Visual effects studio Weta Digital has partnered with global media and entertainment software provider Autodesk to launch WetaM. The new product provides tools from Weta Digital fully embedded into Autodesk’s Maya platform.
“WetaM is the first step in the democratization of VFX and animation production,” Weta Digital CEO Prem Akkaraju said. “WetaM is a transformational move that will raise the bar for global creative production, redefining the industry in the process. At its core, this partnership with Autodesk will extend the reach of the Weta magic, making it more accessible for artists in pursuit of creating amazing characters and worlds across film and television.”
WetaM also marks the first product launched under Weta Digital’s software-as-a-service division, which is a key part of Weta’s expansion strategy to offer tools to artists across the global entertainment industry. From stage to screen, artists from around the world will have access for the first time ever to one complete cloud-based pipeline as a subscription service. Given the explosive growth of content and new platforms, Akkaraju explained that they knew there was something more they could offer to the industry.
“We are longtime fans of Weta’s remarkable visual effects achievements, and they are constantly breaking new ground building immersive, imaginary worlds and unbelievably real and engaging digital characters,” Autodesk entertainment and media senior vice president Diana Colella said. “The debut of WetaM is a game changer as it opens up years of Weta’s dedicated animation and VFX R&D resources to all creatives.”
The partnership marks the first time that Autodesk has allowed a third-party to sell a customized version of Maya in the cloud. But for Autodesk, the decision to partner with Weta Digital was simple given their reputation for building immersive, imaginary worlds and unbelievably real and engaging digital characters.
In addition to visual effects professionals, WetaM is thinking ahead about how they can offer their service to education and other markets. They are optimistic about enabling creativity by giving artists a head start on the visual effects pipeline. WetaM is expected to roll out during the year’s fourth quarter as a private, invite-only beta.