Huge Holograms Hovering
Six hundred laser beams, 10 million pixels of video, 20-metre-wide holograms – and one DJ. Eric Prydz is known for putting on a good show, and his latest topped even his previous efforts in both scale and impact. At a recent show that took place in London’s Victoria Park, a crowd of 15,000 soaked up an audiovisual feast of electronic music, video and lighting effects. Holograms and lasers are a trademark of Prydz’s shows, pushing innovative effects using the latest tech. There were animations building and twisting around the stage in time to the beat, holograms of astronauts, satellites and tornadoes, and lasers radiating over the crowd in every color and configuration.
A huge V-shaped video display forms the back wall of the stage, measuring 2304 by 576 LED pixels – more than a million in total. The illusions are cast onto the screen by four laser projectors, the outputs of which are merged to create a single image. Each projector kicks out 30,000 lumens of laser light, and as they use a laser engine instead of a bulb, explains Calvert, the brightness stays consistent for longer.
Creative director and VJ Liam Tomaszewski is responsible for the content of the animations. He’s been working with Prydz 2011. When Tomaszewski first started, the team used a form of holographic trickery called Pepper’s Ghost illusion, which involves carefully lighting things through a thin film. Since moving to the projection system he’s learned what works best in a hologram: using slow movement so your eyes can really focus on the image, avoiding using too much black and making sure to keep the animation inside the frame. At 4K resolution and with a frame rate of 50 fps, some of the holograms took a week to render.