ARL Staff Blog

Franz Josef Glacier 360 shoot

19 Nov 2015
This week Animation Research travelled to the little glacier town of Franz Josef on the West Coast of New Zealand. The mission was to capture the adventure and thrill of the Franz Josef Glacier Guide Ice Explorer hike in 360 video for use in the Samsung GearVR headset and Oculus. The day had been meticulously planned and sun shone for the first time in weeks so we were all go for the day of filming.

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The day started with a welcome at the Franz Josef Glacier Guide base and a walk through the spectacular rainforests which surrounds the facility. An awe-inspiring helicopter flight up to the glacier was definitely a highlight of the shoot and then the hike up the ice to the first major ice structure 'Midnight Crux'.

Due to the rapid moving of the glacier these cracks and crevasses open and close week by week and it's the guides duty to make them safe and cut out steps and put in ropes for the hikers to use. Midnight Crux was a crevass about 100metres long and 20 metres high at points. A magical place to experience.

We had two amazing guides with us for the day, who will star in the 360video we will be producing for Ngai Tahu. Plus we had our plucky "helmet camera actress" Kerry and Marketing Coordinator turned actress Kate both from Ngai Tahu Tourism who will be featuring in the promotional video. The shoot was a success but it isn't till you get the footage back into the office can you be completely sure you have it all in the can. So fingers crossed. We look forward to showing you all the results.

2015 NZ Open

19 Mar 2015
Virtual Eye turned up to the 2015 BMW NZ Open with a bag full of tricks. That bag of tricks was represented by 3 vans completely full of equipment. The standard golf team had to call in a few ring-ins in the form of JJ (IT and system director), Stu (all-round handyman), Video Factory (field edit team), Chris Haig (genius) and Zeke (SwingProfile). Everyone arrived in Arrowtown on a sunny Sunday and got to work.

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The field edit team was straight into their work with some AMAZING pieces on the owners of Milbrook (Mr Ishi) and The Hills (Sir Michael Hill). They were also choppered up to Cecil Peak for a special Hole-in-One golf competition for some of the players. Their stunning shots were edited and posted on youtube and reached 1000 views almost instantly.

One of our latest integrations has been with a company called SwingProfile, founded by Zeke Chan. Zeke has spent a few days in Dunedin working with our golf team to bring his patented swing analysis software from Apple IOS systems into a broadcast quality product. After some tweaks and improvements we had SwingProfile feature and become an important part of the NZ Open this year.

The veteran golf team were on site in their usual capacity showing the ball positions of the two feature groups each day, as well as the ideal way to play each hole. The Hills course model was looking spectacular thanks to some recently filmed footage from our drone-man Aaron, and some software and design magic from the geniuses in the office.

All in all the week went really well. The team got lots of good stuff to air and compiled a list of things to improve as we prepare for our next trip away in a few days. Looking forward to see what Seattle has to offer the Virtual Eye Golf Team.

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Animation Research Limited, 8 Dowling Street, PO Box 5580, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand. ph +64 3 477 2995 or email info@arl.co.nz