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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old May 21 2014, 03:14 PM   #1
DarthTom
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Michael Jackson hologram - amazing

At the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night MJ was resurrected from the dead - well sort of. To perform this amazing feat a dancer prerecorded his steps into a computer and then they generated a hologram that was displayed on stage. It was nothing IMO short of utterly amazing.

Here are my questions:

1. What type of projection technology is used on doing this? I've never seen a hologram that looked so - and for a lack of a better way to describe it - "Star Trek real," type of hologram. And they did it without the gas vapor that heretofore they've needed to create the projection.

2. How long until Michael - or anyone else for that matter - will be performing in your house? I'd think sports enthusiasts among many other group would pay huge $$$ to have this type of projection.

As an aside- the Jackson Family estate has just found their second bigger pot of gold in the technology. Holograms unlike Michael - don't do drugs, go on expensive shopping trips, or ask 13 year old boys over for the night only to later sue - draining the fortune. Also holograms unlike Michael could with a compliant perform 6x a day - 7 days a week - FOREVER.



Michael Jackson was resurrected from the dead in hologram form, singing and doing his famous moonwalk in front of a star-studded Las Vegas audience.
Jackson performed his new hit “Slave to the Rhythm” off his posthumous album “Xscape” — which debuted last week at No. 1 in 50 countries.
In a show-stopping act produced by the Estate of Michael Jackson and broadcast on ABC, the “Thriller” singer appeared on stage at the MGM Grand Garden Arena to wild cheers and more than a few tears.
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Old May 21 2014, 03:23 PM   #2
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Re: Michael Jackson hologram - amazing

I haven't read any info on where the source video comes from. This is an outtake song. Why would MJ have shot a video for an outtake and had it sitting in the vaults all this time? To my eyes, it's an impersonator. I can tell at the end of it right before he sits on the chair. The face doesn't look quite like him (even factoring in all the plastic surgery changes).
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Old May 21 2014, 03:25 PM   #3
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Re: Michael Jackson hologram - amazing

Yeah it's interesting, thought kind of hard to get enthusiastic about unless seeing it with one's own eyes. I've only ever seen a 2D Mike Jackson. I'm guessing the holo recording is limited to the dimensions of the stage where it's played back? Or the stage itself would have special specifications?

Oh man... once they start beaming M Jackson holograms into our homes it'll only be a matter of time before some kids start suing him for holo-molestation. Maybe they should have tried someone safer first like Elvis or Marilyn Monroe.
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Old May 21 2014, 03:27 PM   #4
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Re: Michael Jackson hologram - amazing

billcosby wrote: View Post
Yeah it's interesting, thought kind of hard to get enthusiastic about unless seeing it with one's own eyes. I've only ever seen a 2D Mike Jackson. I'm guessing the holo recording is limited to the dimensions of the stage where it's played back? Or the stage itself would have special specifications?

Oh man... once they start beaming M Jackson holograms into our homes it'll only be a matter of time before some kids start suing him for holo-molestation. Maybe they should have tried someone safer first like Elvis or Marilyn Monroe.
I'd pay $50 just see the technology in action -forget about his music.
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Old May 21 2014, 03:57 PM   #5
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Re: Michael Jackson hologram - amazing

I saw the performance. I was good, but limited. It felt like watching a robot, technically correct, but no soul.

The technology is very interesting, but it doesn't work well standing in for a performer like MJ.
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Old May 21 2014, 04:12 PM   #6
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Re: Michael Jackson hologram - amazing

Jedi_Master wrote: View Post
I saw the performance. I was good, but limited. It felt like watching a robot, technically correct, but no soul.

The technology is very interesting, but it doesn't work well standing in for a performer like MJ.
How exactly does this technology work? Unless I'm missing something this is an amazing breakthrough in hologram projection technology than I'd think could be applied to taping and re-broadcasting live performances?
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Old May 21 2014, 04:22 PM   #7
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Re: Michael Jackson hologram - amazing

DarthTom wrote: View Post
Jedi_Master wrote: View Post
I saw the performance. I was good, but limited. It felt like watching a robot, technically correct, but no soul.

The technology is very interesting, but it doesn't work well standing in for a performer like MJ.
How exactly does this technology work? Unless I'm missing something this is an amazing breakthrough in hologram projection technology than I'd think could be applied to taping and re-broadcasting live performances?
I have no idea. The camera angles were only from the front and the two sides, so I am think it was projected from the bottom of the stage. There was a big immobile screen behind the performance. I can't find any details as to the tech, and there are many who are claiming it was an impersonator. Until the company who designed the hologram and the people who developed the show start talking, all we can do is guess.
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Old May 21 2014, 04:43 PM   #8
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Re: Michael Jackson hologram - amazing

Jedi_Master wrote: View Post
I have no idea. The camera angles were only from the front and the two sides, so I am think it was projected from the bottom of the stage. There was a big immobile screen behind the performance. I can't find any details as to the tech, and there are many who are claiming it was an impersonator. Until the company who designed the hologram and the people who developed the show start talking, all we can do is guess.
It seems unlikely that the hologram claims were faked since a competing company was in last minute litigation against his estate claiming they violated copyright.
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Old May 21 2014, 05:19 PM   #9
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Re: Michael Jackson hologram - amazing

This was basically the same thing as the Tupac hologram from a while back. There's a film pulled over the stage at a 45 degree angle onto which an image is projected via a mirror. The image is strictly two-dimensional. Not really a "hologram" but still a cool illusion.
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Old May 21 2014, 05:25 PM   #10
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Re: Michael Jackson hologram - amazing

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Old May 21 2014, 05:29 PM   #11
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Re: Michael Jackson hologram - amazing

EDIT:

Bob beat me to it above.

I haven't read enough about this particular performance, but I'm guessing it is Musion's "hologram" system, which is not really holographic at all (meaning "whole image" or 3D). Musion's projection system was used to put CGI Gorillaz on stage with a live Madonna. It is also used in Japan for "live" performances from Hatsune Miku. (See examples on YouTube.)

Musion's system (again, not certain if it was used for Jackson, but likely) is a high-tech variant of Pepper's ghost, a stage trick from 1862. The Musion system uses high definition projectors casting an image onto plastic, rather than glass. If the plastic happens to be a narrow column, then a live performer can "walk around" the projected image, further enhancing the effect that it is 3D. (Look for Madonna and Gorillaz on YouTube.)

Obviously, this system will not work if a viewer is "too close," but is effective for big stages.
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Old May 21 2014, 06:08 PM   #12
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Re: Michael Jackson hologram - amazing

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
This was basically the same thing as the Tupac hologram from a while back. There's a film pulled over the stage at a 45 degree angle onto which an image is projected via a mirror. The image is strictly two-dimensional. Not really a "hologram" but still a cool illusion.
They did a pan shot around the stage and it appeared as if the image had some depth. Was the column that the image was projected on rounded in some way?
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Old May 22 2014, 12:45 AM   #13
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Re: Michael Jackson hologram - amazing

I haven't found any new technical articles on Holograms USA, Inc. However, that company and Musion were mentioned in the same article. So I'd guess that they are using the same technology. (A flat, 2D projection.)

"Panning" around the stage is no amazing feat. Panning is simply pointing a camera left or right from its fixed pivotal position. However, if a camera orbited a holographic image, and that image appeared to present a different view as the camera moved, then we'd be looking at a totally new kind of holographic system.

If you see some sort of "holographic" image on video, take it with a grain of salt. Modern VFX technology has all kinds of ways to track and composite images together. Live holograms are something entirely different.

From what I've read, the only "novelty" about the Michael Jackson performance is that Jackson's head/face were tracked onto someone else's performance. And that's not entirely "new," either. Movie VFX have been doing that for decades. For example, there is a shot in JURASSIC PARK where a stunt performer made a fall through a drop ceiling, and the VFX artists tracked Lex's face (Ariana Richards) onto the stunt double. Motion tracking systems are widely used in the character animation industry. For example, you can hire Jet Li to do some amazing fight choreography, then "map" the recording onto a cartoon character.
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Old May 22 2014, 11:52 PM   #14
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Re: Michael Jackson hologram - amazing

"Computer - initiate Emergency Moonwalking Hologram!"

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Old May 23 2014, 12:20 AM   #15
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Re: Michael Jackson hologram - amazing

USS Triumphant wrote: View Post
"Computer - initiate Emergency Moonwalking Hologram!"

Now that would have been a great Robert Picardo moment.
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