When a photographer needs a camera he simply buys one from a local store. An 'off the shelf' camera for a holographer however is not an option. The holographer literally has to design and build his own camera. Not only that but a typical holographic camera is the size and weight of a car and comprises of a vast assortment of optical components, lasers and other high-tech equipment. To practice the art of holography therefore a holographer also needs be an accomplished technician with a sound knowledge of physics and optics.
Rob Munday has developed many new and innovative holographic technologies and techniques throughout his career, many of which have been recognised with industry awards - see AWARDS. His technology has been instrumental in transforming the hologram mastering process from an extremely labour intensive and skilled process to a near automated one. Coined 'holographerless holography' such technologies have in turn been instrumental in the growth and success of the holographic industry worldwide over the last 25 years. The following are some of his technical achievements:
1985 - designed and built a dedicated ruby pulsed laser holographic portrait camera at the Royal College of Art. At this time it was the only purpose built holographic portrait studio outside of the USA and one of the first in the world.
1988 - created the world’s first home micro-computer generated holographic stereogram using a Commodore Amiga computer and Sculpt 3D software. The images were output to film and the hologram was recorded using an early holographic stereogram recording system designed and built by Prof. Nick Phillips at Loughborough University.
1991 - developed the world’s first commercially available digital holographic stereogram recording system known as the DI-HO system (Digital Input - Hologram Output).
1992 - created the world's first digital embossed and multi-colour reflection holograms. He also developed a new type of full colour animated digital hologram made from flat sequences of video images which he named Moviegrams.
The world's first digital embossed hologram Z and the world's first digital reflection hologram Triceratops
1996 - invented a new optical technique and system to produce the world’s highest resolution directly written digital ‘dot matrix’ holograms. Known as the Lightgate B system it was also the fastest dot matrix hologram recording system of its time. Over 40 Lightgate systems have been sold world-wide.
1998 - developed and wrote the software to create the world’s first wide angle full colour 3D digital 'dot matrix' holographic stereograms. Called 3Digital Munday won an IHMA Award of Excellence for the category New Holographic Technique in 2000.
2002 - built a multi-video camera system to record live 3D video with parallax. The resultant footage was designed to be shown on one of the world's first auto-stereoscopic glasses free 3D TV's, the SynthaGram from StereoGraphics Corporation, USA. Munday was later told by StereoGraphics Corporation that this may well have been the world's first multi-camera parallax video recording system and subsequently the world's first live parallax video recording. Munday commented that the resulting 3D video, a short clip of a theatre play showing a female actress centre stage, was as near to emulating the famous Star War's Princess Leah hologram as had been achieved to that point.
2003 - commissioned to record the first ever holographic stereogram portrait of Her Majesty the Queen. In order to create the best possible portrait, from both an artistic and technical point of view, Munday designed and built the VIP (Video Images with Parallax) camera system. The VIP utilised the world’s highest resolution and fastest digital camera available at the time to create 32 parallax image sequences, each comprising of 208 frames, of Her Majesty the Queen.
2004, having had the idea several years before, Munday applied for a patent on a method of producing holograms using conventional ink. The technique involves modulating the pixels of a digital dot matrix holographic optical element array using conventional ink so as to produce a tonal 3D holographic stereogram.
2004 - invented several new optical techniques and direct-write digital dot matrix hologram recording systems, this time to create the world’s largest digital holograms and the world’s fastest systems. Known as the Lightgate S and Lightgate P systems they are capable of making holograms and diffractive patterns in excess of 1 * 1.5 meters in size and at extremely high speed. The systems won an IHMA Award of Excellence for both the New Holographic Technique and the BEST OF THE YEAR categories in 2005.
The Lightgate S system
The Lightgate P system
2012 - developed the Lightgate X system. A high security, super high resolution and fast digital hologram mastering system that utilises the technique of photo-microlithography.
Books which describe Rob's work include:
Practical Holography Fourth Edition by Graham Saxby and Stanislovas Zacharovas - CPR Press
Ultra-Realistic Imaging: Advanced Techniques in Analogue and Digital Colour Holography by Hans Bjelkhagen, David Brotherton-Ratcliffe - CPR Press
Holographic Visions, A History of New Science by Sean F. Johnston - Oxford University Press
International Hologram Manufacturers Association 'Excellence in Holography' awards
2008 Category: Industrial
Fast Track by Rob Munday. The Fast Track system is a component of Rob's high speed digital hologram mastering system which enables the extremely rapid recording of digital holograms.
2006 Category: New Holographic Technique
The Hydra image capture system by Rob Munday and Jeffrey Robb. The Hydra is a unique multiple camera system for the capture of parallax image sequences. It can instantaneously capture a sequence of images, automatically register those images for smooth 3D / animation and generate any number of intermediate frames using ‘parallax rendering’ The image sequence can then be used to make three-dimensional holograms or lenticulars.
2005 Category: New Holographic Technique and BEST OF THE YEAR
The Lightgate P with Lightspeed technology by Rob Munday. The world's largest format and fastest digital hologram design and mastering system enabling the creation of large format single image digital holograms and seamless holographic patterns.
2003 Category: Promotion/illustration and BEST OF THE YEAR
The Roppongi Hills Xen Restaurant waterfall hologram display, Tokyo, Japan - three large format laser illuminated holograms and a real waterfall which together form a unique architectural installation. Designed by Spatial Imaging's designer Jeffrey Robb and produced by John Perry of Holographic North, USA.
2000 Category: New Holographic Technique
3Digital by Rob Munday - the development of three-dimensional digital holograms produced using the Lightgate hologram and OVD design and mastering system.
1999 Category: Promotion/illustration
Promotional display for Thomas Cook - a full colour, computer generated, large format holographic display. Designed by Spatial Imaging's designer Jeffrey Robb and produced by Mike Medora of Colour Holographics.
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