As thousands of skaters prepare to enjoy the fun
of The Forum ice-rink, you can now enjoy a virtual skate with the
BBC Norfolk website.
When The Forum ice-rink opened in mid-November
2003, more than 28,000 skaters slid, shuffled, twirled and clowned
their way round the ice with varying degrees of expertise.
Using the latest interactive video technology,
you can now get a feel of what it's like with our 360° video
Did you take to the ice in 2003? Can you spot yourself
or a friend on the ice-rink?
Just click on the link below that suits your connection
speed, sit back and enjoy.
For the panoramic views press SHIFT or CTRL to
zoom in and out of the picture. You can also
pan left or right by moving your mouse on the image in the direction
you want to go.
Tip: If you want to experience the cold icy blast
that goes with a whizz around the ice - just open the window before
you view, but don't blame us if you get a cold!
When you've tried a virtual skate, remember to
check out the skaters' gallery
to see if you've made it onto our pages. Even if you haven't skated,
there are some real photo gems to enjoy.
You can also enjoy
more 360° views taken from around Norfolk.
How it works
If you just want to enjoy the magic, stop reading
now. If on the other hand you like to know these things - grab your
anorak and read on.
The DV system uses a Sony TRV900 camcorder with
a 360° lens. The camera records the full 360° view in one
The camera chosen is used due to its small size,
its 3CCD spec and it ability to shoot in progressive scan mode.
In the view finder, the scene appears as a doughnut
shaped image. The set up for the camera compensates for the impact
that the specialist lens had on the camera.
Due to the nature of the shoots, the camera is
often fixed on its auto setting as making
manual adjustments is not possible due to the positioning of the
camera and the requirement to stay out of the shot.
The DV cam and lens are mounted as with the stills
system on a tripod off and L-bracket. The camera and lens point
up vertically in the air so that the full 360 degree view cam be
taken in one go. The user then hides below the tripod whilst the
camera is running.
Once the material has been shot we process the
doughnut images using bespoke software, edit it as required using
Adobe Premiere and then encode the footage with Real Producer to
low and high quality for users on modems and on Broadband
In addition to The Forum ice-rink, the DV system
has been used on the London Eye, a virtual tour of Silverstone and
a trip across Bristol from a Cameron hot air balloon.
To view the images users require Realplayer v8
or RealOne player and 40k behere plugin.