Tupac Hologram May Go on Tour

Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre in talks to bring virtual rapper to stadiums

Snoop Dogg and a hologram of Tupac Shakur perform at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California.
Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Coachella
April 17, 2012 8:35 AM ET

The hologram of Tupac Shakur that was featured in Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg's headlining set at Coachella on Sunday may be heading out on the road, the Wall Street Journal reports. According to the paper's sources, the rappers are in the process of discussing logistics for a joint tour that would regularly feature the hologram. At the moment, Dre and Snoop are weighing the possibility of touring stadiums as a package tour featuring other stars, such as Eminem and 50 Cent, or staging an arena tour with just the two of them as headliners along with the virtual Tupac.

El Ulbrich, the chief creative officer of Digital Domain, the company that produced the effect, told the Wall Street Journal that the holographic Shakur is a purely digital creation. "This is not found footage. This is not archival footage. This is an illusion," he said. "This is just the beginning. Dre has a massive vision for this." According to Ulbrich, Dre approached his company a year ago about creating a virtual Tupac, but they only began work on the project four months ago.

"It was Dre's vision to bring [Tupac] back to life," Nick Smith, the president of AV Concepts, the San Diego company that projected and staged the image, told MTV News. "It was his idea from the very beginning and we worked with him and his camp to utilize the technology to make it come to life." Speaking of the potential for this technology, Smith explained that "you can take people that haven't done concerts before or perform music they haven't sung and digitally re-create it."

Though the virtual Tupac has been widely described as a hologram, it is in fact a 2D image projected to appear as a 3D effect. To achieve this, a digital image of the Tupac animation was projected onto a reflective surface on the floor of the stage, which then bounced on to a piece of Mylar that reflects the image while appearing otherwise clear. When Snoop Dogg appeared to be rapping along with Tupac, he was standing behind the Mylar screen.

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