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Making great holograms

Whether you're making holograms with depth photos, or using digital tools like Blender or Unity, there are a few guidelines that can help make your holograms stand out from the crowd.

Working with your medium

It's important to understand the differences between certain hologram formats. Depth photos are great at bringing specific moments into 3D, but don't capture effects like reflections and can't show data behind other objects.
​Quilts and light fields on the other hand are great at capturing full scenes but usually aren't as fast as a taking a quick photo. Both methods have the potential to make some amazing holograms though, the key is capturing with intent and knowing what tool is best for the job.

Bringing your holograms into focus

Just like how photographers focus their cameras on their subjects, you'll need to choose what to focus on in your hologram. Looking Glass displays have a single fixed focal plane, meaning that objects will appear clearest at a single point, and objects that are in front of or behind the focal plane will actually feel 3D.
In Blocks, this will be the point the object will appear to be fixed to. Here are a few examples showing some Blocks with different focal planes.

Examples of great holograms

Below, we've organized some of our favorite holograms below and dig into what makes them great. You can use these as guides to creating your own.

Holograms from the real world

Using light fields, NeRFs, photogrammetry and other methods are great ways to capture objects in the real world as holograms. Learn more about capturing holograms in the real world here:
Depth
Light fields
NeRFs
Photogrammetry
This hologram of Missy was captured on an iPhone X with the portrait mode feature. Portrait mode photos capture a depth map in addition to the normal photo and allow the photo to be pulled into 3D.
Light fields allow for full properties of 3D scenes to be captured, including reflections and refraction. Unlike Depth, NeRFs, or Photogrammetry they capture the scene in full detail, instead of attempting to fill in data. This makes them the highest quality holograms, but also increases the amount of work needed to capture them.
NeRFs allow for the real world to be captured in full detail, including things like transparency, refraction and reflections. Click this link to learn more about NERFs.
Photogrammetry allows for the world to be captured and brought into 3D programs and engines like Blender, Unity or Unreal and allows you to mix the real world with the virtual.

Holograms from our community

Winter Robin Bird
Dumpling Darlings
Metal Bird
CurtSphere

Winter Robin Bird by Nael

Nael really takes advantage of the focal plane by placing a window right in front of it, this provides a lot of parallax and really makes it feel like the bird is on the other side of the window. Be sure to check out the animated version of this hologram on Nael's porfolio site. ​
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Dumpling Darlings by Rachel Xiang

Rachel's holograms make great use of the focusing on the characters while still providing details in front of and behind the main focal plane. Note in particular how there are more, smaller objects in front of the focal plane, and the background is wider, filled with larger objects. This helps draw the eye towards the two characters at the table and really helps pull the story of the scene together.

Metal Bird by Bbbn19

Ben's metal bird is a great example of using reflections, shadow, and materials to make a really unique hologram. The use of depth of field also helps improve the look of the background as it's also beyond the focal plane.
Be sure to check out Ben's Youtube Channel for some awesome tutorials on Blender.

CurtSphere by Curtis Holt

Curtis Holt's "CurtSphere" does a great job of mixing 2D and 3D elements. Having clear occlusion that reveals different relationships in the image really helps improve the quality of the hologram. The reflections on the sphere also lend themselves well to being viewed in 3D.