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Tupac's Coachella 'Hologram' Performance Explained

A hologram of late rapper Tupac Shakur played to surprised audiences at Coachella this past weekend, but how was the visual trick achieved?

Rapper Tupac Shakur was murdered in Las Vegas back in 1996, but this past weekend, the acclaimed artist took to the stage once again, only this time in hologram form. In a surprise gig, the Thug Life rapper "performed" several of his greatest hits at the Coachella festival in Indio, California, before being joined on stage by Snoop Dogg.

The performance was enjoyed by the crowds at Coachella, along with thousands of people watching live via the festivals official YouTube channel. The unique gig left many wondering just how the visual trick was achieved.

Tupac's "resurrection" comes thanks to San Diego-based AV Concepts, which worked with Dr. Dre to make the special show a reality. AV Concepts previously worked on similar projects in the past, including a 2006 gig that saw virtual band Gorillaz playing in front of a live audience.

The on-stage hologram is not a hologram at all, actually. It was the result of good old fashioned trickery that dates back in part to the 19th Century. As explained in an International Business Times article, the visual trick works by reflecting a flat 2D image on to a transparent surface, which creates the resulting illusion.

Of course, beyond the visual trickery, visual production company Digital Domain put together footage of Tupac. Rumor has it the whole visual stunt cost more than $100,000 to pull off.

Oh, and just in case anybody watching wanted to believe that Shakur was still with us, the "hologram" performance concluded with the rapper dissolving into tiny triangles and disappearing into the Indio night.

[via Geekosystem]

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