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4 Ways To Create Hologram VFX

4 Ways To Create Hologram VFX

Learn how to take your sci-fi scenes to the next level with futuristic holograms.

From interstellar messages to floating HUDs, holograms can add a dazzling spark to any futuristic scene. Today, we're going to show you four ways to spice up any sci-fi project with holographic magic across four major VFX programs, and the best part is, each of these methods are relatively simple.

After we look at how you can create holograms, we’ll also cover a method you can use to really sell the effect of compositing a hologram into your scene.

Let’s get started!

1. Create a Holographic Display in DaVinci Resolve Fusion

Fusion is a powerful VFX tool inside of DaVinci Resolve, capable of creating almost anything, including holograms.

The nice thing about using Fusion is how fast you can create something like a floating holographic HUD. In addition to all the motion tracking tools you’d need, you can take advantage of Fusion’s node-based editor for maximum flexibility when it comes to achieving the perfect look that fits your scene.
For tutorials on how to composite ActionVFX assets into your Fusion project, be sure to check out the Fusion section of our blog!

2. Create a Holographic Map with HitFilm Express

Like DaVinci Resolve, HitFilm Express is another great program that is loaded with some truly powerful tools for building visual effects for your scene. 

One of the biggest differences between Resolve and HitFilm is that Resolve uses a node-based interface, while HitFilm is layer-based (similar to Premiere Pro and After Effects). In addition to that, HitFilm has an outstanding community, and you’ll find a ton of official HitFilm tutorials from FXhome to help you grow as a VFX artist.

An example of HitFilm’s commitment to providing great tutorials is below, where you can learn how to create an iconic Star Wars hologram.

3. Turn a Person into a Hologram with After Effects

One of the most common uses for holograms in sci-fi movies is the iconic Star Wars hologram. The technique below shows how easy it is to achieve this effect, but keep in mind you can scale the person or object up as much as you want.

You could create a small holographic transmission on a dashboard, or a giant holographic billboard in a cyberpunk dystopia.
Unless you’re making a Star Wars fan film, you may want complete control over the visuals of your hologram to give it a style all its own. You can adjust the parameters and color values of your hologram in After Effects, as well as add your own glitch effects (or remove them altogether) for a more unique look.

4. Create Holograms Easily with Holomatrix II

While all the previous tutorials took a little bit of work to build a hologram, they didn’t require any third-party plugins. If you’re looking to work quickly while also getting some amazing results, consider the Holomatrix II plugin from Red Giant.

Available in the Red Giant Universe subscription, Holomatrix II is a turn-key solution to generating some truly impressive holograms with a simple click in After Effects, Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, or HitFilm Express (among others).
Holomatrix II also features numerous hologram styles, along with controls that give you a ton of creative freedom when it comes to creating a hologram. Holomatrix II is without a doubt one of the best ways to create a hologram, because you can instantly apply it to a person, object, UI elements, or anything else you can imagine.

Enhance Holograms with Eye Reflections

Adding environmental lights and reflections in your actors’ eyes can really bring a hologram to life in your scene. 

Our very own Luke Thompson put together an awesome tutorial that covers how you can add ocular object and lighting reflections. You’ll learn how to track and remove on-set lighting from your actors’ eyes, as well as how to replace the lighting with your own VFX elements to create a stunning composite in After Effects.
In the example above, Luke used a fiery video for the reflection, but in this case you could use your scaled-down hologram VFX for the reflection.

An important tip he mentions is making sure the reflection asset is locked off without any camera movement, because the eye reflections themselves will most likely have a little motion applied from the eye track.

With these quick techniques, you can develop memorable holographic visual effects that elevate the production value of your sci-fi scene to a whole new level!

First time here? ActionVFX creates the best pre-keyed stock footage for VFX and filmmaking. (We also have some great free stuff!)

From Fire and massive Explosions to Blood and Gore VFX, we have the largest VFX library in the world ready to be composited in your project. Check out over 3,400 VFX stock footage elements right here

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