Animator, polytech on same team

Ian Taylor
Ian Taylor
A collaboration between leading sports analysis business Animation Research Ltd and the Otago Polytechnic is aiming to put Dunedin at the international forefront of the rapidly developing industry.

Animation Research managing director Ian Taylor has long held ambitious plans to turn the city into the world's leading sports analysis centre by making use the almost completed Forsyth Barr Stadium.

Mr Taylor, speaking from London yesterday, said he wanted to consolidate expertise in the sports analysis industry in New Zealand and the stadium would make a "perfect laboratory" for students interested in research and design projects.

Otago Polytechnic chief executive Phil Ker told members at a campus council meeting yesterday the fledgling sports analysis industry provided a "great field of opportunities" for the tertiary institute.

The polytech's applied research and design department had collaborated with Animation Research on a $200,000 project for a commercial client recently, which was an "encouraging start".

The polytech wants to incorporate more software and IT training opportunities alongside Animation Research to create collaborative pathways into the sports analysis industry, Mr Ker said.

There was a broad potential to involve different departments, such as the sports institute, and create Polytech courses around the developing technology, Mr Ker said.

"It will enable us to become users [of the technology] and become more involved with developing the types of animation technology used for all sorts of training possibilities - live streaming of events, computer graphic interfaces, even engineering," Mr Ker said.

Mr Taylor said technology being developed by Animation Research is used "the world around" for yachting, cricket, golf, Formula One racing, rowing, and player tracking.

There was a "huge potential" for people who became involved with developing the industry to become leaders in the sporting animation field and work at international events, he said.

By getting tertiary institutes involved, the aim was to "broaden the base of knowledge", Mr Taylor said.

Discussions are also being held with departments at the University of Otago to gauge interest in courses designed around sports animation and tracking technology, he said.


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