Dresden museum blog banner

Dresden military museum


The 3D rendering of the Helicopter room in the Dresden Military Museum, captured in time before the construction work was complete and the helicopter unpacked.


The final look, after retouch.


Once you get a harmonic framing, half the job is done.


A CAD helicopter model, striped of unnecessary detail, gets hung on the wall.


Drapings are made on top of the helicopter shell. It is important to position the helicopter first, so the drapings will have a natural sag.


The raw render with textures added. Definitely flat, but we have got a bunch of render elements to help out the compositing.


This architectural project is little about architecture and more about drapings and light. It was time we tried our skills in CGI fabrics on a bigger scale. The room itself, a Daniel Libeskind masterpiece, is highly suggestive, but no big deal as modelling goes. The real challenge was to use the little light available to fill the enclosed space in a meaningful way, going beyond simple photo realism, creating actual storytelling and making the outside space felt, when not seen.

download full res image

To keep time and costs down, we used a free CAD helicopter from the GrabCAD website, similar in shape to the actual one. We work smart, never hard, and always pick the way that will save the most time and money for us and for the client. With the helicopter fully wrapped in fabric, there was no point in modelling or purchasing the exact replica of the machine.

To make the draping process more agile, we used incremental subdivisions on the sheets of fabric: a rough placing with 18 mm polygon size, then some fine tuning with 12 mm size and the final look achieved with 6 mm size. Working in increments allowed us to have full artistic control over the draping, unhindered by mesh complexity or workstation limits.


The museum