The Royal Household’s Royal.gov.uk website was undergoing a complete revamp, and required a series of 360 images so the public could view hitherto unseen areas of the Royal Palaces. The virtual tours would need to include hotspots which would open additional information on particular objects of interest in the Royal Collection.
We create ultra high resolution 360 stills by ‘stitching’ together many images. This is an extremely precise process, and the opulence of the surroundings made this vitally important here. Whilst a white ceiling could be a fraction of a millimetre out and it wouldn’t be noticeable, the rug in the Throne Room (for example) required absolute flawlessness. The hand retouching process took many hours of painstaking work to ensure the final images were to a standard which did justice to the historic and sumptuous surroundings.
We created 360s for rooms at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse and also for a state banquet at Windsor Castle for the Qatar State Visit. As a separate project we also created 360s for St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. The brief was for each 360 to be a standalone resource, accessible via a thumbnail on the Royal Residence page. Once in the 360, the viewer can look around the room at fullscreen size, and click on hotspots to view info about the treasures in the Royal Collection.
The new website was launched at a reception at Buckingham Palace, and the 360 images played a key part in the launch as they were the “surprise feature” of the new website. Along with Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, the Queen unveiled an enormous screen showcasing the 360s to the assembled guests.
The virtual tours were very well received with much of the British and world press choosing to highlight the virtual tours. Emily Bell, writing in The Guardian says ‘there is a wonderful high-definition panoramic gallery of bits of the royal residences…’. The Queen herself commented on the clarity of the images and how much she liked them.
Image © Press Association
Eye Revolution’s Founder shaking hands with the Queen at Buckingham Palace.