From the wikipedia page on a now prominent 3d virtual idol "From 'Things often confused with holograms' on the Wikipedia page linked above: 'In 2010, there was a series of concerts ... which included Hatsune Miku ... performing on stage as a "holographic" character. This effect was actually achieved through a special method of rear projection against a semi-transparent screen."

How exactly was she created/made since it supposedly is not a hologram?


1 Answer 1


The effect is simply a projection based optical illusion. The terminology in use in the linked LA Times article (also widespread throughout the entertainment industry) is rather unfortunate, as this has nothing to do with holograms. A video image is projected onto a semi-transparent screen, giving the illusion of a floating image. There is nothing inherently 3D about this either, as the image will flatten and distort due to perspective as the viewer moves away from the perpendicular to the screen.

  • $\begingroup$ It... looks 3d and considering the perspectives of the audience I think it's 3d. Can you explain how what you describe would work? $\endgroup$ Apr 12, 2012 at 16:42
  • $\begingroup$ Try looking into "transparent projection screen" for information and some possibly helpful videos. Basically, a projection surface can be engineered so that it (mostly) transmits light, but scatters light that is incident within a given angular range. When the screen is projected onto within this range, the viewer will see through the screen, but also see the projected image. Really not too different from projecting video onto a window, just optimized. $\endgroup$
    – tmac
    Apr 12, 2012 at 19:13
  • $\begingroup$ ...would this create the 3d effect? $\endgroup$ Apr 13, 2012 at 1:32
  • $\begingroup$ @EiyrioüvonKauyf The 3D "effect" is the result of the surface being transparent, so that you can see the scenery behind/around the projection. The projection itself is completely 2D. If you were one of the band members on stage, it would appear as a flat cutout viewed from the side. $\endgroup$
    – AaronLS
    Dec 22, 2012 at 13:54

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