Skydiving and all variants of the sport are often seen as the ultimate thrill ride, dangerous enough for folks to need more courage than your average tourist experience. But for those of us that don’t quite have the stomach for the experience, there’s always simulation; Disney’s Soarin’ over California remains one of the most popular rides at its California Adventure park for reasons that might relate to this. Now, thanks to a pair of modern daredevils and a special camera stabilization program, that experience can be felt at home again.
Today, filmmaker Photon Bandit posted a new GoPro test of the ReelSteady plug-in on Vimeo, and the result is a 5-second scenic trip through the sky, filled with radiant color and guided by a stable camera.
ReelSteady is a plug-in for Adobe AfterEffects, and the latest version (posted on April 26th) boasts several abilities, including the option to specify the field of view of the camera for maximum control, and its all-new “Tripod Pan Mode” which helps improve results with shots that have little parallax movement. The plug-in comes with a number of presets for several different cameras.
For anyone about to google this interesting method of skydiving, it is called wingsuiting, and the video was taken in France. Wingsuiting is massively popular in France, and finds its origins with a tailor and thrill seeker known as Franz Reichelt, who famously used his prototype wingsuit to jump the Eiffel Tower, and failed (there is video; it is not great). After a slight revival in the ‘30s by daredevils known as the Birdmen, modern wingsuiting was popularized again in France in the ‘90s. The modern wingsuit was developed by Patrick de Gayardon, and while this kind of video may not have been the intention of its originators, it certainly is impressive.