Create Virtual Holograms Using 3D Modelling Software

Publication Date: 04/09/09

Article Summary

3D holographic projection is a rapidly growing technology. With every business desperately trying to get their product to stand out from the competitors, 3D hologram advertising and promotion is fast becoming an eye catching success. Thanks to the latest in HD projection and CGI technology, 3D holographic projection has transformed itself from its basic Victorian origins into a futuristic audio visual display used by the likes of Endemol (Big Brother), Coco-Cola and BMW. With almost limitless holographic possibilities, from life like humans to blockbuster style special effects, as well as the continual advances in technology, 3D holographic projection has a bright future ahead.

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A talented 3D animator, armed with 3D modelling software such as Autodesk's Maya or 3ds Max has the power to create some truly stunning visual effects. Although these 3D images can look incredible on a TV screen or wall projection, the technology now exists to bring such 3D graphics to the next level – holographic projection.

Using the basic principle of Pepper's Ghost technology, 3D images can be projected as holographic visual illusions. Pepper's Ghost technology involves a specifically aligned piece of transparent film or glass. A reflection of a person or item is displayed onto the transparent surface using special lighting effects. The physical person or item is hidden from audience view, only the reflection onto the transparent surface is visible. As part of the reflection is captured by the transparent surface and part of the reflection passes through it, the appearance is of a ghost-like transparent floating object.

Using the latest technologies and equipment, including HD projectors, media players, 3D modelling software and specially chemically treated transparent film, it is possible to create 3D holographic images. Unlike the original Pepper's Ghost system, this new-age display creates depth illusion. Depth illusion is created by not only projecting an image onto a transparent film, but also onto a flat surface behind the film. The 3D images can appear to float between the space, creating a stunning visual display.

3D modelling software and hologram projection displays go hand in hand. 3D artists can showcase their work in a rarely before seen visual display which complements and enhances such media in a truly stunning fashion.

Companies often approach holographic projection specialists looking to display and advertise their product as a 3D hologram. With 3D modelling acting as the content, a storyboard for such a display is only limited by imagination (and budget!). Products can be recreated in 3D, performing an endless range of animations and mind blowing special effects, with 3D modelling software at the heart of the display.

As hologram projection technology is on the rise (recently featured on UK channel 4's Big Brother) there are upcoming job opportunities available for 3D animators looking to work in this field. This industry is creating a whole new field for 3D animators to expand into.

Examples of such 3D holographic projections using 3D modelling can be seen online at activ8-3d.co.uk. Their website showcases previous holographic projection projects such as a 12 meter wide by 4 meter high hologram display for BMW in South Africa. Other examples include a Coco Cola hologram presentation in Prague and the Big Brother house holograms.

3D hologram media is obliviously difficult to grasp from a 2D computer monitor or television. A live display of 3D hologram projection using 3D graphics can be seen at The Movieum of London Museum, located in Westminster.. Anyone interested to learn more about this technology should arrange a free demo via the activ8-3D website. Animators are more than welcome to bring their 3D modelling files to the museum, where they can see their work come to life as a 3D holographic projection.

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