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Alias and Weta Digital Extend Strategic Alliance

Alias is continuing to foster a strategic business relationship with Weta Digital beyond THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, as it looks forward to working together on KING KONG.

Using 165 seats of primarily Maya Unlimited, Maya proved invaluable as the core 3D animation software utilized in the production of THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy.

"THE LORD OF THE RINGS film trilogy has taken the art of filmmaking to new heights," says Peter Mehlstaeubler, vp of product development, Alias. "The incredibly talented team of computer animators, technical and artistic directors at Weta Digital has played a pivotal role in advancing the art of film-making. We are extremely proud to be working closely with Weta, to provide the 3D graphics and animation technology that allows them to attain this unsurpassed level of excellence. By continuing to push the limits of digital effects creation, Weta also helps Alias to excel in driving the evolution of the 3D graphics industry forward."

"Weta Digital has strongly valued the strategic partnership it has shared with Alias over the past several years. It has enabled our artists to create some of the most compelling visual effects for all three Lord of the Rings films," says Scott Houston, chief technology officer at Weta Digital. "Alias is an important business partner, and we have benefited from our relationship with them many times: including in the delivery of custom Maya software for animation, specifically for animation constraints for reparenting, clothing simulation and clothing mesh constraints for THE RETURN OF THE KING. We look forward to continuing to work with Alias in the future. Our next project is bigger in scale still: and suitably enough, it's KING KONG. More than ever we're going to have to rely on Alias."

Weta Digital ( was formed in 1993 by a group of young New Zealand filmmakers, including Peter Jackson, Jamie Selkirk, Jim Booth, George Port, Tania Rodger and Richard Taylor. The single original computer, located in the backroom of an old Wellington house, was leased to accomplish the visual effects shots for Jackson's film, HEAVENLY CREATURES.

Since these humble beginnings, the company has quickly increased in size and skill to now provide some of the highest quality visual effects in the film and television industries. Weta's digital artists use the latest hardware and software, as well as a suite of proprietary tools. Working closely with the other division of Weta Ltd., Weta Workshop, they offer multidisciplinary expertise in conceptualization, creation and technical know-how as well as compositing, bluescreen and background plates, miniature stop motion footage, motion capture sequencing, 35mm film scanning, recording and screenings, full design, maquette and 3D scanning services.

As a leading innovator of 3D graphics technology, Alias ( develops award-winning software, custom development and training solutions for the film and video, games, Web, interactive media, industrial design, education and visualization markets. In 2003, the company was awarded an Oscar for Technical Achievement from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for its development of Maya software, the professional 3D animation and effects package.

Alias also offers a powerful range of services for new to advanced users in the most demanding environments. Learning Tools and Training, Support and Professional Services help meet rigorous production deadlines. Alias is a wholly owned, independent software company of SGI with headquarters in Toronto and Custom Development Center in Santa Barbara, California.