360 degree interactive snowboard video from Laax

OMG. The resort of Laax in Switzerland has just pulled a viral marketing masterstroke by producing this 360 degree virtual reality snowboarding video. It is fully interactive, meaning YOU control the camera position. Try it and see – hit play, then can click and drag with your mouse to change the view, or (and we reckon this works better) just use the arrow keys on your keyboard to pan around. It’s f***ing sick!! Instead of watching the action from a fixed angle it’s like you’re stood there in resort looking left and right, up and down. Mental. Thinking about heading to Laax for the Brits this year? Why not spin the camera around down at the base station and check out the plush apartments you could be staying in at the Rocks Resort!

So how do they do it? We’re not sure, but we think it must be a similar technique to that used by pioneering French photographer Tristan Lebeschu, who has been creating 360 degree still photos of skiing and snowboarding for the past few years. Check out his interactive V-R shot of a backside rodeo in the Val d’Isere park here. These are created by shooting multiple angles of the landscape, then shooting the action, and finally stitching them all together in a special programme. Our guess is that the new wave of digital SLR cameras which shoot HD movies has allowed something similar to be applied to video. Keep an eye out for the shadow of the filmer on the snow – looks like he’s only got one camera attached to an interesting rig.

Earlier this year we also posted a futuristic video from the Jib Vid which used Matrix-style bullet time to capture the riders. Is multi-angle technology like this the future of snowboarding videos? Hell, is this the future of all videos?

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