Lord of the Rings Visual Effects Firm Opts for Microsoft

Weta Digital, the New Zealand-based visual effects company behind such box-office hits as King Kong and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, today announced a licensing agreement with Microsoft that will see it use Redmond's technology in its movie, commercial and other multimedia productions. Weta Digital, formed in 1997 by a group of New Zealand filmmakers – including Academy Award-winners Peter Jackson, Jamie Selkirk and Richard Taylor – offers visual effects for feature films and commercials, though it remains best known for two aforementioned projects.

"Last year, Microsoft showed us some new research in computer graphics that we thought would be a great addition to our toolkit," said Joe Letteri, senior visual effects supervisor at Weta Digital. "We realised that by working directly with Microsoft Research, we could develop these ideas faster and spend more time on the creative effects." Microsoft is planning to share its graphics research this year at SIGGRAPH 2007, the Association for Computing Machinery's 34th annual international conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques.

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