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SYNC is a Sci Fi high concept short film by our friend and RedShark contributor Hasraf Dulull (HaZ)

Holograms: Will we ever need them?

Published in Studio & Broadcast

Holographic TV: I have to declare a bias here. The Princess Leia hologram scenes in Star Wars convinced me that we will never need holographic TV. This is nothing to do with the fact that video holograms are always depicted as being fuzzy and unstable (presumably to stop them looking real, in which case you couldn't tell they were holograms). No, my issue with them is that while real life may be 3D in the sense that you can walk around it, drama isn't.

What do I mean by this?

Holograms in the cinema

Well, imagine being in a cinema watching a holographic film. If you're sitting in the centre of the auditorium, about half way up, then it's all well and good. But if you've arrived late and you're sitting at the side, then you'll have a bad time, because none of the actors will ever look at you, unless they're making transitory, sideways glances.

That's the problem in essence. Everybody gets a different view. It's not film making: it's moving sculpture.

All of which is a scarcely relevant introduction to a news item this week about a breakthrough from the International Society for Optics and Photonics, who have managed to merge the disciplines of hologram-making and computer generated images.

It takes longer with a computer

Until now, making holograms from computer images has either been impossible or has taken far too long to be of any practical use because of the rendering times. You can only make computer holograms if you calculate an extremely large number of viewpoints for every point on the holographic object's surface - a recipe for waiting a long time for something to happen.

But now, they've found a way to use more CGI-like techniques. Instead of calculating the result at ever conceivable point, they use polygons instead, massively reducing the calculation times.

The society claims to be able to produce photorealistic holograms in reasonable timescales, and if I'm wrong about the unsuitability of Holograms for film making, then this could be the breakthrough that everyone except me has been waiting for.

We're still working on RedShark's comments system. Meanwhile, if you'd like to respond to this article, drop an email to me, david.shapton@redsharknews.com. We'll publish the best comments.

This holiday we're re-running some of our most popular articles, in case you didn't see them the first time. Today: have you ever heard the collective sound of several hundred people's jaws dropping? If you've been to a cinema where they're showing the Life of Pi for the first time, then you probably have

R'ha: The best sci-fi short of 2013 (so far)

Published in Production

It didn’t take long for a sci-fi short to make noise in 2013, courtesy of animation student Kaleb Lechowski, who took a can-do approach in realizing his mini-epic

Bridging the Uncanny Valley to make realistic CGI humans

Published in Post & VFX

The term 'Uncanny Valley' was originally coined by Japanese robotics professor Masahiro Mori back in 1980 and suggests that as we get close to human realism a huge dip in a ‘familiarity’ graph occurs, indicating a sudden negative response. Now the Digital Human League, a superteam of Hollywood visual effects artists and researchers, is looking to bridge the gap with the creation of convincing synthetic humans.

This isn't a photograph - it's an amazing render

Published in Post & VFX

This is a picture that looks more like a photograph than a photograph. And whereas a photograph can be made in an instant - you can imagine the time it took Brazillian artist Gilvan Isbiro to create this masterpiece

We couldn't resist bringing you this trailer for the film Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Cloony. Directed by Alfonso Cuarón, this is quite simply the most breathtaking trailer we've ever seen

Pixar's new animation system allows animators to visualise their characters with all the important detail visible. Like hair!

Make your own cityscape in minutes and not man-years

Published in Post & VFX

A new cityscape generator from Video Copilot could save hours, if not years...

Was Tron the most influential film ever made?

Published in Business

The sci-fi fave celebrates its 30th birthday with a party in Hollywood. And its event producer makes a controversial yet compelling statement.

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