‘On the Whiteboard’ goes behind the scenes of modern movie magic

REDMOND, Wash. – Aug. 21, 2013 – In this episode of “On the Whiteboard,” Editor Pamela Woon gives you a feast for the eyes with an interview with Weta Digital, a five-time Academy Award-winning visual effects company based in Wellington, New Zealand.


The film clips that flash before your eyes should look familiar, as they’re from some Hollywood blockbusters that Weta is known for like “Avatar,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” and “The Avengers.” Some of Microsoft Research’s (MSR) work in advancing the state-of-the-art computer graphics has benefited many industries, including the visual effects and moviemaking industries. As an example, Weta licensed graphics technology created by researchers at MSR in 2007.

“Microsoft Research has consulted with a number of feature film companies, providing technical advice,” says MSR’s Curtis Wong. “We hosted Jim Cameron in 2002 when he was just beginning to think about face capture and was interested in optical flow to enable accurate rendering of facial expressions for digital characters. I hosted Michael Bay and a small group of MSR researchers to review and discuss the plot for the movie ‘The Island’ and helped them think about the technology in the future. MSR got credit at the end of the film and the director mentions MSR in the commentary about the making of the film.”

Microsoft’s film series “On the Whiteboard” explores topics at the intersection of technology and culture, and introduces the people, places and things behind the products. Check out the latest installment of “On the Whiteboard” above.

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