#42: Holographic Legos

#42: Holographic Legos

So there’s this website called BrickLink Studio Gallery, where Lego creators from all over the world have uploaded more than 15,000 Lego designs. Anyone can download these designs and load them up in the free BrickLink studio application.  

This application, it turns out, can also render out images that are compatible with the Lightfield Photo App. This means that any Lego creation on this platform can be made into a hologram that you can view in a Looking Glass. Check this out:

I have you now, Death Star Run.

Here’s how it was done:

  1. I searched the BrickLink Studio Gallery for a model I wanted to view
  2. Downloaded and opened it in BrickLink Studio
  3. Staged the model for render (rotated & put in background blocks)
  4. Rendered a batch of images from the “Render Animation” tool in BrickLink Studio
  5. Loaded the batch into the Lightfield Photo App

What’s neat is that you can do this with lots of models.  Here’s another one I did of a Shelby Cobra (posted to BrickLink by christofersh):

Lock the doors and cue the Gary Numan.

How is this possible?

The Lightfield Photo App is a very extensive tool that allows you to take a bunch of images and make a Lightfield Photo out of it.  The format required is a bunch of 2D images of the same scene, taken from a bunch of different angles.

With this tool, so long as you have the right set of imagery, you can make loads of really beautiful lightfields.  Take a look at how we hacked some video games to produce stunning imagery.

Fortunately, the BrickLink Studio application has a native render feature that is pretty much in the exact format we need.  Once that batch is exported, you can bring it right in and see it on your Looking Glass.

Most people know the feeling of pure satisfaction that comes at the end of building a Lego model, but then what do you do? Take it apart? Certainly not after working so hard on it! Even after the pieces have been taken apart (and likely stepped on) it's really neat to be able to preserve your Lego creations as holograms forever.

If you have a Looking Glass and want to see these lightfields without downloading BrickLink Studio, you can check out these lightfield photos over at the Looking Glass MadeWith site:

Death Star Run: http://madewith.lookingglassfactory.com/quilt/210/

Shelby Cobra: http://madewith.lookingglassfactory.com/quilt/211/

**this is part of our “100 Days of Holograms” series, where a few of us in the team at Looking Glass Factory post one new wonderful or weird (or both!) use for the Looking Glass holographic display being conjured around the world each day.

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