Ron­ald Rea­gan is back on the cam­paign trail, as a holo­gram

Porterville Recorder - - STATE - By AMANDA LEE MY­ERS

SIMI VAL­LEY, Calif. — A char­ac­ter­is­tic twin­kle in his eye, Ron­ald Rea­gan waves to a crowd from aboard a rail car in a holo­gram re­vealed Wed­nes­day at the late pres­i­dent's name­sake li­brary in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia.

"We think we made a good be­gin­ning, but you ain't seen nothin' yet!" the dig­i­tal res­ur­rec­tion of the na­tion's 40th pres­i­dent says in his steady voice as a flurry of bal­loons falls in front of him.

Rea­gan, who died in 2004 at age 93, was speak­ing about the na­tion's fu­ture dur­ing a 1984 cam­paign stop but eas­ily could have been ref­er­enc­ing the tech­nol­ogy that brought him back to life in 2018. The au­dio used is edited from his real re­marks.

"We wanted to make Pres­i­dent Rea­gan as life­like as pos­si­ble," said John Heubusch, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Rea­gan Foun­da­tion. "It's a stun­ning ex­pe­ri­ence."

In two other holo­grams, Rea­gan ap­pears in a suit and tie in­side the Oval Of­fice and in horse­back rid­ing pants, car­ry­ing a lasso along­side his dog, Vic­tory, at his beloved ranch. All three holo­grams will be on dis­play to vis­i­tors of the Ron­ald Rea­gan Pres­i­den­tial Li­brary, west of Los An­ge­les, start­ing Thurs­day.

They will be shown in a spe­cially de­signed room that will be the first stop for guests. Seats are set up in front of a stage, and a cur­tain opens up to thun­der­ous ap­plause at Rea­gan's cam­paign stop more than three decades ago.

The com­puter-gen­er­ated im­agery for the holo­grams was cre­ated start­ing with a sil­i­cone cast of Rea­gan's head that was pho­tographed from var­i­ous an­gles with 300 cam­eras. His head was then dig­i­tally "placed" on the body of an ac­tor por­tray­ing the pres­i­dent with full cos­tumes and back­drops for the three sce­nar­ios.

Rea­gan's face comes to life via spe­cific move­ments of the mouth, nose, eyes, cheeks and hair­line, all ma­nip­u­lated by com­put­ers.

AP PHOTO BY AMANDA LEE MY­ERS

For­mer Pres­i­dent Ron­ald Rea­gan ap­pears in west­ern at­tire, as he might ap­pear at his Santa Bar­bara ranch, but as a holo­gram, on dis­play at the Ron­ald Rea­gan Pres­i­den­tial Li­brary in Simi Val­ley, Calif., Wed­nes­day, Oct. 10.

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