Weta Digital has joined with SideFX to provide a new software service WetaH, which combines Weta’s proprietary tools within SideFX’s award-winning Houdini application. This is the second such deal Weta has done, having done a similar deal with Autodesk and WetaM.  As before, the new WetaH partnership will enable via the cloud, previously unavailable creative tools and allow artists to take advantage of the deep integration between Houdini and Weta Digital’s award-winning studio technology.

CityBuilder screen shot

SideFX is a global leader in procedural 3D animation and visual effects tools in film, advertising, and gaming, with Houdini as the industry standard for animation and effects work. This collaboration offers Weta Digital’s integrations and extensions of the Houdini workflow, including Weta’s Loki multiphysics solver and high-performance compute paradigm, renowned for driving some of their iconic work in films like Avengers: Endgame, Alita: Battle Angel, and War for the Planet of the Apes.

From the film
Rampage, a Houdini smoke destruction sim

This partnership validates the importance of modern procedural workflows in today’s VFX pipelines. It has an immediate impact on Weta’s cloud service, a new business unit brought to life as part of a vision to unite leading industry technology players. Many years of joint development work underpin the inclusion of Houdini as a key part of Weta’s vision for how the industry will evolve. “Partnering with SideFX was essential in realizing our vision for the cloud service, I cannot imagine doing this without them,” said Weta Digital CEO Prem Akkaraju.

“The industry is moving to distributed architectures that will allow our cloud service model to reduce expensive technology barriers, further enhancing the natural strength of Houdini’s node based procedural workflows and overall position in the market,” says Akkaraju.

Cristin Barghiel, VP of Product Development at SideFX, believes this is an exciting time for artists, “partnering with the visionary minds at Weta Digital will enable us to bring the efficiency and sophistication of Houdini’s procedural workflows to the broadest possible artist base. Now even the smallest studio will be able to access production-proven tools out-of-the-box, for VFX and beyond.”

MortalEngines: the final shield wall

WetaH offers Weta Digital’s lengthy R&D commitment to Houdini to the broader user community. The WetaH tools have been stress-tested for years of Weta’s artists. WetaH will further allow for the wide use of Houdini and the Houdini Engine across many facets of a VFX pipeline. WetaH is entering private beta in Q4, alongside WetaM, as part of Weta’s software service.

Kim Davidson, Jonathan Erland and Mark Elendt during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards in 2018, in Beverly Hills, California.

Established in 1987, SideFX is well known for its award-winning advanced 3D animation and visual effects software. SideFX has been recognized three times with Scientific and Technical Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Similarly, Weta Digital is one of the world’s greatest visual effects companies. Based in New Zealand, Weta Digital is the largest single-site VFX studio in the world drawing artists from over 40 countries. Their work has earned the team six visual effects Academy Awards, thirteen Academy Sci-Tech Awards, and six visual effects BAFTA Awards in addition to the 34 Visual Effects Society Awards.

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