Making a 3D hologram at home is a lot easier than it looks. Every year thousands of students, teachers and hobbyists make holograms in schools, at their workplaces and even in the comfort of their own homes. To make a hologram, you'll need a few basic holographic tools and a handful of homemade items, plus a quiet, dark room and about 30 minutes to process the image. With patience and a steady hand, you'll also be able to create your own professional hologram!
Part 1 of 4: Preparing the materials
Step 1. Purchase the necessary materials online or at a film and photography store
Before starting the project, gather all the materials needed to make and process the hologram. Take a look at the list below and buy all the items at a film and photography store or online:
- Holographic plates.
- A red holographic laser (preferably adjustable).
- A hologram processing kit.
- Protective goggles.
- Thick rubber gloves.
- A big hardcover book.
- A metal tong.
Step 2. Choose an opaque and shiny object for the hologram
Translucent, plastic, or fur or fabric objects tend to get distorted in images. To get a sharp image, choose a metal or porcelain object that reflects light and is smaller than the holographic plate.
A coin, for example, would make a great hologram. The same cannot be said of a stuffed animal
Step 3. Choose a dimly lit room to make the hologram
To develop a hologram, it's best to work in a dark room. Darkness serves to increase the contrast between the illuminated object and its surroundings. Turn off all lights in the development room and, if applicable, cover all windows and other sources of natural light.
- Avoid rooms with creaking boards, drafts, and other sources of noise. Even the smallest vibrations can interfere with the hologram. The ideal is to work in a room with a tile, concrete or carpeted floor.
- You don't have to worry about turning off the lights if you're not yet ready to light the object with the laser.
Step 4. Place the object on a firm table
Choose a table that supports the object and does not rock or make noise. If you cannot find a table that is firm enough, place the object on the concrete or tile floor.
Glue the object to a wooden or metal platform before placing it on the table if you are afraid it will move by itself
Step 5. Put on protective eyewear and rubber gloves
The chemicals contained in the processing kit can be toxic if they have not yet been diluted. Wear goggles and thick rubber gloves to protect your eyes and skin when handling these substances.
- To avoid injury, never touch the chemicals in the kit without glasses and gloves.
- If you are sensitive to the smell of chemicals, wear a dust or gas mask.
Part 2 of 4: Positioning the laser
Step 1. Put the red laser in place
Use a clothes peg to attach the laser to a plastic holder. Then place the support on the chosen surface, approximately 30 cm to 60 cm from the object.
Avoid looking directly into the laser or pointing it at another person so that no one hurts their eyes
Step 2. Adjust the laser until the object is fully illuminated
Light the laser and aim it directly at the object. Adjust the radius until it hits the object fully and light it as much as possible.
Step 3. Turn off all lights in the room
Turn off all lamps and block all direct or natural light sources. The room should be dark enough that you can't read anything. Only then will you be able to correctly process the hologram.
If your eyes are having trouble getting used to it, place a night light under the table
Part 3 of 4: Capturing the Holographic Image
Step 1. Temporarily block the laser with a book or similar object
Place a hardcover book or other flat, straight object between the laser and the object to block the light. The book will work like a camera shutter, capturing the image of the object chosen for the hologram.
If you choose not to use a book, choose a completely opaque object. You won't be able to slash the laser with a transparent or translucent object
Step 2. Place a holographic plate against the object
Take a holographic plate from its packaging and carefully place it against the object. If the board is not thick enough to stand on its own, support it on both sides with plastic supports.
- Allow ten to 20 seconds for the card to adjust before starting the capture process.
- Store holographic plates in a box with a lid until ready to use to ensure image quality.
Step 3. Lift the book about 2.5 cm to 5 cm above the table
The book must remain between the laser and the holographic plate. Hold it in this position for about ten to 20 seconds and wait for the table to stop vibrating before continuing.
Use slow movements to reduce table vibrations and avoid sudden noises that can distort the hologram image
Step 4. Lift the book for approximately ten seconds
For about ten seconds, move the book completely out of the way so that the laser reaches the holographic plate. After ten seconds, lower the book again to cover the laser.
Part 4 of 4: Processing the Holographic Plate
Step 1. Mix developer products according to kit instructions
Dilute the kit powders in transparent bowls. Carefully read the manufacturer's instructions and add the recommended amounts of water and products in separate pots. Stir carefully with a metallic spade.
- Do not mix different substances together unless instructed by the manufacturer. Strictly follow the kit instructions to avoid accidents.
- Remember: always wear protective goggles and rubber gloves when handling processing substances.
- Most kits contain a developer and bleach-based solution to process the hologram. Each of the products must be prepared separately.
Step 2. Soak the hologram in the developer solution for 30 seconds and rinse
Use a metal handle to move the hologram back and forth in the solution without exposing your hands to the product. After 30 seconds, rinse the hologram in a bowl of warm water for another half minute.
Step 3. Repeat the procedure with the bleach
Always with the help of the tongs, move the hologram back and forth in the solution for 30 seconds. After this time, rinse it once more in warm water for another 30 seconds, approximately.
Unless the instructions say otherwise, there is nothing wrong with using the same water to rinse both solutions
Step 4. Place the holographic plate to dry against a wall
Support the holographic plate vertically against a wall in a dark place and allow it to dry naturally. Put a sheet of paper towels under it to catch spills. Leave the plate quietly until it is completely dry.
The holographic plate should take between two and three hours to dry, depending on size
Step 5. See if there are any imperfections in the image
Once the plate is dry, place it under direct light to examine the hologram. If you are satisfied with the final result, you can call it a day.
- If the hologram is not good, repeat the step-by-step above with a new plate or contact a professional photographer specializing in holograms.
- Don't be put off if your first hologram doesn't look just the way you wanted it. As with all hobbies, making a quality hologram takes time and practice.
The total cost of producing a hologram fluctuates between R$400.00 and R$2,000. If you don't want to spend that much money, contact a specialist photographer or hologram supply store to ask for information
- Keep your hand steady and be very careful. Any accidental little movement is enough to ruin your hologram.
- Substances used in processing holograms can be toxic when concentrated. If you are a child or teenager, it is recommended that you get the help of an adult to avoid injury.