Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad

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.richardgladwell.com

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.

Wildwind 2016 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht DesignInSunSport - NZ

Related Articles

Gladwell's Line - Does the America's Cup really need a Star Chamber?
The first meeting of the three-man America's Cup Arbitration Panel is believed to have taken place in London The first meeting of the three-man America's Cup Arbitration Panel is believed to have taken place in London in the past week or so. Officially the date hasn't been publicly announced. The venue hasn't been publicly named, and the parties have appeared before a Panel that is publicly nameless.
Posted on 23 Jul
America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on Emirates Team NZ's road to Bermuda
Part 2 of the interview with Emirates Team NZ skipper Glenn Ashby. In this part of the interview we look at what is going to happen once Emirates Team NZ get their 'AC49.5' sailing in Auckland, and how the campaign may shape up before they leave for Bermuda. Ashby wouldn’t be drawn on whether Team New Zealand had started their AC50 build, with July being the usual start of what is usually a five-month build and commissioning period for an end of December launch.
Posted on 10 Jul
America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on Emirates Team NZ's new AC49.5
Sail-World talks with Emirates Team NZ skipper, Glenn Ashby on what is different about the team's new test boat Just under 11 months out from the 35th America’s Cup, Team New Zealand does not seem to be in its customary place at the front of the starting grid to be the first to launch their Challenger, or are they? Although they will be one of the last of the six teams to launch an AC45 Surrogate, Emirates Team New Zealand may have stolen a march with a boat that is as close as you can get to an AC50.
Posted on 9 Jul
Gladwell's Line - Emirates Team NZ launches shadow AC50
Emirates Team NZ took a late but significant step along the road to the 35th America's Cup, with the launch of their AC4 Emirates Team NZ took a late but significant step along the road to the 35th America's Cup, with the launch of their AC45S - as the test boats are called in the Protocol which governs the 2017 event. The bloated Protocol, which now runs to 83 pages of legalese, is restrictive on the size of boat that can be built as a test platform but doesn't restrict the number that can be built.
Posted on 22 Jun
Platino recovery - Family confirms that tug has made rendezvous
Reports in social media say a salvage tug has made a rendezvous with the Platino earlier than expected. Reports in social media by family and friends of Nick Saull, the crew member killed during a catastrophic incident abroad the 66ft yacht Platino say the salvage tug which left on Tuesday night has made the rendezvous earlier than expected. The Facebook report says the tug, Sea Pelican, arrived on Friday morning, the weather in the area has eased and with a more favorable outlook.
Posted on 16 Jun
Rio 2016 - Double Olympic medallist on the delights of Guanabara Bay
Olympic Gold and Bronze medallist Bruce Kendall updates on the 2016 Olympic venue at Guanabara Bay. Olympic Gold and Bronze medallist, and now a windsurfer coach, Bruce Kendall has made several trips to the 2016 Olympic venue at Guanabara Bay. He updates on the pollution issue which is clearly not going to be resolved in a couple of months, and also shares his views on the venue from a sailing competition perspective.
Posted on 14 Jun
America's Cup - Artemis win Chicago as Team Japan wins two races
Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series got three races away on Super Sunday. After losing the first official day of racing due to light winds and the non-arrival of the onshore breeze, Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series got three races away on Super Sunday. From a racing perspective this was probably the best day of racing yet in the series which counts for points in the Qualifying Series of the America's Cup in 11 months time.
Posted on 12 Jun
America's Cup - Emirates TNZ NZ and Oracle capsize in Chicago Practice
Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Team USA capsized in Practice Racing at the Louis Vuitton ACWS Chicago There was action aplenty on Practice Day at Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Chicago, after Emirates Team New Zealand capsized in their match with Oracle Team USA, and then Oracle Team USA capsized later in the day. Team NZ's skipper skipper Glenn Ashby performed some impressive acrobatics ejecting from the AC45 capsize, without injury.
Posted on 11 Jun
America's Cup - Changes proposed to control future Cup options
Changes are being mooted to put the America's Cup on a longer-term footing according to the Daily Telegraph (UK) News that changes are being mooted to put the America's Cup on a longer-term footing is being floated in the Daily Telegraph (UK) by the British Challenger, Land Rover BAR. According to the Telegraph, some of the teams in the 2017 America's Cup are keen to lock-in parameters which would bind successive holders of the a style and frequency for the next America's Cup Match.
Posted on 8 Jun
America's Cup - AC50 construction uncovered - Part 2 - Wings and Costs
Second part of a two-part series looking at the AC50 construction progress at Core Builders Composites Second part of a two-part series looking at the construction progress at Core Builders Composites, and features of the AC50 class which will be used in the 35th America's Cup in Bermuda. Tim Smyth takes us on a tour of the CBC facility in Warkworth, and hour's drive north of Auckland. Where several AC50's, components and wingsails are under construction or have already been shipped to the teams.
Posted on 5 Jun