Race for America's Cup begins

Animation Research Ltd animators Mark McQuillan (left) and Ken Gorrie reveal the graphics and...
Animation Research Ltd animators Mark McQuillan (left) and Ken Gorrie reveal the graphics and animation for Team New Zealand's AC75, which will be used in the 36th America's Cup. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
The gurus at Animation Research Ltd raced to get their animation simulations over the finish line in time to show off what Team New Zealand's sailing boat would look like in the 36th America's Cup.

The graphics and designs for the monohull boat were unveiled to the public yesterday.

ARL animator Ken Gorrie said it was a ``fairly dramatic design change'' compared with the catamaran that won this year's America's Cup.

The new boat had a monohull with articulated foils that moved depending on how the boat was ``flying''.

``The previous boat [was] less of a sailor's boat and more of a ... sailing machine,'' Mr Gorrie said.

The boat was designed by Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa over the past four months but they had only focused on it from a functional point of view, Mr Gorrie said.

``They hadn't really seen what they'd designed until we finished [our animations].''

ARL generated an animation that showed what it looked like, how it moved in the water and ``pretty much how it feels to be on board''.
``[Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa] were quite pleased to see that because until they saw what we did, they didn't really realise what they had,'' Mr Gorrie said.

It was an ``odd-looking boat'' but it would be ``quite entertaining for sailing'', he said.

A first draft of the animation was sent to Luna Rossa last week and some changes were requested before the final video was rendered on Monday and released yesterday.

Most of the graphics was rendered using computer animation software Autodesk Maya.

The most difficult thing to animate was the water, of which ARL had incorporated the physics to ``some degree''.

The team of about seven animators worked on the animation and graphics for three ``pretty intensive'' weeks.

Now, Mr Gorrie was most excited about finally finishing the work and going home.

``We knew it was going to be a quite an intense period ... In that time there wasn't much time for thinking about anything else.''

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