Skiing’s First Edit Using CGI Will Make You Do a Double Take

Watch Nico Porteous spin tricks over kickers and out of a halfpipe—on a farm in the middle of summer.

Photo: Courtesy of Red Bull

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New Zealand freestyle skier Nico Porteous first made a name for himself after winning Olympic bronze in 2018 at the green age of 16. Since then, the young Kiwi has chalked up more accolades on freestyle skiing’s world stage, including landing atop the podium at X-Games in 2021 with a gold medal in halfpipe—a first for New Zealand in that event.

Known to be a perfectionist on skis, Porteous is now letting his creative side take center stage with his latest edit, “Blank Canvas.” Porteous and his film crew from Hunt Cinema shot on both the slopes of Cardrona Alpine Resort in Wanaka and at a lush farm in Southland, NZ.

Then, they employed CGI surreal animation—according to Red Bull, a first in the world of ski films—to overlay snowy park features onto the background of rolling green pastures. In order to make their vision come to life on screen, the team had to meticulously time their shots so lighting matched up in both locations, and even measured specific slopes along the hilly terrain to replicate the exact angle of a halfpipe.

In an interview with Red Bull, he explains what planted the seed for this creative new approach. “I think of skiing as more of a creative process, you know? The same as how an artist looks at a blank canvas when they start painting. It’s my creative outlet. That’s how the base of the idea for Blank Canvas came about.”

The resulting edit is something both realistic and unreal. When Porteous says he thinks the film will “trip people out,” he’s spot on. Watch the full video on Red Bull TV here.

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