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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Winter Robin Bird
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.
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.
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.
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.