SPIE Practical Holography Conference 2004*

Rebecca DeemRebecca Deem

About the author
Rebecca first saw holograms at an art gallery in 1970 while completing an Art supervision degree. In 1988, she received the Shearwater Foundation Art Holography Award. In 1995 with partner Fred Unterseher, she co-founded Zone Holografix Studios, an art and teaching studio with a pulse laser lab. She continues to exhibit artwork, teach and write for electronic and print publications.

The Practical Holography XVIII: Materials and Applications conference, was held in San Jose, CA, on January 19th and 20th as part of the week long International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE) and IS&T Electronic Imaging conference. Tung H. Jeong and Hans I. Bjelkhagen, chaired the Practical Holography program. Dr. Jeong, with the help of Steve Smith (MIT), received approval for the conference to be dedicated to Dr. Stephen Benton (inventor of the rainbow hologram). There was a tribute to him, on the evening of January 21, resembling the MIT event in November, just after his death (http://www.holographer.zeeba.tv/articles/hg00004/hg00004.html). Jeannie Benton gave the opening remarks, followed by attendees who read their tributes. The written version will be published in the upcoming rainbow cover proceedings. SPIE created a CD-ROM of all 17 of the Benton-edited proceedings of the annual holography conferences he chaired, with an embossed hologram portrait of him produced by Toppan on the jacket.

Overall, there were no new breakthroughs reported. However, there were a number of progress updates and developments that are noteworthy. Two presentations from Japan stood out in the Digital Holography I session:

  • Yuri Sakamoto reported on work by a team from Yamaha Corp. They have developed a device that ‘draws’ hologram data onto CD-R disks (based on the Yamaha RD-F1 CD-R/RW drive). The drive produces holograms in a short time, at low cost and at high resolution. It is small and portable, so that all of the processes of desktop ‘hologramming’, from calculation to recording, are possible with just one PC. They evaluated the optical properties of the disk and developed a new method of calculating the hologram data, suitable for a CD-R disk to produce 3D imagery. Sakamoto showed preliminary results of holograms with animated wire-frame images (2 cm2) written on conventional CD-Rs. The results show real promise.
  • The other project under way in Japan is the “Real-time color holography system using a high-resolution reflective LCD panel”, by the team at Himeji Institute of Technology. They pointed out that a reflective LCD panel has much higher density and can create brighter image reconstructions than a transmissive one, and is therefore more suitable for red, blue and green (RBG) imaging. The holograms are displayed in real time on the RGB reflective LCD panel, and an RGB LED is used as the reference beam. The hologram is either calculated numerically as a computer generated hologram (CGH), or is recorded as an interference fringe pattern for a real object by a high-resolution complementary metal-oxide-silicon (CMOS) sensor.

In the Materials I session, Aachen University of Technology in Germany reported on the sustained development of materials used in the manufacture of high efficiency HOEs. They continue to use DCG as a critical part of the processing regime for holographic film on glass or plastic substrate. Using electron microscope photographs they illustrated their latest findings of the expanded bandwidth of the HOEs. They are investigating broader usage for solar applications.

SPIE, Bellingham, WA received a 2003 Shearwater Foundation award of $11,000.00 to support the attendance of ten artists to the conference. The first formal art holography session took place on the 19th, chaired by Fred Unterseher. Five artists presented papers including:

Dr. Paula H. Dawson, University of New South Wales, Australia
Prof. Rosa Oliveira, University de Aveiro, Portugal
Ruben Nuñez, Space-Light, Venezuela
Prof. Michael Page, Ontario College of Art and Design, Canada
August Muth, The Light Foundry, USA

The following artists attended and exhibited work:

Pearl John, UK
Marie Christian Mathieu, Canada
Ikuo Nakamura, USA
Martin Richardson, UK
Sally Weber, USA

Steve Smith (MIT) organized the art exhibition including Dr. Benton’s holograms. These remained on view through the Photonics West conference which followed Electronic Imaging.

Michael Page’s presentation on the holographic stereogram light valve printer was well received. He showed his work and the work of his students with many examples of digitally animated subjects and live figures. August Muth showed LARGE format DCGs including a piece titled “Catherine’s Pond” a kidney shaped Koi pond with ten layers of DCG holograms embedded in heavy glass, mounted on a turntable. The imagery of shells, a koi fish and some leaves floated throughout the layers of the 100 lb glass art sculpture. Pearl John showed “LUNCH” a reflection hologram with CO2 laser-etched writing on the fruit of the subject as well as the frame. Marie Christian Mathieu presented “Soup (e)” which combined interactive computer animations with a reflection hologram placed behind a 15” laptop monitor screen. She appears to swim within the holographic soup bowl that straddles the plane of the computer screen. (See animation at http://www.ontogenetic.org/soupe.html.)

The SPIE Holography Technical Group chaired by Mike Klug met during the evening of January 20th. There was a great deal of discussion about the conference scheduling dates of Electronic Imaging (EI) and Photonics West (PW). Many of those attending Practical Holography want to visit the exhibits featured at the Photonics West conference which doesn’t open until the week after Electronic Imaging. Therefore many are obliged to attend both conferences or choose one over the other. The attendance to Practical Holography appeared to be lower this year due to this conflict, as well as the difficulty some speakers had obtaining visas from Korea, China and the former Soviet Union (FSU) countries. The Photonics West conference is by far the bigger event with an attendance in excess of 14,000 this year and 800 exhibitors, while Electronic Imaging attracted around 1500 participants and a small number of exhibits. Voters apparently hoped to resolve the issue with a vote requesting to remain with EI while both conferences take place concurrently, EI in Santa Clara and Photonics West in nearby San Jose. This would give groups like Practical Holography the option of visiting the vast array of exhibits.

At the close of the meeting, a moment of silence was held for the extraordinary figures in holography who died during 2003. As previously mentioned, the conference was a tribute to Dr. Benton, the inventor of the rainbow hologram who died in November. He was preceded by Dr. Pal Greguss inventor of the acoustic hologram and panoramic annular lens (PAL). Artist and innovator Jerry Pethick, who held the patent for the sand table stability system and who was a founder of the San Francisco School of Holography died in July, followed by Peter Nicholson, artist, inventor and pioneer of pulse laser holography, in December.

To see pictures of the SPIE event, visit: SPIE (spie.org) at
http://electron icimaging.org/program/04/

The proceedings of the conference are dedicated to Steve Benton, with a rainbow colored cover, and an embossed Toppan rainbow hologram of Steve on the inside cover (http://electronicimaging.org/program/04/index.cfm? fuseaction=proceedings).

SPIE also has a CD-ROM of all Benton-edited Proceedings of the annual holography conferences he chaired, with the Toppan hologram on the jacket (http://bookstore.spie.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=DetailCDROM&productid =551655).


*This article was completed in March 2004, but was seemingly lost in ‘cyberspace’ till May. Apologies to all — Editor.

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