Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Is This The Future Of Tabletop Wargaming?

by SandWyrm

A friend of mine took this photo at our local Indianapolis 3D User Group meeting last week. You're looking at a holographic 3D print of a 3D rendered church. In full color. Viewable from any angle. Without any special glasses required. The whole thing is less than a quarter of an inch thick.

Cameras can't do this thing justice. When looking at it with your eyes, the top of the building appears to float about 4" above the plane of the glass. While the street is recessed about 4". At some angles the building has a top, while at other angles you can see through into the Sanctuary.

The technology is called Lenticular Printing. Here's some videos that show it off better:

There's been some HD televisions released that use a 1-angle version of this tech. But we're still a few years away from a video display that would offer a 360º viewing experience when laid flat. We'll have to wait still longer for something table-sized with enough resolution for a wargame. But once that happens...

Is GW ready for this? Or the 3D printing revolution that will be the bridge between our current environment and this one? Is Mantic or Privateer prepared?


  1. me and some friends used to do this for a game of star wars roleplaying. we did it using a few mirrors and our projectors and a computer. it was pretty cool.

  2. Could you view it from any angle?

  3. I have an holographic breakfast mat, of course with smaller effect. Thing is, if I put something on top, it appears to hover above the picture. I'm afraid it would be the same with this prints, so perhaps it could give nice terrain for aeroplane battles, but not for ground units.

  4. If the mat was a computer monitor, you wouldn't need actual minis. You'd just push virtual ones around with your finger.

  5. Then it wouldn't be a miniature gaming :P

    Though some kind of holographic projector throwing battlefield on a table could be great. (vide star wars chess)

  6. That looks awesome. As to who will be ready/willing to utilize it, I have doubts about GW. I don't know much about the other two, though from what I've seen of PP, they'd probably at least consider it.

  7. yes you could look at it from different angles but it lost much of the appeal to it. this was early holographic stuff.

  8. Well, it sounds like the 3DS (but cooler), Uber. At least in that the full 3d affect doesn't translate across recorded media.

  9. If you're going virtual then I think augmented reality would be the way to go with it. The scope is much wider and the tech you'd need would be much cheaper.


out dang bot!

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