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Creating 2D Holographic Screens in Poser

Author: greenguy28

Tools Needed

  • Poser
  • Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop


Using Poser and a photo-editing program, we can add a flat panel-like holographic screen to 3D scenes. Also has great applications in an animated scene.


Step 1 - Set Up the Scene

In this simple scene, I am going to have Mike looking at a holographic panel displaying Vicky, text, and some other objects. First I will set up the scene with Mike, posed to look at the screen.


I am now going to add what will later become the holographic screen. The Hi-Res Square from the Poser Primitives Library is perfect for this. So, I add the Square and position it in front of Mike like a screen. I found it best to turn the Transparency of the Square to .5 while making adjustments so I could see both it and Mike through it. And since I know that I want my final screen to have an image with dimensions of 640 x 480 (a 4-to-3 ratio), I adjust the height of the square to 75%, giving me dimensions of 100 x 75 for the screen, which fits my 4-to-3 ratio. Here's what I've got so far.


Step 2 - Set Up the Holographic Screen's Image

I want Vicky to appear on the final screen. So, opening a new file, I here have Vicky standing facing the camera head-on. Also, as in the case of the 3D hologram from the previous tutorial, the light should well-illuminate Vicky, so I again am using a light from the same angle as the camera.


As in the tutorial for 3D holograms, render Vicky against a black background. Here's what I got:


Step 3 - Create the Image

Now I take Vicky's image into Paint Shop Pro (though Photoshop is an excellent choice as well) and play around with what the final screen will look like. Remember that a hologram is simply light. So take advantage of that fact and create visual interest with strong lights and shadows. I here added some text, and a few other images that I thought had visual interest:


I then duplicated the layer, applied a Gaussian Blur, and set the Blend Mode to 'Lighten' for the glowing effect (like I did in the previous tutorial). I then tinted it to give it that authentic holographic look, this time in lime green!


Step 4 - Apply the Image to the Screen

Going back into Poser, I have applied the image to the Diffuse Color port in the Material Room. Still at .5 Transparency, the texture is visible in the scene! I also have adjusted the lighting, creating a strong lime-green light pointing at Mike to give the appearance of the screen glowing, and a strong blue light from behind for a contrasting rim light.


Now that I can see generally how the image will look on the screen, I go back to the Material Room. I plug the same image node into both the Transparency and Ambient Color ports. This will cause all of the black parts of the image will become transparent and the bright spots to glow their respective intensities and color. This will create the illusion of the holographic light.


Step 5 - Troubleshooting

Now I render the image, and' something's wrong! The image is not glowing as it should! It is only lit in the spots where the spotlight is shining on it. What went wrong?


Going back to the Material Room, I find that the Ambient Color is still set to black, the default color. More than simply changing the Ambient Value and plugging in the image node, I must change the Ambient Color to white. Once I do this, the screen's image lights up in the preview and in the camera view, indicating that it now emits ambient light.


Step 6 - Final Image

Here is the final render, without any postwork! Yes, the image is visually stunning and has great color, contrast, and mood, all rendered within Poser.


For those of you who are adventurous, try experimenting with the Movie Node. It actually applies an animation to the panel. Wow, the possibilities! Enjoy rendering, and I hope this tutorial helped!