Recording Holographic Messages with Azure Kinect


In this tutorial, We'll go over how to use Microsoft's Azure Kinect camera with Depth Recorder to easily capture your very own home holographic recording. Technological advances in camera and depth capture are moving us closer and closer to capturing and experiencing our world in its truest 3D.

Depth Recorder makes recording holographic video an intuitive process — you're able easily to frame your 3D capture with a live feed, add your choice of video effect and background options, and record quick videos that are perfect to send as hologram messages.

You know, like, "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope."

Required software


1. The Basics


Once you start the Depth Recorder app with the Looking Glass Portrait (in Desktop Mode), the live feed of the camera will appear in the Looking Glass display alongside the application window in your monitor:
Making Adjustments

Before we record our first video, we want to adjust our feed just right using the settings available to us in the monitor window.

First, Let's Adjust the Framing of the Video


Check out what you look like in the holographic display (super 3D, of course). You can use your mouse on the Looking Glass window to adjust the position of the camera with the following controls:

  • Left click + drag to rotate

  • Right click + drag to pan

  • Scroll wheel to zoom

  • Double click the video image to reset the position

Frame yourself in the display using the controls above to the position you like!

2. Apply Effects

Apply Effects

Play around with the effects listed in the Effects window to give a different feeling to your video recording. If you keep the "Show Base Video Feed" checked, the effect you select will overlay on top of the video that you begin with when you open the application. Unchecking it while an effect is selected removes that base video.

Try out the effects with "Show Base Video Feed" checked and unchecked and see what you like best! I'm partial to Radar with the base video feed off, myself... it gives me the vibe that I'm calling in from Space Control with an urgent message.


3. Customize Background

Customize Background

When left blank, the background of the video feed is simply black. Play around with the different background presets and go with the one you like best for your first holographic video message.

The "Real World Background" option allows you to visualize what the Azure Kinect is seeing. If you want to see objects appear in your background, pull them up pretty close to you and the camera.



Quick tip— To get a better a view of your Real World Background, try zooming out with scroll wheel in the display and rotating the angle of view!

4. Adjust Focus & Exposure

Adjusting Focus will pull or push the video feed forward and backward to help you center your subject in the focal (or zero parallax) plane of the display. Feel out where you would like the video to look the most focused by playing with these values.


Adjusting Exposure changes the exposure of the video feed to brighten or darken your scene. It does not adjust the background exposure, however.


5. Start your Recording!

After you've set up your feed and you're ready to record, hit the "Start Recording" button. Recording will capture up to 10 seconds for each clip. Once it's done processing (which might take a second), it automatically saves in C:/Documents/DepthRecorder as a quilt video with 48 views.

Your quilt recording from Depth Recorder will looking something like this!


A Quick Note about Audio No, there is nothing wrong with your hearing - no audio is captured with your quilt recording in Depth Recorder. A work around for this is to simultaneously capture audio with a separate device (like your iPhone or Android phone), and then pull this audio in via video editing software like Premiere Pro. You can pull quilt videos into Premiere Pro to drag pre-recorded audio or music onto video recordings. Then, pull that edited quilt recording into HoloPlay Studio like normal!

6. Bring your Quilt Recording into HoloPlay Studio

With HoloPlay Studio, you can import your quilt recordings from Depth Recorder to view immediately and seamlessly add to your playlist to run in StandaloneMode.

Add Hologram

Select Add Hologram > Quilt Image/Video > Import File and navigate to your freshly recorded quilt video. It'll immediately appear in your Playlist and simultaneously (paused) in your Looking Glass Portrait.In order to view it in it's holographic glory, hit play in HoloPlay Studio's playback bar.

Ok this really looks like a 3D photon party.