Last week I attended the HPA Tech Retreat, an annual confab held by the Hollywood Post Alliance that draws nearly 400 chief engineers, chief technology officers, post production executives and geeks of all stripes. While I covered the Tech Retreat in depth for Film & Video, I left out one juicy item. At an early panel, consultant Loren Nielsen presented three young entrepreneurs. One of them was the Canadian company RabbitHoles Media, which showed its 3D motion holograms in the Demo Room and quickly became a conference favorite. The holograms portray 3D motion images that can be seen without glasses on a 2D surface. The company’s patented technology is aimed at artists, movie marketers, advertisers and just about anyone else who could benefit from the magical –occasionally eerie–use of 3D holograms. If you’ve ever had a postcard that shows movement when you tilt the card, that’s exactly what RabbitHoles’ holograms look like–except they’re the size of a large movie poster and the movement happens as a pedestrian walks by. In the photo shown here, the skull’s piercing eyes follow the viewer wherever she goes. As RabbitHoles chairman/CEO Todd Allan explains, “More technically, a RabbitHole is a digital hologram that contains up to 1280 digital frames of CGI or video imagery. RabbitHoles are completely flat (0.7mm thick), yet the 3D imagery appears further in front of, and deeper beyond the surface than people imagine is possible. RabbitHoles can hold motion sequences up to ten seconds long, and viewers’ movement in front of a RabbitHole triggers the immersive and animated content, provided by the image sequence embedded in the surface…up to 1280 frames!” Classically, holograms have been single-colored or rainbow-like, continued Allan, and thus limited in realistically recreating 3D scenes, especially at a large scale. RabbitHoles Media’spatented printing technology creates bright, full-color holograms. A gallery of artists as well as the Gnomon School of Visual Effects showed RabbitHoles Media holograms at Siggraph 2008, and other entertainment industry clients using them include Disney Imagineering, Paramount Pictures, and Disney Studios.