Advanced holographic photo editing
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Advanced holographic photo editing

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Software used:

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Diorama

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In this tutorial, I'll go over editing holographic iPhone images and composing stylized 3D scenes with Diorama. With Diorama, you can import iPhone Portrait Mode photos (or side by side RGB-D images) and make adjustments to its focus, depthiness, lighting and even add vibrant giphys and backgrounds gifs. You've never seen software like this before β€” now you can capture 3D and edit in 3D in ways you never imagined.

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Congratulations, pioneer. You are one of the first human beings to edit and customize holographic photos in 3D. Warning: you will have a great time.

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To follow this Tutorial .... you will need β†’

Hardware

  • Looking Glass Portrait
  • Your PC/Mac

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Before you continue, make sure you have downloaded Diorama and HoloPlay Studio onto the computer you've connected to your Looking Glass display in Desktop Mode. Please also make sure you have already downloaded HoloPlay Service, which you will need to run any and all Looking Glass applications and plugins.

Desktop Mode

To run HoloPlay Studio, your Looking Glass Portrait must be in Desktop Mode, meaning that your display is connected to your computer. Once it's connected, the LED indicator will pulse blue (meaning its ready to plug into the matrix!)

Switch the Portrait into Desktop Mode by pressing the ON/OFF button. Review the Looking Glass Portrait Getting Started Guide for a more detailed refresher.

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Check out "How to turn your iPhone photo into a Hologram" for a refresher on why iPhone Portrait Mode photos can be imported into Diorama and HoloPlay Studio as holograms.

Import your iPhone Portrait Photo into Diorama

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Quick tip - If you don't have an iPhone or RGB-D image, use the example photos in Diorama's library to follow along with this tutorial.

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When you open up Diorama for the first time, you'll automatically start in the tab "Choose Picture".

Hit the + icon to import an iPhone or RGB-D photo from your desktop. Whenever you select a photo in this library, it will automatically appear in your holographic scene.

Frame your Photo

To the right of Diorama's UI window, you'll see instructions for how to frame the photo appearing in your display, as well as options for photo adjustment.

Let's play around in the display with our cursor for a moment. If you select the photo in your Portrait, you'll be able to

  • scale by clicking and dragging the diagonal arrow box
  • drag it forward and backward in Z depth with the vertical arrow box (functionally the same as adjusting Focus)
  • and simply drag it's position by clicking anywhere inside the dotted box line.
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Once you've framed your photo to your liking, let's check out the three sliders:

  • Depthiness β€” adjusting this value will shift how 3D the photo is
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  • Focus β€” adjusting this value shifts where the photo sits in the focal plane in the display
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  • Cutoff Point β€” adjusting this value will cut the background closer or further
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Add a Background gif to your diorama!

One of the wonders of Diorama is that it is connected to the wonderful wide array of giphy stickers and images for you to use. One might say it is Powered by Giphy. Let's spice up our scene by adding a background image.

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Select Choose Background near the top left of the screen. You can type in keywords you want to explore to use as your background gif, or just go with the default search. Cycle through a choose your favorite.

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I'm going to go with blue skies to create a holographic scene that conveys that my cat Artemis came from the heavenly skies.

To change the Background type, go to the Effects! panel and select between

  • None - removes the gif background and is black
  • Background - the background is set to the last giphy you chose (or Diorama's default)
  • Background and Floor - adds a floor to your holographic stage. Looks like a nice little box. We like this.

Add Stickers and Wordart

Adding giphys is an amazing way to add depth and character to your scene β€” and much like the photo you just added to your scene, you can also frame and reposition your stickers and wordart in the same way (for a refresher, scroll back up to "Frame your Photo!")

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Select the Add Sticker panel and type whatever your heart's desire is in the search bar. Clicking on a sticker immediately drops it in the scene. To delete a sticker, simply select it in the display and click the trash icon that appears at the bottom left of the Looking Glass.

Add Wordart works the exact same way except for the gifs are comprised of β€” you guessed β€” only wordart.

Now that we have a fun scene going, let's move on to...

Lighting

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This is where all the good stuff happens. Just kidding the good stuff is always happening. But seriously, being able to control and adjust the lighting in Diorama is one of it's greatest magical powers and you'll understand why if you keep reading.

One way to adjust lighting lies in the Effects! panel and the other way lies in the actual holographic scene. This gives you much more control over the type of lighting you want to have in your scenes.

Lighting Effects!

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Navigate to the Effects! panel and check out the different lighting settings there. There's no right or wrong way to light your scene, but each selection gives a different mood.

For example, if I want my lighting to look really fun and dynamic, I will choose Dance Party (which looks like disco lights in the scene). However, if I'm creating a more polished scene, I will generally select Soft or Backlit lighting and lean into the Scene Lights.

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Scene Lighting πŸ’‘

While you were adjusting the positions of your photo and gifs, you'll have definitely noticed the three light bulb icons floating in your holographic diorama (aha!)

Select the lights to reposition them in space like you did your photo (though you can't scale them) and highlight aspects of your image that you want to emphasize. When selected, you'll see that you can also turn the lights on and off individually by clicking the lightbulb icon.

Work with the lighting effects and scene light bulbs to create lighting you're satisfied with. Playing with the balance of light takes an exploratory heart but I know a pioneer like you will find something that will get you lit.

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Hologram Exercise: Import a new iPhone Portrait Mode image. You've been asked to submit work to the MoMA and they want a clean, polished holographic image. For this exercise, stay away from the giphy features and focus on lighting adjustments and framing to submit your work of art!

Load and Save Scene

"Wow, I just made iconic work and I don't want to lose it!" you exclaim to yourself. Well don't you worry β€” there's Save Scene and Load functionality in Diorama that allows you to save up to 9 scenes you make!

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Simply select Save Scene at the top of the UI window once you're happy with your work. A window will appear with 9 slots in which you can save up to 9 scenes (before you'll have to Marie Kondo your Diorama app.)

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To load that scene again, select Load and find your saved piece. Your scene will appear immediately and exactly how you left it in the Looking Glass.

Selecting New resets the scene completely (don't do that right now though).

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Record your edited Scene

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Hit Record Video on the top right of the window to create a quilt recording of your scene. You'll be saving out a nice 10 second loop of your scene in Diorama.

The folder in which it saves (Documents\Diorama\VideoRecordings) will automatically open up once the process is completed.

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Learn Alert

Hey, but what is a Quilt recording?

Quilts are an image and video standard that Looking Glass uses to produce 3D experiences.

Each tiled image or video represents a view of the 3D scene, with the bottom-left tile representing the leftmost view of the scene and the top-right tile representing the rightmost view of the scene.

So in this case, Diorama is capturing 48 views of your scene to render to a quilt that can be interpreted in HoloPlay Studio as a recorded hologram!

Your quilt recording from Diorama will looking something like this!
Your quilt recording from Diorama will looking something like this!

Bring your Diorama into HoloPlay Studio

Now let's bring our specially edited hologram in HoloPlay Studio.

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Add Hologram

Open up HoloPlay Studio! Select Add Hologram > Quilt Image/Video > Import File and navigate to your Diorama quilt recording. It'll immediately appear in your Playlist and simultaneously (paused) in your Looking Glass Portrait.

In order to view it, hit play in HoloPlay Studio's playback bar.

Play your Holographic Diorama

Like any playlist, it plays. But this playlist is the only one in the world (right now) that plays holograms. You can play and pause your hologram, skip forward or backward in your playlist, and loop a single hologram on repeat.

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Press Play ▢️ to watch the magical scene you just created in Diorama!

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Hologram Properties

When a quilt image or recording is selected, the Properties panel will open up on the right with Columns and Rows.

Diorama exports your all scenes as a quilt recording with 8 columns and 6 rows. You won't need to worry about inputting those numbers yourself, as they will automatically show up in the Properties panel to the left of your selection.

Leave β˜‘οΈŽ Use device aspect ratio (under Advanced) checked β€” that just means that HoloPlay Studio is using your connected display's aspect ratio to play the quilt.

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If you rename your quilt video exported from Diorama on your computer, the quilt Properties may not automatically populate correctly and you will have to input them manually.

Frame and crop your hologram with the following controls:

  • Mouse wheel / two finger scrollβ€” zoom in and out
  • Mouse click + dragβ€” pan around image

Once you're done making your properties and framing adjustments, those changes will stay until you decide to edit it again.

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Quick tipβ€” Hit the the loop button in the Playback bar to keep your video playing on repeat while you edit the properties and framing.

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Edit Playlist

Your playlist is your collection of holograms you've brought into HoloPlay Studio. Let's briefly go over the options in the Playlist panel.

Edit

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Right click the photo you just imported into your Playlist, to

  • Duplicate,
  • Edit Length,
  • Delete, or
  • Rename your hologram.
  • You can also find these options by going to Edit in the HoloPlay Studio's window bar.

Most of these options are pretty self explanatory, but I want to take the time to go over Edit Length. Edit Length allows you to edit the time that a hologram plays in your playlist, both in Desktop Mode and Standalone Mode. If the hologram is a video (like this one is), you won't be able adjust its length of play.

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Hologram Exercise: Rename your diorama so that, when you import more, you know which recording is which! Import the MoMA scene you created in the last exercise in HoloPlay Studio, and Rename that quilt recording as well.

Reorder Playlist

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If I have a specific order I want my holograms to play in, how do I do that? I'm glad you asked.

When you hover over your playlist selection, you'll see a small grid appear to the left of the hologram's title.

By dragging that, you can reorder your playlist any way you'd like.

Now, select your Diorama hologram in your playlist and take a look at the right Properties panel that has opened up for you.

Sync Playlist

Now that you've added your holographic recording to your Playlist, click on the Sync Playlist button. You're syncing to save your holograms to your device for Standalone Mode to play without having to be connected to your computer!

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Standalone Mode

To view your holographic playlist you created in HoloPlay Studio, switch your Looking Glass Portrait to Standalone Mode. You can have the Looking Glass Portrait connected to either your wall adapter or to your PC/Mac.

Switch the Portrait into Standalone Mode by pressing the ON/OFF button. Review the Looking Glass Portrait Getting Started Guide for a more detailed refresher.

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For more detailed definitions on HoloPlay Studio's functionality, including more information on Quilt images and videos, please visit our docs site.

How was live editing a hologram for the very first time?

It's pretty amazing to be able to edit real world captures and see your creation come to life in real time and in real 3D. Editing in 3D space is an experience in of itself, and makes you really excited for what it means for future possibilities. What do you imagine in the 3D editing space? Let us know!

πŸ€— Please feel welcome to:

  • Share your quilt recordings and editing tips with us in our community's Discord.
  • Shoot us an email at support@lookingglassfactory.com with any questions or feedback
  • tweet at us (@lkgglass) or tag us on instagram (@lookingglassfactory) 😎