Cologne Cathedral

This was a pitch for a bigger documentary project about the cathedral of cologne. This stereoscopic animation is a proof of concept and look/mood demonstration.

The rendering process was devided into two parts. All the daylight shots got the full blown GI physical sky treatment. At night time we resorted to spotlight based lighting without GI to have full controll over colorbleeding and where the illumination goes exactly.

Textures were retrieved from photographs of the real cathedral in cologne. We didn't get any special access permissions so taking the pictures was limited to the areas open to the general public. Nevertheless with a picture count of a few thousands we got quite enough raw material for the painting process.

With nearly 27 million polygons for the whole cathedral it was the largest mesh we were working with in a production at that time. Loading the pure mesh took up 12.4 Gb of memory. To be able to work with such a large scale model we devised a layered system of splitting it up into logical parts. This let us load only the very parts that are visible in each shot and disregard the rest of the cathedral.

Rendering was done in vray which provided us with robust GI solutions even for animated sunlight situations. Done in stereo HD it served well as a tech demo / proove of concept for the production of a longer documentary about the historical evolution of the cologne cathedral.


  • Client:Peter Clausen Film
    Studio: AixSponza
  • Director: Peter Clausen, Tobias Müller
    Modeling: Mathias Wolff
    Shaders: Vladan Subotic
  • 3d Artists: Achim August Tietz, Leo Akinbi, Fuat Yüksel, Matthias Zabiegly
    Compositing: Tobias Müller