Three-dimensional or 3D software products generally allow users to construct holograms on a personal computer. Hologram software ranges from free, downloadable programs to expensive programs. The software also varies in the methods it uses to create holograms. Some enable users to layer any photograph, creating a 3D effect. Other software programs give users the option of building images from simple shapes into multi-dimensional displays complete with animation.
Several hologram software programs allow users to create 3D imaging with animation by using photographs. One program requires users to print a guide on a piece of paper, which has various points configured in a circle. An object is placed within the circle and a photograph of the subject at various points around the circle, each portraying a different angle. Photographs are then entered into the hologram software and the program generates an animated sequence based on the different angles.
Another program uses popular photography software and allows users to choose any photograph and convert that image into a 3D hologram. The user generally dissects the photograph into separate layers — background, middle range, and forefront. The user may also cut out objects within the picture. The program then reassembles the picture layer upon layer, adding depth and, perhaps, lighting changes. Animation effects rotate the picture producing a hologram effect similar to viewing a stationary holographic picture.
Some of these programs also contain advanced tools, allowing a user to construct and animate designs using a series of complex imaging techniques. Artists have the option of choosing images within the software or creating unique objects. Much like conventional 3D modeling and rendering software, these programs begin with grayscale images viewable at variable x, y, and z angles. Users have the option of changing the object’s size, shape, color, and texture along with light angles. The software also typically has a timeline, which allows holography enthusiasts to control movement frame by frame.
Other types of hologram software that use photographs involve taking snapshots of objects, places, or people at two or more angles. The program then combines these images and creates a rotating effect, which produces a multi-dimensional hologram. The holograms produced using computer software generally recreate full color images and allow greater versatility of subject compared to traditional hologram making methods. Once created, the image files may be saved within the program or transferred to a storage device. Printing hologram images generally requires the use of complex three-dimensional printers capable of creating micron sized pixels.