“Tourism New Zealand has a history of strong media and advertising campaigns, particularly through TV commercials, and its destination marketing website has long featured these videos.So, when a redesign of the website was planned without an accompanying TV commercial, the team at Shift had a new challenge: to showcase the landscape and breadth of activities in New Zealand to an audience that has come to interact with a website, not to watch a video.
Shift was inspired by, among other things, Nike’s Better World website (which Smashing Magazine has covered). But whereas that website used HTML5 animation to create an effect of parallax scrolling, Shift proposed a camera view that moves through the real world. Shift’s first idea was to use video as a background, with the camera descending through some of New Zealand’s most exciting locations. The problem was bandwidth: at 25 frames per second, Shift would need to deliver thousands of full-screen frames. This was an impossible goal, so instead the team set a target of around 200 frames for the entire website. But 200 frames for the amount of footage they wanted worked out to about three frames per second, which doesn’t look particularly good.
At this point, they nearly abandoned the idea. By chance, though, a solution was found. Scrubbing through a QuickTime video, Shift’s creative director, Mark Zeman, noticed that being able to control the frame rate as you move the play head gives the illusion of a smooth experience. He suspected that if the browser’s scroll bar could be used to scrub the footage, it would feel similarly smooth. And if the camera shot photographs as it moved through each scene, it would create the illusion that the user was practically controlling the camera as it descended through New Zealand.
Read the full article at: www.smashingmagazine.com