Kongernes Jelling

Innopixel and the viking museum, Kongernes Jelling, started a project together in 2021, with the goal of bringing back to life the first known king of Denmark, as a 3D character. The king of old would then be live animated using motion capture, making it possible to interact in real time with the king in real time.

The Challenge

Our vision for this project was to explore the use of 3D and AI technology in future interactive exhibitions. We wanted to see how close AI technology has come, and what the possibilities of using it in the world of museums, would mean. How will the audience receive and perceive a live interaction with a 1.000 year old historical character? What will the audience do, and what will they ask? Moreover, how does Gorm the Old look? For obvious reasons we lack photographic evidence, and thus we cannot accurately portray Gorm the old. 

The scope of the project only sought to explore and answer these questions, as a preliminary analysis to implementing AI-driven historical characters in museum exhibitions. Secondly, we would evaluate how the interaction was perceived by the audience.

kongernes jelling - Innopixel

Exploring a new and innovative way for museum visitors  to experience and interact with history.

Our Approach

Our first task was to create an authentic 3D character of Gorm the Old. Initially we contemplated making the character in a realistic human texture, so that the experience would feel more realistic. But on the other hand, since no one knows what the old king looks like, we would be unable to accurately portray him. Moreover, the museum already has an established brand image of Gorm the Old, made in a white on black sketch art style.

Innopixel 3D model
Innopixel 3D model

The Solution

In the end, we created a fully rigged 3D character with cel shading toon texture, aimed at recreating the museum's sketch style. The 3D character was also fully controllable for live animation using Rokoko Smartsuit and their face tracking application. For the face tracking, we custom fitted an old bicycle helmet to fit an IPhone 12 Pro, which would capture face animation.

We tested the live show on two occasions; first for Vejle city council, where 40 people experienced Gorm the Old and talked with him live. The second time was for a royal visit by the crown-prince couple, where the crown-prince met his “ancestor”.


For this project we learned a great deal about audience interaction and digital storytelling. The audience reacted very positively to the experience, and the cross-platform driven live animation worked very efficiently

We envision the possibility of future museum exhibitions, featuring AI-driven historical characters that visitors can engage in dialogue with.

Project Partners

Companies involved

Services used

  • 3D character design
  • Rokoko Studio
  • Unity®
  • Live animation / motioncapture
  • Speak / sound