Fresh Powder on a Historic Ski Run
The North Face and marketing partner Atlantic Re:think needed to promote their new FUTURELIGHT™ line via the incredible story of a groundbreaking ski descent of Lhotse mountain. While we knew we couldn't go toe-to-toe with this athletic feat, we wanted to do it justice by delivering an award-winning WebGL-based production.
Recreating Everest and Lhotse in 3D
To achieve a high-res, top-tier immersive experience, we scoffed at the constraints of pixelated GIS and satellite imagery. No corners were cut; instead, we undertook the mountainous task of reconstructing an entire segment of the Everest massif from the ground up.
We started by digitally sculpting the mountains in Z-Brush, followed by meticulous hand-texturing in Substance Painter. After double-baking the peaks, the work was developed into a literal, walkable mountain complex. As a final touch, we designed and constructed nearly exact representations of the expedition's camps, equipped even with independently parallaxing 360-degree skyboxes (and all the mathematical wizardry that entails).
Thanks to Octane Renderer, we achieved fluid shadows and realistic sunlight conditions. Once fully baked, our final Lhotse model exhibited intense detail and a single-texture map for Three.js to load.
The task was to create a mobile AR experience to accompany a print story. The result was a portal to one of the most breathtaking locations on the planet. With smartphones playing the role of periscope, readers could use mobile-responsive live 3D to be a part of the expedition.