Despite being dead for over 15 years, rapper Tupac Shakur was resurrected over the weekend at the Coachella music festival in Indio, Calif.
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Gunned down on the Las Vegas strip in 1996, 2Pac, as he was also known, resurfaced at the music fest Sunday night and gave a beyond-the-grave performance with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre.
No, this doesn't confirm all of the Makavelian conspiracy theories, it just goes to show how technology can resuscitate the dead. It wasn't a zombie on stage, nor was it live-in-the-flesh Pac. It was a 2-D computer generated image, and an eerily realistic one to boot.
According to the Wall Street Journal, there might be an encore performance in store for virtual 2Pac.
"Representatives for Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg plan to discuss logistics for a tour involving the two performers and the virtual Tupac, according to a person familiar with the discussions," wrote Ethan Smith.
Virtual 2Pac was created by Digital Domain Media Group who were also won an Academy Award for creating special effects for the movie "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."
The image was first created on a computer and then projected onto a swath of Mylar stretched onto a clear frame. Advances in graphics and video projection allowed the illusion to appear far more realistic than similar stunts.
Digital Domain's chief creative officer, Ed Ulbrich, told the Wall Street Journal that 2Pac's virtual performance was not simply an old video.
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"This is not found footage," he said. "This is not archival footage. This is an illusion."
Ulbrich added: "This is just the beginning. Dre has a massive vision for this."
credit: YouTube screen grab