Please select your home edition
Edition
Henri Lloyd

America's Cup- Ian Taylor recognised for VirtualEye development

by Sail-World on 1 Jan 2012
Animation Research Ltd’s founder, Ian Taylor (right) talks with TVNZ’s Martin Tasker before the 33rd America’s Cup in Valencia © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz

The lion behind the development of America's Cup graphics technology has been made a Companion of The New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in the New Zealand New Years Honours, announced yesterday.

What is now known as VirtualEye was initially created by four people with no sailing experience - Ian Taylor, Professor Geoff Wyvill (University of Otago), Paul Sharp and Stu Smith (Developers) in 1991 and first used in the America's Cup in San Diego in 1992. This core team have remained with the project since its inception, along with several others who have been involved since the early days of the project. One of the newer recruits is John Rendall, who joined ARL straight from school, and now runs all the sailing for ARL.

The original realtime graphics project was commissioned by Television New Zealand, but managed by Taylor, who at that time had a number of television activities operating out of the old TVNZ headquarters in Dunedin. It was also a joint venture by the University of Otago's business arm and Taylor's Animation Research Ltd, in a forerunner to what are now regarded as incubator business projects. Eventually the whole product came under the aegis of ARL.



At the time of the first America's Cup project, email was only really becoming accepted, and the first movie to make heavy use of generated graphics, Jurassic Park, had just been released. A key contact for the project was Dr Alan Trimble, then Developer Advocate with Silicon Graphics, who assisted the project and facilitated the embedding of ARL developer Paul Sharp, into the Silicon Graphics developers program for three months in San Francisco's Silicon Valley.



A number of spin-off products evolved from the initial development, due firstly the need to capitalise on the development engine, and secondly as the product enjoyed a unique place at the fore-front of world sport, leading to the adaptation of the principles of the system into several leading edge sports such as golf, gliding, Formula 1 motor racing, cricket and many other sports. http://www.arl.co.nz/index.php/arl-news!Click_here for the latest ARL projects and where the technology is headed.

The key attribute of the VirtualEye system has been its ability to re-create the action, based on the actual tracks of the boats, planes, ball or cars and then place the camera in the perfect position to show the viewer what really happened, and visually explain the nuances of the incident.

In several instances, notably cricket, the graphics system has been incorporated into adjudication systems, and in several defined situations the batsman can now be given as out on the basis of a graphics replay. In fact so refined is the cricket system that one country, has not adopted it, much to the chagrin of other cricketing nations creating a huge international debate as to the drop in the accuracy of umpiring decisions last week, when two Australian batsmen were given as out using the old visual only method, when the graphics replay clearly showed they were both not out. http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=77578&go=093556!Click_here for the story of how the system was developed for cricket.

Another feature of the VirtualEye productions are the introduction to the host city of the venue, which then forms the backdrop to the coverage of the event itself.



In sailing, the America's Cup graphics have rolled into most major yachting events - as both a TV product and a home viewer product under the Virtual Eye brand. A feature of the graphics has been the constant updating of the quality of the images to the latest standards in movie production, to the point where many fans prefer to watch a race using the Virtual Eye graphics package, rather than the traditional television product.

During the 2007-2010 period when TV production costs were a significant factor in the Louis Vuitton Trophy Series, Virtual Eye was used as the backbone of the televised production, ashore and to remote viewers, overlaid with a full commentary and augmented by limited video coverage. http://www.sail-world.com/UK/Virtual-Eye-raises-sports-broadcasting-bar-to-new-heights/63145!Click_here for the story and graphics.



Taylor has what is usually described as a colourful career, starting out as a singer in a band, before moving into fronting several popular children's TV show, and then into TV production. He is a lawyer by training. For a full profile http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/new-year-honours-2011/6203521/Dunedin-turned-rock-n-roller-into-TV-entrepreneur!click_here.

A member of the Hall of Fame for the NZ Technology Industry an extract from his profile covers his background living on the east coast of New Zealand:

'Raised in the small East Coast settlement of Raupunga, halfway between Napier and Gisborne, he remembers a house with no electricity, his mother cooking on a coal range, reading Eagle comics by the light of a gas lantern and listening to Life with Dexter on a battery-powered radio.

'I still remember the day we got electricity in our house, the way a single light bulb filled the room with daylight, just at the flick of a switch.

'I don't think we called it technology in those days - but whatever we called it, it had a huge impact on me. At eight years of age I figured if you could do that by flicking a switch, you could do anything.'




For the full profile http://www.hitech.org.nz/ian-taylor.html!click_here

As all who have met him know, Ian Taylor is a very hard man to refuse, and is still as heavily involved in Animation Research, as he was on Day 1.

Now, Taylor is much in demand on the speaker's circuit becoming something of an evangelist for the development of technology in New Zealand and internationally. One of his maxim's has always been that if a client is interested in the Virtual Eye product, then he'll get on a plane and travel to wherever is required to met with them, demonstrate Virtual Eye, and work a new deal for a new project.

And 20 years on, from when those first two blue and yellow triangular shapes moved across a computer screen, in the basement of the old brick TVNZ building in Dunedin, the boundaries remain virtual and infinite.

Harken AUS HL Snatch Block 660x82Sail Exchange 660x82 New SailsMondo Travel Americas Cup Tour - Catamaran 2855

Related Articles

America's Cup - Kiwi lodges Appeal against Jury in San Francisco Cup
Former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell (NZL) has lodged an Appeal against a Decision to dismiss his case Former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell (NZL) has lodged an Appeal against a Decision to dismiss his case taken against the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco. On October 28, 2016, US District Judge Vince Chhabria dismissed Mitchell's claim against the five-person International Jury on the basis that it was lodged too late.
Posted on 2 Dec
A Q&A with Nick Bice about the recent changes for the 2017/2018 VOR
I caught up with Nick Bice, the VOR’s director of boats and maintenance, to learn more about the VOR’s new directions. I recently had the pleasure of hearing Nick Bice, the Volvo Ocean Race’s director of boats and maintenance, deliver a keynote speech to an audience of marine-industry professionals and official Volvo Ocean Race suppliers at the 2016 METS trade show in Amsterdam. I caught up with Bice after his presentation to learn more about the new directions that the race is taking for its thirteenth edition.
Posted on 28 Nov
A Q&A with Sharon Green about the prep work that ensures great images
I talked with ace photographer Sharon Green to learn more about the prep work that goes into each image that she snaps. I caught up with ace photographer Sharon Green at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds to learn more about the behind-the-scenes preparation work that goes into each image that she snaps. While some of Green’s tips are specific to professional shooters (e.g., helicopter time or juggling multiple camera bodies), plenty of amateur lensmen will be well served to consider Green’s racecourse-proven tips.
Posted on 23 Nov
Dockside with CQS - radical, revamped supermaxi up close
The revamped supermaxi CQS is currently in Auckland's Silo Marina, ahead of her first race on Friday The revamped supermaxi CQS is currently in Auckland's Silo Marina, ahead of her first race on Friday - the White Island Race which will double as Rolex Sydney Hobart Qualifier. Originally the 90ft Nicorette designed by South African Alex Simonis, the new project to upgrade to a 100ft supermaxi has been led by Brett Bakewell-White (NZ) and Bakewell-White Yacht Design.
Posted on 22 Nov
Cabbage Tree Island Race 2016 Video
A warm evening saw the start of this year’s CYCA Cabbage Tree Island Race in a yellow haze with the fleet initially mix A warm evening saw the start of this year’s CYCA Cabbage Tree Island Race in a yellow haze with the fleet initially mixing it with the various twilighters. A 15 knot NNE saw the fleet reach their way through the Heads before heading into the breeze and up the coast. Bow Caddy caught the full fleet out of the harbour.
Posted on 20 Nov
Gladwell's Line - President Croce caught at helm in Perfect Storm
No real surprise that incumbent President Carlo Croce (ITA) was unseated mid-way an eight-year term After a year or more punctuated with issues that should not have happened, it is no real surprise that incumbent President Carlo Croce (ITA) was unseated mid-way through what should have been an eight-year term. Also gone is one of his lieutenants, Chris Atkins (GBR) as Vice President, who remarkably polled 13th out of the 15 candidates.
Posted on 15 Nov
Farr 40s One Design Trophy – Kokomo leads after Day 1 + Video
The first round of the Farr 40s One Design Trophy was contested with less wind than predicted but enough to encourage The first round of the Farr 40s One Design Trophy was contested with less wind than predicted but enough to encourage close racing between the seven competitors. Kokomo won the second and fourth races with Estate Master taking the first and the third leaving Kokomo in first place at the end of Day 1. Bow Caddy was on the harbour and caught some of the action.
Posted on 23 Oct
Gladwell's Line -The America's Cup settlement deal
The 'News' today that Emirates Team New Zealand has won their case before the Arbitration Panel is not news The 'News' today that Emirates Team New Zealand has won their case before the America's Cup Arbitration Panel is not new - Sail-World reported the same story in the first and second weeks of September. The Hearing on the amount of compensation to be paid is yet to be held. So far we have been unable to discover a date if indeed one has been set. Maybe next year?
Posted on 11 Oct
CYCA Lion Island Race 2016 - Race Finish Video
A constant 22 knot southerly wind made for a very quick trip up to Lion Island and back to Sydney Harbour for the CYCA A constant 22 knot southerly wind made for a very quick trip up to Lion Island and back to Sydney Harbour for the CYCA fleet in the latest of the Ocean Pointscore races. Bow Caddy caught the first six boats at they came around North Head on the return leg. Look out for the whales when the whale watching boat is in shot.
Posted on 8 Oct
Amel - Do you fit the bill?
Perhaps it is equally as fascinating as the many features that go into either the Amel 55 or 64 It is certainly an interesting set of criterion. Perhaps it is equally as fascinating as the many features that go into either the Amel 55 or 64 and make them a definitive part of the quintessential bluewater cruiser armada. We’ll come to all of those in due course, but firstly we’ll tackle the hero image and why in so many ways, this explains, so, so much.
Posted on 21 Sep