Tupac's Hologram Isn't Really a Hologram
Posted on: 05/04/2012 08:02 PM

I'm sure that you have all heard about Tupac's Hologram performance at this year's Coachella music festival by now (if you haven't, heres a link with the now viral video).

We are all exited about this new technology, but the fact is, its not really a hologram. Holograms are projected 3D images, but Tupac's likeness was actually just 2D!

Think like a TV screen. When images are set on a black background, there is nothing for your eyes to reference to, giving an image a 3D kind of feel. The creators of the now famed Coachella hologram used that principle, combined with the life-like size and with Snoop Dogg present on stage, to create this quite amazing use of rather simple technology.

Here's how it works: A projector is hung above the stage, projecting straight downwards towards the floor. The floor is a large mirror, which bounces the image towards the rear of the stage, where there is a semi-transparent mylar screen hung at 45 degrees. This screen will become apparent when light is shown on it, but will appear clear when there is no light present (actually, these are very common in the music/stage performance world). The other performer (Snoop Dogg) can sing standing behind the semi-transparent mylar so the crowd can see him. For those of us like myself that need a diagram to figure out what the heck is going on, here you go:

You can also see this technology on display at this performance of the Gorillaz with Madonna. I like this one better, as is shows a big more what can be done with it. The coolest part is just after 2:55… and no its not Madonna's legs!

So there you have it, folks! Not quite as cool as we were all hoping, but still really awesome. I could see having a table-top "hologram" box like this for video conferencing. THAT would be nuts!

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