PHS approached us with a challenging concept of a virtual version of the Helsinki Olympic Tower. The tower was due for a renovation and as it was going to be covered in a gigantic tarp, PHS decided they would use it as a massive canvas for their artwork. They had already commisioned some of Finland’s most talented illustrators and now wanted to build a virtual version of the tower to bring the artwork to everyone in Finland.
How do you build a virtual 72-meter high tower with lots of custom artwork and interactivity? That’s what had us scratching our heads for a while at first, but eventually ideas started pouring out. After that, it didn’t take long for us to come up with a plan.
As the tower itself is an interesting piece of architecture, we wanted to allow users to manipulate the tower and truly be able to study its intricate details while keeping everything swift and simple for a fun user experience. It was paramount that the artwork was an integral part of the tower and as it really was very inspirational, we came up with a few ideas on how to implement it.
We teamed up with Finland’s leading 3D agency, Fake Graphics, and came up with a scheme of a pre-rendered 3D tower consisting of image sequences. This way we could present all the small nuances and details of this historical tower in all their glory while maintaining reasonable CPU requirements compared to a real-time rendered 3D tower.
We also created a dynamic, real-time texturing engine that allowed us to wrap 2D textures on top of the 3D pre-rendered image sequences. This engine is used for displaying custom artwork and allowing us to manipulate the look and feel of the tower at will. Combine all this, and you get a unique mix of 2D and 3D graphics wrapped into an intuitive user interface that is fun to explore.
- In co-operation with
- Fake Graphics, Agency Pekka