Holograms, but virtual

A ton of content exists in 3D already in digital software. This page will explain how to capture holograms using programs we don't currently have direct plugins for.
We have plugins for Blender, Unity and Unreal Engine! Learn more about them here.

What kind of programs can make holograms?

Generally, any 3D program that allows you to move the virtual camera inside of virtual 3D space can be used to capture holograms.
Some programs offer more control than others and have different features. The most straight forward way to capture a hologram in 3D software is by moving the camera left to right. You can even capture holograms in video games if the camera is stable enough.
Some programs, like Autodesk 3DS Max, Autodesk Maya and Cinema4D allow more control over how the camera works and can take advantage of more advanced techniques that modify the camera's frustum.

How do I move the camera to capture a hologram?

The general technique for capturing holograms involves moving a camera in a straight path, from left to right. This ensures that you're capturing the scene from multiple perspectives, which when put together form a light field.
It's important to make sure that there is no easing or other animation curves on the camera. It should be moving at a constant rate from left to right. Usually this would mean that you'd need to set a keyframe with linear or constant interpolation on it. In general, you should follow the following rules when setting up your camera.
  • The camera must be set to perspective, orthographic cameras will not work.
  • The camera must be set to linear animation, and not have any easing present.
  • The camera must move in a straight line, and not along a curved path.
A meme with Geordi La Forge from Star Trek the next generation, Geordi cautions against using a curved animation curve and points to using a linear animation curve instead.
If your program shows a curved animation path that usually means it's using some kind of easing, make sure the line is straight!
Learn more about how to frame and position your camera here:

Do holograms have to be static? Can I make interactive holograms?

You can totally make interactive holograms. Our Unity and WebXR integrations offer the best support currently for making holograms that you can interact with using your computer mouse, Leap Motion Controller, or gamepad!
Here's an example of using a Leap Motion Controller with Unity to make a fun interactive physics demo