Who are TigerX?
TIGERX is a visualisation studio, creating bespoke CGI / VR imagery and video for their clients. “What we’re doing is create advertising imagery really. The difference is that CGI is our tool. It’s about selling the dream.”
TIGERX was born in Hayle after Dougie Cross and his wife came to Cornwall on holiday and never left. Four sons later, they’re still here, two of their boys are now sponsored skateboarders travelling the UK on the professional circuit and the company is thriving. As for the name? “Tiger is what my dad used to call me as a kid,” Mr Cross said. The ‘X’ is cross which is my family name. It kind of stuck as a name but it also gives us great flexibility. It doesn’t pigeon hole us but while we’re known as a visualisation studio, it allows us to pursue whatever revenue stream we want.”
TIGERX employs 10 staff from designers, to people with backgrounds in architecture and gaming. Mr Cross said the gaming courses available at Falmouth University are increasingly delivering young people – especially young women – with the skills and know how needed by the growing industry.
“Traditionally it’s been difficult to recruit, but that’s changing and now we see more and more CVs from local guys and girls who have come out of gaming courses at Falmouth University. We’re pushing our skills and new technology because there is so much competition. It means the onus is on us to push for new markets but then again in 15 years we have not lost a single client and we’re winning new ones all the time. Our aim is to go into the hardware business so we sell the full package to clients. The VR, the technology, the full after sale care and maintenance. The lot. It is a brave new world for us.”
What do they do?
The visualisation studio is increasingly moving into the virtual reality world,providing immersive walk throughs for clients keen to show off their waterside luxury apartments to prospective buyers. TIGERX is adopting techniques and technology from the gaming world too with live rendering the key to giving clients the most realistic experience possible – even though nothing they see is real.
“These things are always a bit faddy at first, but when you look at the considerable investment going into VR from the big boys like Facebook, Google or Apple, we know we’re on the right track. 3D probably had three false starts but look where it is now. It’s the same with VR. There is always this aspect of having someone having to put on goggles, but with what we do it puts clients in the driving seat. An image maybe very nice but VR puts people inside that image. It gives them a true sense of scale. You can add sound, touch etc. It’s about taking people from where they are into another environment without them leaving their office or living room.”
The company is also creating immersive training programmes for the offshore oil industry so drilling companies can train staff on virtual oil rigs before they are taken out to the real thing. It saves exploration companies a vast amount of money and improves staff’s knowledge with the equipment they will have to use in the real world. “Forewarned is forearmed,” Mr Cross added. “That’s the idea. We’re also developing way-finding solutions for people with mobility issues to help them navigate their way around a building like a train station.” The next stage is full interactivity in term of information access and real life shopping via the virtual world. Think Ready Player One,the recent Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi blockbuster or Second Life, the 3D virtual world where users can create, connect, and chat with others from around the world – but in full VR.
TIGERX has worked with interior designer Philippe Starck on projects showing off new apartments kitted out in the famous French designer’s style. It has also worked with the National Trust, the Mansell group, aeronautics giant BAe Systems and closer to home, Tate St Ives. Right back at the beginning it was tasked with creating imagery of what the new Tate would look like and how well it would blend with the rest of the seaside town. “The project in Dubai is about selling a lifestyle. They’re trying to sell a reality that could happen but actually doesn’t yet exist. From our office right here in Hayle we help them do just that.”
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