WetaM Creative Cloud Service is a subscription service, which will feature over 100 custom tools created by Weta Digital, embedded in Autodesk Maya. Among them creative tools, procedural workflows and AI assisted tools. This release will mark Weta’s launch of software-as-a-service (SaaS) buisness division. The 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. It is also a new trend, as companies like ILM or Digital Domain are trying to monetize their in-house software and tools.
Weta Digital, which is famous for its Lord of the Rings and Avatar effects, has won 13 Academy Sci-tech Awards for its tools, designed to help artists produce some of the most successful film and TV series in the world. It now claims to be one of the largest single-site VFX studios in the world, drawing artists from over 40 countries.
“WetaM is the first step in the democratisation of VFX and animation production,” said Prem Akkaraju, CEO of Weta Digital. “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.”
According to Diana Colella, senior vice president of entertainment and media solutions at Autodesk, the debut of WetaM is a “game changer” that opens up years of Weta’s dedicated animation and VFX research and development resources to users around the world.
Weta’s SaaS offering is a strategy development for the company that will see it garner recurring revenue from software subscription services, in addition to the revenue it makes from its core visual effects business. The company is also moving it’s own operation to the cloud, with retiring most of it’s IT infrastructure in favour of Amazon We Services back in 2020. In the past the studio’s data centre in Wellington regularly showed up in Top 500 list of global supercomputers until fading out in June 2018.
Weta intends to rollout WetaM in a private Q4 beta.