Introduction: TfCD - Create Your Own Christmas Hologram

Create your own Christmas hologram learning the principles of "fauxlography", optical illusion that makes the human eye believe that an image is fluctuating in the air. Have fun!

Step 1: Model Your Objects With Blender Software

Picture of Model Your Objects With Blender Software

Blender is a professional, free and open-source 3D computer graphics software. You can download it from its official website.

If you have experience in 3D modeling, you can model the Christmas tree and the present with very simple shapes and assign materials to the objects. The render engine used in this case is Blender Cycles.

Step 2: Animate the Objects

Picture of Animate the Objects

After this, you have to animate the objects.

To animate the Christmas tree:

  1. Apply a Lattice Modifier to the tree: it will help you change its shape without moving the vertices of the three one by one.
  2. Use Shape Keys to animate the Lattice; the three will follow its changes and movements.
  3. Add a Mix Shader and a Transparency node in the Node Editor of the materials that the tree is made of.Insert a keyframe on the slider of Mix Shader when you want the tree to disappear (0.00=fully visible; 1.00=fully transparent)

To animate the present:

  1. Insert a keyframe on the slider of Mix Shader when you want the present to appear (0.00=fully visible; 1.00=fully transparent)
  2. Insert basic keyframes with shortcut I and apply transformations like Location, Rotation, Scale.

Step 3: Settings and Render the Animation

Picture of Settings and Render the Animation
  1. Set the background black.
  2. Set 4 different cameras on the 4 sides of the objects as you can see in the picture.

After this, You will have to render the animation 4 times, once for each camera. At the end of this you will have 4 videos.

P.S.:If you can't create your own animation, why not having an hologram fireplace?! You can play the HD video here.

Step 4: Edit You Animations

Picture of Edit You Animations

Using Adobe Premiere (or any other software of video editing), mount the 4 videos in the same as you can se in the picture above.

Tip!The closer the animated objects will be to the centre of the video, the lower they will appear in the reflected images (that will create the hologram). We suggest you to keep them as far as possible in order to optimize the visibility.

Step 5: Create the Hologram Box

Picture of Create the Hologram Box

Create a box to protect your display.

Here you can see the dimensions we used to laser cut a box that fits an iPad with 9.7" display.

Once cut, simply glue the pieces together and the box will be ready.

Step 6: Create the Hologram Pyramid

Picture of Create the Hologram Pyramid

Create a plastic pyramid to display the holograms.

Here you can see the dimensions we used to laser cut the pyramid on a sheet of PETG 1mm thick. It is important not to choose a thicker plastic because the light will be refracted by passing through it and the quality of the hologram will decrease.

N.B.: The angle of inclination is important to let the hologram be easily visible. You can choose which pyramid to use: the bigger one is more inclined and so it displays a bigger hologram.

Once cut, simply glue the pieces together and the pyramid will be ready.

Step 7: Play the Animation

On your display play your final video full-screen. Taa-daa! Amazing, your can now see you hologram!

[Instructable created by Alice Buso and Jessica Coppens for the course Technology for Concept Design, MSc Industrial Design Engineering, TU Delft]

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