Virtual Berlin

Here you can find everything about Virtual Berlin, the MultiMedia-CD with 380 QuickTime VR-Panos in 640 x 400 Pixels.

Technology | Contents | Background | system requirements | demo

 

About Virtual Berlin

This CD-ROM for Apple® Macintosh and Microsoft® Windows is based on Apple's new QuickTime VR technology. The CD contains more than 380 high resolution color pictures. Every picture shows a complete 360 degree panorama from a single point of view. You can rotate the view angle at a click of the mouse and take a look in all directions. The different panoramas are connected with each other - you can jump from one to another by clicking the mouse button. This way you can make a virtual trip through the metropole Berlin.

The CD features extensive walks around the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, Soviet Memorial, Victory Column, Berlin Wall, Kurfürstendamm and Sanssouci Palace. In addition, "Virtual Berlin" offers panoramas from Museum Island, Berlin Television Tower, Alexanderplatz, Nikolai quarter, House of the Cultures of the World, Bellevue Palace and New National Gallery. Something really special is the walk around the Wrapped Reichstag (Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Verhüllter Reichstag, Berlin, 1971-1995 © Christo 1995), which makes this exciting happening come alive. You can visit more than 30 cafes, restaurants and bars and get a feeling for Berlin's night life. Information about the shown buildings can be accessed anytime and make the CD complete.

During the production process of this CD about 7200 photographs were taken from Berlin's sights. The pictures were transferred to Kodak Photo CD and stitched together with Apple's QuickTime VR Toolkit software to form complete 360 degree panoramas. Every panorama is stitched out of 18 single photographs taken from a different perspective. To create this CD-ROM, a Power Macintosh equipped with 100 MB of RAM was used and during the production the software created about 8 gigabyte of data. The result are photo realistic pictures using 32 bits and 4992 x 768 pixels which create the illusion of really being there.

Here you can look at a DEMO of Virtual Berlin.

 

Technology

"Virtual Berlin" offers "Virtual Reality" on Apple(®) Macintosh and IBM compatible computers with Microsoft(®) Windows. The CD uses the revolutionary QuickTime VR (Virtual Reality) technology and belongs to the first commercial products that apply this technology intensely and professionally. QuickTime VR makes possible high-resolution 360-degree panorama pictures, which give the user the possibility of rotating on their own axis in real time and to look in all directions. The depicted scenes consist of several panoramas linked to each other - the user can go from one panorama to the next and thus go on a virtual walk to the sights. QuickTime VR is "virtual reality for everyone" as it runs on standard PCs without additional hardware (such as data glove or helmet).

 

Contents

"Virtual Berlin" is exclusively based on QuickTime VR films. The CD-ROM contains more than 380 views which each depict a complete 360 degree panorama. The pictures show famous Berlin sights such as the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, the Berlin Wall (East Side Gallery), Castle Sanssouci, Kurfürstendamm, the Victory Column and the Soviet Memorial. The user can go on virtual walks to these sights and view the building from various perspectives - almost as if he were there himself. The full-screen images are displayed in an impressive quality (640 x 480 dots, 32768 or 16.7 million colours) and show excellent views of the metropolis of Berlin. "Virtual Berlin" offers as special content exclusive pictures of the Wrapped Reichstag ((c) Christo and Jeanne Claude) and thus brings the "Art Event of 1995" back to life again. The rich offer of this CD is rounded off with a selection of more than 30 cafés, restaurants and bars, which open up to the user an insight into the gastronomy and Berlin nightlife. Background information on the building, cafés, restaurants and bars is available in six different languages and can be called up at any time.

 

Background

The first idea of "Virtual Berlin" was born during the last night of the Wrapped Reichstag (Christo and Jeanne Claude) in June 1995. The sight of this work of art fascinated and the wish arose to capture and preserve this impressive atmosphere. A demonstration of QuickTime VR technology brought about the idea of using this technology to visually capture the atmosphere at the Wrapped Reichstag. Even in the last night of the Wrapped Reichstag 50 films and a tripod were bought and the photographs planned. The next day approx. 1200 photos were shot around the Wrapped Reichstag. The first idea soon became a serious project
and more than 7000 photographs were made of almost all sights in Berlin which give comprehensive insight into the fascinating metropolis of Berlin.

 

System requirements

Apple(®) Macintosh with at least 68020 processor or PowerMacintosh and System 7.1 operating system or higher. 8 MB RAM required, 12 MB RAM recommended. Colour monitor with at least 256 colours, 32768 colours recommended. Double-speed CD-ROM drive required. PC with 486DX2 processor or better, Microsoft(®) Windows 3.11 or 95 with 8 MB RAM + 8 MB virtual memory. 16MB RAM recommended for best reproduction quality. Colour monitor with at least 256 colours required, 32768 colours recommended. Soundcard for sound reproduction required. Double-speed CD-ROM drive required.

The CD-ROM is state of the art from 1995. The included Installer and QuickTime plugins shall not be user any longer. Todays CD-ROMs are much more faster than 1995 and you can start the program directly from the CD-ROM. The actual QuickTime is part of the Macintosh operating system. On Windows Computers, you must load quicktime from the internet in advance.

 

View demo

This only shows a small part of the CD-ROM based on QuickTime VR. Requirements: In order to view the demo you need QuickTime, QuickTime plug-in and QuickTime VR. Please ensure that you have always installed the newest version on your computer. Limitations: With this demo we offer the start screen, the selection possibilities and six individual panoramas. This means that you cannot go from one location to the next with a simple click of the mouse. The CD-ROM contains more than 380 panoramas which permit extensive walks. And so on the demo you can only see one view of the Brandenburg Gate but with the CD-ROM walk around the Gate, walk to the Victory Column, to the Reichstag or to the Soviet Memorial. Multi-lingual: The CD-ROM is in the six languages of German, English, French, Japanese, Italian and Spanish. The demo only contains German and English languages.