The revolution of the holograms

It’s amazing when you think about it. Every magician knows about the Pepper’s Ghost. Every themepark has a Pepper’s Ghost in it’s Haunted House or whatever Darkride. But almost all these holograms are based on the 45-degree formula. One glassplate for the audience and the other in an angle of 45-degrees for the vusualisation of the ‘ghost’. I thought it is necessary to explain here why this assumption is completely wrong……

What is a Pepper’s Ghost?

Well basically it is the reflection of something in a piece of glass.

Perhaps the first description of this kind of illusion was by Baptista Porta in 1558. I have made a drawing of the concept he described in his book Natural Magic. It is a very interesting concept. The image is above the person, and the reflection is on the other side of the glass, but there is no glass right between the image and the reflection. As long as the person can see the reflection from his point of view he can see the Pepper’s Ghost.

This is also the basic concept used by Disney in the Ballroom scene in the Haunted Mansion. But here the doombuggy drives in the midfloor while the animatronics are placed above and below. Of this I also made a drawing.

Here are some pictures of the famous Haunted Mansion in Disneyland…

On this picture you can see some animatronics around a completely black table.

In the pictures below you can see their reflection around the real table which the guest see.


And here you see the animatronic of the organ player, and his ghost-reflection..


The problem with this type of Pepper’s Ghost is that the audience can’t be on the same level as the ghost. They are either below or above them.

There is another way that is very populair in themeparks. In this way everything can be on the same level. The real ghosts are on the side. Here are some very rare pictures of an illusion with this setting and a drawing on how it was created….

Slowly a light gets brighter, showing the reflection of the skeleton in the coufin.

Schematically it looks like this:


Then they discovered that with adding an extra glassplate they can show another reflection. In theory that is. In reality you have the problem that the light on one ghost will also shine on the other. It is difficult to keep one in the dark. If you use a video- or projection screen you don’t have to have an extra room…


This creates a very impressive illusion, but the sightlines are very small. The audience has only a very small place to see the illusion. Nowadays the animatronics or actors are replaced by videoscreens. But even then the sightlines are very bad.  In amusementparks they can make sure the people in the boat or buggy never see the screen, but this version is not that useful in a theatre.

The forgotten formula

That is where John Henry Pepper pops up. Pepper came to the conclusion that you can slightly tilt the glassplate for a more practical appearance of a ghost. It was thanks to him that many ghost-theatres were created all over the world.


Note: if you know a little bit about Pepper’s Ghosts then you would see immediately that all three drawings have a different error. They will not work if made exactly like this.

The answers to this can be seen in the drawing below.

Nowadays the glass is always tilted at an angle of 45 degrees.


The animatronics are often replaced by videoscreens. It makes the projections more visual, but also very often as flat as a pancake.

But the old principle with only one piece of tilted glass has completely dissappeared…


You can however calculate the angle of the glass and the angle of your animatrionic or screen. It’s a formula that seems to have gone missing because no one knows about it. But there are still a few people who can tell you everything about this concept.

New possibilities

Why is that important? Well….. different angles make sure that you can place a hologram wherever you want. Imagine a fashion shop, you walk passed the window and in there you see a hologram of people showing the clothes that you can buy inside.

Or through the window of a theatre you can see holograms of the musical that is playing right now. Performers do their thing while flying text tells you that there are still tickets available.


The formula for the right angle of the glass and the projection is a unique one and only known by literally a handful of people. It is a very unique formula that needs a different aproach than other calculations. Because of its complexity it is not used today for any holograms in attractions. Rianfil can help you with these calculations.

A shopping mall can have a hologram near the entrance that shows the latest cheap deals and where the get them in the mall. A travel agency can have some holographic airplanes flying around with banners behind them that have names of  destinations and how much discount you get if you book right now…..  Endless possibilities. A car dealer can show the latest cars to the people who drive or walk by, but also can have all the extra’s flying around this car. Fireworks to draw even more attention. a 3D animation can show you all the new technology of the car…. Whatever you want to tell or show the potential customers…..

You could also show the weather in 3D on a map. A scientific centre can put in all the data of a tornado or storm and have that translated in a 3D display of that tornado. They can walk around it, and get a completely different look and insights.



When combined with Kinect you can have your guests perform live on stage like Michael Jackson, Elvis Presly, Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga. The audience sees a live hologram of these performers while the guests can make them dance and sing.

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In a circus you can see a magician performing standing in a holographic tornado of playing cards. It is all possible now, without lots of building and for the price of less than 2000 dollars. Well not maybe the large display in a circus or theatre but yeah the price is no longer an issue….. In the window of a theatre you can have a live holographic trailer of the musical that is playing… Possibillities go on and on…

You can best shoot all these footage for the displays in a special room that can help creating a much better 3D effect.

The next step which some already work on is the layered hologram. They found a way to create several different layers in one display. This means that you can have ghosts flying behind each other, but also move back and forth. And that creates the illusion of a completely new dimension. I have done this in my own little setup and I must say this is very strange to look at. Somehow your mind finds it difficult to understand what you see. Within seconds your mind gets tricked and with 4 layers you get the feeling of flying around in space.

Try to explain this to a potential financer…. They look at you like they see a tapdancing hamster when I start explaining that I can make perfect holograms anytime anywhere, thanks to the moving Projection Point….

Rianfil has contracted one of the very best experts on holograms, named Exequel in The Philippines. This means that 2 out of five people who are capable of doing the calculations work in our company. We have already made several working displays and know how to make any hologram work for you.

Our own developed REVO system is the latest and best in holographic displays. Whatever happens on the secret downstage area becomes a 3D hologram on the actual stage. We have designed this hologram setup for an almost 2000 seats theatre in China.

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This setup is possible because we do not need to have the glass in a 45 degrees angle anymore. With this setup we can have real actors interact with holograms. The real actors on the above-stage and the objects and people that become a hologram on the lower stage. This is very interesting for theme parks. It also means you can present special effects like in Jurassic Park or The Matrix live on stage. It happens right there.

Thanks to the possibillities of variable angles we can place holograms anywhere.

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Sfumato found the solutions for holograms under water. Now we can have seamunsters in any fountain piece or mystical lake. We have a testing model of this and photos and videos. These underwater holograms are a lot more difficult to build, especially for larger aquariums. But the results are stunning!

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It is possible to have a setup where people can walk through and become part of the holographic display. We can have them walk through a tunnel filled with magical animals.

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For shopping malls we offer the opportunity to have shows, like fashionshows, in a special holographic theater. People can walk in and get involved in the holographic world.

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Also for shopping malls, museums and theme parks we also offer the holographic boxes in which people can see a hologram of whatever you want from all sides. It is also possible to have actors inside that interact with the holograms.

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We can make hologram displays with turntables for different settings. This is great for a museum or theme park experience.

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There are literally only 5 people on this planet who can work with the altered angle-formula, and two of them work for Sfumato! Erik Visser is the owner of Rianfil and Exequel is the owner of Sfumato. Two very strong names already in the field of holograms.

Soon Sfumato will showcase its new and unique hologram box for shopping malls and exhibition areas. Our model is currently under construction! Once placed in a mall shops can rent time in the box to show their promotions, leading to new oportunities for both shops and box owners.

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Welcome to our illusionary world!

Thanks to the latest techniques and new insights, and with the help of some professional creators of magic and special effects in Europe, we can now present the future of entertainment and advertising Holograms!

The Holographic Displays!


Our holograms can be placed in EVERY setting and, depending on space, can create up to larger than life holograms. That means that you can now have for instance a holograpic fashion show of holographic people showing your clothing. Or you can have your products being presented by a holographic tapdancing penguin. Holographic text can tell all about your products, while a holographic fireworks show draws attention to your shopping window. Restaurants can have 3-dimensional projections of their food. You could even have a 3-dimensional house or car flying around, showing all angles while a beautiful holographic lady shows all the special qualities. Whatever you want: we can place it in your shopping display.

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The basic setup is a display-table on which the holograms will appear, and an image triangle that creates the hologram. No more special boxes, no more mirrors…. Thanks to our own new invention all the special gimmicks are hidden in the table and cannot be seen, making it a perfect illusion. The holograms appear in 3D, and can be seen from 1, 2 or 4 sides!

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For business we can create special displays. Basically we can make whatever you want to show off your new product. These gadgets are very expensive in Europe. But from Asia we can produce the same effect for a much lower price.

Remember: this is the very latest in holographic techniques and this is used, for instance, in European amusementparks to create magical shows for audiences. But we took them a step further and made them into portable and affordable displays that can be placed everywhere. Basically we can make them fit into every place, and in every size, from 1 to 20 feet, and up to 4 sides for a truly 3D effect!

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New possibilities are on their way in the Hologram industry

The holograms we offer right now are the holograms which use mostly video images, but on the new posibilities you can see yourself in the hologram. Not just that.. you can see your self in the hologram wearing the item you want! Or you can see yourself as a hologram, or you can dance with a holographic panda… In our just opened testing faccility in The Philippines we are currently testing interactive holograms so that you can make a realistic 3D panda move and dance just the way you do. This is the new era for entertainment!

Soon you can touch the hologram and create interactive holograms by using the very latest technologies.

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Holograms in fashion shows

It all started with the amazing hologram experience of Kate Moss:

Holograms in a fashion show. Seems to work very well. In the video below the so called holograms are projections on see thru plastic.

The original holographic catwalk. And these are actually holograms with the Pepper’s Ghost principle.

These are also not holograms but projections.

There are literally only 5 people on this planet who can work with the altered angle-formula, and two of them work for Rianfil and Sfumato! Erik Visser is the owner of Rianfil and Exequel is the owner of Sfumato. Two very strong names already in the field of holograms.