Picture of Make a cool hologram illusion!
This instructable will show you how to easily make a convincing floating head hologram.

It's a great addition to your Halloween decorations!

Watch the video for the overview. (The camera can't do this illusion the justice it deserves.)

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies
You only need a couple of things for this illusion:

1. A piece of glass.

The size of the glass is relative to the size of the area where the illusion will be viewed.

2. A monitor (and computer, of course).

Either an LCD or CRT monitor will work. CRT monitors tend to give a better reflection, but an LCD monitor can be used in a much smaller spot.

The LCD monitor I used had a removable stand. That made it much easier to hide in the cabinet.

3. Floating head movie.

I recommend Big Scream TV.

Step 2: Location, Location, Location

Picture of Location, Location, Location
This illusion works well, but the monitor must remain out of view of the spectator.

For this instructable, I used a bookshelf/cabinet and the front window of my house for the trick-or-treaters to enjoy.

Projectors are relatively cheap these days. You could easily project the image onto a piece of glass 30 or 40 feet away. The projector would need to be located very close to the path of the intended viewer, however.

A great example of using a projector would be on an eave of your house. The glass could be suspended at an angle towards the front of the house, and then the image would be projected on it from a hidden spot on the roof. As the trick-or-treaters walked up to the house, they would be greeted with a creepy floating head on your roof.

Step 3: Display Setup

Picture of Display Setup
To keep from giving away the source of the image, adjust the brightness to the lowest setting and the contrast to the highest.

The goal is to make the background as dark as possible. Play the movie you want to use full screen, then adjust as needed.

For the cabinet configuration, suspend the LCD monitor above the viewing area. Then create a Halloweenish looking scene inside, and then place the glass over it at an angle that will reflect the image to the viewer.

For the windows configuration, set the monitor on the floor pointing up, create your scary scene, then place a much larger piece of glass over it at an angle that will reflect the image towards the window.

In either setup, the bottom edge of the glass should be as close to the bottom edge of the monitor as possible. That will make the image float in front of your scene, instead of behind it.

Adjust the angle of the glass to control the height of the floating head.

Step 4: Turn it on

Picture of Turn it on
Once it gets dark, turn it on and adjust as needed.

Once again, the camera doesn't do this illusion justice. It looks very good in person.

Watch the video to get an idea of how it looks:

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TannerM23 months ago
PS called easy for a reason... He's got three easy steps what is yours got 50 and some... No need to go all out when it's just one night like Halloween it's not like we're trying to put on some spectacular light show
TannerM23 months ago
PS called easy for a reason... He's got three easy steps what is yours got 50 and some... No need to go all out when it's just one night like Halloween it's not like we're trying to put on some spectacular light show
TannerM23 months ago
PS called easy for a reason... He's got three easy steps what is yours got 50 and some... No need to go all out when it's just one night like Halloween it's not like we're trying to put on some spectacular light show
TannerM23 months ago
Ps called easy for a reason you take all the time you need to do that and he's only got 3 steps what's yours got 20 some and your giving us instructions woohoo... no need to go all out when you just wanna put up a lil decoration for one night like holloween
TannerM23 months ago
Yeah /maskofdarkness22 hau i have an idea if you think you can do it better don't just talk the talk actually do it make him look stupid shoot even show me up and make one yourself?

thats not really a hologram thats just a way of making a projector appear as one alot of peapole don't realize it but inorder to make a proper holagram you always need mirrors inorder to cause to beams of light to collide into one another this is how u make a true hologram if you want the esiest hologram to make is a photo frame you take 2 mirros and place one on the back of the inside of a small box where the front of the box needs to be cut open that is where the hologram will apear when you put in your picture next u place a second mirror in the box i forget if it was on the top or the bottom seeing how it was a long time ago when i made one of these during my studies into creating a EMH (Eletric Magnetic Hologram) but i think it was the bottom and then u need to have a beam of light shoot into the box from a hole in the top not large one and not to small needst meet the requirements of the size of the box then all you do is turn the light on and wolla you will see the picture you placed on the bottom on the inside of the box appear where the front cut out is oh yea and make sure the cut in the front of the box is the same size as the mirros them selves or people will be able to tell it is a fake image  you can email me for more further info on holograms using this sight i would be more than happy to share my knoledge and so you know in order for anny physical object to be touched it must have some form of electric magnetic energy hense the reason the call the doctor on voyager an emh because with out the em field it would not be able to interact with anny object especial organic beings due to the fact all living things produce a em field even the very earth itself has its own em field in which is what makes it habbital for living life forms.

Not trying to be rude or anything, but this isn't your instructable, maskofdarknees. You can post your instructables on how to do these, but it's very rude to say stuff like this on other people's intructables.
i am very intrigued about making a hologram but i really don't know about the idea of angles
i see you understand a true emh ha? well i am building a haunted house this year on my farm and i would really like to do some really cool illusions. i can build almost anything if you have the knowledge. could you provide me specific instuctions on how to make a true ghost or floating head (aka emh)? please keep in mind this will be done outdoors, thanks in advance,, chris
The man stated it is a "hologram" illusion. I'm sure most of us here realize it's not an actual hologram.
can you tell me how to make a live 3d movable hologram in my room .... i want a 18 inch one... if you can tell me ...just email it to b_da_bomb09@yahoo.com. If you do email me Thanks a bunch ...if you can't well sorry to waste your time.
Thanks for asking for that sweet information to be sent to Just YOU man! Share the knowledge! I would also love to know that information also..
I'm going to make a Miku hologram. :D
I am going to try to make a Miku hologram too. Then Namine Ritsu and Rin and len!!!
akillys6 years ago
I may be stupid buy could you apply this to just regular tv or when your playing video games to give you a holographic experience or no?
It probably wouldn't but you never know til you try
tinker2343 years ago
could i do a whole body like a wizard but real time witha webcam
Does it have to be a movie or can it be a picture too?
DMarketing4 years ago
This instructable has helped tremendously, I just have a few questions...
My company wants to make this device, i.e. Pepper's Ghost, as a cool sign to our entrance.
1) We seem to have a problem with the piece of glass though.
As can be seen in the above picture there is a "double" image that we need to get rid of.
I was thinking of using either tightened, very thin Plexiglas or Museum glass (Also known as Non-reflective glass/ Anti-glare glass etc)
Obviously, if I go with the latter, the glass can only be coated on the one side, right? Has anyone tried this?
We have a fairly decent budget so cost would not really be an issue.
Any other suggestions?
Really Look forward to hearing back, and please forgive me if I am doing this wrong. I only joined today.
kibukun4 years ago
jill jacks4 years ago

Try Univ. or state auctions.
TheThornZ5 years ago
If you want really cheap holograms
visit geeknfreak.com, They have a cheap CG floating head avi with like an alien satan ext. I think it was like .25 cents under there projects section.

They were so cool, I have it set up at my house
skatelong5 years ago
 The link is broken for the video

BEAST146 years ago
Where would you get a cheap projector? The cheapest one I could find was $120. That one was used too.
what about a thrift store?
Gamer9176 years ago
i wanna make a floating hologram thing like this and make my friends pay 5 bucks to see it
vexxtra6 years ago
I'm wondering if it's possible to burn a copy of the ghoulish skull onto a CD or DVD-R & play it on a small TV hooked up to a DVD player, instead of using a computer....that would be an easier setup for me. Has anyone tried that?
i haven't, but they did that on a show called mystery hunters and it worked. The show also gave the instruction to just sit with a scary mask in front of a black curtain and use a video camera, but i think a pre-recording is bettter. Not sure about a flat screen or LCD though.
coleslaw36 years ago
they did this on youtube but your instructables where a little easier to follow
sebberdreng6 years ago
Hello can you tell me where i can get the movie your showing? Becous is really nice and wanna make it for halloween. P.S Very nice video love it.
TrIAd219916 years ago
one word : Youtube
gschoppe7 years ago

My actions here may adversely effect my chances in the Halloween contest, but its ok. really, its ok.

That said, I'm making a very similar peppers ghost set up as part of my ultimate Halloween display instructable. I also needed a video, and to be frank, I don't think the stuff done by "Big Scream TV" is very good. It all looks fake, they're all just disembodies heads, and they're all designed for REALLY terrible dialogue.

So, in the interests of a good display for all who attempt this, Here's the video I made, based on a short clip of Disney's Haunted Mansion, taken during a walkthrough.

its only 13 seconds of ghost padded with 13 seconds of black, and the resolution is terrible, but in my display, at least, it looks AMAZING.

I call her Pepper's Bride.

Enjoy, and be sure to read my instructable when it appears, slightly after Halloween... I swear I'm gonna regret doing this later.
That is not remotely spooky.
damasta6 years ago
they sell a dvd with animations for this purpose including a rapping skull, it's kinda cool
comodore6 years ago
WoW!!! Didn't see this before! Great job, really love the Instructable! rate:***** +I added it to my mythbusters group
buck_20077 years ago
Will plexi-glass work? If not, how expensive is it for a sheet of glass?
i have a frame shop and i get a door sized piece of glass for five dollars
NK5 (author)  buck_20077 years ago
The smaller piece of "glass" in the video is actually acrylic, which is a cheaper version of Plexiglas. At Home Depot, the plastic sheets were only a couple of dollars cheaper than the glass of the same size. You are better off with the glass, especially with bigger projects.
ichipoodle NK57 years ago
Acrylic is awesome! And now, kipkay has some rival DIYer's (insert climactic opera music here) you and babblin5 both are extremely smart, and both *gasp* have black cats!!! the show is on....
cool project too !!(-_-)!!
if your doing something small can you use the glass from a photo frame
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