skier, director, host and member of a Swiss hardcore punk band Sami Ortlieb has created a unique type of stop-motion that will stop you dead in your snowy slopes. Ortlieb’s technique, which he calls “landscape animation”, combines stop-motion animation with the natural world. As well as some super sick ski tricks that seem like sheer magic thanks to Ortlieb’s unique shooting style.
Laughing squid taken from Ortlieb’s new landscape animation (above). The stop-motion film, “Maneuvers,” follows a 2017 video of the skier / artist / everything. In this video, Ortlieb first played with his concept of landscape animation. That is to say, the idea of bringing an environment to life using stop animation and materials specific to the environment.
In this video, Ortlieb and his fellow expert skiers show off their skills in a surprisingly heartfelt four-minute film. It’s not clear where Ortlieb is exactly – maybe somewhere in the Swiss Alps? – but it’s still a snowy paradise.
Each scene in the film consists of a jump or other obstacle performed by Ortlieb. About 30 seconds from the court, the skiers build their first ramp; flying between two trees which “put down their branches” for the skiers. There are also ramps made up of logs, boulders and boulders of snow, but Ortlieb’s jump off the steep side of a mountain in about two and a half minutes has to be the most impressive feat in the video. And the most dangerous. Even if, conversely, the least stylized in stop-motion. (It’s understandable enough.)
As for how Ortlieb made the movie, it looks like he and his team did it the old fashioned way. That is, frame by frame. “This is definitely the most physically intense type of animation I have ever done,” Ortlieb said in a Vimeo blog post. “We would shovel, then get out of the frame or run towards the camera to take a photo, just to come back to the jump to shovel again for the next animation frame,” added the skier extraordinary. It reminds us that doing something beautiful takes a lot of tedious work. And some really nasty falls that seem even more painful one frame at a time.
Characteristic picture: Sami Ortlieb