The Middle East is home to a slate of massive technological and cultural wonders, with a rich history to date. This year the region, Dubai and the United Arab Emirates, has achieved another feat yet again: immortalizing a public figure. While humanity is still a long way to go to eternal life, a presentation from UAE’s founding father Sheikh Zayed in a hologram did prove there are more ways to preserve a legacy.

The groundbreaking hologram was made courtesy of New Dimension Productions (NDP) just in time for the centenary of the late founding father. The goal is simple: honor the vision Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan has for the UAE – and it did so with much praise.

The final production resulted in a realistic holographic footage of the late founding father delivering a message of inspiration to the youth who will be having a large part in deciding the future of the Emirates.


Immortalizing Sheikh Zayed: The Challenge

The hologram, the first of its kind in the Middle East, was made in part of both the recreation of a realistic three-dimensional model of Sheikh Zayed, and using one of his motivational speeches as a foundation. The two (2) elements were combined through the use of state-of-the-art technology that allowed animators to render an accurate 3D model of the late leader with extremely detailed composition – from his head animation to facial texture.

The first part of the challenge was to first create a realistic model of Sheikh Zayed, including his Sheikh Zayedvarious characteristics, to create a composite that looks and “feels” like him. This was achieved after more than 400 hours of rendering and animation work.

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of the task was remastering the audio copy of the speech, as different sources of said recordings would have to be tuned, synced, and match with precision. This was done using the same technology Hollywood uses to create realistic humans-like characters in various blockbuster films.


The Future Is With Light: Holograms

Improvements in hologram technology has allowed not just scientists in labs but also creatives and other members of the entertainment business to create rather realistic renditions of idols, characters and even actors for fans and enthusiasts in various fields.

Holograms, perhaps popularized in the Star Wars franchise, can possibly now be a thing of the present. It can be remembered that pop stars such as Michael Jackson, and even artists such as Gorillaz and Tupac have entertained fans in concerts with just their holograms. Fictional characters as the Vocaloid Hatsune Miku also performs concerts with her fans abroad in a hologram form.

In films,realistic younger versions of the late Carrie Fisher and  Peter Cushing appeared in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as Princess Leia Organa and Grand Moff Tarkin, respectively as well, aided by computer graphics to render a more realistic appearance.





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