Infusion full-color digital hologram

Infusion full-color digital hologram
Click on image to see full rendering detail of hologram

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

i-Lumogram Case Study: Infusion Lounge hologram

In early 2007 Forth Dimension Holographics was commissioned by the C-Two Entertainment chain to design and produce one of the first new full-color digital i-Lumogram holograms to be displayed in the US. The large-format hologram was to be the signature art piece to be displayed behind the bar in their newest venture, an Asian themed, $4.5M, restaurant and nightclub in the heart of San Francisco to be named the Infusion Lounge.

Situated beneath the Hotel Fusion in the epicenter of San Fran’s Union Square, the 6,000+ s/f club was designed by the famous Hong Kong architect, Kinney Chan. Design of the artistic hologram began soon after initial construction began on the project. A design team led by Mr. Scott Caroen, the venue’s current manager, envisioned several 3D concepts before the final hologram design was chosen, keeping with strict accordance to the club’s sophisticated, ultra-hip profile.

With the concept finally approved in 2008, work could begin on content creation. Real-scene 3D image-capture production was done at K-Top Production Studios in Oakland, California. Rob Taylor from Forth Dimension Holographics in Nashville Indiana brought his HoloCam, a special 3D image-capture camera that is designed to film real-scene, animated, 3D content specifically for production with the new full-color, digital, stereo-gram holographic technologies such as i-Lumograms.

Modeling auditions were held and the lovely Ms. Stephanie Anderson from Portland, Oregon was selected. Other individuals and companies involved in the production were; Body Painting- Ms. Lisa Berczel from Battlefield P&B in L.A., Make-Up and Hair Stylist- Nam, Lighting- Kevin Sam from K&M Lighting. We shot Stephanie on a green screen so that a completely computer-generated, 3D scene could be inserted around her. Between the 5 hours of body painting and make-up, and the 5 hours of 3D filming, it made for a long day but everyone walked away happy with the shoot and ready to unwind in the  captivating downtown San Francisco nightlife.

Post CGI work was done by the talented Eric Lindley of Partners Photography and Illustration, also from Nashville. The background environment was designed to match the structural elements of the club itself (which was still under construction). Once the renderings were completed and final adjustments were made, the files were transferred to the i-Lumogram print facilities, run by GEOLA Digital uab, and located in Vilnius Lithuania. There, the 1,200+ frames and 4.6GB of digital content was transferred by proprietary software into the thousands of individual 3D perspectives needed to record the hologram. Using 3 different pulsed lasers (red, green, blue) invented by GEOLA, Dr. Stanislovas Zacharovas and Ramunas Bakanas recorded the resulting wavefront interference patterns as individual “holopixels”, each pixel a hologram in and of itself and containing the entire 3D scene’s perspective from a small 1.6mm square.

After mechanical laser exposures (~8 hours in duration for the 3x4 foot hologram), processing of the silver-halide holographic film, and lamination and finishing; the hologram was packed and shipped directly to the installation site. The hologram arrived just one week before the scheduled grand opening and was quickly framed and installed with the proper lighting required for such a large hologram.

Now a unique, permanent, signature art piece of the lounge, the hologram has received rave reviews and astounds and captivates visitors nightly. Be sure to stop by, have a drink, and see this very unique art hologram if you are ever in the Bay area.

To see a rendering of this hologram, click here.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Forth Dimension Holographics is the USA service bureau for the direct-write, full-color, horizontal parallax only, reflection, digital hologram technology originally developed by GEOLA, and now being internationally branded as “i-Lumograms” (whew!). Other representatives include; Tutto-Tondo Srl. (Italy), M. Richardson (U.K.), and 4D Studio R (United Arab Emeritus).

This type of digital holography utilizing pulsed lasers was first invented by Dr. David Ratcliffe and his company, GEOLA. Development was over 5 years and many millions of dollars in cost. In addition to GEOLA’s i-Lumograms, this same type of hologram is also being produced and marketed separately as “Rabbitholes Motion Art” (Canada) by a company of the same name.

All i-Lumograms are currently being produced on a “holographic printer” by GEOLA in their laboratories in Vilnius Lithuania. This holographic printer consists of a pulsed RGB laser which use LCOS panels to encode digital data into the printer’s object beam. Using a 1 step, dot-matrix type of recording, i-Lumograms are produced on proprietary panchromatic, ultra-fine grain silver-halide film. After processing, holograms are finished by laminating to either PVC or glass substrates.

Currently i-Lumograms are printed in two resolutions; .8mm and 1.6mm holopixels. Formats range from 18x24 cm up to 1x1.5 meters in size for single panel holograms. Larger sizes can be realized through tiling. Generally, any i-Lumograms printed 40x60 cm or smaller utilize the .8mm, and anything over this size uses the 1.6mm resolution.

Content input can be CGI, digital photography, or a combination of the two. For computer generated content, existing 3D modeling programs such as Maya, 3DS Max, etc. are generally used following simple rendering specifications during design. For real-image capture, GEOLA has designed a line of linear rail digital image capture devices dubbed the HoloCam. With this hardware/software package, scenes can be recorded with up to several seconds of animation, ready to print directly into stereogram holograms.

Resulting files are uploaded to an FTP site, reviewed, and printed. Turnaround times from receipt of approved files is about 3 weeks for US customers currently. Presently, there are no minimums and we are willing to work with anyone who is interested in working in this new arena.

Recently GEOLA has developed a contact copy printer to increase output and reduce the cost of smaller i-Lumogram hologram production. With this system a master full-color i-Lumogram is produced and then contact copied via a line scanning recording geometry. Unfortunately, this method is only able to produce two-color holograms at this time.

If anyone wishes further information, or would like to explore this type of new digital holography they may contact us at infoatforthdimensiondotcom, or visit GEOLA’s web site at:

Tuesday, January 6, 2009