Creating Hologram Illusion With Custom Graphics

Introduction: Creating Hologram Illusion With Custom Graphics

I made this instructable after seeing a similar one here.
I thought that in addition to showing how to setup a hologram illusiton i could show people how to also creat custom motion graphics for the hologram. 

I provive a short tutorial on how to create the grphics i used so you guys could experiement with after Effects on your own

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Step 1: Step 1 Supplies

Laptop installed with Adobe AfterEffects

Dongle (For Mac Users)

CRT Monitor

VGA Cord

Sheet of Plexi Glass

Step 2: Step 2 Creating Graphics (part1)

 I will instruct on how to create the graphics I did. They are quite simple. Once you get used to After Effects you should experiment and see if you can make your own graphics. Make sure you take into account that you want the background of your video image to be as black as possible so the graphics are reflected with the best contrast possible. 

1. Open After Effects

2. Click on Composition and Click "Make a new Composition".  Make the size NTSC DV. this is a standard size.

3. Create new shape layer (circle) for the head by going to "Layer->New->shape Layer". After making sure the circle is selected in the Shape tool Button in the tool palette, hold down the Shift key to make a perfect cirlce. You will see a new layer appear in the timeline on the bottom. Click the layer and press Enter. the text reading "White solid 1" will highlight so you can rename it "Head". Do this same process for all the following body parts so you dont become confused later.

Step 3: Step 3 Creating Graphics (part2)

1. Create a new shape layer (a cirlce) for the head by going to "Layer->New->shape Layer". After making sure the circle is selected in the Shape Tool Button on the Tool Palette, hold down the Shift key to make it a perfect circle. You will see a new layer appear in the timeline on the bottom. Click the layer and press Enter. The text reading "White Solid 1" will highlight so you can rename the layer "Head". Do this same process for all the following bpdy parts s you dont get confused.

2. Create a new shape layer (a rectangle) to make the body of the stick person. Make the stick person's arms and legs using the same technique. Make sure you make separate rectangles for the thighs, shins, forearms, and upper arms.

3. Click on the "Move Anchor Point" tool pn the tool palette. click on the head layer in the timeline. you will see in the composition that the layer has a little circle with cross hairs going through it. this is the anchor point of the layer. this is the point in which the layer will rotate and/or increase or decease in size. you want to move the anchor point of the head to where the head meets the body. You want to do the same to all the parts of the stick figure. Move the anchor point of the right shin to where the shin meets the right thigh. Now if you rotate the right shin it will rotate from the top where it meets the thigh, rather than rotating from the center of the layer which would cause it to detach from the body. Repeat the process with all the limbs, making sure that the anchor points of each part of the body are where the characters joints are.

Step 4: Step 4 Creating Graphics (part 3)

 1. Now that the anchor points are set you need to "Parent" the different parts of the figure together. This will make sure that the legs and arms and head stay connected to the body. First grab the parenting chord (the swirly circle on the layer) of the right shin and drag it to the right thigh layer and release. You will see the parent drop down menu read the name of the layer to you parent to. Do the same to the right thigh but attach it to the body layer. Do this to the whole body. Be sure to parent the head to the body.

2. Now you should be able to move the body and the limbs and head will stay connected to it. Let us now bring our character to life! Click the drop down arrow of the right arm layer. You will see a few options. Go to "Transform" and you will see other options (Position, Rotation, Scale, etc). Click on the "Rotation" stopwatch and you will see adiamond shaped keyframe appear in the timeline. this marks the current "Rotation" angle of the arm. Drag the time indicator in the timeline a few seconds fowrad and rotate the arm slightly. You will see a new keyframe appear. Now you can scrub through the timeline and see how the arm rotates from the anchor point at the joint between the arm and the body. Now copy and paster these keyframes about a second apart from the first two. Do this over and over until you are about a minute into the timeline.

3. Repeat this process with each limb. when you are done your stick figure should look like a crazy dancing person with his limbs flayling about as you go through the timeline.

Step 5: Step 5 Creating Graphics (part3)

 1. Create a new composition just like the last one. Go to the Project tab and grab "Comp 1" and drag it to the new timeline. you will now see your stick person sitting in the comp. Click on the "Comp 1" layer and click command "D" on the keyboard to duplicate it. do this a few times and you will see that you now have multiple "Comp 1" layers in your timeline. Click on each one and drag them all over the top of the comp so you do not see them.

2. Now you should click on the position stopwatch of one of the "Comp 1" layers to mark the current position of that stick person. Drag the time indictor forward a second and move the position of the specified stick figure down past the bottom of the comp. Now if you scrub back and forth you will see your stick person falling and rising as it does its little dance. Do the same to all the stick people but do not have them all falling at the same time. Move the time indicator forward a bit and as you click the position stopwatch of each layer make sure you do it slightly after the previous one so there is a slight disperity between when they fall through the screen.

3. Now you shaould have a comp of a bunch of falling stick people moving their arms and legs through the air. YAY! Make the video last about a minute. you can even play with the scale of some of the comps to make some stick people larger than others. Press command "R" and then press "Render" to create the quicktime file. Once it is finished you will then have your own video to create a hologram with.

Step 6: Step 6 Hologram Setup

hologram illusion from Nick Perez-Gurri on Vimeo.

 Because I live on the 12th floor of a NEw York City apartment, not many people could appreciate my hologram, but if you live close to the ground you can easily set this up behind your window for your neighbors to appreciate.

1. Place the CRT Monitor under your window facing the ceiling.

2. Angle the Plexi glass over the screen.

3. Conncect you laptop that has the quicktime file to the monitor using the VGA cable (and dongle).

4. alter the settings of the monitor by bringing the brightness down all the way and the contrast up all the way.  this will creat a better looking hologramk by making a drastic contrast between the black background and the falling stick people.

5. Turn off lights.

6. Play the quicktime file at Full Screen and watch as the movie is reflected from the monitor onto the plexiglass creating a hologram illusion.

Cool right?!

Now you can try to create new graphics to experiment with this optical illusion.

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    2 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    It's "Pepper's Ghost" - Holograms are 3 dimensional. Picture 13 looks good - you seem to have the right effect there.



    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    yeh peppers ghost.

    holograms use multiple projectors and particle dust usually