King of Dinosaurs

Meet Tristan Otto, one of the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaurs ever found, especially striking due to the patina of its glossy black fossilized bones. A full-scale immersive animation invites visitors to journey inside the skeleton. A soundscape of open chords and airy flyover effects stimulate a synesthetic effect in the visual journey.


Natural History Museum of Denmark

Practice Area


Natural History Museum of Denmark


The Challenge

The challenge was to create an immersive atmosphere for visitors by applying digital state-of-the-art tools without overshadowing the iconic skeletons. The fossils should be at the center of attention, and the digital layer’s main function was to create supportive layers, enhancing the narrative and objects.

Project Vision

The exhibition is shown in the historic former Geological Museum in central Copenhagen, a beautiful but spatially challenging environment. In order to ensure that the galleries could house a large T-rex, an accurate metric scan of the skeleton was made. During careful analysis of the digital spatial model, (which showed that the dinosaur would fit, phew!), the team came up with the idea of using the scan as a part of the exhibition. A full scale immersive animation is housed a small square room half way through the visit and after meeting the T-rex.

Fierce beauty. The digital experience of King of Dinosaurs.

Frederik Wolff / Natural History Museum of Denmark

Design + Execution

A series of digital backdrops serve to enhance the Jurassic environments and set the right atmosphere. Each backdrop is projected on semitransparent voile, spanning from ceiling to floor. To accomplish the best 3D- effect, while at the same time avoiding moiré effects on the large projections, a series of textiles was tested. Furthermore, projection spill on fossils was avoided through video- mapping.

The immersive animation was created using two laser projectors. The journey through the fossil was rendered through two virtual cameras, and stitched side-by-side in the gallery.

The digital panoramas behind the fossils.

Anders Drud Jordan / Natural History Museum of Denmark

The entrance and beginning of the journey.

Anders Drud Jordan / Natural History Museum of Denmark

King of dinosaurs.

Frederik wolff / Natural History Museum of Denmark

Natural History Museum of Denmark
Project Details
I really appreciate the effect of a visual journey. The creation of digital content using data felt phenomenal as it had a sculptural aspect to it and the ability to immerse the visitors.
Juror 1
I found the exhibit to be awe-inspiring with its thoughtful use of semi-translucent projection to provide an immersive context for the authentic dinosaur fossils. The constellation-like immersive animations are dramatic in their scale and sophisticated in their graphic resolution, transporting the visitor to a different time and place. By providing just enough multi-sensory information, including the custom soundscapes, the exhibit allows visitors to engage their imagination.
Juror 2
I appreciated the focus on modern interpretation of the skeleton, immersing the visitors in the science and helping them to appreciate this unique specimen. While it had all the typical ingredients of a dinosaur exhibit they were cleverly mixed and spatially translated in a unique way to turn this into a one of a kind experience. Integrating an accidental product, the virtual model, into the exhibition hints at good teamwork between designers and curators.
Juror 3
The tight integration between the physical and digital elements really impressed us. The projected visualizations primed visitors to get up close and explore and appreciate the physical artifacts in a natural and memorable way.
Juror 4
Design Team

Anders Drud Jordan (lead on digital concept and content)
Alex Fairhead (lead on exhibition concept)
Marie Hølund (exhibition design)
Frederik Wolff (creative concept producer)
Bent Lindow (paleontologist and scientific consultant)
Juliette Fritsch (deputy director of visitor experience)


Dark Matters (digital concept and animation)
Rasmus Zwicki (soundscape composer)
Kasper Stouenborg, Stouenborg Aps (AV specialist and programming)

Photo Credits

Frederik Wolff, Natural History Museum of Denmark (photography)
Anders Drud Jordan, Natural History Museum of Denmark (photography)
Natural History Museum of Denmark (videography)

Open Date

June 2020