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SFX house Weta goes into the SaaS business with cloudy pipeline and its in-house animation tools

Code behind LoTR, Planet of the Apes and other flicks wrapped around Autodesk Maya

Famed special effects house Weta Digital will offer the tools it uses to make movies as a cloud service.

Due to debut in Q4 2021 as a private beta, the WetaM service will use the same animation tools that Weta uses for its clients. The company says the service will offer “one complete — from stage to screen — cloud-based pipeline” and reflects an “expansion strategy to offer professional and prosumer tools to artists across the global entertainment industry”.

WetaM will integrate with Autodesk’s popular Maya animation tool.

Exactly how Weta will charge for its wares, and how they’ll be consumed, was not disclosed. However, the two companies’ joint announcement made much of their collaboration making access to high-end VFX and production pipelines easier for even modestly resourced artists.

Access to cloudy pipelines matters because film projects routinely involve workers in disparate locations. Animators, editors, and other participants may be continents apart, so providing all concerned with collaboration tools is important.

Of wider interest, perhaps, is Weta’s plan to address “prosumers”, as that has the potential to make its fine animation tools very widely available. ®

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