Modern CGI combined with centuries old optical tricks in a historic performance from rapper Tupac Shakur this week at the Coachella music festival.
The performance, first heralded as a display of holographic ingenuity turned out to be just a really cool optical illusion combined with computer graphics.
Fans of magic and rap were delighted when the dead MC took the stage with still living friends Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg to perform two songs. The performance, being referred to as a three dimensional hologram, is actually just an update of a 19th century magic trick.
Using an optical illusion known as "Pepper's Ghost" the dead famous rapper was able to rock the stage at the California music festival.
As explained by MTV's James Montgomery, the image was in fact a two-dimensional projection which used a series or mirrors and screens to render the 3D effect.
"There's an overhead projector that sort of reflects down onto basically a tilted piece of glass that's sort of on the stage floor," said Mongomery. "That then reflects the reflection onto a Mylar sort of screen, and it projects in this sort of 3D kind of thing where it allows the other performers to sort of walk in front of Tupac and basically interact [with] him."
British chemist John Pepper adapted the trick with fellow Brit Henry Dirks for use in 19th century theater acts.
The mixture of classic magical trickery allowed for a CG Tupac to perform his hit songs "2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted" and "Hail Mary". While the illusion dates back to the 1860s it has since been adapted for use at theme parks, museums, and now concerts.
The ghostly performance was the result of four months of collaboration between Dr. Dre’s production company, James Cameron’s Digital Domain, and two hologram-imaging companies, AV Concepts and UK-based Musion Systems.
While the exact methods of the performance have been kept under raps by all parties involved, the trick does mark an interesting step for the technology.
Some have speculated that the technology could be expanded to include entire sets and revues from artists and bands which have long since departed.
That prospect should excite music lovers hoping to catch John Lennon live at the Royal Albert Hall. Or get a glimpse of Jimmy Hendrix in Madison Square Garden. No word yet on any impeding Buddy Holly tour.
IBM and Technical University of Munich team demonstrate how Shor's algorithm, which can't be cracked by conventional computers, can be solved quickly with quantum computing
Hubble Space Telescope finds superflares from young red dwarfs could strip away planetary atmosphere
Younger stars are 100 to 1,000 times more energetic than when they're older
Two of the big four supermarkets will use the system to control sales of restricted products
PUBG news and updates: November's Update #23 to bring new Skorpion pistol and changes to blue zone visibility
Genuinely useful side-arm coming to PUBG in Update #23