Picture of 10 Minute Mini 3D Projection
If you have ever been to a trade fair that was bigger than your backyard, you may have seen some magic 3D projections floating in space, wondering how on earth this might be possible and why it is so dark there.

I saw this in many variations, on the International Automobile Exhibition as a mapping on cars or on Gamescom in smaller boxes om game consoles. Theme parks use these in ghost trains. These smaller boxes are for example offered by http://www.holocube.eu/. I googled the magic behind these boxes and it was ridiculously easy.
So wonder no more, I will show you how to make a mini-3D-projection for less than a dollar (unless you have no smartphone, then it will be about 181 dollar) using exactly the same technique.
I know, this looks photoshopped, but trust me, it's not.

Step 1: How does it work?

Picture of How does it work?
Do you really want to know? Some things should remain magical. But as you may find out while crafting, anyway, I will tell you how this works:

This technique is called Magic Screen. The iPhone projects the image of 2 wheels, the yellow stripes, the driver and the light onto a 45° overhead transparency. You can’t see that because as the name says, it’s transparent. But you can guess where it is on the picture, it makes a tiny brightness difference when you look on the left side of the inner wall.
The transparency sheet mirrors it onto a virtual layer that is at the same height as the car. But only the light areas are mirrored, the dark areas aren’t reflected. So the illusion is created, that these magical object float in the air.

Nevermind the bumpy camera panning, it should just show that the layer is really in 3D space and works from every perspective.
1-40 of 50Next »
Cyberdalek1 month ago


ĐạtB4 months ago


ĐạtB4 months ago


good !very good

I made something similar for a little "tabletop companion" to keep me company when I was typing late at night. Very nice instructable. Thanks for posting!
What is it called or what is the link for the tabletop companion? I would love to make one but I can't figure out how to find it.

It was something i made, no link or name i think. I 3d printed the paper enclosure that this shows as a small cave and projected a flash dragon i made to work with it. it randomly pops up tips in a little thought bubble and it moves around on the transparency sheet.

nojack1 year ago

this was short, simple, and fun to build!!!

цкүн1 year ago
How can I do it with Samsung phones
kamibox.de (author)  цкүн1 year ago
It should be the same with Samsung phones, just open the link to the animated gif on the template and zoom and pan the image that it fits on the car.
pdchua21 year ago
This is amazing.
The background of the video has to be black? And how did you figure out exactly where to map the moving parts in the video, like where to situate them in the video frame?
kamibox.de (author)  pdchua21 year ago
Thank you, this was quite simple math, it mirrors in the foil and therefore has to be same size, but vertically mirrored.
DragonDon1 year ago
Pretty cool. Any suggestions for scaling this up to larger sizes?
kamibox.de (author)  DragonDon1 year ago
I think scaling up to a tablet or something should work, but you should probably use thicker material or stabilize it. It would be cool to make a 360-view for iPad, I am working on it. But it will take a while.
AmpOwl1 year ago
Could you use this concept to create a sort of Google Glass-style heads up display?
kamibox.de (author)  AmpOwl1 year ago
Probably yes, but it would look kind of ridiculous, you would have to put the phone very high, or you wouldn't see it sharp.
In the Dizzyland in florida about oh about 41 years ago my family ran into the Monsanto building in Dizzyland you got on a moving seat, they projected moving stuff all around you, it was better then the rest of dizzyland combined. This is reminiscent of the esperience. We moved at maybe 3 mph, the moving stuff was at 50-100 mph. Those light of heart svreamed their heads off. tewas a hoot, like this
Hexaquan1 year ago
Nice instructable
DIY hacker1 year ago
i vote from me nice work.
rdefranx1 year ago
Wowww. nice. I will try it. Thanks
afing1 year ago
Good job, Good video!
agis681 year ago
great craft, great instructable, voted
zenTaurus1 year ago
really lovely! thanks
Nirgal381 year ago
This is very similar to a process developed by Eugen Schüfftan back in the 1920s. It was used in the movie "Metropolis."
JoeStrout1 year ago
Great job! It is indeed a great application of Pepper's Ghost.

In addition to doing a great craft, you're written a great Instructable — you explained the secret right away (great for busy readers), provide all the digital materials (papercraft patterns and looping video) needed for quick success, and provided clear text, photos, and video. Thanks for taking the time to do it so well!
bmiller911 year ago
Could this be scaled up with say an old 15" LCD monitor?
kamibox.de (author)  bmiller911 year ago
You would probably have to use harder materials, wood and plexiglass for example, but in general this should work.
jtharkness1 year ago
Very very nice, and great video too.
krackr1 year ago
Now..if everyone used their minds as productively in their own way, the world would be a better place.
Great work and application of mind.
zorwick1 year ago
I have seen LEGO or something similar toy advertised this way. I had some idea how to do it, but you have enlightened my mind! Thank you! :) Congratulation for this project!
prakis1 year ago
Its really magical.
rimar20001 year ago
Genial, congratulations!
alcurb1 year ago
Brilliant! What a cool papercraft project!
The possibilities are endless. Image creating a miniature scene where you are in it. You would just need a well-lit video of yourself over a black background.
Holocube1 year ago
Yes you found a very interesting lo-fi angle of incidence, original, good, the more “3D” the better :) 
barista1 year ago
Great job.
There's a great example of this at a local toy shop which has a LEGO Star Wars display and the animated 'lasers' and 'explosions' are over laid on the model using a 45º glass panel and hidden monitor in the top of the display case.
Holocube1 year ago
Hi Kamibox you are completely right , it becomes only more complicated if you want to show life size people and objects in a daylight environments :) 
Check http://www.holocube.be/cases/ or http://www.youtube.com/hellerdeeper

Anyway congrats, well done it looks great !
kamibox.de (author)  Holocube1 year ago
Thank you! No doubt that a real Holocube is much more complicated, this papercraft is just a budget version of a 3d projection, the quality is probably nothing like a Holocube. This doesn’t work for anything beyond a 4-inch projection in a quite dark environment anyway, but is still really cool :)
Awesome. Are there any others available? Where might they be found (ideally for iphone)?
kamibox.de (author)  spratjack701181 year ago
Not yet, but maybe I will make more designs soon.
lilchumy1 year ago
Will this work with iPod 5?
kamibox.de (author)  lilchumy1 year ago
For sure :)
1-40 of 50Next »