Please select your home edition
Edition
Protector 728x90

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.

KZRaceFurlersMackay BoatsZhik AkzoNobelb 660x82

Related Articles

An interview with Patrick Kennedy about the Ida Lewis Distance Race
I interviewed Patrick Kennedy, chair of the 2017 ILDR, via email to learn more about the race’s history and evolution. With this year’s Ida Lewis Distance Race set to unfurl the weekend of August 18-20, I caught up with Patrick Kennedy, chair of the 2017 ILDR, via email to learn more about the race’s history and evolution, its challenges, and the event’s new partnership with the 2017 J/Fest New England.
Posted on 14 Aug
An interview with Marianne Davis about the CORK International Regatta
I interviewed Marianne Davis, co-chair of the CORK International Regatta, to learn about the regatta’s state of affairs. While the various CORK regattas' registration lists include international sailors, these events are some of the gemstones in Sail Canada’s yearly championship calendar, making them of extra importance to Canadian sailors. I recently caught up with Marianne Davis, co-chair of the 2017 event, via email, to learn more about the CORK International Regatta’s evolution and its current state of affairs.
Posted on 7 Aug
A Q&A with the RORC’s Nick Elliott about the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race
I caught up with Nick Elliott, RORC Racing Manager, via email, to learn more about the world-famous Rolex Fastnet Race. When one stops to consider the world’s best ocean races, the Royal Offshore Racing Club’s Rolex Fastnet Race, which starts on Sunday, August 6, 2017, is never far from mind. I caught up with Nick Elliott, RORC Racing Manager, via email to learn more about the race’s history and evolution, its challenges, and the amount of work that goes into pulling off this world-famous regatta.
Posted on 1 Aug
Ian Walker - Musto Ambassador on the Volvo Ocean Race, America's Cup
Ian Walker on his Volvo Ocean Race win, why food and clothing are so important offshore, his views on the America's Cup We speak to Musto ambassador Ian Walker about his Volvo Ocean Race win, why food and clothing are so important offshore, his views on the America's Cup, his new desk job, sailing for fun, and 20 years of the John Merricks Sailing Trust.
Posted on 23 Jul
Black Jack Yachting. Bigger boat. Bigger team. Even bigger performance
Throughout the iterations of maxis called Black Jack, a strong, consistent and talented team has been their focus Throughout the iterations of maxis called Black Jack, a strong, consistent and talented team has been their focus. Some were sail makers, like Skipper Mark Bradford and also Vaughan Prentice from North Sails’ Brisbane loft. Others were riggers, such as Bruce Clarke, and there are even boat builders, like Gary van Lunteren, as well as Ash Deeks.
Posted on 20 Jul
A Q&A with Tom Trujillo about the Transpacific Race’s 49th running
Sail-World interviewed Tom Trujillo, the Transpac Race’s PRO, via email to learn more about this classic bluewater race. The Transpac Race (est 1906) is in a rarefied group of four races that are considered sailing’s greatest bluewater Corinthian challenges, and it welcomes a wildly diverse fleet of bluewater-worthy boats. The 49th running of this classic race is currently underway, so Sail-World caught up with Tom Trujillo, the race’s principal race officer, via email to learn more.
Posted on 7 Jul
Gladwell's Line - America's Cup returns to its new home and thinking
Emirates Team New Zealand's win in the 35th America's Cup ends 17-years of wandering in the AC wilderness Emirates Team New Zealand's win in the 35th America's Cup ends 17-years of wandering in the AC wilderness and will open a new era of America's Cup, New Zealand and World Sailing. A rookie crew won the most prestigious trophy in sailing, and one of the most difficult to win in any sport.
Posted on 29 Jun
SuperFoilers Are Go!
SuperFoilers represent many things. Whilst those components are disparate and virtually from different planets SuperFoilers represent many things. Whilst those components are disparate and virtually from different planets in the great scheme of things, they come together in the one form as harmoniously as a Rolls Royce, and also deliver intense energy way past the sum of their parts, just like some amazing band.
Posted on 28 Jun
A Q&A with Kimball Livingston about San Francisco high school sailing
I emailed with my friend and colleague Kimball Livingtston to learn about San Francisco’s latest sailing revolution. I started hearing whispers of shifts in the San Francisco Bay high school sailing scene a couple of months ago. A few inquiries led me to my good friend and colleague Kimball Livingston, a world-class sailor, scribe, and StFYC staff commodore who isn’t one to keep his seaboots dry when the topic turns to opportunities for the next sailing generation. I caught up with KL via email to learn more.
Posted on 13 Jun
A Q&A with Andrew Howe about winning the 2015 Marion to Bermuda Race
I interviewed Andrew Howe, the 2015 Marion to Bermuda Race’s winning co-navigator, to learn more about their race. In 2015, skipper Greg Marston and the crew of Ti, a 1967 Alden Mistral, racing under celestial rules, were the overall winners of the Marion Bermuda Race Founders Division, beating boats that were enjoying GPS accuracy. On the eve of the 2017 edition of the race, I reached out to Andrew Howe, the team’s co-navigator, to gain perspective on this impressive win and hear about his 2017 plans.
Posted on 7 Jun