Holograms: Will we ever need them?

Written by David Shapton

SPIE/RedsharkCGI Holograms

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.

Tags: Studio & Broadcast

Comments

Related Articles

28 May, 2020

You can now appear in a football stadium from your own home

Conferencing technology will allow fans to both watch the football, and appear as fans in the stadium. 

It might look odd, but you are going to have...

Read Story

4 May, 2020

Alteons Production Ecosystem plans to change Payments for Filmmakers

Many freelancers and indie filmmakers will know the pain of how difficult it can be not knowing when payment will be made for the work they’ve...

Read Story

13 March, 2020

Dolby Vision IQ, a new take on an old feature?

Auto brightness adjustments on televisions are nothing new, but Dolby's Vision IQ is an attempt to make HDR viewing more viable in a wider variety...

Read Story