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Unity Wētā Tools, Avatar 2 making-of: watch the Unity keynote from SIGGRAPH 2023

This article is available in: French

At SIGGRAPH 2023, Unity unveiled new tools relying on tech acquired back in 2021 following a deal with Weta Digital. During their keynote, available at the end if this article, Unity also unveiled an in-depth making-of of Avatar 2: The Way of Water, as well as an AI-based live demo.

Three tools were unveiled under the new Unity Wētā Tools brand

As a reminder, Unity had acquired Weta’s internal software, the underlying technology, and integrated their development teams. The VFX studio itself remained independent. At the time, Unity explained that the goal was to launch a commercial version of Weta’s tools. After two years of work, here are the results.

Three products were unveiled at SIGGRAPH:

  • Wig 1.0, a hair & fur solution for Maya. In a nutshell, Wig is an OpenUSD-based plugin, and it should be released during the last quarter of 2023.
  • Eddy 3.0a Nuke plugin for the creation, rendering, and denoising of volumetric effects. It will be launched next November.
  • Deep Compositing, a set of tools for Nuke centered around deep compositing.

These tools are Linux-only at the moment, but Windows support is planned.

These products are announced as part of the new Unity Wētā Tools lineup. Other Unity tools, such as Ziva (muscle, flesh and soft tissue simulation) and SpeedTree (vegetation creation) are also joining Unity Wētā Tools.

If you want to test these upcoming products for yourself, head over to Unity and ask to join the closed beta. Unity hasn’t given too many details about the pricing yet. We should learn more at the eand of the year, during the upcoming Unite conference.
In the meantime, here’s a presentation video about the Unity Wētā Tools.

Full keynote, Avatar 2 making-of and AI demo

Unity uploaded on Youtube the full keynote.

During this conference, Unity addresses the announcement of Unity Wētā Tools, as well as its involvement regarding OpenUSD, and provides a deeper look into the effects of Avatar 2 with Joe Letteri (42’36”).
At the 56’30” mark, a live 3D real-time demo concludes the presentation: a conversation with a 3D character. The answers are generated by an AI.

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