Mar 18, 2011

New Video - Holographic 4 + Breakdown

Hey guys!
So here is Holographic 4, a short video where I create a 3D holographic display. Click the title to see full details on the video::

Have you been following the holographic series? No? Well, you should check out my Youtube channel  and catch up!
The video inside the video is the freeTV advert I created a while ago, which will be up and explained in a future post. (click the title for more info)

Basically, Holographic is a series I created inspired by Iron Man's system. With each video, I attempt to create some form of holographic system or holographic interface, or at least a part of the whole.
In Holographic 3, I'm mainly testing 3D tracking + After Effects. Which is basically integrating 3D into a video with a moving camera (rather than still on a tripod like in Holographic 1 or Holographic 2)!
It turned out AMAZINGLY WELL!! My only prob is that this is only 2.5D. Although the objects are positioned in 3D space, the actual objects are still flat and 2D. I'm looking into getting some 3D into the scene using a 3D app and getting it in for Holographic 5. Hopefully by then I'm ready to create the final video :-D

What about this project?
I used a program called SynthEyes to do the 3D tracking (better known as match moving).
Match moving is cool because it's not actually tracking objects, it's figuring out what the camera is doing. Now you use the points to get the 3D position of the points relative to the camera so you can pin stuff to specific points in the video.
As the screensaver is still active, you can see the battery I used to track the position where I wanted the HUD to be. Not very conspicuous but it did the job amazingly well.
I love SynthEyes because compared to other trackers it's ridiculously fast. It took 47seconds to track, and a total of 1 minute to completely resolve the scene, which is flipping awesome considering that it's tracking so many points.

On to AfterEffects.
I searched the extensive export menu and sent an AE file (.ma)
When opened, the file created a composition "Square holographic" which had a camera and a bunch of null objects (63 of them) positioned where all the track points were in 3D space, which is cool.
I imported the footage and realized the Pixel Aspect Ratio was very off within the tracker. But it was too late now, so I just went with it. (too psyched to get started).

Now it's just a matter of placing a new solid with it's anchorPoint at the bottom (Using the Pan Behind Tool [Y]) and copy-pasting the position/rotation of the null where the battery is.
At this point I noticed my solid had a scale of about 2% :-S
But it was awesome to see how the flat solid was sticking to the scene without any keyframing on it.

Next, the holographic. I precomposed the solid, LEAVE ALL ATTRIBUTES.
Now the beauty of precomposing is:

  • I can create everything in 3D space and it will immediately be interpolated to the position/rotation values I initially put on the solid.
  • I can switch on Collapse Transform to do this. Also, this removes the constraints of the Solid. Which means I'm completely free and I know that the 3D offset in Z-space is also shown. check this out::

Above is the comp I used. As you can see I have the controls from the Webdings font as in this tut at the bottom. I have a camera here and have offset everything in 3D Z-space.
Creating all this in the comp was simple because I could use a camera and in the final comp (with Collapse Transform on) the camera in the comp is ignored.

Really the precomp helped do most of the work.

Think you can figure out how the waves for the screensaver were done??

Tell us! Drop a comment below, or like and comment on the Facebook page
Show us! Upload to Youtube with a description and drop a comment.
If you can do it before I write the tutorial, you can guest write the tut!


  1. Think you can figure out how the waves for the screensaver were done??Trigonometric functions? :P

  2. Nope! :-P No expressions or complex math involved 

  3. Some trickery with masks and effects, post coming up shortly 

  4. Hey, the tutorial is up! Check it out here: