About this project

Why temples?
Why 3D models?
Why share it?
Where can I go to learn more about what a temple is?
How do you make the models?
How long does it take to make a model?
How many more till you are finished?
Are you trying to model them all?
What are you going to do when you catch up?
Why did you make the infographic?
Why can’t I find ______ Temple?
When will you make ______ Temple?

Why Temples?

Well, because they are temples, of course.
There is always more to it than that though, right?

My fascination with the temple goes back a long way. There was a point in my life where I was struggling. I was in a bad relationship I was afraid to leave, and a bad job that I also could see no way out of. I was not, at that point, able to enter the temples. The temple became a representation of what my life should be, but was not. So I used Temples as my north star, my fixed point to work towards.

About that same time I became interested in photography. As I was focused on temples already, what better subject to hone my skills on than temples? I decided I would sharpen my skills by visiting nearby temples. Back then, nearby meant Manti, Provo, Mount Timpanogos, Jordan River, Salt Lake, Bountiful and Ogden. 15 years later, I have visited 78 temples and taken over 30,000 images. Not all of them fantastic, but still.

Why 3D models?

I love picking up new skills and learning new techniques for things. In 2005 I picked up the open source 3d modeling software Blender. Just to see what I could do, I made a very basic model of Mount Timpanogos Temple. So excited was I at making it look kind of correct, I then spent several months rebuilding the Salt Lake Temple in 3D. Is it any wonder I was single until the age of 32?Eventually I started making models for display in Google Earth. These are the 3D buildings people see when they navigate around the Google Earth Software. For some time, these models were created and submitted by people all over the world, including me. Google discontinued the process, but I still have 83 temple made by me that have been accepted in Google Earth.So I take these models and increase the detail to make my models on YouTube.I am blessed to have a wife who enjoys my fascination with the temple. We have temple photos throughout the house, and take crazy road trips with our 2 kids just to photograph temples. Those pictures then become the reference and surface for the models.

Why share it?

Over time I have become discouraged by the amount of negative, hurtful and wrong information there is about the church, especially on YouTube. There are so many who seek to tear down, so I began to create.

Where can I go to learn more about what a temple is?

I would recommend starting here: Why Latter-day Saints Build Temples

After that try http://mormonendowment.com/. The site is pretty, with some issues, but very comprehensive.

How do you make the models?

In order to make an accurate model, I have to know height, width, and length, or at least be able to estimate it. I can usually find good reference material. For temples that are announced or under construction the church render usually shows most of 2 sides of the temple. On top of that, you can frequently find a landscaping plan from the church as well. This will give you estimates for all 3 dimensions. Not always, though. Take Tijuana temple for an example. The church render only shows the front of the temple. This means I have the Height and Width, but not the length, and no information on the landscaping. I am afraid Tijuana will have to wait until it is finished before I can make the temple model.For most other temples, I can usually estimate height from photos, and height and length from satellite images.I also get color and tree placement from photos as well.

How long does it take to make a model?

There are 2 stages to making a temple model, and each one has its own time table.The first stage is modeling. This is where I build the temple, model the landscaping and add trees, lighting, and all the textures that give color to the model.For one of the small mass built temples, I can make the model in about 2 days. This is because I can start with the same base model. For more complex models, the more detail there is the longer it takes. Manaus took 4 days to model. Meridian took 5 weeks. Typically though, a complex model will take 2 weeks to model.The second stage is rendering. This is the process of turning a model into a series of images and eventually video. It is both easier than and takes longer than modeling. To make a movie, the computer has to create, or render, a series of images that, like traditional animation, are then combined in order to make an animation. The videos that I make need 30 images, or frames, for each second video. This means a one minute movie needs 1,800 frames of animation. The good news is the computer does not need my help to do this, just time. So I can work on my laptop, while my desktop chugs away at making images.

My small temple models are not complex models, as there is not alot of details on the temple. They take 3-4 minutes PER FRAME to render. this means that the small temple videos, which have 1200 frames of video take about 3 days for the computer to make.

The more complex larger temples are different. They can have up to 2,500 frames of video, and can take between 5 to 15 minutes per frame to render. This means that a large temple video can take between 4 and 26 DAYS to render out. My average is about 8 days now.

Unfortunately, I am running out of small temples, so soon I may have to go to 1 or 2 times per month on video posting.

How many more till you are finished?

As of today, None. As of Today, I am complete up to the recently revealed Pocatello Idaho Temple.

Are you trying to model them all?


What are you going to do when you catch up?

I want to go back and do historical variations. For example, Cardston and Boise have both been expanded twice since dedication. I would like to do a model of the temple at the time of dedication, plus one f the changes made during the first remodel. That will leave me with 3 models of each of those temples and a fun historical reference. There is also the possibility that I will model relandscaping, and night versions with the lights on. Some individuals have asked if I could do versions featuring all 4 seasons, so that is a thought on my mind as well.

Why did you make the infographic?

I created this infographic to fulfill a requirement for a class at Utah Valley University. It was the only thing I could think of, and delighted my professor.  It turned out that one of his grandfathers founded Cardston, and had once owned the land the temple sat on.The plan, until life gets in the way, is to create a new info graphic near the end of each year with updated information and including new models.

Why can’t I find [a specific] temple on your site?

Probably because I have not made it yet.

When will you make [a specific] temple?

When I get it done. I don’t actually have s schedule. It depends on how much information I can find about the temple, and which one I feel I can adequately make, and which one I feel motivated to do. See here and here for more detail on how long.


This post currently has 19 responses

  • Hi, I’m curious if you have made any of your renders into .STL files for 3D printers? Specifically, I am trying to see if anyone has a 3d printable version of the Pocatello, Idaho temple. I know it’s not completed yet, but where you have a render of it already done, I was curious if you had an STL file you would be willing to share as well? Thank you.

  • I am looking for 3D renderings of the Star Valley, Mexico City and Oquirrh Mountain temples. Are these available? Thanks so much!

    • Greetings, What exactly is it that you are needing? I have made models for all the temples, and if you are looking for specific images I can arrange something. If you just need any images, I have one or two of each temple on their individual pages.

  • Brian: I am in Twin Falls, Idaho and could use someone like you to generate a model of some furniture I am planning on building. It’s important to model it because the manufacturing process is trial and error and modeling it will help me to design the piece virtually. Can you help? Scott, (208)320-8786 Sales@ViralNRG.com

  • Awesome work!! We love your Meridian Temple model. We live here in Meridian. We actually sold the land for the temple lot to the Church, so we feel a special connection to it. We just aquired a 3d printer and were wondering if we could buy a solid model and print it ourselves?

  • Hello Brian: I came across your wonderful site as I was searching for 3D rendering of Temples. Having seen some real estate development projects done professionally in 3-d Rendering mode I was curious to get the same done for our local Hindu Temple built in late 70’s in Pearland Tx (http://emeenakshi.org/). The 3-d Rendering is a perfect platform to catch our thoughts on how the temple complex would look like at its Golden Jubilee celebration and work towards the dream. Any suggestions are welcome. May the Lord bless you and your family.

    • Good heavens, that is a gorgeous building!

      There are many companies that provide 3D reconstruction/rendering services. None of them are to cheap.

      Some services charge for the end product, they will model your building, then charge $900 dollars or more for each Picture you want rendered. Other services, like myself, charge a per hour price for modeling, then give you the file, and as many images as you want.

      In order to have it done, you need to have lots of photos of the original site, from all kinds of angles, for reference material, or better yet, digital scans of Blueprints. The more time intensive and detailed a model is, the longer it takes to make.

    • I have been to your site before. I can’t remember what I found there, but I found something for some project I was working on. Couldn’t for the life of me remember what it was though.

      I sincerely hope I can get around to doing historical videos. At this point, I am down to doing a video about once every other month, and I still have about 50 videos to make, I think. I would have to count again… 52. I have 52 more to do until I am caught up on all current temples, unless they announce more groundbreakings. Then I am just sunk. I am trying very hard to not let this project drag on for another 3 years before I can go “Historical.”

  • Good work mate. Your models are very inspiring. Photos show one flat perspective of a temple at a particular time, but the viewer is often left with questions about the geometry of the building which are left unanswered, until you can go and vist the grounds personally, or see a 3d model! Very informative.

    • It has often been my wish, that since 90% of the church will probably never make it to more than the temples within a couple hours of them (Just Guessing) that the church would do this. Or at least send someone some architectural elevations and landscape plans so that they could…

  • We love your temple models. There is a special spirit that comes from creating rather than tearing down. Thanks for sharing your passion.
    These will be very helpful as we are building all the temples with LEGO. I hope you don’t mind. Thanks

    • I highly approve of your work, It is wonderful! It’s nice when the kids get interested in the Temple young as well. Althought that does have its drawbacks. A couple weeks ago, my eldest, a 3 year old, was angry with me and said “No Daddy, leave me alone! You need to go build a temple!”

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