Weta Digital has teamed with Autodesk to launch WetaM, a cloud-based service commercializing Weta’s proprietary VFX tools for artists built on Autodesk’s Maya 3D animation, modeling, rendering, and simulation software. This is the first time that Autodesk has entered into an agreement with a third party to sell Maya in the cloud. This also marks the launch of a new SaaS business arm for Weta and enables Autodesk to bring Weta Digital’s best-in-class toolsets, combined with Maya’s innovative platform to more creatives.
Weta Digital has won 13 Academy Sci-tech Awards for its tools that helped artists produce some of the most successful film and TV series in the world, including The Lord of the Rings, Avatar, Game of Thrones, and Planet of the Apes. Based in Wellington, New Zealand, Weta is the largest single-site VFX studio in the world drawing artists from over 40 countries. Weta intends to rollout WetaM as a private beta in Q4.
WetaM productizes Weta’s unique set of proprietary VFX tools for artists built on Maya’s open API, and will be commercialized by Weta Digital as a subscription cloud service. For the first time, artists from around the world will have access to one complete—from stage to screen—cloud based pipeline. The launch of WetaM marks the first product launch under a newly formed Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) division within Weta Digital. This new business arm is an integral part of Weta’s expansion strategy to offer professional and prosumer tools to artists across the global entertainment industry.
“WetaM is the first step in the democratization of VFX and animation production. Weta Digital brings together the most creative minds in the world and has been a pioneering innovator in the visual effects and entertainment industry for decades,” said Prem Akkaraju, CEO of Weta Digital. “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.”
“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,” said Diana Colella, senior vice president, Entertainment & Media Solutions, Autodesk. “The debut of WetaM is a gamechanger as it opens up years of Weta’s dedicated animation and VFX R&D resources to all creatives. It is exciting to be working with Weta to bring their magic to Maya artists, offering them powerful new effects tools and time-saving automation capabilities.”
As a leader in VFX and animation for the last three decades, Weta Digital’s DNA is rooted in technological innovation, unmatched artistic talent, and exceptional visual style. Brought to life through the partnership with Autodesk, WetaM shares this DNA and gives artists, everywhere, access to the unique visual design and pipeline efficiency tools that have driven Weta Digital’s Academy® Award-winning success.