Humble Hologram Beginnings

Claudia and I were discussing potential plans for the final year show. We were trying to be as crazy and ambitious with our ideas as possible so there was mention of bouncy castles, hosting the end of year show at a place with a ball pit arena, trampolines, etc. During the discussion she mentioned holograms. I asked if she had see this particular video:



She said no to my surprise (I thought everyone knew about this). After showing her we both wondered how it would look on a large scale – especially for the end of year show. I decided to quickly make my own little hologram pyramid (out a plastic cup that was lying around) so we could both see how good the effect is. We used this video, in conjunction with the ‘holo-viewer’ for the effect:



Trying it for myself led me to come up with a series of ideas (especially when discussing it with James Stallwood) and paved the way for brainstorms on ways I could manipulate this technology for the show and also a potential avenue for my FMP:



I eventually got more plastic to explore the idea of making many holo-viewers, e.g. like a 5×5 grid, to make up one image but I’d need loads of small screens (unless I use one massive screen but this limits the ‘viewing height’) but either way, for something that is supposed to be a quick bit of research, this would take up a lot of my time. In the end, I made one slightly clearer and better version of the plastic cup hologram pyramid on the same scale and decided to move on to my next plan.





The main thing at thing point was to try it on an even larger scale:



I, luckily, managed to find an old piece of clear plastic, in pretty good shape, in the art shop at uni and began to markup the necessary measurements to help cut out the shapes I need. Once it was all cut up (with the help of a wonderful guillotine in creative services), I combined the edged with masking tape (I was going to glue it with a glue gun but that was just too permanent for my liking), made sure it was stable when placed, flipped a Mac on its back and played the hologram projection video from YouTube on it. From here, I also went on to test the large holo-viewer (or large hologram pyramid) with projectors – 4 projectors, each one setup on each side of the holo-viewer. At this point, I had some realisations about the whole thing but one thing I really wanted to know is if there is an easier way to produce a true 360 degree hologram (more representative of real 3D objects) rather a 2.5D type hologram.



After running the tests with the projectors, I was thinking of ways to reduce the amount of light coming from the projector in a way that would reduce the chances of having images reflected/refracted all around the room. James provided the idea of polarised lenses/sheets (like those in modern 3D glasses) possibly doing the trick so I gave it a go. Unfortunately, after testing, this didn’t end up working due to the fact that it’s not the intended use of the lenses – they remove reflections, they don’t reduce light intensity (in the way that I wanted them to):

Interesting related videos I found before getting my hands on the lenses:



Other bits of related research:


Pepper’s Ghost:


Other Hologram Tech:

Korean scientists have developed a legitimate 3D hologram you can view from any angle


Images related to things I was talking to Dave about (research and development wise) possibly doing in relation to holograms (ordnance survey, laser etching, holographic monitors/displays, etc.):

dsc_0547 dsc_0557 dsc_0558

After seeing the Dragon Ball Z video and talking to Dave, I started thinking about getting a screen/monitor/tv so that I could experiment with how the hologram is viewed by making something similar. (as I mentioned in the conversation). If necessary, I could also 3D print an object for the image to be mapped onto. I remembered I had a spare monitor at home (in London) but I thought that I’d try to source another, in case I want to strip it to the bare minimum (to reduce the weight of the overall thing). Dave recommended asking iSolution but unfortunately they  didn’t have any monitors that they were chucking away. I remembered that a physicist I know down at Highfield campus once said that there is a skip where a bunch of old electronics are thrown if I ever want hunt for scraps. I made my way there but unfortunately I wasn’t able to find any ‘treasures’. Luckily, there is a portacabin next to the skip full of kind people, one of whom (Kyle) said they’d notify me if there are any available monitors as they know someone that usually informs them of monitors that are up for grabs. He also mentioned that I should get in touch with a man named Chris – the safety officer, waste electrical guy ( and that I should check WEEE Waste. Ollie (a classmate of mine) also mentioned that I should check for a monitor as people are basically giving away free stuff instead of selling it. 


When I discussed potentially doing something electronics related to my housemate (when I was trying to focus on four topics of interest), he mentioned checking out the Electronic SuperhighwayDuring my research of this exhibition, I managed to come across the following piece of work (part of my inspiration to start experimenting with this whole idea):



Examples of research that came from the talk with Dave:

screenshot_20161025-163642 screenshot_20161025-163151 screenshot_20161025-162543

screenshot_20161027-170739 screenshot_20161025-234202

This would be amazing to do but I’d need the help of the physics department, expensive laser technology and financial backing. Maybe a bit out of my reach… Still really amazing though. This was something that I was trying to explain to James (lecturer), I said – Imagine if there was a way to project images in mid air, how? By somehow getting the laser’s beam to stop at specific points in the air, how? I have no idea… – Then, ironically, I found this video (after searching for something that could illustrate my thought).



  • Not 100% with this idea at moment, how can this be gamified?
  • Have I wasted too much time exploring this as I’m still not 100% percent on this idea…
  • If I think of something different and leave this idea, will there be a way to still incorporate it somehow?
  • I tested the filters out on the projector on a later date and the projection from the projector went straight through the filters, but the colour of the projector was tinted – explained here.
  • More hologram related research here


Bibliography (EXTRAS):

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