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ARL News

Formula One 2009

26 Mar 2009

Animation Research Ltd has taken the checkered flag in a race to win a contract to provide graphics for this year’s Formula One series for the BBC. Staff had been working 18-hour days to put together a graphics package for Sunday’s Formula One season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, and yesterday CEO Ian Taylor proudly showed off the fruits of their labour to the media. That included a detailed 3-D depiction of the Melbourne track and, as the series progressed, it was hoped data from the vehicles would be used for graphics showing lines the drivers took; where they accelerated; braked; their speed; gear choices, and the G-forces they had to deal with. As well, commentators would be able to “drive” the virtual cars during analysis before or after race coverage, choosing the lines they would take into corners, and how they might have dealt with crashes.

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The company heard the good news just before Christmas and seven staff had worked “flat out” since then. Once Melbourne had been completed, staff will begin work on Kuala Lumpur, then the rest of the tracks used in the series. The company will build 17 virtual tracks, as well as all the vehicles involved, their drivers, and at a high level of detail (down to bumps on the track). Staff members are already overseas photographing the tracks. The detail was important, from showing reflections on water to getting the track measured to the millimeter.

The 137th Open

01 Aug 2008

The 137th Open, at Royal Birkdale, will be remembered for its wild weather, its pure drama, a champion who almost didn't play in the tournament due to a wrist injury and the launch of ARL's new Golf Graphics Package. With 3 months build up the Virtual Eye golf team was busy integrating new technologies into our graphics. Working with the Trackman radar tracking system, our graphics we able to accurately represent the flight path of tee shots. The Trackman system measures ball trajectory, ball carry, ball and club speed and other shot data. This information is sent real time to our graphics computers and graphics are available for commentators to analyze as the golfers walk to their second shots.

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The Golfing drama was heightened by a see-sawing leader board with over 21 players within 5 strokes of one another, winds which never faded under 20MPH and torrential rain which made for some challenging moments. As always our teams were right there walking the fairways getting accurate ball positions from the fairways, bunkers and the occasional burn (stream). The ability to combine flight path data for shots with weather conditions and the various strategies associated with playing holes allows the commentators tell the stories behind the shots. Viewers can physically see the ball path of tee shots and better understand the strategies and course management ideas being adopted by the pros. The Virtual Eye golf system can now combine photo realistic golf course models and weather conditions, with actual flight trajectories and final ball locations.

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