Beauty and horror of virtual worlds

3-D visual artist and entrepreneur Stefan Haberkorn recreates the cathedral on the computer – and much more. Magdeburg (vs) l Stefan Haberkorn lives in several worlds. In the real world, he is a Magdeburger who is committed to technical progress, who founded a company in 2005 that is internationally successful, and who is pleased „that the city has the guts to apply for the title of European Capital of Culture in 2025“.

As a 3D visual artist, he is a mastermind who dives into virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) with his company Visualimpression.

Company founded 15 years ago

Early on, he suspects the unlimited possibilities that will open up in this field. After studying architecture in Magdeburg, the native of Eisleben began with 3D visualizations – at a time when there were a manageable number of programs. 15 years ago he founded his company, which initially focused on 3D images of real estate. As the programs became more complex, Stefan Haberkorn broke new ground and developed artistic illustrations. At the time, they were the first to use 3D graphics in this field, he recalls.

The entrepreneur always sees himself as an artist, combining this vein with the latest technology. This combination brings his company, among other things, the commission from „Warner Brothers“ to design the 3D website for the science fiction cinema film „Interstellar“. A breakthrough. „Visual Impression“ works for clients in many corners of the world, implements architectural projects in Saudi Arabia, designs a football stadium in Nigeria, visualizes prototypes in the Volkswagen Group. Stefan Haberkorn is a sought-after expert in forums and at trade fairs, and as a lecturer also supports architecture students at the Bauhaus in Dessau.

3D images of pornstars for VR sex games are another big thing. In the future there will be a lot of these available, there are already several petitions for it. Allthough vr sex is getting more attention these days, not all pornstars like it.

Historians check every detail of the cathedral

Stefan Haberkorn and the Sussmann architectural office are currently focusing on Magdeburg Cathedral, which he „loved from day one“, to which he dedicates his diploma thesis and stages in many projects.

Now it is a project that should make virtual time travel to historical objects in Saxony-Anhalt possible. In Magdeburg, users will be catapulted back to 1631, the day when Tilly’s troops destroyed Magdeburg. For this purpose, „Visualimpression“ reconstructs the cathedral with every fugue, every figure. They scan the cathedral, feed a software with over 2000 photos. Together with historians they search, record and check details of the cathedral and its surroundings. Everything should be as truthful as possible. „The user will experience a story in history and feel the full extent of the horror, but also see how beautiful it was here before the destruction,“ says Haberkorn.

To be in the middle in it in the happening, that knows the entrepreneur also from its firm history. He remembers times in which they repeatedly broke new ground with AR and VR. Now it is software development and interactions that occupy everyone in the company. „Creating a virtual space through which one can move is the next dimension, the next logical step“, says Stefan Haberkorn, „because a completely new world is opening up“. Augmented reality products such as AR-Buddy and virtual reality assistants such as VRedie have created applications that can be marketed regionally and internationally.

Cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute

In the real world, the connection to the city runs through the company’s history. „Visual Impression“ leaves its mark and cooperates with the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation, which works with VR technologies in the mixed reality laboratory „Elbdome“.

Stefan Haberkorn hopes that even more people will use the technology, break down reservations and recognize the added value. He himself is also surrounded by it in his free time. When the passionate diver goes underwater, he takes photos or 360-degree shots with a drone, he says. According to the entrepreneur, a lot of pioneering work still needs to be done before the next level of digitization can be used. And: „We’re definitely there.“