Creators of Tupac Hologram Reveal How They Brought The Rapper Back to Life

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By: Vibe / April 17, 2012

So how about that Tupac hologram?! If you’re like the rest of us, you were bugged out as much as you were amazed when the virtual resurrection of ‘Pac took the stage at Coachella on Sunday night (April 15).

But how in the world did it all come together? Nick Smith, president of AV Concepts, responsible for the  projection and staging of Holo ‘Pac, spoke exclusively with MTV News to spill the juice:

“We worked with Dr. Dre on this, and it was Dre’s vision to bring this back to life,” Smith said. “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. … You can take their likenesses and voice and … take people that haven’t done concerts before or perform music they haven’t sung and digitally re-create it.”

(You may recall the work of AV from the Gorllaz’s 2006 Grammy performance with Madonna.)

Smith says the hologram took months to plan, and while he couldn’t disclose its cost, he did allude to possible future hologram shows due to its “affordability.”

“I can say it’s affordable in the sense that if we had to bring entertainers around world and create concerts across the country, we could put [artists] in every venue in the country.”

So can we expect Tupac to embark on a world tour? According to Ed Ulbrich of Digital Domain—which MTV cites as the Oscar-winning CG factory responsible for images of Brad Pitt in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Jeff Bridges in “TRON: Legacy,” Kevin Bacon in “X-Men: First Class” and Rooney Mara in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”—the idea is feasible.

“This is not found footage. This is not archival footage. This is an illusion [and] this is just the beginning,” Ulbrich said. “Dre has a massive vision for this.”

Looks like we’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, who else wants to see a hologram of Aaliyah? By a show of hands. —Stephanie Long