UNESCO world heritage site. Architectural masterpiece. A building constructed over an unimaginable period of almost 800 years and symbol for an entire region. These are just few of the reasons why we were incredibly excited when the WDR approached us to bring the Cologne Cathedral into VR as one of the highlights of their cross media piece Dom360 (http://dom360.wdr.de/ ).

But how do you scan such a behemoth? Our team had to get creative, especially as the production time on site was limited to about one day and a half – the Cathedral only closes on 2 days over the entire year!

Over 5000 photos and several breakthroughs in our processing pipeline later the resulting experience on Realities now enables virtual visitors a unique tour through the Cologne Cathedral in full volumetric VR. Freely explore areas like the choir or the clock floor – normally strictly off limits for the average visitor. Learn about the Cathedrals colorful history from audio snippets distributed throughout the entire experience. Or just get a feeling for the awe inspiring scale of this icon of Gothic architecture by slowly wandering through it. The Dom like you’ve never seen it before.

Especially impressed by this unique perspective was also the Grimme Institute – they nominated the entire Dom360 project for the Grimme Online Award (http://www.grimme-online-award.de/2017/nominierte/alle/ ), Germany’s most prestigious online award! And Realities.io took home the Award.