Peter Jackson sells Weta Digital VFX to Unity for $ 1.6 billion

The visual effects used for Avatar or The Lord of the Rings will soon be democratized.

Unity Software, a San Francisco-based video game software development company, has acquired Weta Digital VFX, the digital special effects company of Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh. Created in the mid-1990s to handle the digital effects of Celestial creatures, it has since made it possible to manufacture those of Lord of the Rings or from King Kong, from the same director, and was also at the heart of the creations ofAvatar Where The Planet of the Apes. A pioneer in terms of capture performance, the technique developed in particular to animate Gollum since The Fellowship of the Ring, it was sold for $ 1.6 billion. A substantial sum, which corresponds to the quality of the work of the VFX teams: Unity thus buys all the digital tools used to manufacture visual effects, which the group intends to democratize. “We are delighted to participate in the democratization of these innovative and promising services within the industry, explains John Riccitiello, head of Unity, to Variety. But also to be able to offer the genius of Sir Peter Jackson, and the incredible talents of the Weta teams to artists all over the world. “

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We do not yet know the price of the software that will be offered to the general public, but the firm immediately expressed its wish to“open these technologies to as many people as possible.” It also retrieves 275 engineers from Weta to integrate them into the group’s creative division, but the Weta company remains with around 1,700 employees, mostly based in Wellington, New Zealand. It is also still owned by Peter Jackson and run by its current boss, Prem Akkaraju. “We’re like Jimi Hendrix, and now we sell guitars, commented the latter. We think this world has many more Jimi Hendrix “ Peter Jackson for his part explained: “Weta Digital tools are allowed to create worlds and creatures that until now only lived in our imagination. With Unity, we will be able to create models that can be used by all artists, from any industry, in order to that they in turn can increase the creative capabilities of these very powerful tools.Giving the technologies developed within Weta to creatives will be a real change in this business, and Unity is the right company to bring that vision to life. “ The article finally recalls that the VFX manufactured by the company for cinema and television are already particularly diversified: “Weta Digital is the largest visual effects studio in the world. The company employs artists from 40 countries and its tools enable all kinds of creations, from the capture of very advanced facial movements to anatomical modeling, including that of hair or body hair, or even the simulation and deformation of moving objects. “

Peter Jackson’s Next Project, the Documentary Series Get back on The Beatles, will air from November 25 on Disney Plus. Trailer :

Peter Jackson expands WETA and launches its animation branch

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