Tupac Hologram: How Did They Do It?
Tupac Shakur Hologram: How Did They Bring 2Pac Back to Life?
Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg promised a show-stopping finale to their Coachella performance on April 15, 2012, and they delivered. By now, you've seen the Tupac hologram video.
Reaction to the Tupac hologram was mixed: some fans were thrilled, others disgusted, and still others unsure if Tupac has actually been alive this whole time. Note that many Coachella attendees would have been too young to remember Tupac's shooting death in 1996: they only know his music as that of an already-dead artist.
Tupac Performs 'Hail Mary'
So, how did they create the Tupac hologram? After all, Tupac Shakur had never performed "Hail Mary" live during his lifetime.
The effect was carried off by mixing existing footage of Tupac onstage (mainly from a previous appearance with Snoop Dogg), an splicing together his moves to build a new performance. The tool for projecting the Tupac hologram was Musion Eyeliner, which is also used in Gorillaz' live shows.
Yes, Musion Systems' website is absolutely slammed at the moment. Though the images projected by Musion Eyeliner are only two-dimensional, they have a 3D effect.
Tupac's Adventures in the Uncanny Valley
The Tupac hologram was pretty good, but its creators forgot to make Tupac "breathe". The result takes us straight into the Uncanny Valley, where a simulation is juuuust realistic enough to be creepy. I stand by my earlier tweet: they should have rendered Tupac as a blue Jedi ghost.
What now? The horse has fled the barn: Tupac can be brought onstage at will. Indeed, he can appear simultaneously on two, four, 40 stages at once.
Is Tupac's spectre doomed to walk the Uncanny Valley forever, anchored in the physical world by fans who cannot let go, and producers who cannot let him rest? Does Tupac's digital revenant remain because of his unfinished business, or ours?