Introducing 3D Light Painting Called 'Holopainting'

Light painting is a rite of passage in photography these days, like landscapes, macro, or starting a shoot with your lens cap on. In fact, it has become such a trend in the photography world that it has already become jaded and stale to a large extent. That's not to say there aren't still fantastic light painted images, but rather that it has become so easy to do that there's an abundance of very similar results. A natural consequence of this is people trying to forge a derivation that's fresh and unique, which is exactly what FilmSpektakel has done.

The description of holopainting is best taken from the pioneers themselves:

Holopainting is a combination of the light painting, stop motion, and hyperlapse technique to create three-dimensional light paintings. We didn't want to use computer-generated images, so we built a giant 3D scanner out of 24 Raspberry Pis with their webcams. These cameras took photos from 24 different perspectives of the person in the middle with a delay of 83 milliseconds, so the movement of the person also was recorded.

Once this very simple task of setting up is complete, it only take a few days to edit the images to be used -- bonus! If you're not starting to see why this technique isn't commonplace already, I'm not sure how to make it any clearer, but I'll try. The rig is similar to the Matrix's famous "bullet-time" scene, but with delay added to create stop-motion style movement; rather than a still scene in which you can rotate around, you are rotating around a timelapse of a light-painted subject. Before you grab your camera, tripod, and a torch to scuttle off in to the garden, here's the equipment used list:

...and don't forget to throw in some coding for good measure.

I'd be interested to see where this project can go next and whether better cameras can be used and higher quality holograms created. It feels as if this is the first step toward some classic sci-fi "technology" we've all seen on TV, and I for one can't wait to be arguing with people on the internet via hologram.

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Robert Herrera's picture

This is cool... but how practical is it? Perhaps the idea could be sold off to a larger corporation that could invest more funding and implement it into new technologies.

Martin Van Londen's picture

The cameras they used where not high end. I'm guessing this was a proof of concept. It's a lot more costly to do this set up with dslr' and harder to program.

g coll's picture

Help me Obi Wan Kenobi...

Martin Van Londen's picture

Ok so not easy.. But really cool. I I love people who push the boundaries. At this point it does not matter who will buy it.. It just matters that it was done.. And done in a DIY fashion at that.

Daris Fox's picture

Microsoft and and other companies creating similar imagery for their kit. Whilst I realise this is about light painting it's using principles in 3D capture that's been tested to wok For Occulus Rift, Hollywood, HoloLens and other devices. For smaller scans you'd probably get away with using something like Kinect to map bodies to scenery or even light paint with.

With that said this is a great example of what you can do on a budget.

Joonas Nieminen's picture

I was expecting a bit more out of this and was disappointed. I find this a bit too costly and time consuming to be executed. I probably wouldn't use "3D" in this since it is a flat 360 degree setup in the same plane that changes orientation. 3D would imply that it also has depth (that being the most crucial separation between 2D and 3D) in which the camera would also move revealing that the light painting had depth in it. Sure everything 3D presented on a screen is flat 2D but putting it into a sequence gives the illusion of 3D - but in this case the immersion wasn't convincing - maybe having an extra live character on-location that would "interact" with the holopainting could've done the job.

Fritz Asuro's picture

It's too much complexity in process and preparation for a not-so-exciting output. Though I still appreciate their creative minds but I was just hoping for something really amazing.
I myself can't (and won't) do this but take my comment as a simple person who saw a random video.