It Wasn’t A Hologram, People.

November 5, 2008

CNN is getting a lot of attention for Wolf Blitzer’s Star Trekky holographic newscast. In what’s being called a TV first, correspondent Jessica Yellin appeared on Blitzer’s set on election night, “beamed in” from Chicago as a 3D hologram.

It looked great on TV. It’s really cool. But, unfortunately, it isn’t a hologram. Yes. Jessica’s image was beamed from Chicago to the studio. But it didn’t appear on stage. It went right into the signal for home viewers.

In other words, Blitzer couldn’s see her. He was talking to empty space. What viewers saw on their screens was a blended image, a composite of Blitzer in the studio and a cutout Jessica, filmed against a blank screen and spliced in. It’s no different than the way TV weather works; you see the weather reporter gesturing to a digital map behind him or her, but all that person sees is a green screen. It’s TV trickery.

A hologram is visible. I’ve seen them. You can walk around them, check them out in 3D. They don’t look that realistic, that’s for sure. The one I saw last year at a science museum was shaky and green, but still kind of neat.

So CNN pulled off some cool special effects. And I like it. But please stop talking about it like they’ve done something revolutionary. It wasn’t a hologram.

Or maybe Wolf Blitzer was the illusion … maybe he isn’t even real …

That would explain so much.


One comment

  1. Tom Welling and smallville should continue for 2 more seasons. If CW is smart they will keep this successful show on the air. There is a tremendous fan base f0r the show as well as tom welling. Season 8 is not the time to stop. With the new producers and writers there is a wealth of material that is still waiting to be done. Let’s keep smallville on the air!!!

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