DIY holograms: Make ghostly images with steam and mirrors

You don't have to be Princess Leia to create a hologram-like message. YouTuber Shanks FX explains how to make ethereal illusions for your next movie or haunting.

hologrammain.jpg
Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

Need to send a secret message to a rebel base? Or maybe you'd like to give the impression your house is haunted? You can make your own holograms -- or rather, the illusion of them -- with these handy tips from YouTube sensation Joey "Shanks FX" Shenkenberg.

There's the classic "Pepper's Ghost" technique that creates the illusion of someone in a room who's not really there. While it looks like a diorama, this is a great way to teach kids how to make a ghostly figure relatively easily. The technique is named after scientist John Henry Pepper, who popularized the effect.

To create the illusion of a hologram, all you need is glass, mirrors, steam and a projector. When you light the background, it makes the hologram illusion even more believable.

peppersghost.jpg
The Pepper's Ghost technique can make objects look transparent in a different location. Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

This is the same technique, with mirrors and a projector, that was used for the Tupac hologram effect in Snoop Dogg's 2012 concert.

"It may be years away, but the groundwork is starting," Shanks, a member of the PBS Digital Studios network, says in his video. "Apple just secured a patent for a 3D system display that could create interactive 3D holograms. This shows you what direction they'll eventually try to take the iPhone 9, 10, 11, 12."

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

HOT ON CNET

Mac running slow?

Boost your computer with these five useful tips that will clean up the clutter.