This Software Will Let Anyone Create Virtual Reality Games

July 1st, 2014

While the frontiers of virtual reality are expanding due to increased interest in the Oculus Rift headset, creating games and virtual reality experiences has generally been limited to those who can program.

Sixense, a company known for its motion controllers that excel in virtual environments, wants to lower the barrier of entry to VR creation to anyone with a little design know-how with its upcoming software development kit. The SixenseVR SDK will integrate into Unity and Unreal Engine, two of the most popular game engines, giving creators a toolset that already supports most gaming platforms.

“The main reason this is important is because quite often developers such as designers and artist have great game concepts but are not proficient in programming and are often dependent on others to see their ideas come to life,” said Sixense Creative Director Danny Woodall. “Giving them the ability to prototype and flush out their ideas without the aid of someone else is very powerful. Unreal 4 has a similar vision and uses a system called blueprints to allow developers to use a node based visual scripting system.”

Read the full article here.

Developers – do you support this technology? Weigh in below!

E3 Fans Go Bananas at The Super Smash Bros. Invitational Tournament: The Olympics of Nintendo

June 26th, 2014

The most talked about title at the recent E3 convention, held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, was the upcoming and highly anticipated fourth installment of Super Smash Brothers. The hype was generated from its massive fan base for the first chance to see the game in action, as well as the first ever Super Smash Brothers for Wii U Invitational tournament.

E3 Fans dressed up as their favorite Smash Bros. characters and waited in an entry line that wrapped nearly the entire circumference around the Staples Center. Superfans included Pikachu, Ness, WaLuigi, and a very vocal Yoshi. Check out the line footage here:

Fans from around the world also got to partake in the event, as it was broadcast on Twitch, a live-streaming video platform focused on gaming. This truly was the Olympics of Nintendo. The Super Smash fans cheered for their favorite digitally animated heroes (Megaman appeared to be the crowd favorite) and held up signs as the countdown to show time commenced.

Geoff Keighley of Spike TV’s GTTV (Game Trailers TV) hosted the Invitational, promising fans a first look at the game as well as the tournament itself. 16 highly skilled players from around the world met to compete in the tournament. One by one players fell as commentators shouted over-excited observations during game play. The Invitational climaxed as Zero Suit Samus (played by professional gamer Gonzalo “CTZeRo” Barrios) defeated Kirby in the final match.

Super Smash Brothers for Wii U will be released in late winter of 2014. The title boasts running speeds of 60fps, which means players are going to get a graphically-smooth fighting experience. Another perk is the simplicity of controls, as it can be played with almost any of the previous game console controllers. This offers players the familiarity of past titles, with the updated design tech capabilities of the Wii U.

Cogswell offers programs in Game Design and Development combining both engineering and art for games and various forms of interactive technology.

Would you wait in line to watch an epic gaming tournament? Who is your favorite Smash Bros. character? Tell us in the comment section below!

The Lessons Learned After Spending 13 Years Making One Game

June 24th, 2014

What happens when you spend literally half your life working on one game? This burden was carried by one developer as he spent 13 years trying to develop “the game he had always wanted to make.”

Adam Butcher started working on his game Tobias and the Dark Sceptres when he was 14 years old. He was using Multimedia Fusion when he started, game creation software for those without coding experiences that became popular in the early 2000s.

Now that Tobias and the Dark Sceptres is complete, Butcher looks back on his years of toil in this charmingly animated YouTube video. He calls his labor “The Game That Time Forgot” because of how much gaming standards, especially the concept of indie games, had changed since he started as a teenager. He said he hoped the video is a cautionary tale to developers who let a project consume too much.

Butcher is free of his albatross now, and the game can be downloaded at no charge on its website.

See the full story here.

Interested in Game Design & Development? Read more about Cogswell’s Bachelor Degree Program!

Virtual Reality: The Not So Distant Future of Gaming… Is Already Here

June 19th, 2014

At this year’s E3, Electronic Entertainment Expo held in Los Angeles, we saw a huge focus on software. Last year’s E3 was all about hardware with the upcoming hype of Xbox One and PS4, but this year we saw a push for titles from both the big name, and independent developers. This year however we are seeing an emergence of virtual reality technology becoming more of an actuality rather than science-fiction fantasy.

Oculus VR, a virtual reality technologies company, has been the catalyst in the push for virtual reality development. Oculus VR reported selling more than 85,000 of the Oculus VR Development Kits, prototypes for developers to begin creating virtual reality titles. Oculus VR was recently purchased by Facebook for a whopping $2 billion dollars, furthering the push for Virtual Reality.

Sony recently introduced its own Virtual Reality headset prototype “Project Morpheus” to PlayStation 4. The headset will work with the PlayStation Move controllers, the Dual shock 4, and PlayStation Move Camera. The current development kit offers 1080p display and a 90-degree field of view.

The virtual reality market is rapidly growing, and will only get bigger. Next month Oculus VR is scheduled to release the second-generation Oculus Development Kit. It’s a higher resolution headset and also fixes previous issues with latency. Once released, game developers both independent and mainstream will take advantage of this new technology to create bigger and better titles. Cogswell’s offers programs in Game Design and Development combining both engineering and art for games and various forms of interactive technology.

When do you expect to have a virtual reality device in your home? Is virtual reality another over-hyped trend? What game would you like to play in virtual reality? Tell us in the comments below!

Sources: Mashable, The Verge

What Does it Take to Be a Mobile Designer Today?

June 17th, 2014

Mobile is here to stay, with its own set of rules and constraints. At the same time, it’s a rapidly evolving platform, with new technologies and capabilities being added by the quarter. We can’t design for mobile like we used to do for posters and Web pages. So what toolkit and mindset does a mobile designer need to thrive?

Challenges and Constraints

Every medium has its limitations. Even mobile—one of the richest canvases a designer can dream of—still has particularities that need to be addressed:

Device fragmentation

There are countless smartphone and tablet models out there, each one with a different screen size, pixel density, and physical input (not to mention screen orientations). This means we can’t just pre-assume an iPhone 5 screen-size and design tightly to it. In mobile Web, responsive design allows us to plan for variations and make the design adjust to different screens with little effort. In native mobile design there is less liquidity, so we need to think our designs as tolerant to screen differences, and document the way such variations impact the layout.

OS fragmentation

As of today, we have three major mobile operating systems to consider: Android, iOS, and Windows Phone, in order of usage. Every OS has its own set of interface patterns, external inputs, and guidelines, not to mention variations between OS versions as well. Within Android things are even more complex: the version of Android a device will use is going to be influenced by the device maker, which can overlay its own layer of UI on top of it, and the device itself and its processing capabilities (not to mention the upgrade delays imposed by some carrier companies).

Even if this fragmentation does not make the design vary too much, it does influence how users experience an OS and what they expect from it. Consider, for example, that the experience of Android that most users have is actually the TouchWiz or Sense interfaces.

Performance

The way an app is designed can influence the amount of energy it uses. To put in other words, our design can leave our users without battery juice. Certain unnecessary visual effects or animations may need intensive graphic processing to run; a JavaScript-intensive Web page can also use a lot of power. And while our newly purchased device may be running our app smoothly, a 2-year old device may be struggling with it. These are just examples to illustrate the idea that a mobile designer needs to understand the impact that their decisions have in how an app performs and uses the device’s resources.

Development and cost constraints

Just because we saw it in that cool new app the other day doesn’t mean that it can be easily implemented. The way we design an app can make the difference between meeting and missing a deadline. If we don’t clearly understand the cost of the design decisions we make, we are basically putting the burden on the developers and creating an opportunity for friction later on.

Things to Unlearn

Many of us have been trained as designers in an era where a digital mindset was still incipient. That has historically caused us to approach digital design from a static point of view (exporting HTML directly from Fireworks, anyone?), and the misalignments that result from this perspective are still being taught in design schools. With mobile design the gap is even wider, as mobile brings a language for which nearly all of our current tools and methods fall short. So it’s time to update our mindset.

Mobile is not a canvas

HTML isn’t a canvas either. You can’t just throw things at it like you’re designing a poster. I suspect that designing in Photoshop is not helping us in making the switch, because we have been using it to design posters and illustrations and retouch photos for more than two decades. We’re still “painting” our interfaces, when screen size fragmentation and the dynamic nature of mobile call for a different approach to design.

Stop thinking of screens and start thinking of transitions

We are just starting to realize that the “screens” approach doesn’t cut it when it comes to mobile design. Thanks to apps like Facebook Paper or Yahoo! Weather that showcase a different way of designing, we know we need to design based on transitions rather than still images.

Transitions, once just disposable eye-candy, are becoming the center of a mobile experience. They not only give a live, interactive tone to the interface: they are an interface element in their own right. Transitions convey movement, space, change, and hierarchy and are a great ally in communicating the underlying app structure to the user. They also render a static approach useless.

Put your designer ego aside

You don’t need to be unique or original, especially when being “unique” means redesigning a known interface pattern just for the sake of uniqueness. More often than not, sticking to native UI elements and patterns is the smartest move to get the app completed on time. Rather than pushing your designed-from-scratch set of UI controls, focus on creating a simple, effective interface and create branding that shines.

For inspiration, real apps are better than designer portfolio sites

Many designers go to the likes of Behance or Dribbble in search for inspiration for their next mobile project. While you will always find beautifully crafted artwork on such sites, if you are not a seasoned mobile designer, those mockups can be misleading. Many of them are just that—mockups that have never met reality, and they can bias your judgment toward believing that you must create an entirely customized UI every time.

Get inspired by real, successful apps. There you’ll find the designs that have made products thrive. Their interface patterns have been tried and tested in the real world, and you know for sure they can be replicated.

New Skills to Learn

Know the platform

Just as you need to understand HTML/CSS to be a good Web designer, you need to understand the underlying structure of mobile apps too, and they are totally different from Web pages. For instance, they don’t “flow” the content as HTML/CSS do, and that changes a lot the way we should think about the layout. You won’t have the magic of CSS inheritance (at least not nearly as polished and not out of the box) to separate markup from presentation. Oh, I almost forgot: there’s no “markup” either.

You will need to get into some documentation for developers, read the manuals and understand how mobile apps are assembled, compiled, and published. Understand how a mobile device works and which things drain the battery the most. You may even need to learn some code basics, which pays off in the long run: you’ll be able to learn the developer’s language and you will design with efficiency and feasibility in mind.

Know the nuts and bolts of mobile technologies

Here’s a laundry list to get you started: location services (Wi-Fi- and GPS-based), Bluetooth, Low-Energy Bluetooth, beacons, front and rear camera, microphone, gyroscope, accelerometer, vibrator, fingerprint scanner, eye tracking, voice recognition, face recognition, tap detection, and the list goes on and on. Every new technology opens the doors to a whole new breed of apps. Your responsibility as a designer is to be aware of the cutting-edge.

Discover how far you can get with native components

Native UI components actually give lots of freedom to customization efforts, but you need to know exactly how to use them. If you can do most of your UI with native controls with a few tweaks, you’ll save a great deal of the developer’s time, which they will be thankful for.

Know the mobile workflow

Learn about mobile SDKs, install them and get them to run. Learn about mobile frameworks, such as RubyMotion, Xamarin, or Titanium. Get familiar with IDEs, where the graphic assets are located within a mobile project, how they should be named, etc.

Learn mobile interface patterns

All three major mobile platforms have similarities and profound differences on how they understand mobile interaction design. Their users expect different things from them. As a mobile designer, you should be completely aware of these differences and able to detect them on the spot.

Don’t stick with a single mobile platform. Try all three, or at least use Android and iOS on a daily basis for at least 6 months each. I did it, and it’s great—you get insights from each platform you’ll never get with casual use or looking at screenshots. And switching is good: being a fanboy is bad for a mobile designer.

Document and explain your UI

Since screens don’t tell the whole story anymore, you will have to document different states, transitions, and animations as well as how the app reacts to data and to the environment. Annotate your mockups, provide animation examples, and plan for device orientation.

Embrace Lean UX in the design phase

A modern designer should be a strategic designer. So your goal, rather than just come up with something beautiful, is to infuse into the design everything the team has learned about the product. Prioritize rapid prototyping in order to get early insights of what the users want. Save the detailed artistic work for later. Ensure that everything that is designed is aligned with the core value proposal and with the users’ needs.

Embrace Agile UX when implementing

You can’t just hand your mockups to the developer and forget about it, as most of the graphic requirements will arise when developing. There will be always screens not previously considered, new transitions and state changes that require new graphic assets. You need to be there and respond in real-time. So bring your chair next to the developers and be ready to step into the design when needed. Make sure that the developers only have their mind in development and that they don’t have to make UX decisions to fill your gaps.

Some Extra Tips for Mobile Web

Be responsible with responsive

For mobile Web, responsive design is not the one-size-fits-all solution. In some cases it makes sense, in others it doesn’t. It’s your responsibility to know where mobile demands a dedicated solution and where a few responsive tweaks are enough to maintain a single code base. Even if you are designing for “traditional” Web, plan your layout so it adapts gracefully to different screen sizes. And mind asset sizes: that nice full-screen 1Mb background image can make your mobile visitors waste money in cellular data consumption.

Use CSS and JS candy with caution

Yes, CSS animations, gradients, transitions, and shadows are great and incredibly easy to implement. And parallax is neat, plus all the cool guys do it, right? But these elements can take a toll on a mobile device battery. The more “live” visual effects you pile up, the more sluggish the scrolling will feel and the more power it will consume.

Even innocent CSS3 selectors can impact performance on low-end devices. Prefer ID’s and classes when possible, and try to keep your descendant selectors low. So if you can go with #submit instead of .main .container .form > div .submit, it’s a good idea.

Use the Right Tools for the Job

This is not at all a definitive list, and you will find great alternatives for many of them, but these are some good tools suited for mobile design (some of them are free, most of them are Mac-only):

Sketch for graphic design and @2x hi-resolution export. This is arguably the heir of the now discontinued Adobe Fireworks, and it has been done with mobile in mind.

LiveView and Sketch Mirror (a companion for Sketch) for mirroring your screen to your phone. Things look and feel very differently in a device. You’ll be able to easily test the size of interaction areas and controls.

Origami (by Facebook) and Quartz Composer for mobile interaction and animation prototyping. This is the closest you can get to a native UI prototyping without coding, and will give you a good introduction of the kind of logical thinking that programmers use.

PaintCode for creating UIs and graphics and exporting them directly to Objective-C.

Mockup web software. There’re plenty: Balsamiq Mockups, Axure, UXPin, Moqups, Proto.io, just to name a few.

Flinto for creating mobile interactive mockups that can be installed in your iPhone, mimicking real apps (taking advantage of Safari’s Add to Home Screen feature).

ImageOptim for compressing your PNG and JPG files without loss of quality.

Version-control software, preferably Git or Mercurial. Commit your assets and changes directly to the repository and in real time, rather than e-mailing a ZIP to the developer.

All of this is Already Obsolete

Not really, but the pace of progress in mobile technology is incredibly rapid. In no time we will be faced with the challenge of designing for wearables, smart appliances, and sensors connected to our mobile apps. New challenges and innovations come out daily. So, if anything, being dynamic, flexible, and ever-curious as a designer is what will ensure you grab a seat in this roller coaster.

This article originally published at UX Magazine here.

3 Rules for Creating a Beautiful Online Portfolio

June 12th, 2014

If you’re a creative professional—a designer, photographer, writer, or advertising exec—you’ll likely need to show an online portfolio as part of the application process for any job.

But no matter what field you’re in, having a permanent link where people can access your work has other benefits, too. It’s standard practice these days for recruiters to Google candidates’ names to see what they can dig up—and when they do? Having a website that shows off the articles you’ve written, campaigns you’ve been part of, or other past work you’re particularly proud of is a very, very good thing.

In addition, an online portfolio allows you to easily collect all of your clips or work samples in one spot. When you need to pull together materials to showcase in an interview, you’ll be happy that everything is available and up-to-date. I’ve found my collection of clips that I keep on Tumblr to be a great way for others to see my latest articles all in one place and for me to assess the trends and topics that I cover best.

Of course, before you start throwing things up on a website, you’ll want to make sure that this micro-homepage is visually attractive and dynamic. There are plenty of platforms you can use (Cargo, DripBook, Krop, and Carbonmade are some of the best) but no matter which you choose, here are some tips to make sure that you convey the right message.

1. Get to the Point

Recruiters will usually make their hiring decision within the first minute of meeting you, and that same rule should apply for your online portfolio. From the second someone arrives on your page, you have to make sure he or she gets the best, most effective impression of you.

Besides having a clean, professional design, one of the easiest ways to do this is to have a single, compelling image to greet people at the top of your page. Even if you’re not adept at shooting a camera yourself, you can use a stock photo that will represent you well. Just make sure that your selection matches the industry in which you’re competing—for instance, if you’re a PR professional, you’ll want an image that shows activity and connectivity; if you’re a writer, something that uses words, letters, or writing tools.

No matter the industry, check out Curalate’s infographic for guidelines on which types of images work best: Images that are reddish-orange, for example, do better than images that are blue, and photos without people in them are shown to be more compelling.

2. Keep it Simple

During the interview process, you will have plenty of time to talk about your best projects and greatest achievements. On your online portfolio, though, you just want to whet people’s appetites. Think of it like an auction—you get to see the item in a catalog and fall in love with it beforehand. Then, during the live portion of the event, the auctioneer will give you more info about the object up for sale.

Sell yourself in this same way by telling the story with less on your portfolio. For example, include the front page of the brochure that you designed and created—not all 16 pages—or links to your top 10 articles, not top 100. Wait for a prospective employer to request the rest. It’s a good sign. And once someone is interested in your work, you will have plenty of time to give him or her more information.

3. Give Your Interviewers What They Want to See

Found the perfect job to apply to? Great. Don’t be afraid to adapt and adjust your portfolio from time to time, especially if you’re interviewing for a specific position.

Pay particular attention to the skills advertised in the job description, then use that information to help guide you on what to put front and center on your portfolio. For instance, if you’re interviewing with a healthcare company, make sure the work you’ve done for other healthcare clients is easily accessible—more so than say, your fashion, sports, and media work. It’ll be comforting for the interviewers to see your relevant experience in action, and it could even help them carve out their vision for what they want for theirs.

Like your resume, your cover letter, or anything else in your job hunt, your online portfolio should showcase what you have to offer in a concise, compelling, and interesting way. Keep these rules in mind, and you’re already one step ahead.

This article originally published at The Muse here

Mario Kart 8 and Anti-Gravity: A New Frontier in Racing Game Design

June 10th, 2014

The 22-year-old Mario Kart franchise has always been Nintendo’s go-to game when it comes to boosting sales. The May 29th release of Mario Kart 8, couldn’t have come at a better time. Nintendo recently slashed its sales forecast for the Wii U down to a mere 3.6 million for the current fiscal year. The title may boost revenue for the floundering Wii U system, however the release also boasts new and innovative factions of video game design with the concept of Anti-Gravity.

Anti-Gravity allows gamers to defy the laws of physics and race on tracks horizontal, vertical, and upside-down. This creates a whole new angle on track options, game play, and the overall fun-factor. However defying the laws of gravity in a racing game proved complicated for game designers.

IGN Game reviewer Jose Otero offered insight on the issue in his recent review How Anti-Gravity Made Mario Kart Better. “We always want to introduce an element of surprise,” Director Kosuke Yabuki told IGN. “We thought that just improving the graphics to make the game prettier wouldn’t be enough.” Yabuki and the team came up with lots of ideas for what the new hook for Mario Kart 8 would be, but they settled on changing the direction of gravity,” Ostero said.

Mario Kart had a lot of to think about in terms of processes and physics. “Working in anti-gravity along with the speed of the karts, the camera location, and items that were in play was difficult,” said Ostero, “The team tried to come up with a system that would automatically determine gravity as a player raced along as a potential solution, but the results weren’t satisfactory.

The solution was a manual method of controlled gravity. “A programmer set specific areas that would activate different gravity in each course. This decision eventually led to being able to play these courses in a natural and comfortable way,” Ostero said.

The final product introduces a noteworthy new concept that’s subtle, but adds to the overall visual aesthetics. This also introduces a new spin on the concept of anti-gravity within the realm of racing games. Cogswell’s Game Design & Development programs exemplify the intersection of engineering and art concepts like that of anti-gravity.

Are you going to buy Mario Kart 8? – Do you think that game design concepts like anti-gravity are enough to further the franchise? – Are you Team Mario or Team Luigi? Tell us in the comments below!

Source: IGN

What If…?

June 5th, 2014

What if Creativity really is meant to be the central theme of education, social progress, global sustainability, innovation and human brain development? If so, what would we possibly risk losing if everywhere across the country, everyone participated in a weeklong scheme to engage their own creative ideas from how they will reuse their trash and natural resources, to how they might sanitize and decorate their town’s streets and buildings, or cultivate empty land, or implement devices for example, that would support electricity poles to withstand tornadoes and hurricanes, and even be impervious to the effects of flooding?

In the workplace employees can unleash ideas they’ve been harboring, such as how paper can be reconstituted over and over again without ever going to the recycle plant, or refurbish an office’s interior with greenery for a stress free working atmosphere, or how beneficial it might be to plant fruit trees on building tops to provide free treats for all in-house workers. What if an atmosphere of creativity actually contributed to more efficient workers and citizens?

What if all schools threw out the tyranny of a curriculum for a week? What if boards of education gave teachers the liberty of exercising creative control in the classroom for the subject they are responsible to teach their students – just for a week? What if students were allowed to help design lesson plans and each take a turn to be responsible for administering a lesson in their own creative ways? What if students who believed they were dispossessed of any creative elements were creatively stirred to at least try a new way of learning and studying?

Would the country fall into chaos and disorganization? Would students suddenly and dramatically fall behind and be academically damaged for life? If such an endeavor proved to be completely fruitless and useless, well we could just go back to doing things the way we’d always done them, and never again entertain the idea of letting creativity be so rampantly unleashed.

But what if this scheme churned out unimaginably brilliant ideas from all corners of the country, from folks in both low and high places, from the famous as much as from the infamous – would we be able to cope with that, or would it be too much of a leap for us?

Would we suddenly become frightened of our own creative potential, or would we realize how creative thinking really is the venue for advancing human progress, igniting innovation and solving problems? What if we just did everything completely different for a week – would that still count as a pursuit in creativity? What harm could really come from allowing creativity to flourish for a week?

Read the full, thought-provoking post at:

http://www.creativitypost.com/education/what_if

CGI Brings Fast and The Furious Back to Life

June 3rd, 2014

This past November actor Paul Walker and star of the popular “Fast & Furious” franchise passed away in a tragic car accident. His death came as a shock to his friends, family, and costars alike.
Walker’s death also put producers Vin Diesel and Neil H. Moritz in a bind of figuring out how to have Walker’s star character, Brian O’Conner, exit the franchise in the upcoming Fast and the Furious 7. Production was well underway for the film’s seventh installments, posing the question, how can this be done? CGI technology allows digital animation artists to bring Walker back to life.

The New York Daily News reports that, “They have hired four actors with bodies very similar to Paul’s physique and they will be used for movement and as a base,” one source close to production tells us. “Paul’s face and voice will be used on top using CGI”.

This CGI call has sparked controversy amongst fans and critics, half arguing that this could be creepy and distasteful, while the other half agree it’s the only way possible to witness Walker’s final performance.

In the past, films in similar situations rarely achieve box office success with attempts to reshoot, recast or simply omit characters that have untimely passed midway through production. However, with the highly successful Fast & Furious franchise (the latest installment Fast & Furious 6 bringing in a whopping $789 million) the pressure is on to successfully transition Walker’s character out in a strategic and respectful manner.

Do you think using CGI is distasteful or creepy for bringing the deceased back to life? Or do you think it’s a just technological solution to reprise his final role? Are you planning on seeing Fast & Furious 7? Tell us in the comments below!

Quote and Image Source:

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/confidential/fast-furious-7-double-time-walker-article-1.1728704

Jackson’s Slave to the Rhythm “Hologram” Isn’t a Hologram

May 29th, 2014

The media is a-buzz with headlines highlighting the revival of deceased King of Pop Michael Jackson at the recent Billboard Awards. Jackson’s estate released his new single “Slave to the Rhythm”, which debuted as a holographic performance of the star moon-walking across the stage. The problem is, the hologram, isn’t technically a hologram. It’s an illusion that has been around for centuries.
It’s an old technique known as Pepper’s Ghost. It’s frequently used in theater, magic tricks, and dark rides (like Disney’s Haunted Mansion). The technique utilizes glass, certain angles, and special lighting methods, creating the illusion of objects seeming to appear and disappear on command.


In her article “What’s Holography’s Future” for DigitalCinemaReport.com, Linda Law explains the phenomenon in regards to another recent “holographic” performance of deceased rapper Tupac Shikour at the 2012 Cochella Music Festival. “This [updated technique] alone did not make Tupac revive. It required shooting in very high resolution, some amazing CG work using a body double, and the mapping of Tupac’s head to the body as well as very powerful projectors that make the projected image look quite real. The fact that he moves around showing different parts of himself helps the illusion but it is still 2D… These may be quite effective and engaging and for all who have not seen an actual hologram, quite believable as holograms. I do think that with clever use of this medium many creative and engaging productions will be made.”


The Tupac “hologram” reportedly cost over $400k to create, and with other stars like Janelle Monae and M.I.A incorporating “holograms” into their performances, this new niche form of entertainment has lots of potential for future growth, especially in the digital art field, utilizing CGI and the updated “Pepper’s Ghost” illusion to bring back the some of our favorite artists from the dead.
Would you pay to see your favorite artist perform as a “hologram”? Do you think the Michael Jackson “hologram” was creepy or cool? Let us know in the comments.

Sources:
Article: http://www.digitalcinemareport.com/article/what-holography’s-future#.U35CW9xboeE
Images: http://www.controlbooth.com/threads/peppers-ghost-projection-surface.30412/

http://music-mix.ew.com/2012/04/16/tupac-hologram-coachella-video/