Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Theme park special effects coming in real life anytime soon ?

Are theme park special effects coming in real life anytime soon? Will we have Hologram video conference - just like in Star Wars - in a near future?

Probably, and in six months from now special effects which usually could be seen only in theme parks should arrive in our "real" world. It will begin in big corporations who'll have enough money to afford it, but i won't be surprise if in some years, the technology becoming more affordable, we will have holograms communications inside our home.

In the meantime, check this CNN video below to see how it look!




Video: copyright CNN.com

7 comments:

john321 said...

Please note that there is probably no single hologram in any Disney park.

Most "holographic" effects in e.g. the Haunted Mansion are a very old magic trick called Pepper's ghost. (Just Google a bit.) The "holograms" you see, are just animatronics in another room, using a mirror as overlay. It works quite well actually, but the applications are limited.

The "holograms" in e.g. The Tower of Terror and some other attractions are not even 3D, although the effect looks VERY convincing. The people you see in ToT are just 2D projections on a transparant sheet/mirror, just like the CNN video you linked to.

3D movies (Captain EO, Honey I Shrunk the Audience) just trick your eyes, by showing your left eye another image than your right eye. Unfortunately, we still need glasses for this to work. (There are screen designs that work without glasses, most that I have seen cause headaches ;). Additionally, you're not free to move around, the 3D only works from the perspective you're currently in.

There is no known technology yet that can create voluminous images in thin air, as much as I would love to have it. The thing that comes closest are "volumetric displays", they all do not project the image in thin air though and are mostly extremely limited. A nice example pulled from Wikipedia: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/65/PerspectaRAD_mouse_Phantom.JPG

You can although, create stunning visuals using "flat projections" and waterscreens that actually look 3D, like during the 2004 Olympic Opening Ceremony: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_Ezjdk1THA

Eric Scales said...

Yeah, interesting. This seems to be cropping up as a news story more and more, when really it's nothing new. The application, and using it with video projection in a practical application is new, but to tout it as "Holograms" is inaccurate. Course, who would expect the media to be accurate when they can be sensationalist and entertaining instead.

And for the record there are 2 holograms I am aware of in Disney Parks, though perhaps they should only count as one. In Pinocchio's Daring Journey (both at DL and TDL), as you approach Lampwick, before he turns around and you see that he's turning into a donkey, he's looking in a small handheld mirror, and the image of his normal face in the mirror is a hologram. The basic rainbow hued type too.

Anonymous said...

Why dont they use these holograms in theme parks ... never seen any disney character that good animated ..

Eric Scales said...

These are film projections, and nowadays they do use them. Most of the Nemo characters in both DL and Epcot Nemo attractions are done this way.

BC Morris said...

AND, the CNN hologram isn't really a hologram. It's plain old chroma-key with a bit of transparency thrown in.

john321 said...

@Eric Scales

Make that at least three then, because the Parisian version of the Pinocchio ride is almost identical to the Disneyland version and I also remember the scene in particular. It also includes the fairy pepper's ghost effect at the end, which really looks like what many people would call a hologram. The "sparkling" effect also adds to the impression.

But still, most real holographs in Disney parcs can be found on people's credit cards ;).

Eric Scales said...

Oops I forgot that Paris had Pinocchio too John. Thanks!