London Eye virtual video
Take in the sights of London from the London Eye where you can control the camera shot!
Take a 360 degree video tour around the British Airways London Eye. Fly the Eye in just over 5 minutes with our exclusive high speed video.
Use your mouse to steer the video to look where you want. Use the control key to zoom out and the shift key to zoom in.
Two different systems were used to get the still and moving images from the London eye.
The still system uses a standard digital camera with a lens that takes a 360 degree view in one shot.
360 Virtual Photos
You can also zoom in and view our 360 photos from the London Eye.
The video system is taken with a small high quality camcorder with a lens which takes in full motion video in 360 degrees.
Both systems are mounted on a tripod. Pictures are taken with the operator sitting underneath the tripod so they stays out of the shot.
The video camera system is set up and left running whilst the still camera system images are taken using a cable remote control. The lens must be level to get the best results so we use a spirit level to ensures that the pictures
The raw images taken from the camera are doughnut shaped. Special software is used to unfold the 360 degree view. The still images can then be compressed and uploaded on to the web.
Video images usually require a bit of tweeking before they too are processed, first to unfold the raw doughnut image and second to compress them for distribution on the web.
In the case of the London Eye footage we chose to speed up the video, which reduced the file size and gave the user the chance to take the whole 30mins trip in just over 5 mins.
The encoding process is run twice to give a low and high quality video stream for users slow and fast internet connections
Once uploaded users can view the still images on any Java enabled browser. Navigating the image using either cursor keys or their mouse people can choose where they look.
The video requires users to have a copy of real player. There is also a need for them to download a 115k plugin which will give them the control over what they see. Use the control and shift keys to zoom in and out.
The video footage of the London eye is very much a first on BBCi but as far as the future of 360 degree video is concerned, watch this space!
Make sure you set realplayer to know what speed connection you are on. Click settings and adjust the badwidth to your speed, 56k for dial up and 225k or more for broadband.
last updated: 09/03/10