Holographic Model using webcam and Stereo Glasses


I was keen to try out some 3D graphics programming, but I didn't want to venture into making a game. I wanted something edgy and new. I came up with this hologram effect using a conventional monitor, red-cyan glasses and a webcam.

The webcam is used to determine the position of the head relative to the screen and this information is used to render two views of a model (one for each eye) at the correct relative angle. The effect? Well it lets you 'look around' a 3D model as though it were protruding from or into the screen, much like a hologram.


The Configuration view. The user can click on a distinctive marker attached to their head. The white circle shows that it is locked on to the 3D glasses.

Hologram Effect

Then the user can "look around" the Polyhedra as though it were fixed in user space.


There are limitations to the generated effect. Firstly, since it isn't possible (with such limited hardware) to determine the users focus, we have to guess a focal point based on likely attraction of features. Simple wireframe models work best, because it takes minimal effort for the brain to merge two slightly different views into a 3D space view, and hence the focal point is less of an issue. For a solid model of a car for instance, it becomes much more tricky.

A second limitation is that using standard video camera drivers produces a delay which results in un-realistic feedback if a user moved their head too quickly. The solution is to take gentle actions.


I wrote this application in Delphi, and used a third party DirectX package called DSPack. Some very odd things happen when using the package. Namely, in order to see video, the mouse must be either within the video frame, or outside of the application window!? Consequently, my next video application was written in C++.

get HologramCam


by Steven Lovegrove Jump to top