Our client

We produced content for the 3D mapping of the Natural History Museum in Bergen, in connection with the reopening. The delivery included concept development, storyboards, film recording, 2D and 3D visuals, original music composition, and sound design.

Helmet provided 3D graphics for selected scenes, and music and sound design was produced by Kjetil Fluge.

Early in the process, we did a site visit to the Natural History Museum (where the 3D mapping would take place) with the client, where we gained a broader understanding of the brief. All graphics that would later be produced would be rooted in the university museum, either directly or more abstractly.

Concept sketches and storyboards

We developed concept sketches and storyboards for each scene in the 3D mapping. Each scene is connected to the Natural History Museum in some way, either based on exhibitions at the museum, research from the university or a future-oriented vision.

There are many factors involved in obtaining a detailed scan, but things like weather, reflections in different surfaces, or distance to the object can lead to missing data in certain areas. Therefore, a 3D model based on the point cloud from the laser scan is built afterwards.

Laser scan and 3D model

With the help of Pro-Consult, we had a laser scan of the university museum so that everyone could work with exact measurements of the building. Helmet converted the point cloud from the laser scan into a 3D model that we could use further in the process.

All the graphics we produced were therefore modeled after the 3D model of the museum, so the accuracy was at the highest level.

Bergen Museum

Bergen Museum was founded in 1825, but did not open its doors until 1865. At that time, the side wings had not yet been built, which is why the 3D mapping only starts in the center of the building, in terms of dramaturgy.

Photo: Bergen University Library

3D models of both the scaffolding being built and torn down, and the numbers (years) coming down from the roof of the museum were modeled, textured, lit, animated and rendered in Blender. Compositing was done in After Effects. Here are some excerpts from the work process.

The numbers were modeled and animated in Blender.

We made about 400 individual recordings of silhouettes to be used in the windows of the museum. The recordings were categorized and systematized so that we could easily distribute them in the different windows afterwards.

In the years leading up to 1946, the two side wings were built, and the Museum Garden was laid out. This, and much important work at the museum, led to 1946 being the year when the Norwegian Parliament decided to establish the University of Bergen.

The 3D mapping was brought to life by animating the University logo, the banners on the side wings, and the people inside the windows, among other things.

Every step the big spider took was animated by hand. The spider was also given its own particle system for the hairs on its body.

We set up different groups of insects so that we could place them around the building and let them roam freely. Bark beetles, cockroaches and other reptiles were allowed to crawl around the facade of the building.

We worked with the good people at Helmet, who produced selected scenes in 3D. All the whales, for example, were produced by Helmet.

Using Blender's real-time render engine, Eevee, we were able to visualize large parts of the scenes very efficiently. Instead of having to render out tests of each scene, we could see the results in real time. The final output were rendered from Cycles.

The tree of life

The relationship between all organisms, whether living or extinct, is often summarized in a ancestry tree. This is also known as a family tree, or tree of life. It is simply an overview of the relationships between all the world's species, like a map of evolution.

The Natural History Museum both researches and exhibits evolution, which is why the tree of life became a central part of the 3D mapping.

The museum becomes covered in flowers, before the tree of life grows all over the building. As the tree evolves, the species of the world also appear on its branches, and they evolve as the branches propagate and grow.

The museum collapsing


The University of Bergen offers studies for nanotechnology, where the basic sciences of physics, chemistry, molecular biology and mathematics come together to create nanoscience.

Motion graphics

All animation of text and motion graphics was done in After Effects.


We rendered several elements, such as a turntable of a robot, to fill the nano-scene with relevant elements.


All the elements were put together in After Effects, where we combined the 3D and 2D elements to create the finished scene.


  • Total length of show = 10 minutes (600 seconds)
  • The project was set up at 25 frames per second.
  • 25fps * 600 sec = 15 000 frames

"So we had to produce 15,000 individual images for the show, which could have taken up to 12 months to render."

The rendering (exporting) of each image took somewhere between 3min-45min, depending on what needed to be rendered. In other words, we would at best be able to render the whole show in 30 days, and at worst take 12 months, if everything was rendered on one machine. In reality, the job was spread over several render machines and render farms, so that the render time could be kept at an acceptable level.

All music and sound design in the show is originally written and composed by Kjetil Fluge.

One of Norway's largest mappings

Both young and old were able to experience something unique in Bergen, and the 3D mapping is one of the largest ever carried out in Norway.

All 3 photos above: Thor Brødreskift

Many thanks to Kulturoperatørene for the opportunity