image for Magritte VR experience by BDH Immersive

Magritte VR experience by BDH Immersive

The Magritte Virtual Reality Experience has now opened in Belgium inside a giant bowler hat on a beach in Belgium.

Published on Monday, 10th July 2017

MagritteVR is an official celebration of the life of one of the world's greatest artists, René Magritte. Made to mark a half-century since his death, MagritteVR is the centrepiece of the Magritte Experience in the glamorous Belgian beach resort of Knokke-Heist.

This breathtaking 360° virtual reality production is a shared experience for a large audience. Fifty headsets are triggered simultaneously, using 3D binaural sound, adding another dimension. The VR film is presented in a giant bowler hat in a specially constructed VR cinema on the beach.

MagritteVR is a 360° / 3-dimensional journey through 40 iconic images by Magritte, one of the world’s most popular artists. Including: The False Mirror 1928 (a giant eye with clouds), The Treachery of Images 1928 (Ceci n’est pas un pipe) and La Magie Noir 1935 (Georgette, Magritte’s wife, naked in a blue sky).

This immersive journey takes the viewer through a series of authentic landscapes and plays homage to the wit, illusions and ideas of a great surrealist artist. The experience also honours the greatest inspiration of Magritte’s life, his wife and muse Georgette.

MagritteVR is the ‘official’ Magritte50 experience appearing by kind permission of the artist’s estate.


MagritteVR uses 40 hi-resolution scans of Magritte’s original masterpieces. BDH created 360 volumetric landscapes using Photoshop, and 3D models were meticulously built using 3DS Max and then textured. Building the VR experience took over 6 months of design and animation work. The project started with building a story through 3-dimensional landscapes using a virtual camera, scenes were then populated with iconic images from Magritte's original artworks. The result is an authentic ride through the surrealist’s dreams.

The project uses 360 binaural sound and an original score by composer, Timo Baker. Sound effects are triggered by audience gaze for a more effective interactive experience.


MAGRITTE VR was made by a team of eight graphic artists, 3D animators and programmers led by BDH Immersive director John Durrant.

Director, John Durrant. Producer, Dan Elston. Design, James Pollock. 3D Artist, Aaron Hicks. Texture Artist, Alix Briskham. Developer, Sam Vickery. Original Music, Timo Baker.

Sound Design, Subvertical.

Original music is by composer Timo Baker. The contemporary orchestration of strings, piano, vocal harmonies and beats takes the experience to a higher level.

John Durrant, BDH Immersive Director and Director of Magritte Virtual Reality says:

"Magritte is one of the most celebrated artists that's ever lived and rightly so.  He started his creative career as an extremely talented graphic designer and became a visionary of our dreams.

I also trained as a graphic designer and a lot of the works spoke to me through Magritte's use of graphic images and clever visual puns.

In our Magritte Virtual Reality experience we have built a journey through his wonderful landscapes and have captured their particular and peculiar atmospheres. The whole team at BDH Immersive have loved spending so much time with his wonderful work, his sense of humour and his challenges to our perceptions. Overall for me though, was his great inspiration from his wife and muse, Georgette. Without her, I don't think he would have looked at the world with such love and passion.

As an artist he too would have been inspired by the emerging technologies. We can only dream what amazing virtual realities he would have created. I hope he would have enjoyed the Magritte Virtual Reality Experience."

Information and videos:

Magritte Experience Facebook: