Microsoft Licenses Graphics Technology to Award-Winning Weta Digital
Aug. 07, 2007
Technologies will enhance production company’s graphics and special-effects efforts.

REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 7, 2007 — Microsoft Corp. and Weta Digital Ltd., an Academy Award-winning visual effects company, today announced a licensing agreement that will enhance Weta’s ability to create graphics and special effects for its movie, commercial and other multimedia productions.

“We are pleased that one of the leading visual effects companies in the world has selected computer graphics technologies developed at Microsoft Research to deliver newer, richer graphics and special effects to audiences around the world,” said Louis Carbonneau, general manager for the Intellectual Property Licensing Group at Microsoft. “We believe the graphics technologies developed in our research labs to be among the best in the world, and are pleased that we can collaborate with entertainment industry leaders, through our new graphics technology IP licensing program, to bring new visual experiences to consumers.

Weta Digital, formed in 1997 by a group of New Zealand filmmakers — including Academy Award-winners Peter Jackson, Jamie Selkirk and Richard Taylor — offers world-class visual effects for international feature films and commercials. The company is best known for its visual effects work on “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy (New Line Cinema), and more recently for its work on “King Kong” (Universal Studios), all of which were directed by Peter Jackson.

“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 realized that by working directly with Microsoft Research, we could develop these ideas faster and spend more time on the creative effects. It’s great to be working with a talented group, like Microsoft Research, whose aim is to open up new horizons in digital imaging for filmmakers.”

Microsoft Research will present graphics research this week at SIGGRAPH 2007, the Association for Computing Machinery’s 34th annual international conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques, in San Diego. Microsoft will present 13 percent of the papers on the 2007 papers program, more than any other organization. Links to the papers Microsoft contributed to the conference this year as well as in previous years are available at http://research.microsoft.com/news/featurestories/publish/SIGGRAPH_2007.aspx.

More information on Microsoft Research is available at http://research.microsoft.com.

Microsoft’s Commitment to Licensing Technology

This licensing agreement is another example of the important role intellectual property (IP) plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant IT ecosystem. Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, the company has entered into more than 200 licensing agreements and continues to develop programs that make it possible for customers, partners and competitors to access its rich IP portfolio. More information about Microsoft’s licensing programs is available at http://.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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