Holograms on the catwalk

 There are a few technologies in this business that really don’t seem to be much more than gimmicks, with really short-term stopping power. The 3D stuff I have seen comes to mind.

But there is also some very cool stuff that would seem to have a ton of potential when done right.

I have been interested in the work done by a Danish company called Vizoo for the last few years. They have done some cool green-screen and projection stuff that results in shop window installations that have healthy young models trying on clothing, and drawing a crowd.

Now Vizoo is working with Diesel in the fashion industry, and coming off a rather amazing bit of work done on the catwalk in Florence, Italy.

Fascinated by their use of animated holograms in the fashion show environment, writes the blogger for Creative Review, we asked Diesel to explain how some of the technology worked.

Mysteriously, the nice guy we spoke to wouldn’t give his name, nor could he shed too much light on the unique process they used. Keeping the magic alive you see. But here’s what could tell us about how they did it…


“The visuals are projected through a series of ‘foils’ into mid air, so you see the images in mid-air. The models can then interact with them and walk through them. We used plastic foils placed at 45 degree angles so that the projected light from the ceiling goes onto a foil, is reflected on to another and then into the air.

We worked it so it had a real catwalk feel and so that you could view it from both sides: you can see the models, the holograms and the public from both sides. It’s never been used this way before as the technology has just been used in the corporate world before, for sales presentations, and the visuals have always just been viewed from one side. So we set up two rigs instead.

The animations were done with standard CGI animation software but were made for a 15m by 2.5m screen. It’s all rendered in HD, too, so was quite demanding as it’s 30 frames per second. We worked on the whole thing, from storyboard through to the final render in just two and a half months. Bringing together Dvein and Vizoo gave us this unique, truly holographic, 3D motion graphic experience.”

Pulling off this show, which I assume lasted about an hour, likely  cost many millions of dollars. So this is not the sort of thing you’re going to see installed down at the 7-11 anytime soon.

But in the same manner as the JC Decaux installations at JFK airport, a multi-million dollar investment in technology and creative can be worth it if the installation has the sort of Wow factor that immerses people and gets them talking.

The reflective film is probably far too fragile to be anywhere near the public, but I suspect good creative and retail design people could come up with some pretty amazing stuff for advertising in public spaces.  

I have, over time, grown more convinced that in big public spaces, installations of conventional LCD and plasma screens just won’t get the desired attention.

Explore posts in the same categories: Opinion, Sightings

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