Rea­gan re­turns — as a holo­gram

Yuma Sun - - OPINION -

SIMI VAL­LEY, Calif. — A smil­ing Ron­ald Rea­gan waves to a crowd from aboard a rail car dur­ing a 1984 cam­paign stop in a new 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 high-tech dig­i­tal res­ur­rec­tion of the na­tion’s 40th pres­i­dent ex­claims in his steady voice, with a twin­kle in his eye.

Rea­gan, who died in 2004, also shows up in a suit and tie in­side the Oval Of­fice and clutch­ing a lasso along­side his dog, Vic­tory, at his beloved ranch in two other holo­grams that will open to vis­i­tors Thurs­day at the Ron­ald Rea­gan Pres­i­den­tial Li­brary west of Los An­ge­les.

The au­dio is edited from re­marks Rea­gan made dur­ing his life­time. The com­puter-gen­er­ated im­agery 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. Rea­gan’s face comes to life via spe­cific move­ments of the mouth, nose, eyes, cheeks and hair­line ma­nip­u­lated by com­put­ers.

The li­brary worked with the spe­cial-ef­fects tech­ni­cians who helped bring singers like Michael Jack­son, Bil­lie Hol­i­day and Roy Or­bi­son back to life on stage.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

FOR­MER PRES­I­DENT RON­ALD REA­GAN AP­PEARS on a rail­car plat­form mak­ing a speech dur­ing a whis­tle stop on the cam­paign trail, but as a holo­gram, on dis­play at the Ron­ald Rea­gan Pres­i­den­tial Li­brary in Simi Val­ley, Calif., Wed­nes­day.

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