Holo­gram of Rea­gan brings 40th pres­i­dent back to life

Global Times - - World -

The Ron­ald Rea­gan mu­seum in Cal­i­for­nia has brought the late pres­i­dent back to vir­tual life with a state-of-the-art holo­gram.

It fea­tures his voice, fa­cial ex­pres­sions and even hand move­ments in a project that cost 1 mil­lion dol­lars and took four years to com­plete.

It was un­veiled Wed­nes­day at the Ron­ald Rea­gan Pres­i­den­tial Li­brary and Mu­seum in Simi Val­ley, near Los An­ge­les.

“It’s amaz­ing. It re­ally is,” said Joanne Drake, who worked in the White House dur­ing the sec­ond of Rea­gan’s two terms in the 1980s and stayed with him un­til his death.

The holo­gram recre­ates three scenes: Rea­gan speak­ing from the back of a train dur­ing a 1984 cam­paign tour; in horserid­ing garb at his ranch in Cal­i­for­nia with wife Nancy; and in the Oval Of­fice.

“This will feel like you’re stand­ing right there with him,” said John Heubusch, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the Ron­ald Rea­gan Pres­i­den­tial Foun­da­tion and In­sti­tute.

Cut­ting-edge tech­nolo­gies were used to create this 3-D im­age of Rea­gan. An ac­tor with a build sim­i­lar to his – and who learned his ev­ery last ges­ture – was em­ployed to sim­u­late the body.

The face changes de­pend­ing on Rea­gan’s age in the scene. Sil­i­cone mod­els were used to fash­ion them. “As I was work­ing on it for the last cou­ple of years I wanted to reach out and touch him,” said Drake.

The voice heard com­ing from the holo­gram is real Rea­gan: his words were taken from speeches and in­ter­views, then strung to­gether, cut-and-paste style, to create the text of each scene.

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