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Press release: Ancient gladiators as a photorealistic virtual reality experience

Life and Death in the Roman Colosseum – The first VR-Time-Journey

The gladiators of ancient Rome were spectator magnets for a gigantic entertainment industry which fired up mass audiences.

In the VR documentary „360° Gladiators in the Colosseum“ which was produced for the ZDF’s Terra-X, both the proximity and intensity of the ancient gladiator fights can be experienced like never before. The film climaxes during the finale in which the viewer vividly witnesses the bloody conclusion of the gladiator fights together with Emperor Titus and 50,000 other spectators.

The 10 minute long, fully immersive (3D & 360 degree) experience is the latest contribution to the VR portfolio of German public broadcaster ZDF. It sets new standards in the quality of VR films.

The production combines footage of real actors with a computer generated fully immersive setting (CGI). The team at Faber Courtial developed its own unique camera system that enables it to portray the actors close-up – a particularly difficult task in the VR space.

One of the most important aspects during the production was the emphasis placed on historical accuracy. This was made possible by close collaboration with both historians and archaeologists.  This attention to detail, as reflected in the digital reconstruction of the Colosseum, the scenery, the choreography and the 3D-sound, recreates life in 80 AD like no other medium possible.

Jörg Courtial, Faber Courtial digital productions: „We don’t just want to entertain you, we want to share our fascination with history with you. VR provides us with the technical know-how to make history liveable. I dream of the day when students can take virtual field trips to ancient Rome.”

Faber Courtial belongs to the pioneers in the production of virtual reality films. It is their second cooperation with the ZDF. Earlier this year they released the award winning virtual reality documentation “Volcanos in 3D and 360 degrees“ via  the new ZDF VR app (Android, IOS), the ZDF website (, youtube and the common VR platforms (Samsung VR, LittlStar). On youtube alone, almost 500,000 viewers enjoyed this experience.

The new experience will be also made available for free on these platforms as well as on youtube

About Faber Courtial Digital Productions:

The 3D photorealistic CGI reconstructions from Darmstadt have inspired viewers since 1998, both in museums and when viewing high-profile television documentaries. Faber Courtial has meticulously rebuilt the ancient world from Jerusalem via Rome to the Limes and has gone back 100 years in time to cities such as Berlin and Vienna. Each year,  around 90 minutes of new animations which transport the viewer into different time, historical periods or inaccessible places are produced.

As one of Germany’s leading CGI Studios, Faber Courtial always uses the latest technology for its productions. Since 2014 Faber Courtial has produced virtual reality content.

An international version will be released at the beginning of next year.

Banner and Making Of photos in high res:

A “making of” is available here

Contact Faber-Courtial Digital Productions:
Maria Courtial, Tel. +49 (0) 6151-5992610,;

VR by FaberCourtial



Faber Courtial GbR 

Rheinstraße 99
64295 Darmstadt

Tel.: +49 [0] 61 51 - 59 92 6 - 0