Transparent Laptops

On BoingBoing a while back, I saw a great article on transparent laptop screens. I just had to try it myself. Here are the results:

After some experimenting, I found that the best way to do it was to put the camera on a tripod, place the laptop, zoom in on the laptop screen, mark the exact location of the laptop, remove the laptop, shoot the scene. Load that picture as the background on the laptop and put the laptop back on the desk. Zoom out and shoot the final picture. There are slight alignment issues that cause it to have a “refracted glass” look that I think adds realism to the illusion. I found the results looked better than shooting a picture with and without the laptop and trying to “punch out” the screen. The icons on the laptop screen look much better this way.

The illusion, of course, only works when you stand at the correct angle. If you still don’t get what’s going on, this picture with the laptop turned should help you figure it out.

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