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?

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.

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