Feb 5, 2016 | By Kira

Most videos of skiers or snowboarders in action typically rely on the birds-eye-view format (increasingly popular thanks to drone technology), or else they strap a camera onto the athlete’s helmet to capture the daredevil’s direct point of view. Now, using an ingenious 3D printed rig system called the Centriphone, 25-year-old professional freeskier Nicolas Vuignier has developed a new filming technique that combines birds-eye-view with point-of-view, using little more than a single iPhone 6 and a piece of string. The result? Mesmerizing, slow-mo 360-degree film footage that beautifully captures his skiing technique while drawing viewers right into the action.

Vuignier, an accomplished skier from Crans-Montana, Switzerland, who previously won the 2015 RedBull Linecatcher competition, is nearly as passionate about his sport as he is about creating compelling and unexpected visual art. “[Vuignier] approaches skiing as a mean of self-expression, where creativity, style, innovation and performance all have an equal value,” says the skier’s profile. “Competing never was an end in itself in the eyes of this hyperactive athlete who thrives for directing compelling and disruptive visual projects.”

Image from Vuignier's facebook page

Indeed, when he’s not hitting the slopes, Vuignier is most likely to be found working on various creative projects, including graphic design and video editing. And for the past two years, one of those creative projects has been designing and creating a custom, 3D printed rig that would allow him to capture some of the most unique and energizing sports footage we’ve ever seen.

Essentially, the 3D printed camera rig attaches to his iPhone and allows him to spin it above his head while ensuring that the camera is always be centered on his body despite being in perpetual movement. The iPhone 6 was also outfitted with a wide-angle lens to capture even more of his mountainous surroundings. The video itself was recorded at 240FPS, 10 percent slower than a normal camera, rendering each movement in perfect detail and giving viewers the time to fully appreciate his technique. And the best part? Vuignier has assured his fans that “no iPhones were harmed during the making of this video”—not even after he appears to fall right at the very end.

Though there are no photos of the actual 3D printed camera rig, the footage speaks for itself. “People told me I had to spin to win. Not sure I got what they meant,” joked Vuignier on his Facebook page.

It took Vuignier and his team two years and six different 3D printed prototype rigs to perfect the final model, but that work was definitely worth it. Soon, the self-described "frozen water shredder" hopes to release the 3D printing files, as well as a ‘making of’ video, so that fellow shredders can give it a try at home. In the video credits, Vuignier thanks Marc Vertesi, Florent Beauverd, Jules Guarneri, Ahriel Povich, Olloclip - Tim Debrincat, Swisscom - Lukas Liechti and @Twinskiing for their collaboration.

We’ve seen a few other creative 3D printed camera rigs, including Sony’s, used for the world’s first 48k 360-degree video, and GoPro’s 16-camera 3D printed VR film rig for Google Jump. Or, if you’ve ever wanted to safely experience being shot from a cannon, check out this 3D printed GoPro cannonball.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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