The system works as a modern commercial variation of a stage illusion called Pepper's ghost. Thin metalized film is placed across the front of the stage at an angle of 45 degrees towards the audience; recessed below the screen is a bright image supplied by an LED screen or powerful projector. When viewed from the audience's perspective, the reflected images appear to be on the stage.
Because the system uses a thin film as its reflective surface, the screen is relatively low-cost and light-weight, and can cover a large area without seams (thus helping maintain the illusion); however, this lightness can make the screen vibrate due to atmospheric effects such as wind, when outdoors; or powerful sound systems, when indoors.
The system is intended to "create the illusion of life-size, full colour, 3D moving images". It consists of a flat, two-dimensional image that produces the illusion of being three-dimensional and suspended in free space. It does not, for instance, recreate stereoscopy as most 3D displays do, nor is it a hologram.
Aspects of the technology are currently the subject of a US patent application.
Applications of the technology include tele-conferencing and mixed-media entertainment and educational events. It was used at the Live Earth conference produced by Musion and OMG Sounds Productions, as well as at the later concerts of the band Gorillaz, where it was used to allow the band's cartoon musicians to join the actual musicians on stage. The Genki Rockets also utilize the technology for any of their "live" events, due to the lead singer, Lumi, who appears in the group's animated music videos, being a fictional character.
The 2009 tour of Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds used a Musion Eyeliner system which projected an image of Richard Burton's face in the role of the Journalist.
Musion Eyeliner projections have also been made for product launches such as the Toyota Auris car and an LG phone launch in which the technology was used to provide a stage illusion for magician David Blaine. In 2010 animation specialists SquareZero successfully recreated two performances by people who have been deceased for a number of years. The first was Paul Arden – a former creative director of Saatchi and Saatchi who appeared to talk at the Cannes Lions advertising festival. Also using digital techniques they recreated Frank Sinatra who performed "Pennies from Heaven" for the birthday of Pop Idol judge Simon Cowell.
- US patent 5865519, Uwe Maass, "Device for displaying moving images in the background of a stage", issued 1999-02-02
- "European Patent".
- "Peppers Ghost History". Dimensional Studios. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
- "Projection Apparatus And Method For Pepper's Ghost Illusion". USPTO. 2007.
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