Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

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.

NaiadNorth Technology - Southern SparsBarz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best Eyewear

Related Articles

A Q&A with US Sailing’s Malcolm Page about the Sailing World Cup Miami
I spoke with Malcolm Page, US Sailing’s Olympic chief, about the team’s performance at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Miami I talked with Malcolm Page (AUS), a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the Men’s 470 class and the chief of Olympic sailing at US Sailing, to get his pulse on the team’s performance at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Miami and discuss some recent coaching changes within the Olympic-sailing program.
Posted on 20 Feb
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ give first look at the pedaling AC50
Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. The team has been sailing for the previous two days making news headlines after it was revealed in Sail-World.com that the AC50 would become only the second yacht in America's Cup history to use pedal power.
Posted on 16 Feb
America's Cup - Kiwis sign Olympic Cyclist for the Tour de Bermuda
Ttop cyclist Simon van Velthooven, a 2012 Olympic Bronze cycling medallist had been signed by the America's Cup team Emirates Team New Zealand put in a second foiling display on Auckland's Waitemata harbour ahead of the official launching of their AC50 tomorrow. With brighter skies the cycling team took their places on the pedalstals and used leg power to provide the hydraulic pressure necessary to run the AC50's control systems for the foils and wingsail.
Posted on 15 Feb
A Q&A with Shawn Macking about the StPYC’s Sailing Center and OD fleet
I talked with Shawn Macking, the StPYC’s waterfront director, to learn how the club is getting more people out sailing. I caught up with Shawn Macking, waterfront director of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, via email to learn more about the club’s Sailing Center, its hefty investment in a new fleet of ten J/70s, and how the StPYC is using this infrastructure to expose more people to the sport we all love.
Posted on 13 Feb
A Q&A with Karen Angle about the 2017 Conch Republic Cup race to Cuba
I caught up with Karen Angle, executive director of the Conch Republic Cup, to learn more about this exciting event. If you’re like me and have arrived at saturation with winter’s cold rain and snow, imagine racing to Cuba as part of a 13-day cross-cultural event that’s designed to lower barriers of entry at a time when some Americans see a need for taller walls. I caught up with Karen Angle, executive director of the Conch Republic Cup, to learn more about this exciting event and the adventures it affords.
Posted on 23 Jan
A Q&A with Anna Tunnicliffe about her return to competitive sailing
I talked with Anna Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing. Anna Tunnicliffe won gold at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in the Laser Radial before shifting her sights to the Women’s Match Racing event for the London 2012 Olympics. Here, she came up shy of expectation and left sailing for the CrossFit Games, but now she is returning to her roots. I talked with Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing.
Posted on 23 Jan
A Q&A with Dick Neville, Quantum Key West Race Week’s RC chairman
I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for the Quantum Key West Race Week, to learn more about the event. For the past 30 years, international sailors have gathered in Key West, Florida, each January for Key West Race Week, a regatta that has achieved legendary status due to its calendar dates, its location, and the impressive level of competition and racecourse management that this storied event offers. I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for this year’s Quantum KWRW, to learn more.
Posted on 16 Jan
A Q&A with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Race’s new deputy race director
I talked with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Round The World Race’s new deputy race director, to learn more about his role. I was fortunate to sail with Daniel Smith [36, SCO], skipper of “Derry~Londonderry~Doire” for the 2015/2016 edition of the Clipper Round The World Race, when the fleet reached Seattle last spring. Now, Smith has been hired as the event’s deputy race director-a job that will test many of the skills that he polished as a skipper. I caught up with Smith via email to learn more about his new job.
Posted on 9 Jan
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Suck it up, sunshine!
The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour, another two million watching on TV, and the constant buzz and whir of media helicopters overhead. 88 boats, from Australia, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Japan, Korea, China, oh and New Zealand, had lined up on three start lines.
Posted on 31 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - More merriment on the airwaves
Here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and Hobart Race Control So on December 29, 2016, after the River Derwent had let just three boats home (Perpetual Loyal, Giacomo and Scallywag, all inside the old race record, she went to sleep for a lot of the day. This made it frustrating for the sailors, some of whom saw the lighter side. So after seeing some of those in Dark & Stormy, here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and HRC
Posted on 29 Dec 2016