and we break it down. We talk about it and think about it all year round.”

In fact, discussions for the event generally stretch out to longer than a year. When I spoke to Mackasek ahead of the Paris ceremony, his attention was already in part on Shanghai, which will host the 2020 edition of Worlds. Details like music and art are still in flux, but that hasn’t slowed down the planning. “We’re already talking about China next year,” he says.

The big news at the 2012 Coachella music festival was the live-action Princess Leia-style “hologram” of Tupac Shakur — who was shot to death in 1996 — that took the stage to duet with Snoop Dogg on a couple of songs. Now, of course, the discussion has moved on to possible concert tours with other dead people, reproductions of the technology using Marilyn Monroe, Ronald Reagan and host of other celebrities. But most people didn’t understand what they were really looking at.

It makes sense that people would call it a hologram, and there’s a case to be made here for linguistic drift — if it looks like the holograms we know from media and childhood, and works just like them, then what’s the point in splitting hairs? — but the real story is more complicated and, to my mind, more interesting. A true hologram is a system of projected images that changes with the angle from which you look at it, just like a real object would. While Snoop interacted with the Tupac avatar onstage in such a way as to give the illusion of three dimensions, it was really just a two-dimensional optical illusion — and not only that, but one first invented in the 1860’s!

There are two parts to the illusion: first, the computer program created by the Oscar-winning Digital Domain Media Group, which worked with Dr. Dre to create a perfect simulacrum, or likeness,of the deceased rap star. Digital Domain is the leader in the field of this sort of computer-generated imagery, and has done similar posthumous reconstructions for several unnamed corporate clients.

The company took physical images and video movement from footage of the rapper when he was still alive, got input from Tupac’s friends and colleagues on the realism of the animation, and finally created an all-new video recording of a performance that never happened. In fact, when the ghost first appeared, he saluted the Coachella crowd by name, despite having died three years before the annual festival even started.

And the second part of the illusion? Read on to find out how the Coachella audience was artfully deceived by a projector and a reflection.

The Projection, the Illusion and Pepper’s Ghost

For the performance itself, the San Diego-based company AV Concepts used an updated version of the stage technique “Pepper’s Ghost,” which was first invented by John Henry Pepper for an 1862 Charles Dickens theatrical show. In essence, the illusion uses the fact that glass can be both transparent and reflective to create effects that confuse the two. Perhaps the simplest way to understand it is to think about your living room windows at night. If you have your indoor lights on, people can see in but you can’t really see out — the light reflects back at you. If you turn off the lights inside, the opposite happens and people can’t see you from the street.

The same effect is in play with Pepper’s Ghost: Trickery with your light source makes objects reflected in a glass look like they’re on the other side of it. The area where the image appears is built to be identical to the hidden area where the object actually is, so the glass we’re looking at is actually doing double-duty: Both reflecting the hidden area (the “blue room,” in theatrical parlance) and transparently revealing the area we’re supposed to be looking at. The illuminated objects in the hidden area, then, appear to hang in the room we’re actually looking at.

For the Tupac illusion, for example, the video was actually projected from above the stage, straight down onto a reflective surface that bounced the image up onto a Mylar screen for Snoop to sing along with. Because the only light source being reflected onto the screen was Tupac himself, the stage area and the mirror that bounced the image onto the stage foil looked exactly the same, letting Tupac’s image hang in the air . just like a ghost.

Leading up to the 2012 Republican National Convention, rumors were flying that a holographic Ronald Reagan was going to make an appearance at the event, but it didn’t happen. Apparently, the former president’s digital debut was postponed after Republican activists voiced concerns that the spectacle would eclipse Mitt Romney’s speech [source: Pfeiffer].

Birthdays, accomplishments, any special occasions were, for me, chances to ask for a trip to the science museum. From Phoenix to Albuquerque to Houston and San Antonio, my trips to health and science museums across the southwest are some of the best memories of my childhood. To this day, I still love animatronic dinosaurs and hope one day to own an army of them — but my favorite up-close exhibits were always the ones that used the Pepper’s Ghost illusion to transform my face into something else (an ape’s face, usually) with hand-operated lights and mirrored glass. They’re scary and funny, and because the physics behind the illusion are so strong, just as visceral and fascinating 20 years later as they were when I was a kid.

How do holograms work on stage

Sep. 22 2021, Published 8:20 p.m. ET

Shows like The Voice and The Masked Singer have redefined the way we view competition-based reality shows by concealing the contestant’s identities and forcing them to rely on their talent alone to win. Fox puts a technological spin on this popular series format in the fall premiere of Alter Ego, which is scheduled to air on Sept. 22.

In the show, contestants reinvent themselves through colorful avatars that they handpick themselves. Using cutting-edge motion-capture suits that have never been used before on TV, 20 singers from all walks of life go head-to-head in a one-of-a-kind game show to win a $100,000 grand prize. After a series of performances, only one contestant will be named the next digital superstar.

But if their true identities are hidden, what exactly does the audience see on Alter Ego? Here’s what we know about the show so far.

How do holograms work on stage

What does the audience see on ‘Alter Ego’? Not what you’d think.

Over the years, we’ve learned that not everything on reality TV is as it seems, and this is especially true on Fox’s new game show.

In Season 5 of The Masked Singer, showrunners implemented a virtual audience that allowed viewers to get a front-row seat at the competition without the risk of catching COVID-19. Alter Ego uses this same technology to project each contestant’s avatar to the live studio audience via big-screen televisions. Judges are able to tune into each performance by way of monitors below their desks.

Although both the audience and the judges get to watch the performances in real-time, they don’t actually see each avatar performing on stage, which was empty at the time of filming. The show reminds many viewers of its sister series, The Masked Singer, but they will ultimately find that the game show is unlike any other singing competition on television. So how does Alter Ego work?

How do holograms work on stage

How does ‘Alter Ego’ work?

Alanis Morissette, Grimes, Nick Lachey, and are responsible for choosing the most valuable player in Season 1 of Alter Ego, and it won’t be easy. Hosted by Rocsi Diaz, the competition requires contestants to bring their A-game to earn immunity ahead of each elimination, which will be determined by each singer’s stage presence, vocal ability, and creativity.

Ahead of each episode, each singer will fight to out-perform the contestant with immunity, and Grimes says the stakes are high.

“[Becoming] a digital pop star is just purely about your talent and not how you look. The singers basically create their fantasy pop star version of themselves. The singers are backstage and their performance is being captured and then mapped onto their avatar, who is on the stage performing for us,” Grimes says in a teaser for the series. “I feel like I know a lot of people who feel a lot more accepted in the digital realm. I know I do.”

Home / A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Holograms in Your Classroom

It seems whenever we introduce new technology to our students, they’re eager to jump in. The rapid pace of development for tech means they are constantly encountering new ideas. While their enthusiasm is great, it also can be a little daunting. As educators, we may not always be comfortable bringing these new ideas and processes into our classrooms.

One project sure to capture your students’ attention is holograms. This sounds daunting, but it is completely doable for any art teacher. Your kids will be impressed, and they’ll have a blast! Kerri Waller presented this idea in her Art Ed Now presentation, 6 STEAM Lessons Your Students Will Love, and conference attendees were intrigued!

Follow the steps below to create your own low-tech holograms!

How do holograms work on stage

1. Gain a basic understanding of the process.

The first step to this project is gaining a basic understanding of how holograms work. Although these creations are easiest to describe as holograms, they are actually the result of the Pepper’s Ghost effect. Pepper’s Ghost is an illusion effect that makes images appear like holograms or ghostly apparitions. It is a common special effect technique used in theaters, amusement parks, concerts, and museums. The illusion is made possible with glass (or glass-like surfaces such as a transparency) and light. Because of ray optics, light is reflected and refracted to produce an image that appears like a hologram.

2. Create a hologram pyramid projector.

How do holograms work on stage

To start this project, your students will need to create pyramid projectors. These are the clear, pyramid-shaped containers that will help reflect and refract the light. This step sounds complicated, but all you need to do is run a transparency through the copy machine.

The easiest way to make the projector is to use this DIY hologram template download from the website, Cafundo, and follow the steps below.

  1. Decide if you will display your hologram with a tablet or a mobile phone.
  2. Choose the corresponding template size from the download.
  3. Print the template you need.
  4. Copy the template onto a transparency by running it through the copy machine.
    Check to make sure your copy machine can handle transparencies! If it can’t, you can carefully trace the template onto a transparency with a thin permanent marker. Use a ruler to make sure the lines are precise.
  5. Follow the directions on the download to cut out and assemble the hologram pyramid projector.

If you want to push this project further and incorporate math, you could have your students create their own templates using rulers.

3. Create an image.

One of the coolest aspects of this project is that the images to be projected can be created digitally or traditionally. Students can either create in a graphics program or create with traditional media, snap a photo, and upload it to the device.

Whichever approach you choose, make sure to follow these steps to ensure a successful hologram projection.

How do holograms work on stage

  1. Start with a black or dark-colored background.
    This will result in the hologram projection showing up bright and clear.
  2. Before creating the image, draw an “x” to divide the paper or screen.
    If using traditional materials, draw lightly as you’ll want to remove the “x” later on.
  3. Draw an image in one of the four triangular-shaped spaces.
  4. Repeat the same image in the three remaining spaces.
    This is an excellent opportunity to discuss symmetry. If students are using text, make sure to tell them to write backward since the image will be reflected.

Let’s take a look at 3 examples, each created differently.

Example 1: Digital Image

How do holograms work on stage

Students can create a digital image in Photoshop or a similar program like Pixlr or Adobe Draw. Here you can see the “x” has been removed from the image.

Example 2: Digital Animation

How do holograms work on stage

To take the digital creation process a step further, students can animate their images. Creating a simple GIF animation will make for an interesting projection.

Example 3: Traditional Drawing or Painting

How do holograms work on stage

Remember, images do not need to be created digitally. Using a piece of black construction paper students can draw or paint an image using the same setup. Materials that contrast with black paper will work best. Try using metallic markers, gel pens, or oil pastels for best results.

4. Present Your Hologram

How do holograms work on stage

To create the holographic effect, you must have your digital image or traditional drawing on a tablet or smartphone. The digital image can be shared with the device you will be using to project. To project the traditional image, simply take a photo of it. You can see the hologram best if the lights are turned off. Place the transparency projector from Step 2 in the middle of the image on the device and look at the side of the projector. The image will appear as if it is floating in the center of the projector.

If you’ve been wanting to try a project that implements basic technology while integrating math and science principles, give this one a try! Your students will be engaged in the process and will create some fantastic hologram images!

Have you ever made holograms in your art room?

What is your favorite low-tech project to do in the art room?

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.

Home » Entertainment » ABBA is back, but as a hologram; how does that work?

  • by archyw
  • September 4, 2021
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How do holograms work on stage

For laymen ‘holograms’ sounds complicated, but it’s actually not that bad, says Frencken. “What they do on stage: they stretch a transparent screen that reflects, at an angle of 45 degrees. They make a projection on the floor or on the ceiling. It reflects in that canvas, making it look like the performers are standing upright on the stage,” said the expert. Recently, this was also done with 2Pac, he says.

Incidentally, the holograms are not the members of ABBA themselves, but ‘avatars’ of their young versions. They are recorded using special suits with balls that register movements. If you put a lot of time into this, it can be lifelike, says Frencken. “It’s so bizarrely realistic that you can’t tell it from the real thing anymore.”

music legends

Radio 2 DJ Jeroen Kijk in de Vegte was present at the announcement event in London. He spoke with the male half of ABBA, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. They were themselves, not holograms. “Benny said he sits behind the piano every day making songs. Sometimes they go straight into the trash and sometimes he calls Björn with: is there anything in this?” Jeroen thinks it’s nice to see, he says: “They are still those music legends!”

ABBA put two new songs on streaming services during the event: I still have faith in you on Don’t shut me down. Look in de Vegte is happy with it: “The first one has a Christmas atmosphere, I actually like that.” The atmosphere at the event was also very good: “It was a kind of Eurovision atmosphere”, he laughs.

How do holograms work on stage?

Whether it’s holograms and giving you the heebie-jeebies or a dose of nostalgia, you have to admit the technology is impressive. but how does it work? And are these really holograms or just projections?

Of course, not all holograms on stage are posthumous ethical conundrums. The technology has been used to simulcast performances, to throw music on stage with Madonna, and to bring fictional stars to life.

Sorry, they are not holograms

Let’s clean things up real quick. There is a lot of debate about what is or is not a hologram. So for the sake of discussion, let’s stick with a very simple definition of the word hologram.

Holograms are independent 3D light structures. They don’t project onto a surface (that would make them 2D), but they can be diffused by glass, sci-fi moon crystals, or whatever object will do the job.

So, Princess Leia’s secret message in Star Wars? That’s a hologram. The ghost of Michael Jackson? That’s not a hologram, it’s projected onto a flat surface and exists in 2D (but we’ll still refer to these as holograms to keep things simple).

Either way, these holographic concerts are a step in the right direction. But they’re not exactly a new idea. Holographic performances by Tupac, Janelle Monae, MIA and others are based on an 1860s parlor trick called . It’s a simple trick that was used extensively at fairs, plays, and Victorian parties. You’ve seen it in action at Disney’s Haunted Mansion if you’ve ever been to Disneyland.

Pepper’s Ghost’s gimmick is literally smoke and mirrors (well, minus the smoke). A reflective glass panel sits on a stage and slopes down to a hidden booth. When the hidden cabin is illuminated, it reflects an image onto the glass panel, which then reflects the image back out to the audience. At eye level, this image would look squashed (remember, the glass is at an angle). But because the audience is facing the stage, the image appears “correct,” with a translucent, ghostly quality.

Of course, the Pepper’s Ghost stunt, a garden variety, requires an actor. Last time we checked, Michael Jackson was dead, so we can assume the technology has changed a bit, right?

Musion Eyeliner Projections

Musion Eyeliner sounds like some shitty local band, but it’s actually a modernized, proprietary version of the Pepper’s Ghost gimmick. And, in a way, it’s even simpler than Pepper’s Ghost.

Instead of relying on secret rooms, actors, and glass to project humans onto a stage, Musion’s eyeliner trick simply requires a projector and a thin sheet of mylar.

First, the mylar sheet is placed at the front of a stage at a 45-degree angle. Then a projector in front of the stage shoots an image onto the mylar sheet.

And that’s all there is to it, something like that. There also needs to be a source video for these projections. Ideally, the original video is completely still, creating the illusion that there is a performer on stage. This can be done by recording a performance with a still camera, or by creating an expensive 3D model and then manipulating it to sing and dance (holograms of Tupac, Jackson, and Roy Orbison are 3D models).

problems with technology

Aside from the obvious ethical dilemmas, Musion Eyeliner has many shortcomings and technological vulnerabilities:

Phase Issues: The more elaborate Musion Eyeliner holograms use multiple projectors to make as wide and detailed an image as possible. But these projectors must work perfectly with each other. If one gets out of phase, it ruins the image.
Rippled Screens: Musion Eyeliner holograms are based on a thin mylar screen, which “flutters” like a flag when hit by a good gust of wind. This is very easy to see in the , where the entire stage appears to be underwater.
Viewing Angle – Again, the viewing angle of the audience determines whether a Musion Eyeliner hologram looks “correct” or “squashed”. When viewed from the side, these projections can appear flat, like paper.
Lighting: Musion eyeliner projections work best in dark or dim settings. The problem is that they always create brilliant images, which is not a big problem on its own. However, holograms in dark environments can look ridiculously bright and flat, especially when real people are roaming the stage (as shown in ).
Cost: It doesn’t cost much to set up a Musion Eyeliner hologram. But recreating famous people in 3D costs a lot of money (Tupac’s 3D model costs around $400,000). Even with a sold-out auditorium, it’s hard to recoup that kind of expense.

You probably shouldn’t judge Musion Eyeliner Holograms on their technical shortcomings. But the fact that wind can ruin these projections is a sign of how young this technology is.

The future of holograms

Right now, most of your favorite electronics companies are spending loads of money on augmented reality. From Instagram filters and Pokémon Go to creepy undead musicians, we’re getting ever closer to the inevitable: genuine 3D holograms.

It’s hard to tell when genuine holograms will become commonplace, but they may be used for entertainment for decades to come. We already know that there is a market for hologram concerts. the (which are, essentially, small-scale 3D versions of the Pepper’s Ghost gimmick).

At the moment, we’re just waiting for the technology to mature a bit. When that happens, no one knows. In the meantime, we’ll just have to live with (and get used to) creepy posthumous concerts and Hatsune Miku.

Sponsored Links

Perhaps you watched the Billboard Music Awards and were aghast (or impressed) by Michael Jackson’s performance from beyond the grave. Or maybe you were at Coachella and caught a resurrected Tupac onstage with real-life Snoop Dogg. Hell, let’s say you were wooed by India’s Narendra Modi in his recent holographic stump speeches. Maybe none of the above? Well, either way, here’s a bit of disappointing news: None of those were true holograms, despite our dreams of a sci-fi future. The aforementioned performances are a product of a centuries-old technique called “Pepper’s Ghost.” You might’ve seen this on a pretty grand scale during a family vacation to Disneyland, too. The park’s Haunted Mansion ride uses it extensively, especially during the ballroom scene where “ghosts” are dancing all over the place. The key difference between what we’re seeing now and what’s been used for the past few hundred years? The tech being used has gotten much more advanced.


Before we get into what this spate of digital resurrections is, let’s start with what this technique isn’t: an honest-to-goodness hologram, the likes of Princess Leia pleading for Obi-Wan’s help. Holograms use an array of lights to project a 3D image that’s viewable from all sides. What we’re seeing now is more of a parlor trick involving some figurative smoke and literal mirrors. Why it seems that no one much cared about any of this before the dead were involved, though, isn’t exactly clear — especially when one of the key companies behind the recent craze, Dimensional Studios, is responsible for basically all of the performances you’re familiar with. Its work dates back to Madonna performing with Gorillaz at the Grammy awards in 2006, and Al Gore speaking in Tokyo at 2007’s Live Earth concert.


The holographic people we’ve seen are based off of an illusion called “Pepper’s Ghost,” developed by Henry Dircks and John Pepper in 1863. The concept requires two rooms, some specifically placed glass and carefully controlled lighting. A room adjacent to the viewing area (or stage) is set up as a mirror-image of the area the audience sees; if there’s a chair on the right of the stage, it’s on the left in the other room. The key difference is that other room is either painted black or entirely unlit, so as not to cast any unwanted reflections that would break the suspension of disbelief. That room is where the performer resides. The stage area must be brightly lit at first for the whole thing to work. Then, the stage’s lights are dimmed slightly and the lights are raised in the mirror-image room, which causes the not-physical performer to appear.

Whereas applications of yore relied on physical objects like animatronics or human beings, modern takes are a bit different. Tupac’s Coachella performance and the King of Pop’s appearance at the Billboard awards, for example, were based on meticulously detailed computer-generated models. In the case of Modi, his avatar was the result of HD video capture. As one aspect of the tech progresses, so does another. Instead of glass, the performances you’re probably most familiar with rely on something called a Musion Eyeliner 3D setup, which utilizes a digital light processing projector (DLP) — like what’s used in movie theaters — to beam an image onto a type of reflective, metallic screen instead of melted sand.

Because of that, the modern setup requires only one room: the stage. Typically, it involves the Musion screen to be at a 45-degree angle with the projector residing beneath the stage, pointing and projecting upward. For the Jackson performance, however, it was a bit different. Six projectors threw the King of Pop’s video on a rear-projection screen hanging above the stage. The angled Musion screen picked that projection up, and from the audience’s perspective, he appeared at the back of the stage. Careful placement of dancers and band members added to the illusion of depth and dimension.


Well, for starters, this could mean seeing a speaker wherever you might live, regardless of what their respective tour circuit is (or if they’re still living and breathing). As the technology progresses, this sort of thing could happen right in your living room and you could have a real-time conversation with friends or loved ones from around the world. If you aren’t cool with using Skype to video chat with mom back home, though, this might not be any more comfortable.


There’s a murky side to all of this, though. In the case of the deceased, how comfortable are we seeing the dead being paraded out to shill products posthumously? This takes something like the Paula Abdul and Gene Kelley Diet Coke commercial from the early ’90s to a new level (see that madness below).

There’s also an issue involving the uncanny valley: when artificial human features just miss the mark of an accurate recreation and come off as inherently creepy. Some have said that in the YouTube videos of the Jackson and Tupac performances, something is slightly off. The movements are a little too smooth and fluid, and appear artificial as a result. This isn’t limited to digital recreations either; Modi looks a bit artificial in his simulcast speech too, as if he’s suffering from the “soap opera effect” seen on some HDTVs (moving just a bit too perfectly).

Also, what’s to stop the less-than-savory from recreating one of history’s most influential speakers (and greatest monsters), Adolf Hitler, to lead a new genocidal army? To be sure, there’s a possible dark side to any form of technology, but the implications of this are a touch more terrifying than some others.


Of course you do! USA Today recently sat down with the team behind MJ’s posthumous performance and got them to dish their secrets; they even cried during the show, apparently. If you’re more of a rap fan, Ars Technica poked and prodded academics about Tupac’s Coachella gig a few years back. Fancy setting up a low-fi ghostly illusion on your own? Let the folks at Make show you how its done — it’s never too early to start planning for Halloween.

The mass holograms production includes chain of processes resembles all other known printing technologies and goes through well-known stages: Design, Prepress, Printing, Finishing etc.

In some of the stages standard equipment is used or adapted, such as slitting and rewinding, kiss-cutting, layering, personalization and numbering, hot-stamping or laminating. The artwork is projected on well-known software products like Adobe or Corel platforms.

But some operations are different. Here we describe specific processes like Hologram origination, creating of Embossing tools and Hologram embossing, which are basic in holography. They differ holographic production from standard printing processes.

Creating a holographic images is process called Hologram Origination or Hologram Mastering. The result is single hologram recorded onto photo-resist.

Different technics for mastering are known by different names or brands on the Security holograms market: 2D/3D holograms, Dot-Matrix holograms, E-beam holograms etc. They create different types of holographic images or DOVE.

There are table top systems, easy to operate and could be managed by one operator. Other systems combines the work of a team of specialists – mathematicians, physicists, designers, engineers. Every Holographic origination studio develops his own security features and have different security level.

Generally we have two types of holograms: Analog and Digital (computer generated)

How do holograms work on stageOptical table with He-Cd LASER system

The old school Analog holograms have been created by classical way. Like in the analog photography they are recorded image of the object onto photosensitive material – glass plate with photo-resist layer. The difference between the photographic and holographic images is that the hologram consist more information about the object. Holograms need more resolution. What because it’s necessary to have special studio placed in d ark room, special light source – LASER, optical vibro-isolated table, special optics, etc.

How do holograms work on stage Computer-generated Artwork

Mo dern holograms are computer-generated. They do not need real objects. In the design stage we create the object using computer. The result is digital format artwork file. The object is vector- format multi-layer color picture.

Then we must convert the Artwork to a real hologram. This process needs special equipment and software, which records original image onto glass plate with photo-resist. After photo-resist developing, the result is Master hologram.

How do holograms work on stage Hologram’s surface microscopic picture

The surface after the developing became a collection of microscopic peaks and valleys.

In spite of the hologram type, recording method, equipment and security level, all types of Master holograms have a similar structure – micro-relief.

The hologram manufactures use this micro-relief structures in the mass production of the holograms. Process of printing is called Hologram embossing.

Printing machines in mass holograms production are reel-to-reel equipment that use printing nickel forms and high pressure and temperature to print the holograms. This process is called Hologram embossing. The embossing (printing) machines transfer the micro-relief created by Master origination to special materials. Thin nickel replica is used to press surface pattern from Work shim into a plastic foil. No ink is used, only temperature and pressure.

Hologram embossing

The embossed pattern in the foil is provided with a very thin reflective layer of aluminum or another metal, like gold or chromium, which transforms the transmission hologram into a reflection hologram. In spite of the thinness of the metal layer, such embossed reflection holograms are completely opaque. Semitransparent alternatives can be achieved by the application of high-refractive-index layer (ZnSe, TiO2) as well as partially metallized layers, which render so-called semitransparent overlays or see-through holograms.

The first step in mass hologram production is to create printing plates called Holographic shims.

Printing process in Holography, called Hologram embossing, transfers the microscopic surface relief created during the Mater origination onto special embossing base materials.

The process of preparing tools for mass hologram production pass through the following steps:

  • Converting Master hologram from photo-resist to metal – usually silver;
  • Creating a nickel replica using electroforming process;
  • Multiplying a single image from a nickel original to a plastic base (recombining);
  • Converting multiple images from plastic to nickel. This product is called a Master shim;
  • After that the Master shim is used as an original for the reproduction of Working shims using electroforming again.

Electroforming is the process of copying holographic images. Depend of task it maybe converting image from photo-resist or plastic to metal (nickel), or just metal-metal copying.

Recombining is the process also known as step and repeat, multiply the single image from Master hologram. The result is big size holographic plastic plate -in narrow web embossing usually up to 12″x12″

Electroforming and recombining complete prepress process for mass production of holograms. Work shims are used as instruments for embossing.

How do holograms work on stageAfter embossing, depending on the end product, embossed foil gets through some additional operations: laminating, die cutting, adhesive coating, slitting, rewinding. Holograms can be applied to a product as an adhesive label, hot-stamped onto an item, used as a thread or tape, or used as an over-laminate of a product.

How do holograms work on stageFor high security applications security printers use different additional processes like numbering and selective demetalization, hot foil stamping, laminating.

HoloLens lets you view holograms, which are objects made of light and sound that appear in the world around you like real objects. Holograms can respond to your gaze, gestures, and voice commands. They can even interact with real-world surfaces around you. Holograms are digital objects that are part of your world.

Device support

Feature HoloLens (first gen) HoloLens 2 Immersive headsets
Holograms вњ”пёЏ вњ”пёЏ вќЊ

A hologram is made of light and sound


The holograms that HoloLens renders appear in the holographic frame directly in front of users’ eyes. Holograms add light to your world, which means that you see both the light from the display and the light from your surrounding world. Since HoloLens uses an additive display that adds light, the black color will be rendered transparent.

Holograms can have different appearances and behaviors. Some are realistic and solid, and others are cartoonish and ethereal. You can use holograms to highlight features in your environment or use them as elements in your app’s user interface.

How do holograms work on stage


Holograms can also produce sounds, which appear to come from a specific place in your environment. On HoloLens, sound comes from two speakers that are located directly above your ears. Same as the holographic displays, the speakers are additive, introducing new sounds without blocking the sounds from your environment.

A hologram can be placed in the world or tag along with you

When you have a fixed location for a hologram, you can place it precisely at that point in the world. As you walk around, the hologram appears stationary based on the world around you, just like a physical object. If you use a spatial anchor to pin the object, the system can even remember where you left it when you come back later.

How do holograms work on stage

Some holograms follow the user instead. They position themselves based on the user. You can choose to bring a hologram with you, and then place it on the wall once you get to another room.

Best practices

  • Some scenarios demand that holograms remain easily discoverable or visible throughout the experience. There are two high-level approaches to this kind of positioning. Let’s call them display-locked and body-locked.
    • Display-locked content is locked to the display device. This type of content is tricky for several reasons, including an unnatural feeling of “clingyness” that makes many users frustrated and wanting to “shake it off.” In general, designers have found it better to avoid display-locking content.
    • Body-locked content can be far more forgiving. Body-locking is when you tether a hologram to the user’s body or gaze vector in 3D space. Many experiences have adopted a body-locking behavior where the hologram follows the user’s gaze, which allows the user to rotate their body and move through space without losing the hologram. Incorporating a delay helps the hologram movements to feel more natural. For example, some core UI of the Windows Holographic OS uses a variation on body-locking that follows the user’s gaze with a gentle, elastic-like delay while the user turns their head.
  • Place the hologram at a comfortable viewing distance typically about 1-2 meters away from the head.
  • Allow elements to drift if they must be continually in the holographic frame, or consider moving your content to one side of the display when the user changes their point of view. For more information, see the billboarding and tag-along article.

Place holograms in the optimal zone–between 1.25 m and 5 m

Two meters is the optimal viewing distance. The experience will start to degrade as you get closer than one meter. At distances less than one meter, holograms that regularly move in depth are more likely to be problematic than stationary holograms. Consider gracefully clipping or fading out your content when it gets too close so you don’t jar the user into an unpleasant viewing experience.

How do holograms work on stage

A hologram interacts with you and your world

Holograms aren’t only about light and sound; they’re also an active part of your world. Gaze at a hologram and gesture with your hand, and a hologram can start to follow you. Give a voice command, and the hologram can reply.

How do holograms work on stage

Holograms enable personal interactions that aren’t possible elsewhere. Because the HoloLens knows where it is in the world, a holographic character can look at you directly in the eyes and start a conversation with you.

A hologram can also interact with your surroundings. For example, you can place a holographic bouncing ball above a table. Then, with an air tap, watch the ball bounce, and make sound as it hits the table.

Holograms can also be occluded by real-world objects. For example, a holographic character might walk through a door and behind a wall, out of your sight.

Tips for integrating holograms and the real world

  • Aligning to gravitational rules makes holograms easier to relate to and more believable. For example: Place a holographic dog on the ground & a vase on the table rather than have them floating in space.
  • Many designers have found that they can integrate more believable holograms by creating a “negative shadow” on the surface that the hologram is sitting on. They do this by creating a soft glow on the ground around the hologram and then subtracting the “shadow” from the glow. The soft glow integrates with the light from the real world. The shadow is used to ground the hologram in the environment.

A hologram is what
you can dream up

As a holographic developer, you have the power to break your creativity out of 2D screens and into the world around you.

What will you build?

How do holograms work on stage

Next Discovery Checkpoint

You’re on the discovery journey we’ve laid out, and exploring the basics of Mixed Reality. From here, you can continue to the next foundational topic:

How do holograms work on stage

A new type of hologram projector is making its way into classrooms around the world.

The technology, dubbed holograms, are a new form of computer-generated imagery that can be used to communicate with students, teachers and staff.

The concept is a new kind of computing that’s changing how we think about the world and what we see.

The new technology is a form of augmented reality that allows users to take pictures of objects and then create a 3D model of those objects.

It allows users, for example, to look up and see the name of a restaurant or restaurant menu, or to see a photo of a person that they know.

They can also send a message to another user that they are looking at a picture of a certain person.

The holograms themselves are 3D objects.

The first hologram to be commercially developed was developed in Germany, and now a number of other countries around the globe are using the technology.

Now, many of the companies that are making holograms say the technology is very useful, and that it will make their business and their lives a lot easier.

But many are concerned about privacy.

In a recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center, the public’s concerns about the technology were the most common.

About two-thirds of the respondents said they would not allow their children to use the technology for the first time.

The Pew study found that the majority of Americans are comfortable with the use of holograms for educational purposes, and only about half of the people surveyed were concerned that their child would be uncomfortable with them.

What’s more, only about a quarter of respondents said the technology could be used by children to learn.

But some worry that it could be too easy to exploit the technology to spy on people.

The study found there are already ways for a user to use a computer to create a virtual image of a particular person that is very close to them.

In that scenario, the user would be able to see that person’s face and would be unable to look away from them.

If the user wanted to use that technology to identify someone who might be a threat to them, they would need to be very specific.

And they would have to have the ability to create that virtual image.

In addition to being used for spying, the technology has the potential to allow people to create false identities.

And if that’s what people want to do, it’s not too hard to make a hologram that looks like someone who they know is actually a different person.

And there are a lot of people out there who would like to do that.

Some people even think it could allow people with real-world connections to impersonate people they don’t know.

So, there are some very big concerns.

The problem is, even if it’s a good idea, there is no guarantee that the user will actually be using the device to create the image.

And that’s a problem.

So how can you tell if a person is using holograms to create an image?

You can look at the real world to see if they’re doing it.

So if a real person is looking at your screen, you might be able tell by looking at the light from the sun, or the colors of your skin, or other physical characteristics.

But you’re not sure.

It’s not as easy as looking at their face or their face-scanning device.

And you don’t have access to their face.

It might be hard to tell if they are using it to create images or if they just use it to pretend.

And it’s important to note that holograms are just a form that the technology allows us to create.

They’re not a physical object.

And the technology that we use to create holograms is not as sophisticated as that of the computer that created the image in the first place.

What we have right now is the ability of a computer program to create virtual images.

The same software that is able to create pictures of people can create images of objects, and then use that image to communicate.

And in some cases, that communication is being encrypted.

The way the technology works is that the software uses a special set of algorithms to determine the shape of a virtual object that it’s going to create, which then is used to create and create an object, then that object is then used to send a digital signal that the person is really looking at you.

And because we have that technology, we don’t even have to actually see the object in the real-time to create those holograms.

So that means that the image is created instantly, and the data is not stored in a computer.

And so, it doesn’t even require the person to actually look at it to make the image, and it doesn.

So what’s more important is that you’re creating that image that is actually real.

So we have a real world in which we are constantly interacting with people.

We interact with people every day, and they are real people.

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Holographic effects are an innovative way for audiences to consume content. We know holograms best from Hollywood blockbusters like Star Wars and Iron Man. But did you know these stunning visual effects can also be simulated at your next event?

Event technology companies continue to develop the technology and expertise needed to captivate your audiences in new ways and one of the latest methods is through the use of holographic effects. Here are some reasons to consider this dynamic imaging option for your next marketing initiative:

  • Grab their attention: Holograms instantly attract attendees attention due to their “unique” appearance, and will put the focus on your message/brand allowing you to stand out in a busy or distracting environment
  • Unreal possibilities: Holographic presentations allow your audience to virtually see objects on stage that otherwise wouldn’t be able to be presented in a stage/show environment
  • Memorable experience: Holograms can create a lasting effect on customers, inspiring them to take action and socially share your content, message and brand

When done right, these visual images can enhance your event space and allow people to interact with your brand on a whole other level. But in order to choose the right holographic effect for your project, it’s best to understand how holograms are created. It also helps to understand aesthetic trends, and why some effects are more powerful than others.

How do holograms work?

There are several ways to create a holographic effect in your event space and choosing the right method for your space is critical for the success of the effect. Factors such as ambient light, audience viewing angle, the content or message and your budget are huge determining elements that need to be considered prior to choosing the effect that is right for your event.

In order for your audience to see your holographic effect you need a surface for the projected light to interact with. This is because we do not see light directly, we see the reflection of light off of an object or surface. The chosen surface can be a sheet of glass with a film applied, a semi-transparent scrim material or a clear film suspended at a very precise angle to act as a two-way mirror. Each of these methods produces a different level of holographic effect and the right technique will depend on your content and event environment.

When are holograms most effective?

Whether you manage a world-class brand or boutique communications firm, holographic effects can make an impact at your next event. The consensus seems to be that holograms look great at tradeshows, big-stage gatherings and inside retail windows. Holograms are most effective in larger spaces because the distance is what makes an image appear solid, further lending to its realism.

If your company is trying to convey sophisticated product features, holographic effects are an excellent choice. It’s no secret that consumers have very short attention spans. But holograms have the ability to engage people for longer periods of time. By showcasing your offerings through a visually-stunning medium, your audience will pay attention long enough to process the information. Consumers will forget momentarily that they’re being marketed to, giving them a chance to interact freely with your brand.

In what scenarios can holograms be applied?

The audience, no matter where they are, will respond positively to exciting visual presentations that are aesthetically-stimulating. Although holograms often feature one large object or character, this engaging effects can be used to convey all sorts of concepts. For example, holograms can be used by keynote speakers to present information in unique ways — without relying on the traditional PowerPoint presentation.

Here are some fantastic ways in which this innovative technology has been used:

  • Beam your band around the world as a hologram Virtual Live Band via hologram
  • Use live talent and holographic effects to create an awe inspiring reveal
  • Bring museum artifacts to life using holograms, allowing visitors to consume history in a new way

Why choose us to create your next hologram?

Encore Canada features an expert team of event professionals that are dedicated to ensuring your next event is a success. If you’re looking for a truly sensational holographic effect with a huge impact, rely on Encore Canada. We believe in helping our clients connect with their audiences in meaningful ways and we do this by helping our clients discover the perfect technology and/or medium to effectively deliver their important message.

For more information on holograms, call us at 1-800-868-6886 or contact us here.

24 Sep 2019 24 September 2019

Whatever music you like, nothing beats seeing your favourite band or artist live in concert, right?

You and your mates singing along to your favourite tracks with thousands of other fans.

But does the performer actually need to be there for the show?

Well not if they’ve got a ‘hologram’. BTS, Janelle Monae and MIA are just some of the music stars using the tech in their shows.

Discover more amazing holograms

Meet Hatsune Miku, a 16-year-old pop star from Sapporo, Japan.

She opened for Lady Gaga during her 2014 tour, released a remix of Happy with Pharrell Williams, and is off on her world tour on 14 October.

Miku regularly performs to thousands of fans at her sell-out concerts across the globe.

But Miku is a hologram. A special computer programme allows her to sing and perform and fans can even use this programme at home to make their own songs!

How does a ‘hologram’ concert work?

Strictly speaking what happens isn’t exactly a hologram, it’s more like a clever reflection.

Projectors, like the one you see at the back of a cinema, play pre-recorded video of a music star onto a big piece of glass, that the audience can’t see. Like a cinema it needs to be really dark for it to work well.

This glass, called a mylar sheet, is set at an angle so that when the video reflects off it it looks like it’s a real three-dimensional moving human.

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In 2019, Amy Winehouse will tour the world. Sort of.

Key points:

  • The technology used to bring dead singers back to life is getting better
  • It is a burgeoning industry, both competitive and litigious
  • Holograms of Tupac, Michael Jackson and others have performed

The much-loved British singer, who struggled for years with drug and alcohol addiction while producing hits like Rehab and Back To Black, died in 2011.

But a hologram version of Winehouse will tour internationally next year, her father announced recently, moving about the stage backed by a live band in a show that could last almost two hours.

It is not the first time a dead musician has been resurrected on-stage via the magic on technology. The late Roy Orbison played recently, Michael Jackson performed at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards and Tupac appeared at Coachella in 2012, more than a decade after his death.

The technology behind this post-human age of live entertainment is reaching a tipping point, with several companies clamouring — sometimes by way of the courts — to create a hologram performance that can be as engaging as a human one.

In the process, they hope to unlock vast amounts of money in the back catalogues of the 20th Century’s biggest artists.

The technology is cutting edge, but based on old-fashioned theory

The current crop of productions are 2D video projections, rather than proper holograms, and they are pre-recorded, not live. That’s according to Mike Seymour, a digital human researcher at the University of Sydney who has worked in visual effects in London and Hollywood.

While the imagery is photorealistic, using complex neural networks to build a reconstruction of a famous face, the method used to project that image onto a stage is not new.

“Hologram USA uses a high-tech, [high-definition] version of the 19th Century Pepper’s Ghost technique,” says billionaire Alki David, whose company Hologram USA owns the rights to create holograms of Billie Holiday, Jackie Wilson and others.

“It was the original ‘smoke and mirrors’ way to put a ghost on a stage.”

Most productions start by filming a performance, usually by an impersonator, to nail down the dance moves and the general physicality of the celebrity, Mr Seymour says.

“So, you could obviously film someone dancing like Michael Jackson and then replace [the face] with a digital version of Michael Jackson’s face, reconstructed from a tonne of images of Michael Jackson,” Mr Seymour said.

That face you create will initially be inert. The next thing you need to do is “rig” it.

“That rigging phase is the second stage, and that you can think of it as producing a bunch of digital leavers or puppet strings that would allow you to pull an expression on the face — or for that matter the body — of a digital character that you had.”

After that, you have got to “drive the puppet”. This can be done by using cameras attached to an actor’s head to capture their facial movements.

“So, if I’ve got that head rig on, if I say the word hello, it reads my lip movements, from the cameras that are on my head rig, and then it pulls the digital strings” to make the holographic singer say hello.

From there, the video will be rendered and the light will be fixed to make shadows fall where they should.

“Live performers on stage with a hologram can see reflections the audience can’t, and adjust their movements to fit,” Mr David said of his company’s approach.

“But with our advancements, and powerful projectors, we’re able to present holograms that are opaque, so that the problem of ‘show through’ is minimised.”

Eyellusion, another US company with upcoming shows featuring a holographic Frank Zappa, uses a recording of the artist from a real live performance as the vocal track for the show.

As for interaction with the audience, “you can do banter in advance,” the firm’s CEO and founder, Jeff Pezutti, said.

“There is future technology where [live banter] can happen, and will happen, but for now it’s a pre-produced show, so you’ve just got to be smart about where you put it so it feels seamless.”

This is a competitive — and litigious — space

The Amy Winehouse tour is being put together by Base Hologram, which was also behind the Orbison show in Los Angeles in October.

Hologram tours are a potentially lucrative field for companies like Base, as well as its major competitors, and record labels.

Finding ‘deep fakes’

How to know what’s true in the fake-Obama video era.

The technique as it was originally invented is still used in electron microscopy. The form that we’re interested in, however – optical holography – didn’t really propel itself onto the main stage until the development of the laser in the 60s.

That’s how holograms work if you didn’t know: lasers. Holograms use laser lights to illuminate the subject, which is then imprinted on a recording medium. The reason lasers are needed is because they have a fixed wavelength, like a defined vector; light from other sources aren’t so effectively regulated and so can’t focus tight enough to define a 3D image.

One of the more interesting ways in which holographic technology has been used is in the form of art. Artists have been, along with scientists, some of the first to capitalise on this wave of rather incredible technological progress.

The master of surrealism Salvador Dali was hailed as one of the first artists to use holographic technology as an art form in his collaboration with Alice Cooper back in the 70s. The truth, however, is that there was an exhibition of holographic art at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, 1968, preceding Dali’s famous work by a few years.

The Growth of Holographic Technology

Hitherto, holograms have remained almost the exclusive possession of scientists and famous artists. As far as the public sphere is concerned, holograms continue to exist as far away abstractions, a Star Wars work of science fiction – not an accessible piece of technology. Like the hologram itself, holograms still appear lucent to most people – unreal and out of reach. Although there’s still a long way to go, such is not completely the case.

Some evidence of this lies in Bleen. Bleen is a company that has developed a device (that looks like a futuristic bird’s egg) that uses 3D reconstruction to create a moving holographic image. Their technology is capable of conjuring content from their public open source library, producing holographic images that extend up to 8’ 3” from that aforementioned egg device.

CEO of Bleen Bogdan Shevchuk understands the nature of the mission that he’s embarked upon with Bleen, stating: ‘We recognize that we’ve taken on a great challenge, trying to develop one of the most desired technologies. Our ultimate goal is to bring a real consumer product to the market that enables everyone to watch 3D content in spatial quality.’

Another company (which you very may well have heard of) that is toying around with holographic technology is Microsoft. While Google Glass has been recalled, Microsoft’s HoloLens is a bit of technology that very well may revolutionise the mobile landscape. I won’t elaborate on the HoloLens here as if you’re interested you should just check it out for yourself, what I would like to do is look at some of the major players in the holographic mobile sector so far.

The Mobile Future

A key to this future of mobile holographic display may lay with startup company Ostendo Technologies Inc. who has spent the past nine years working on miniature projectors designed to emit crisp videos and glasses-free 3-D images for smartphones and giant screens. Although the technology is still considered to be in its infancy, it’s already demonstrating the potential capabilities of holographic technology coupled with smartphone devices, and the concept of a 3D mobile evolution being not as distant as first imagined.

A name to watch out for – aptly named after the Star Wars princess – Leia is capable of turning a normal LCD smartphone screen into a 3D holographic display, without the need of “special glasses”.

The technology behind Leia is interesting to say the least. It does not project the holographic image outwards, rather it shows an accurate 3D image on the screen being viewed.

Possibly the most important part of the technology behind Leia is its backlighting panel which manipulates light to render a 3D image on a screen. It’s understood Leia’s display takes 64 images of what is being represented and mashes them together to create a 3D image that we interpret to be almost floating away from the device.

Director of nanofabrication at Leia, Sonny Vo told CNBC that the hardware is small enough to fit in smart devices (watches, phones and tablets) and said Leia was in talks with device makers on integrating the product in the not so distant future.

Another significant player to consider is Takee Technology, a Chinese mobile manufacturer who developed what many consider to be the world’s first holographic smartphone, released in late 2014. The Takee One handset uses its front camera to catch the user’s eye movement, allowing those using the device to see a 3D effect from different viewpoints.

When an additional shell is attached to the device, four extra cameras can recognise gestures such as those for unlocking the phone or operating the touchscreen, so swipes in the air could be used to navigate through home screens. We’ve seen something like this on the Galaxy Note 3, and also heard about a similar feature on a future Windows phone device, but this is the first phone to integrate the technology.

Before I wrap things up I would like to pose the question.

Is holographic technology really going to be the next giant landmark in the evolution of mobile technology or just another playful feature that never lives up to the hype? After all, first it begins as a type of science fiction useful to only famous artists and the ultra rich, then as a form of entertainment, then as it evolves, it becomes something practical and useful. right?

Posted March 8th, 2021 by Emily Burkinshaw & filed under , General, How To’s, Technology.

Despite its futuristic appearance, holographic projection has been around since the 1940s—the term “hologram” was actually first coined by Hungarian/British engineer Dennis Gabor back in 1949. Holographic projectors essentially provide either a two-dimensional or three-dimensional projection which can be seen without any additional equipment (such as cameras or glasses).

Used well, holographic projection technology can provide a stunning visual experience—whether it’s simple ‘Pepper’s Ghost’ style effects, the late Bob Hope re-appearing at the 83rd Oscar’s, or Halsey performing ‘Without Me’ underwater at the 2018 MTV EMAs.

Let’s explore what holographic projection is, how holographic screens work, and where they can be put to use for the greatest possible effects.

How Holographic Screens Work

Creating a hologram effect on a large scale can not only be an incredibly costly undertaking, it can also require a huge amount of space to work effectively. Alternatively, pairing a holographic screen with a standard projector is a great way to create a holographic effect without the hefty price tag.

There are two main types of holographic projection screen: front and rear. Let’s explore how both of these work in more detail.

Rear Projection Holographic Screen

Our Clearview Rear Projection Holographic Screen is manufactured as a self-adhesive film or acrylic screen and produces a sharp ‘peppers ghost’ visual image. This holographic effect screen creates a 2D image or a ‘false hologram’ visual effect and is frequently used in museums, live events, and product launches. Whilst it doesn’t provide a 3D image, this option takes up minimal floor space and allows for the projector to be placed behind the screen, meaning that it will be out of sight at all times.

With such a minimal space necessary to use these projection screens and the benefit of their transparent composition, you can produce an image that appears to be floating in mid-air, creating a more realistic hologram effect than a standard projection screen.

Our Rear Projection Holographic Screens are also favoured by the silver screen as a more realistic alternative to CGI technology. We’ve seen our Clearview Film used to create a realistic spaceship set in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 (Marvel Studios, 2017) and hologram imagery in Transcendence (Warner Bros, 2013), both creating a more believable effect than its computer-generated counterpart.

Front Projection Holographic Screen

Our Clearvision Holographic Screen , a new UST Front Projection Holographic Effect Screen, is also manufactured as a self-adhesive film or glass screen, ideal for creating visual effects and creating a peppers ghost style effect on both sides of the screen. Like our Clearview Screen these front projection screens produce a 2D holographic effect image, however, our Clearvision screens also produce a dual image, displaying content on both sides of the screen.

This screen delivers a classic ‘Pepper’s Ghost’ effect, also commonly known as ‘faux-lography’, where a ‘false hologram’ is displayed onto a semi-transparent projection screen for maximal effect. One of the main benefits of using a UST Front Projection Holographic Effect Screen is that you can position the projector very close to the screen (depending on the screen size) allowing for more freedom of movement around your display.

This semi transparent screen is ideal for creating a holographic effect image in applications that cannot accommodate rear projection or don’t have the budget for larger scale holographic projection systems.

The Benefits of Holographic Projection Screens

There are multiple benefits to holographic effect projection screens. First, it gives you the ability to create an image as close to 3D projections as possible without the price tag whilst still making for a truly unforgettable visual experience. Our holographic effect projection screens give new purpose to standard projectors, which could previously never compete with the lucrative 3D hologram technology on the specialist market.

In addition to this, holographic projectors are usually only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to creating a convincing holographic image. The full set up needed to pull off the likes of a life size hologram often requires the use of multiple projectors and glass screens, and in some cases needs the likes of bulky, unappealing housing in order to work. Our holographic screen solutions champion the simplicity of their setup and usage, working simply with the use of a standard projector to create a superior visual effect.

Whilst our holographic screens might not create a 3D image, the immersive 4K ‘peppers ghost’ effect they do produce is enough to eradicate novelty of wearing 3D glasses forever!

Holographic Projection in Action

Okay, this all sounds great—but what does holographic projection actually look like in action?

You may remember Halsey’s performance at the 2018 MTV EMAs, which used Pro Display’s Clearview Holographic Effect Rear Projection Technology to make it appear as though Halsey was performing in an underwater box. Clearview technology allowed the box to go from clear to producing an underwater effect in an instant, with real water falling as rain to add to the effect. This enabled Halsey to splash around within the box as she performed.

And then there was the 83rd Annual Academy Awards (Oscars) in 2011, where Pro Display’s Clearview technology brought Bob Hope back to life so that he could ‘re’-deliver his speech from the first televised Oscars back in 1953. Not only did we ‘resurrect’ a Hollywood legend, we also provided 38 additional Clearview screens which forged the foundations of the stage design for the show itself. The incredible stage performance earned a well deserved Emmy nomination for producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer, and even earned us a win for ‘Live Event of the Year’ at the AV Awards that year!

How Do Holographic Sights Work – Aimpoint Holographic

The need to improve shooting accuracy was the primary challenge Aimpoint had faced since its inception in 1974. As we know, “necessity is the mother of invention” and the sole idea to create a sighting technology that would change the history of shooting was born.

The technology allows you to have a clean shot of your target with the highest possible precision. The technology, however, has gone an extra mile to give you the advantage of hitting a moving target regardless of the weather conditions or visibility.

How do holograms work on stage

With the Aimpoint holographic sights, the only obstacle to bring down your target is the comprehensive understanding of how to apply this technology.

Quick Tour

  • Aimpoint Holographic Sight
  • How Do Holographic Sights Work?
  • When to Use a Holographic Sight
  • Do Holographic Sights Work at Night?
  • Where to Place the Holographic Sight
  • How to Use Holographic Sight

Aimpoint Holographic Sight

With the Aimpoint Holographic sight, the point of aim is where the target lies. You don’t have to hesitate or waste time with unnecessary aiming provided that the dot is on target.

In that instance, you have the liberty to pull the trigger. The holographic sight does not necessarily require you to shoot with one eye closed; you can as well bring down the target with both eyes open.

How do holograms work on stage

This is true because your field of view is unlimited. Above all, the red dot sight is user-friendly, and you can always adjust it via a mechanical switch or push button.

How Do Holographic Sights Work?

The Aimpoint cutting edge technology relies on a reflected light emitting diode (LED). At the time of the shooting, the shooter looks into the Aimpoint holographic sight to see the red dot.

Once the red dot appears in the lens, the shooter takes the next step by superimposing the red dot on the target. This is an indication that the target has been acquired. The shooter, however, combines both speed and accuracy to bring down the target.

The Aimpoint holographic sights are designed excluding magnification or optical distortion. In fact, the red dot is not projected to the intended target but it is only visible inside, and only the shooter can see it.

To achieve this feat, lasers project the reticent on the target making the dot visible on the right target.

When to Use a Holographic Sight

Holographic sights are explicitly designed for rough terrain, unfriendly weather, and poor visibility. From the studies, this kind of holographic sight provides the fastest moving reticle in relation to the target.

This feature enables the shooter to have the highest target accuracy probability, particularly with the moving targets.

Also, it can be used by hunters, marksmen, and anyone else without prior experience.

Do Holographic Sights Work at Night?

Many Aimpoint sights are compatible with night vision device (NVD). Simply put, you can use some of these sights at daytime and also in the darkness or places with low light intensity along with NVDs.

Aimpoint sights are customized for use with all kinds of night vision devices particularly the third generation NVD technology. To achieve this, the NDV is placed behind the compatible holographic sight or mounted on the helmet or rail behind the sight

Where to Place the Holographic Sight

Even though the first place that comes to your mind when mounting the holographic sight is on top of the rifle, there are some factors to consider.

First, you need to consider flexibility where eye relief is an issue. Another factor is the personal preference depending on an individual, and finally availability of the Picatinny flat-top rail for mounting.

To sum up, the sight can be mounted anywhere as long as it is on the receiver but not the handguard.

How to Use Holographic Sight

Having done all these, you can now acquire your target without any benefit of a doubt.

How do holograms work on stage

Our primary goal is to ensure that you stay afloat with the latest update of the ever-changing technology in weaponry. At the final stage we would introduce with 5 Types Of Holographic Sights​.

We have full-sized Hologram Rooms where multiple people can enter together and walk through full-sized CAD or polygon-based models, integrated with unlimited size point clouds. View your CAD or other mesh data in 3D with other key members of your team; pick your data up, spin it around, shrink it down and interrogate it with ease.

Alternatively, if you don’t want a full Hologram Room, we also have Hologram Wall models that perform the same task in a more compact package.
See our Hologram Wall for more details

There’s also Hologram Tables for showing large-scale architectural designs, fully interactive in 3D and from a bird’s eye view.
See our Hologram Table for more details

How do holograms work on stage

How do holograms work on stage

How do holograms work on stage

How do holograms work on stage

Government, Military
& Smart Cities

Our Hologram Tables create Holograms of cities up to 70cm high, and the level of detail available is limited only by the data you provide. You can include live feeds of planes, cars, transit or other real-time information to annotate your visualizations.

Adding multiple objects and preparing full presentations is a breeze. Holograms are the most futuristic way to plan and display large-scale designs.

Live Shows and Conferences

We can help provide live holograms of people or objects on stage, from singers to speeches or even holographic versions of your presentations with floating objects to work with! Holograms are associated with luxury and high-technology. Have a giant hologram of your luxury products spinning in your showroom.

The Stage Hologram system can also be used in conferences and for advertising.

How do holograms work on stage

How do holograms work on stage

How do holograms work on stage

Holograms in Restaurants

Want to get attention for your restaurant? We have Hologram Menu machines that allow customers to choose from meals as they float in the air.

First, scan in your meals with our Scanning Tool. Our software will then make the photographs 3D and convert them to hologram-compatible objects. Your customers will then be able to see their meal choice floating holographically in the air in your restaurant!

Holographic Museums

Upgrade your museum with holograms of real objects, or Holographic Tours of real historical places.
We have a variety of devices that depend on your space and use case!
See our Hologram Rooms
Learn more about our Hologram Walls
Check out our Holographic Tours

How do holograms work on stage

How do holograms work on stage

Virtual Tourism

Visit real hologram scans of historical places or tourist landmarks.

This can be used for education by exposing students to things they’ve never seen or for tourism to visit places you’ve never been. It is an excellent way for the elderly or disabled to visit the world without having to leave the comfort of home.

Holograms in Education

The future will be powered by holograms. Get in early with our holographic educational tools.

Our Hologram Walls project forward up to a meter, and we have classes that teach students all about hologram technology.

The Hologram Wall comes with the software and training so the children can make their own holograms or learn the skill of scanning in real world objects.

Alternatively, for universities or larger organisations, there are full-sized Hologram Rooms or Hologram Tables.

Hologram Walls can also be used to take students to real world locations that have been scanned in, allowing for fascinating and high-detail science or history lessons. We’ve packaged up an easy way to record and share 3D videos of the real world into our Holographic Tour product:

FOX is finding the ultimate digital pop star on new singing competition Alter Ego. Given that people feel a lot more accepted in the digital realm, the show provides talented singers with the freedom to express themselves on stage.

Hosting the FOX show is Rocsi Diaz, while, Grimes, Alanis Morissette and Nick Lachey are the Alter Ego judges. The contest sees 20 singers compete to win a $100,000 prize – and have the experience of a lifetime.

How does Alter Ego work?

Brand new talent show, Alter Ego is purely about talent and not about how you look. The contestants on the show create their fantasy avatar and perform as them during the competition.

Given the CGI characters performing on TV, many viewers have wondered how the show actually works. Rather than being on stage for the performance, the singers are actually backstage wearing their mocap (or motion capture) suit performing. Their performance is being captured and mapped onto their avatar which is performing on stage for the judges and studio audience.

  • Read More: Are LAHH’s Florence and Marlon set to divorce?

What does the Alter Ego audience see?

As viewers at home, the show appears slightly different than it does for the audience in studio. The Alter Ego stage is actually empty during the contestants’ performances. Providing some insight into what the audience sees, one person Tweeted: “The studio audience has side screens and they are seeing it the same way the at home audience does. But the physical stage is empty.

Distractify writes: “Although both the audience and the judges get to watch the performances in real-time, they don’t actually see each avatar performing on stage, which was empty at the time of filming.

Alter Ego uses this same technology to project each contestant’s avatar to the live studio audience via big-screen televisions. Judges are able to tune into each performance by way of monitors below their desks.

Judging by the ‘reveal’ episodes on the show, the only time that the singers actually grace the stage is when they reveal themselves and get eliminated. During the Mia/Fern reveal, Mia enters the stage and performs alongside her avatar, which we can assume is prerecorded for this part of the show. Mia’s avatar disappears off stage and she said farewell to the judges in person.

I’m curious. How does the audience/panel see the avatars perform on stage for @AlterEgoOnFOX? Is it a screen projected on stage? The performers don’t look “flat.” Are they on a screen elsewhere and only the audience at home sees them on stage? How’d they do that? 😁#AlterEgoFOX

3D holographic displays make it possible to create a visual brand experience that harnesses power of neuromarketing. The seemingly free-floating holograms have a natural ability to make people stop and pay attention in any crowded setting, whether it be in a retail store, at an expo or in public spaces.

When looking at a holographic display, the brain is instantly tricked by the illusion of having a physical object or real environment mixed with the three-dimensional digital overlay. The visual experience immediately evokes emotions and triggers the senses to fire up the activity in the cortex, essentially making the viewer process and retain the information that is communicated better.

It’s all about emotions

Thanks to the smartphone revolution of the past decade, the human attention span is at a historically low level. With constant bombardments of advertising, emails and social media notifications, capturing and retaining people’s attention has become increasingly difficult to master. People need a real reason to snap out of autopilot and look up from their handheld devices. In other words, you need to provide something that evokes emotions, creates an experience and bring that little spark of unexpected magic.

How does it work?

In essence, a holographic display works by having a high-definition or 4K screen reflect digital content through glass with special coating, called the glass optics. When placed at a certain angle, the glass optic will create an illusion that makes your brain interpret the digital content as three-dimensional. This is what creates the sensation of seeing a free-floating hologram before your eyes.

How do holograms work on stage

Application and use

Holograms can be used in many different industries and sectors where there’s a need to communicate technical information in a clear and exciting way. Besides generating attention, holographic displays make it possible to communicate complicated brand- or product stories to any bystander in mere seconds. When placing an object, product or artefact inside the display, the digital overlay can present special features, highlight details or explain unique selling points in a visual way that is instantly absorbed by the viewer.

Unlike VR headsets or other wearable tech currently on the market, multiple people can see and take part in the experience at the same time, without having to wear any special glasses. This makes holographic displays very effective as a tool for marketing and advertising purposes.

Getting started

Implementing new technology in any company is never an easy and straight-forward process. That’s why we’ve created a simple concept that provides a turnkey holographic solution, called Magic-as-a-Service (MaaS), where we manage everything for you in a hassle-free way.

With MaaS, we tailor a complete solution exactly to your needs on a rent-as-you-go basis, meaning you don’t have to worry about hardware, installation or development of 3D content. This allows you to try out our portfolio of holographic displays, without making any upfront investments.

Below you can browse the MaaS concept for our two most common ways of using 3D holographic displays – Retail and events

Dedicated to the modern Peppers Ghost stage illusion.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Apple move towards hologram displays

As tablets become commodities, it’s not hard to predict the design battle will move from hardware to the virtual visual realm. Even Sir Jonathan Ive can take glass panes only so far. I don’t know if an iPhone 5 will hold holograms, but eventually Apple will serve us 3D images—because while anyone can copy a glass tablet, not everyone can make the world float in your hand.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Bring out your dead

Recently we worked on resurrection hologram of Morecombe and Wise – famous Brit comedians for the BBC. Tupac broke boundaries in a fully artificial head – now there is talk of more afterlife performances.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Dircks and Pepper’s Ghost

How do holograms work on stage

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Dead politicians and holograms: The next frontier?

3D hologram projections Q + A

With many of the latest big budget cinema releases being available in 3D, and everyone talking about the 3D future of television, many eyes are starting to focus on 3D hologram projections… without the glasses!

Where does this technology originate from?

3D holographic projection technology is loosely based on an illusionary technique called “Peppers Ghost”, and was first used in Victorian theatres across London in the 1860s. Pepper’s Ghost was typically used to create ghost-like figures on stage. Hidden from the audience’s view, an actor dressed in a ghostly costume would stand facing an angled plate of glass. The audience would be able to see the glass, but not the actor directly. Specifically angled lighting would reflect the actor’s image into the plate of glass, a transparent ghost like reflection would appear in front of the audience. Cutting or fading the lighting could also add to the ghostly effect.

How is this technology used today?

With the use of the latest HD projectors, CGI animation, specialist HD film techniques and special effects created in post production, Pepper’s Ghost technology has been upgraded to the 21st century. Instead of a real object or person’s reflection appearing on a plate of glass, high definition video and CGI animation is beamed directly onto a specially designed, chemically treated transparent film via a high power HD projector. Although much more expensive, this modern approach results in a much clearer, believable hologram projection.

What kind of images can be projected as holograms?
Due to the modern approach of projecting CGI animations and pre-recorded footage, almost anything is possible. The “blank canvas” approach is often adopted, creating a storyboard only limited by imagination. The storyboard can then be handed over to a CGI animation team who can make it come to life using the latest 3D software such as Maya or 3ds-Max.

Real people can be filmed giving a speech, dance or presentation for example , and then be projected as 3D holograms. Holographic special effects can be added in post production to make a life-like person beam into the room, Star Trek style, or have their product appear and spin above their head at the click of their fingers.

Who have used 3D Holographic projections and why?

Christian Laboutin used a hologram at his 2012 retrospective exhibition in London’s Design Museum. This formed a centre piece exhibit which acted as a focal point in offering visitors a truly unique experience. You can see the hologram which features Dita von Teese film here.

Speedo International Limited, commissioned SquareZero to create an enthralling presentation on the Musion Eyeliner System for the Launch of Speedo’s new swimsuit: The Fastskin LZR Racer. The launch, also celebrating Speedo’s 80th year, took place globally in New York, London, Sydney and Tokyo

Frank Sinatra was brought holographically back from the dead to perform at the 50th birthday party of entertainment mogul Simon Cowell. Since this first ‘resurrection’ in 2009 of course we have also seen Tupac which has raised the bar on this highly specialised visual effects work.

What range of sizes can the holographic projections be displayed in?

This technology has been known to scale down to as small as a ten inch hologram display. The smaller range of holographic display units, ranging from ten inches to television sized monitors are predominantly used for retail, exhibitions and point of sale. Famous brand companies such as Diesel, have used this type of holographic display in their shop windows.

One of the largest holographic projections to date was made by SquareZero for a large BT conference at the Birmingham NEC featured three separate HD projections playing together over 20 metres wide and synched to combine seamlessly using some very sophisticated playback technology. By increasing the size of the stage and number of projectors, there is no limit to the maximum size of the holographic projection displays.

Which other technologies are being used together with 3D hologram projections?

SquareZero and Musion Systems, the London based holographic projection specialists, have recently developed motion capture systems to couple 3D holographic projections. Motion capture systems are far from a new technology. An actor wearing a motion capture suit can have his/her movements picked up via various sensors. These movements can then be played back in real time onto a screen in the form of an animated character. Working with hologram display technology, these characters can become life size 3D holographic animated characters, both technologies working together perfectly to complement each other.

Hologram projection displays have also recently seen advances in audience interactivity. Using a wireless remote control, the holographic projections can be moved around the stage, rotated on their x and y axis, and can even be programmed to start or stop an animation on the click of a button.

What is the future of 3D holographic projection?
3D holographic projection technology clearly has a big future ahead. As this audio visual display continues to get high profile credibility, we are likely to see more companies advertising their products or marketing their business in this way. Whether it be large scale, big budget product launches or smaller retail POS systems, they are likely to become a common feature in the advertising world.