Unity is buying VFX giant Weta Digital in preparation for the metaverse boom
The company behind the Unity video game engine announced yesterday that it has entered a definitive agreement to acquire digital visual effects giant Weta Digita created by film director Peter Jackson in the early '90s. Unity Technologies is looking to buyout the artist tools, core pipeline, intellectual property and engineering talent, while the Academy Award-winning VFX service teams of Weta Digital that worked on films like Lord of the Rings, Avatar and the new Planet of the Apes trilogy will remain as a standalone entity known as WetaFX. This acquisition iwill be finalized by the end of 2021 and iss meant to unlock the full potential of the Unity engine for future metaverse content creators.
All of the world-class, exclusive VFX tools developed by Weta Digital will be made available to millions of creators and artists around the world through the Unity platform in order to enable real-time 3D creativity with unparalleled visual fidelity for the metaverse foundation. Among the included tools that will be unlocked for Unity users we find the Manuka and Gazebo renderers, the Loki physics-based visual effects simulator, the Koru advanced puppet rigging system, advanced facial capture tech, the Barbershop hair and fur generator, the Apteryx feather generator, the Tissue character modeler, world building tools, the Lumberjack and Totara vegetation generators, the Eddy plug-in for volumetric effects and advanced tools for real-time CG production.
Additionally, Unity will integrate an ever-expanding asset library inherited from Weta Digital, which includes urban and natural environments, flora and fauna, humans, man-made objects, materials, textures etc. All these new features and tools will be integrated via cloud-based services, the deployment of which is set to happen gradually, so it might be a while before Unity users could take full advantage of what Weta is bringing to the table.