Tupac ‘resurrected’ thanks to Pepper’s Ghost 3D projection

by Dale Wright

Festival goers at the Coachella festival were treated to a totally unique performance – a performance which hit the headlines around the world for being a first in the music industry.
Tupac Tupac ‘resurrected’ thanks to Pepper’s Ghost 3D projection

A team of computer programmers from British company AV Concepts created a life-size 3D projection of Tupac Shakur, the US rapper who was fatally wounded in a drive-by shooting in 1996. Making the projection cost the Coachella production team $10 million.

Staff at AV Concepts combined footage from live shows with computer animation to bring Tupac back to life and appear to walk around ‘live’ on stage, talking to the crowd and performing with other artists.

The video has been widely reported as being a hologram, but the effect is actually created using a technique called Pepper’s Ghost. This visual effect was invented in the 1860s and involves projecting an image onto a sheet of glass, giving it an ethereal, transparent appearance. Thanks to modern CGI, the projection of Tupac is actual size, incredibly clear and, when viewed from afar, looks totally lifelike.

The performance was live-screened on YouTube and some fans on Twitter said they were shocked to see the deceased rapper performing. It performed a Tupac track, ‘Hail Mary’, which the rapper had never performed live before his death. It then performed a collaboration with Snoop Dogg, the headline act at the festival in California. The performance quickly began trending on Twitter, but the audience reaction was mixed; stars like Katy Perry were moved to tears, but others found the hologram to be ghostly and unsettling.

Mariah Carey has previously used the same technology to perform five live concerts across Europe at the same time, convincing many people she was actually in the stadium when she was actually thousands of miles away. AV Concepts have also created similar projected holograms and effects for companies like Adidas, Cadbury, Virgin Digital and Samsung.

Do you think 3D holograms of dead stars are in bad taste, or a fitting tribute?