Rob Munday and Spatial Imaging has developed many new and innovative holographic techniques and technologies over the last four decades. In particular, Rob's innovations in digital holography have been instrumental in transforming the hologram mastering process from an extremely labour intensive and skilled process to a near automated one. This, in turn, has greatly influenced the growth and success of the holographic industry worldwide. Rob's creative and technical contributions to holography and three-dimensional imaging were recognised in 2005 when he was awarded the prestigious Saxby Medal by the Royal Photographic Society of London.
1985 - Rob designed and built a dedicated ruby pulsed laser holographic portrait studio at the Royal College of Art. At this time it was the only purpose-built holographic portrait studio outside of the USA and one of the first in the world.
1988 - Rob created the world’s first home micro-computer generated holographic stereogram using a Commodore Amiga computer and Sculpt 3D software. The images were output to film and the hologram was recorded using an early holographic stereogram recording system designed and built by Prof. Nick Phillips at Loughborough University.
1989-1991 - Rob designed and built the world’s first computer-automated 3D digital holographic stereogram recording system, a digital hologram printer known as the DI-HO system (Digital Input - Hologram Output).
1992 - Early in 1992, Rob created the world's first digital 3D embossed and multi-colour reflection holograms.
The world's first 3D digital embossed hologram Z and the world's first 3D digital reflection hologram Triceratops
1992/3 - Rob also created the world's first full colour animated digital hologram made from flat sequences of video images, which Munday named Moviegrams. Moviegrams were made for music CD covers, including for the band Queen - The Ultimate Collection, Boyzone, Wet Wet Wet and Mike Oldfield, book covers, toys, greetings cards and many other commercial products.
1993 - Rob made the world's largest single hologram for Royal College of Art graduate and artist Caius Hawkins. This laser transmission hologram artwork was created using a single piece of holographic film and with a single exposure and was approx 1 x 2.5 metres in size. It was displayed at the London Science Museum, illuminated with an argon laser. It is thought to remain the world's largest non-tiled hologram.
1996 - Rob invented a new optical technique and system to produce the world’s highest resolution, directly written digital ‘dot matrix’ holograms. Originally known as the Lightgate 1270, and later the Lightgate B, it was also the fastest dot-matrix hologram recording system of its time. The Lightgate system was the world's first dot-matrix system that was capable of making sophisticated security holograms and wide-angle sterograms. Between 1996 and 2006, over 40 Lightgate B systems were sold worldwide, into what was then a relatively small industry. At this time, only a handful of companies had cornered the security hologram market however Rob's Lightgate B system enabled many smaller companies to enter the market and thus was instrumental in the growth of the security hologram industry in the 00's.
1998 - Rob developed and wrote the software to create the world’s first wide-angle full colour 3D digital 'dot matrix' holographic stereograms. Called 3Digital, Rob won an IHMA Award of Excellence for the category New Holographic Technique in 2000.
2000 - At 2000 dpi, Rob and his business partner, Jeffrey Robb created the world's highest resolution dot matrix brand authentication hologram for London's Millennium Dome merchandise to celebrate the year 2000.
2002 - Rob built a multi-video camera system to record live 3D video with parallax. The resultant footage was designed to be shown on one of the world's first auto-stereoscopic glasses-free 3D TV's, the SynthaGram from StereoGraphics Corporation, USA. Munday was later told by StereoGraphics Corporation that this may well have been the world's first multi-camera parallax video recording system and subsequently the world's first live parallax video recording. Munday commented that the resulting 3D video, a short clip of a theatre play showing a female actress centre stage, was as near to emulating the famous Star War's Princess Leah 'hologram' as had been achieved to that point.
2003 - Rob was commissioned to create the first-ever officially commissioned 3D portrait of Her Majesty the Queen and he chose to create a holographic stereogram. In order to create the best possible portrait, from both an artistic and technical point of view, Rob designed and built the VIP (Video Images with Parallax) camera system. The VIP utilised the world’s highest resolution and fastest digital camera available at the time to create 32 parallax image sequences, each comprising of 208 frames, of Her Majesty the Queen. The VIP system remains one of the most sophisticated parallax image capture systems of its kind.
2004 - Having had the idea several years before, Rob applied for a patent on a method of producing holograms using conventional ink. The technique involved modulating the pixels of a digital dot matrix holographic optical element array using conventional ink so as to produce a tonal 3D holographic stereogram.
2004 - Rob invented several new optical techniques and direct-write digital dot-matrix hologram recording systems, this time to create the world’s largest digital holograms and the world’s fastest systems. Known as the Lightgate S and Lightgate P systems they were capable of making holograms and diffractive patterns in excess of 1 * 1.5 meters in size and at extremely high speed. The systems won an IHMA Award of Excellence for both the New Holographic Technique and the BEST OF THE YEAR categories in 2005 and they remain the fastest digital hologram printers.
2012 - Rob developed the Lightgate X system, a high security, super high resolution, and fast digital hologram and mastering system that utilised the techniques of interference lithography and photo-microlithography.
2017- Present - Rob is currently focused on the deveo[ment of new and high-quality lenticular lenses for the lenticular imaging, display and art industries.
Over the last 35 years, Rob has written many innovative computer programs to control all aspects of the digital holographic imaging and mastering process.
Books which describe Rob's technical accomplishments include:
Also, see www.rob-munday.com for Rob Munday's artistic accomplishments.