‘s magical materialization alongside Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg Sunday night at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is making headlines. "What up, Coachella?" the shirtless, pants sagging MC asked the crowd before bouncing into the classic single "Hail Mary." The late rap star's likeness was recreated in hologram form for the music festival with some impressive technology.
The life-size Tupac was amazingly realistic, down to the late rapper's signature tattoos, Timberland boots, jewelry and movements, all of which were also recreated under the direction of Dre and his team.
The credit for the hologram goes to special effects production house Digital Domain, a spokesperson for Dr. Dre told MTV. Digital Domain was responsible for the computer-generated imagery that transformed in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." The company's artists also won an Academy Award for the blockbuster film "Titanic."
AV Concepts projected the image of Tupac on the stage. Nick Smith, the company's president, told MTV that it took several months of planning and four months of studio time to create the hologram. "We worked with Dr. Dre on this and it was Dre's vision to bring this back to life," said Nick Smith, president of AV Concepts. "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." Smith refused to comment on the actual price of the project, but said a comparable project would cost from $100,000 to $400,000.
Shakur's image was fully digital, El Ulbrich, chief creative officer of Digital Domain told the Wall Street Journal.
"This is not found footage. This is not archival footage. This is an illusion," Ulbrich told the Journal. "This is just the beginning. Dre has a massive vision for this." He further said: “Although the perception was of a 3D likeness of Shakur, the image was actually a 2D image.”
Smith told MTV News he wasn't allowed to talk about the creative aspects of the production — including how the hologram was able to seemingly perform the set in synch with Snoop and whether all the vocals were 'Pac's. But he did say that his company has the ability to recreate long-dead figures and visually recreate them in the studio. "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 recreate it," he said
Shakur's hologram will make next appearance on Sunday, the closing night of Coachella, but it may not be the last we see of the holographic rapper.It has been reported that Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg were considering taking Shakur with them on tour.