Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Input Devices Graphics Star Wars Prequels News Games

A Kinect Princess Leia Hologram In Realtime 112

Posted by timothy
from the recreation-opportunities dept.
mikejuk writes with this snippet from I, Programmer: "True 3D realtime holography is not only possible — it makes use of a Kinect as its input device. A team at MIT has recreated the famous 3D Princess Leia scene from the original Star Wars — but as a live video feed! It's a great stunt but don't miss the importance — this is realtime 3D holography and that means you can view it without any glasses or other gadgets and you can move around and see behind objects in the scene. This is more than the flat 3D you get in movies."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

A Kinect Princess Leia Hologram In Realtime

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 29, 2011 @06:28PM (#35044930)

    Nearly there, it is.

  • "real holography" (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SheeEttin (899897)
    "Real holography" my ass. Unless I'm misinterpreting the video, what they're producing is a ~15 FPS red blob, with no 3D except what's captured by the Kinect. You're still going to see a flat image on the screen (and those on the left and right of the theater will get the same image).
    • Re:"real holography" (Score:5, Informative)

      by 2themax (681779) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @06:42PM (#35044988)
      The article linked to in the article http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/video-holography-0124.html [mit.edu] explains the actual holographic video generation part in more detail. They are using arrays of lasers to make fringe/interference patterns. This IS "real holography", just very low resolution and framerate.
      • They are using arrays of lasers to make fringe/interference patterns. This IS "real holography", just very low resolution and framerate.

        If it took three GPUs to do that, then I shudder to think how much processor power it would take to render a holotheatric release of Star Wars. I hope there's some room for optimization here.

        • They are using arrays of lasers to make fringe/interference patterns. This IS "real holography", just very low resolution and framerate.

          If it took three GPUs to do that, then I shudder to think how much processor power it would take to render a holotheatric release of Star Wars. I hope there's some room for optimization here.

          It would be worth working on, don't you think? Finally a use for really massively parallel computing.

      • So we are at the point where TV was done with arrays of light globes.

    • They seem to be claiming that they were (or are) developing a holographic display device. Thats far more interesting to me than Princess Leia or the Kinect. Isn't that the red blob we see in the video? I assume that monochrome holograms will come before color holograms because of the difficulty of getting the interference patterns right when you have more than one wavelength.

      • by formfeed (703859)

        ...developing a holographic display device. Thats far more interesting to me than Princess Leia

        The force must not be strong in you.

    • by sznupi (719324) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @06:43PM (#35044996) Homepage
      What those people are doing is certainly "real holography" (not captured too well, the cameraman should move more)

      It's just that obstacles are huge (to the point of being quite counterintuitive) - apparently, for a really good holography, you need a display with pixels smaller than a wavelength of light (coupled with memory and processing we're nowhere near yet)

      But once we're there... oh boy. A display can look basically like a window. Much better than the gimmick of stereoscopy.

      (some quick [wikipedia.org] details [wikipedia.org])
      • by strack (1051390)
        hey man, if i could get a lcd shutter flip down for my prescription glasses, id be pretty much there already. well, that and head tracking, so the point of view on the screen could change with my eye location. though i wonder why there not doing head tracking now, with the kinect or something.
        • by sznupi (719324)
          I wouldn't - stereoscopy has very wrong parallax (vs. it just not being there in "2D" images; but shallow focus possibly nicely tapping into how we're used to all the blurs and doubling of objects in front and behind of focus place... ), forces eyes to maintain focus lock on the screen while convergence and spatial hints scream otherwise, for all the objects to be viewable the scene needs to have very deep focus (as is typical in this stereoscopic toy with ~dozen photos on a disk - which IMHO makes the scen
    • Re:"real holography" (Score:5, Informative)

      by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @06:44PM (#35044998)
      It's a computed hologram. The idea has been around for a while as a way to make a true 3D display, but held back by two missing technologies: A ridiculously high resolution screen, and a ridiculous amount of processing power to drive it. They have solved both, the latter by the use of a multi-GPU computer. Impressive. It's not practical yet, but it's a good start. Throw maybe a hundred times the processing power at it, and an even higher resolution display so you can do blue and green laser holography too, and it could produce an image indistinguishable from placeing a real object behind the screen.
      • by Casandro (751346)

        Well the problem here is that the input is just from a Kinect, so it's just a coloured "bedsheet" draped over the actual scene. You cannot look around the corner in this example. However once we have decent 15 inch image sensors that shouldn't be a problem anymore.

      • by lennier (44736)

        They have solved both, the latter by the use of a multi-GPU computer. Impressive.

        Most impressive - but you are not a Holodeck yet!

        The brainchild of MIT could be a powerful allly if it is turned to the Commercial Side.

        It will turn, my master - or die.

        • Actually, this could produce all the optics for a holodeck. Build a room with computed holographic displays in every wall, hook it up to the type of supercomputer that the NSA would be envious of, and you've got a holodeck. Walk around in it, see whatever the computer wants you to, indistinguishable from reality aside from a slightly lower color definition due to the need to use rapidly-changing laser wavelengths. The only part it wouldn't get you is the physical interaction. And, naturally, it would be ver
    • by jamesh (87723) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @07:28PM (#35045172)

      And even worse, I don't think that's the real Princess Leia. The accent is a dead giveaway!

    • by Culture20 (968837)
      In Star Wars, they were happy to view blue staticy blobs for their Holos. Who cares about the color at this stage in the game?
    • by Ecuador (740021)

      The first thing that came to mind was: hey, Virtual Boy didn't look that bad after all!
      I was expecting something that looked closer to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTXO7KGHtjI [youtube.com]
      A blob, even holographic, is still a blob.
      There are many other things wrong with the video (the "acting", no metal bikinis, no second kinect camera at a different angle etc), so I was pretty underwhelmed...

    • I'm surprised nobody's mentioned USC yet [usc.edu]. And, of course, I found out about that on /. months ago.
  • by JackSpratts (660957) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @06:35PM (#35044964) Homepage
    That'll save Hollywood!
  • But I guess it is a start!

  • Fake 3D ftw (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Twinbee (767046) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @06:45PM (#35045004) Homepage
    I know people will hate me for saying this, but in a way, it's better if everyone sees practically the same movie. If we're all seeing slightly different views, then we won't all have quite the same experience. I think there's something to be said for having a particular view of the scene intended by the director.
    • Re:Fake 3D ftw (Score:5, Interesting)

      by EdIII (1114411) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @06:50PM (#35045024)

      Interesting point.

      How about Real 3D porn?

      Like walking around a coffee table and seeing the two chicks digging on each other, and *you* get to choose the angle you want to view it at?

      There's more money in that to be made then pharmaceuticals.

      • Reminds me of my time at the geek compound. Except instead of two chicks, it was Cowboy Neil and Hemos.
      • by Jaktar (975138)

        Where do I sign up for the beta test?

      • The only way 3D porn to really take off if they could do solid holograms, like in Red Dwarf.
    • it's better if everyone sees practically the same movie

      That's not even true of 2D movies though. Everyone notices different things in movies as it is, and directors often leave a lot of details to interpretation. Being able to walk around a scene is only going to change that a little. For a traditional theater though you're really only going to get a slightly different angle (if it gets to the point where you had large public 3D hologram theaters)

      • by Tuan121 (1715852)

        Eh, even a slightly different angle will make you miss that face in the dark background that is just around the corner.

        • by Zelgadiss (213127)

          I wouldn't worry too much about it, I'm sure directors will find new ways to focus the audience's attention - not to mention tricks like the old close up will still work.

          This complaint is similar to the one people made when cinema went wide-screen, it took film makers a while to adept, but it's no problem now.

    • A valid point, but does this mean that people who go to the theatre (you know, the one with real live humans) get radically different experiences?

      I think a better way to look at it is as a separate medium which exists somewhere between theatre and cinema.

      • How many stage performances feature a sniper's perspective through his scope? Of course some movies would be fine projected into real 3D, but cinema itself contains works where a single perspective is essential.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I know people will hate me for saying this, but in a way, it's better if everyone sees practically the same movie. If we're all seeing slightly different views, then we won't all have quite the same experience. I think there's something to be said for having a particular view of the scene intended by the director.

      No. You've got it all wrong. It just means that you have to keep paying to go see the movie over and over from different seats so that you can see it all.

    • I know people will hate me for saying this, but in a way, it's better if everyone sees practically the same movie. If we're all seeing slightly different views, then we won't all have quite the same experience. I think there's something to be said for having a particular view of the scene intended by the director.

      Hmm, maybe, but also: Plays, Concerts, Live performances. In R/L no two people have the same perspective at the same time, yet these actual 3D scenes are fine.

      Additionally, what if a director had the option of including elements that change a scene depending on viewing angle?

      On one side of the theater people are "D'awww"ing over two lovers about to kiss for the first time -- On the other side of the audience people are on the edge of their seat in suspense because they can see that one of the lovers is hol

      • Re:Fake 3D ftw (Score:5, Insightful)

        by green1 (322787) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @07:52PM (#35045278)

        except plays and concerts and live performances usually do their best to simulate 2D in their inherently 3D environment, there's a reason the audience all sits on the same side of the performers and looks at them all from the "front" if 3D were really superior, we'd want to be sitting surrounding the performers, not all on the same side of them.

        In your example of the couple kissing while one holds a knife behind their back, on a 2D movie screen we'd get just the perfect angle and timing to see both at just the right moments, on a 3D stage the actors usually do their best to replicate such by turning to intentionally show off the aspects they wish to portray, in contrast to movies the resulting motion, while necessary, often creates a somewhat "fake" feel to the acting which isn't necessary in the 2D plane of movies where the camera can take more genuine acting, and interpret it by moving the viewer instead.

        Don't get me wrong, I love going to the theatre and watching real shows, there's an ambience you just can't get on a movie screen. But it's not for the 3D aspect of it. You get a better vantage point for most scenes on a properly shot and directed film than you can on any theatre stage.

        • by sznupi (719324)
          While plays and concerts and live performances generally certainly try to work with the audience, not against it (which would be the case in allowing large part of the scene to be obscured for certain unfortunate part of the audience), it's IMHO not very precise to describe their efforts as "doing their best to simulate 2D" - experiencing an actually real 3D scene (not some visually wrong stereoscopic trickery, like in current wave of cinema "3D") is a large part of the experience, of being there

          One whic
        • by gnapster (1401889)

          I disagree. I think that plays, concerts, and related performances place their audiences on a single side of the performance area because it is cheaper and easier to provide a rich experience for the audience, not because a single vantage point makes for better art.

          Consider theater in the round. From what I can imagine, the reasons for theater in the round being less popular than its viewpoint-restricted counterpart are mostly technical. It is harder to change scenery, there are no wings to hide actors

    • by alvinrod (889928)
      Who's to say that movies as we understand them now will persist as technology like this becomes better and better. Theaters only exist because once upon a time it was impractical to show films in any other way. Modern technology has made them mostly pointless, but society has its own flavor of inertia that keeps things like theaters around long after they're useful.

      By the time this technology reaches maturity and directors actively use if for film projects, I don't believe that movie theaters will be nec
      • I disagree. You're only seeing the technology side. Movie theaters have a social function that home screens can't perform. There's a difference in terms of space (how many people have rooms to fit 15 or 20 people), being a public space (I can certainly think of many people I've went to the movie theater with, but would be uncomfortable letting them into my home), in terms of availability away from home, etc.

        Going to the movie theater is much more than watching a movie.

        • Movie theaters have a social function that home screens can't perform

          Only if you're one of those douchebags that can't STFU during the movie.

          I'm as socially inept as they come, and even I wouldn't call "staring silently at the same movie on the wall" a "social" activity.

      • Theaters only exist because once upon a time it was impractical to show films in any other way. Modern technology has made them mostly pointless, but society has its own flavor of inertia that keeps things like theaters around long after they're useful.

        I don't think so. Maybe if the only intrinsic value of going to the theater is to view a film, then technology has made them pointless. However, not everyone has a THX-certified viewing/listening environment. Furthermore, most people consider "going to the

        • by sznupi (719324)

          ...However, not everyone has a THX-certified viewing/listening environment....

          Also, a good holographic screen will be probably damn expensive for some time.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Nobody sees the "same" fiction book as anyone else, since everyone imagines a printed scene differently.

      I don't see a problem.

    • by jamesh (87723)

      I was thinking about this exact point the other day. You think it's hard to keep a boom microphone off the screen now! People close to the bottom or the side of the image will be able to look up or around and see all sorts of things they weren't supposed to see. If they project (not quite the right word I know) the hologram onto a flat screen then it's like the screen is a window. Exactly like a window. You could put your face right up near the window and see way off to the side.

    • Ever heard of live theatre? Its pretty popular you know.

    • If we're all seeing slightly different views, then we won't all have quite the same experience.

      You mean like a live performance, a baseball game, and everything else we experience in life?

    • by King_TJ (85913)

      Yeah.... and that fact has completely ruined seeing live plays and Broadway musicals for all of us, too!

      Oh, wait! ......

    • it's better if everyone sees practically the same movie. If we're all seeing slightly different views, then we won't all have quite the same experience.

      Exactly. That's why theatre plays and live shows have never become popular.

    • by laparel (930257)

      I know people will hate me for saying this, but in a way, it's better if everyone sees practically the same movie. If we're all seeing slightly different views, then we won't all have quite the same experience. I think there's something to be said for having a particular view of the scene intended by the director.

      It just adds another dimension that directors can explore. What they'll release will still be what they intended, just like any other artist on any other medium.

      Imagine what this new dimension could add to a "film". Depending on one's POV, one can get a different insight and experience. Talk about an opportunity for almost unlimited replayability.

    • by Tokerat (150341)

      If we're all seeing slightly different views, then we won't all have quite the same experience. I think there's something to be said for having a particular view of the scene intended by the director.

      There is also something to be said for a new medium in which the director anticipates the scene being viewed from any angle and crafts it accordingly.

    • by FishBrain (769436)
      Using that logic, plays are inherently inferior to movies.
  • Bah (Score:4, Informative)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @06:48PM (#35045008)

    I watched the video. The summary is very misleading - it's talking about where this may, someday, end up. Looking at the so-called real-time hologram, without foreknowledge you wouldn't be able to guess what was being reproduced, even if you were given 20 guesses. Someday this may end up as something cool - maybe.

    This is only news because hacking the Kinect is currently a trendy topic in certain tech circles - so any Kinect-related story is getting airtime, no matter how immature (speaking tech-wise) and non-newsworthy.

    • It's possible it looks a lot better in person. Still, the kinect thing seems a bit gratuitous: Why are they trying to do TWO hard things. Wouldn't it make more sense to start with, say, a computer generated spinning teapot first?

    • Re:Bah (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Zelgadiss (213127) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @10:29PM (#35046278)

      I'm getting kind of sick of Kinect "related" news.

      It's nothing more than a low res 3D camera - with fairly limited accuracy.

  • Oh My God, Yet Another Star Wars Release over the Horizon. Hide those news from Lucas immediately!
  • Realtime? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Baseclass (785652) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @06:57PM (#35045052)
    What's the point of wasting CPU and bandwidth on real time?
    Perhaps their demonstration would be more impressive if they focused on actually generating a passable pre-rendered video first.
    • by blincoln (592401)

      Perhaps their demonstration would be more impressive if they focused on actually generating a passable pre-rendered video first.

      The MIT Media lab did that about a decade ago. This is the follow-on to that work.

  • Wrong Leia (Score:5, Funny)

    by TimHunter (174406) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @07:05PM (#35045086)

    Came for Slave Girl Leia. Leaving disappointed.

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      Agreed. I mean, I understand the cultural significance of the white robe, but c'mon people!

  • I wish the video of the "hologram" was better. I didn't get any sense of 3d whatsoever. It looked worse then old mechanical TV. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59_-Lj8uSO4 [youtube.com]
    • by sznupi (719324)
      (why oh why does my place (& language) use for "television" what is a direct linguistic transfer of EN "televisor"?...)
  • Tis is a great advance, but closer to "Minority Report" family videos (bumped 2D) than "Star Wars" holograms (360 degrees hologram). Nothing that can't be solved with more Kinects and more GPUs. Good job, young padawans!
    • by sznupi (719324)
      Yes and no? "Hologram" has quite specific meaning; plus its not only eerily great to hold one (photo), the experience might translate fabulously to cinema, one day (considering how a good holographic screen would feel essentially like a window)

      "Star Wars" (and lots of scifi) doesn't have holograms. Those are volumetric displays. Interesting in their own right to be sure, but probably much more limited in utility (just look how they are envisioned - videoconference-like or showing what is also in setting
  • by Samah (729132) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @07:51PM (#35045272)
    Someone call Uwe Boll!
  • This might be real holography, but the illusory effect from the video game Time Traveler [wikipedia.org] is still more impressive at this point.
  • This reminds me of some of the early attempts at television... also of equally lousy resolution due to bandwidth issues.

    As mentioned in the article, true "holographic" representation of an environment would take an insane amount of processing and bandwidth. There are some "tricks" that can sort of simplify this issue after a fashion and still not require stereoscopic glasses or anything fancy on the part of the viewer, but even those have their limitations.

    Making a credible Volumetric display [wikipedia.org] is the real trick... something several people have worked on to some degree or another. I can only hope that eventually something will actually happen with the technology but in the meantime it is still and experimental toy and not something for serious work... yet.

    This attempt here is nothing more than the equivalent of Felix the Cat as used by Philo Farnsworth on some of the early broadcast television tests.

  • I realize that this is bleeding-edge technology, but I think they need to do a bit better than an amorphous red blob.

  • The 1990s called and Nintendo wants their Virtual Boy back.

  • Princess Leia + Kinect = red hot blob changing shape in real-time

The Universe is populated by stable things. -- Richard Dawkins

Working...