May 29, 2010

I’ve been doing some reserch recently about the holography. You know, this Star Wars thing, when recorded objects are appearing right in the air, animated, and looking like real. With all the true details. And you can watch the recording from any angle you want, without any glasses whatsoever. Sounds fantastic, but actually first holgoram was created for real in 1947, by one hungarian guy. As the case with everything great, the hologram was invented by accident. The guy was repairing his electronic microscope, and with some strange chain of events he ended up looking at the first in the world hologram. Later Dennis Gabor – that guy – was awarded with a Nobel prize for this invention. This happened in 1971. Probably all those people and Dennis himself were imagining that holographic theaters are an inevitable future. Today is the year 2010, and we just started getting first stereo projectors in our cinemas.

So much for the holography. But we got holographic stickers on Nokia batteries.

I was doing this research and pretty soon stumbled on this Cinema and Photo research Institute in Moscow. Here it is: http://www.holocinema.com/

The site is like made in 1971. But then again we were flying to the Moon back then. Those guys recieved an Oscar for a technical achievements in cinema, including development of the Stereo-70 system. That’s the system on which IMAX3D is based. They mention on the site that first auto stereography theater was built in Moscow in 1941. Auto stereo means you don’t need any glasses. Development was looking good, then nazies came and spoiled everything. Nevertheless the instute continued working, and at some point they started concentrating on holographic cinema. Not just some still slides – real moving images. They have a concept of a holographic system for filming, as well as holographic theater for exhibition. Interesting enough they claim that today’s stereo movies are in no comparison to the holographic movies by the effect of immersion. They even call today’s stereo as “pseudo 3D”. Well, it is pseudo 3D – every time I move my head around the magic is ruined. You can’t look behind this bar in the stereo. You just get the feeling that you can. And with holography you actually can.

There are still lots of thing I don’t get. Probably should pay a visit to Moscow. For instance – how this filming rig should look like? Just imagining for a moment  – if you want to capture the action in it’s real 3D, is like the rig of cameras surrounding the actors and set on 360 degrees? Or are those some sort of lasers, scanning everything? There are laser systems today for scanning 3d models with texture information. And more important – how the holographic theater should look like? Is it like some sort of arena – surrounded by audience with action in the middle? Or is it still a traditional cinema theater layout, but instead of flat screen you get this action going in and out of the screen? Questions, questions.

I had this discussion recently with a friend of mine from Karisma Films. We were heavily arguing about the art value of the stereography itself. He was claiming that so far he had no solid evidence of stereo adding artistic value to the movie itself. I was saying that stereo is a technology, and in the movies world everything is moved by technology. Later we figure out the artistic appliance of that tech, and then all the rules will appear how to actually use this tech for creating a true artistic value. But in the beginning it’s all the technology. Like a cinema camera, and a movie “Man with a cinema camera”.

Those guys from the holocinema.com claims that their system can reproduce 3d objects with full quality of the textures, and with full feel of presence. This means that you can see it, it will feel real, but you can’t touch it. Sounds a lot like a virtual reality to me.

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