How I made the Brooklyn Bridge in VR

August ’17— November ’17, May ’18 — June ’18 || Unreal Engine Maya Blueprints

Matthew L. Komar
2 min readJan 5, 2023

After winning a 3D modeling competition, I created a VR experience using it.

I created a living world with trains, trolleys, cars, and pedestrians that a guest can walk around in.

In November 2018, I won second place in a 3D modeling competition hosted by Mike Hermes by modeling the Brooklyn Bridge.

As the first place would get their model featured in a VR experience at The Smithsonian Museum, I thought: What if I can make my own VR Experience?

A Train driving through the Brooklyn Bridge

I went on to spend the next couple of months re-topologizing my model and fixing critiques given by Mike Hermes. When the Oculus GO came out, I spent some time learning how to optimize 3D models for mobile VR and creating Level of Details (LOD) meshes out of my bridge.


I would not have gotten into VR or AR if it wasn’t for this competition.

I am very grateful that I was able to participate, get feedback from my mentor, and even win second place!! It gave me the motivation and confidence to create my own VR experience and I would not have gotten into VR or AR if it wasn’t for this competition.

Before this competition, I never thought it would be possible for me to create a living virtual world and then have it run on a standalone headset (which didn’t exist at the start of this project).