It gets much deeper than Koi ponds with Drew Medina. Dive into the mind that's behind some of our favorite holographic experiments and find out how his obsession with 3D (and particularly with holograms) began.
Hi Drew! Tell us a bit about yourself, where you're from, and what you do?
Hi! I’m Drew Medina, a 23-year Game Developer proudly working at Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix as a Senior Artist in the lighting department (career Enviro Artist). I’m a Puerto Rican American born in Brooklyn, NYC and grew up in Edison, New Jersey. My first job was at the original Atari Games in 1998 and since have worked on Gauntlet Legends, Jetmoto3, Smugglers Run, The Matrix games, Tomb Raider Legend, Red Dead Redemptions, GTA5, and currently Marvel’s Avengers.
How did you get into holograms?
I’ve been obsessed with stereoscopic 3D since I was a kid, back in the red/blue glasses days. I would even draw my own 3D art using red and blue crayons. I did a cd-rom job in 1998 and purchased a VFX1 VR headset and started developing my own real time worlds using VRML. Just seeing real time graphics in 3D was amazing, and I would get back into later with PC shutter glasses. I also spent some time teaching myself how to create my own lenticulars and collected commercial holograms. I just had to wait to get rid of the glasses, and when I saw the Looking Glass dev kit a few years back I went a little nuts. I immediately bought it and started making and viewing holograms!
What have you been working on recently — either as a hobby or part of your work — that is particularly interesting and of theme?
I do holographic art at home purely for fun, and to relax and explore a new medium. I’m currently playing with magical types of VFX and syncing that with a music score. I have way more ideas than time :)
What are you most excited to make with Looking Glass Portrait?
I want to do more with dynamic fluids, VFX , destruction and other tech we haven’t seen much in stereoscopic 3D.I also want to play with virtual creatures and other animal tanks.
What have you made so far with Looking Glass Portrait?
I recently made the “Holoquarium” fish tank and chicken roaming demos and Nasa/Mars 3D image conversions, but want to make some much weirder and interesting demos.
How does Looking Glass Portrait differ from other technology you’ve used so far?
Glasses free, multi-angled viewing is the biggest aspect that excites me. I’ve developed a few indie VR games, and love VR but for some reason, I just LOVE being able to actually touch holograms with my fingers and not wear anything. I’m very impressed with the Portrait’s new display tech, I love how they freed the holograms from the glass block.
What’s your favorite hologram?
I love the flying tentacle creature using Keijiro Takakhashi’s hair tech, as well as the blobby ball hologram. I love reactive effects as well as detailed depth.
What's your favorite 3D software tool?
I love the accessibility of Unity, being able to jump in and experiment is really fun. I also enjoy the vast amount of tech tools and assets available but will have to get into Unreal soon. Unreal5 looks just awesome and I need to see some 3D holo art in that engine! I also enjoy modelling organic objects in Adobe Medium and Zbrush.
50 years from now, what does the future look like?
I see optional brain implants in place of UI and hardware, free floating holography with touchable haptics...basic AR glasses that are barely there... and maybe even a new internet based on Holography, and holographic telepresence.
What’s a day in the life of Drew look like?
I work super hard on AAA console games and absolutely love it! To get some exercise I play some Beat Saber in VR, and at night to chill, I either do 3D printing or Looking Glass Hologram fun. I’m also a Dad and husband and love hanging out with my family! See my stuff at www.drewmedina.com