Weta Digital is planning a branch dedicated to advanced computer graphics research called Transfx, reports VARIETY. VFXWorld reported in April that Sebastian Sylwan had joined Weta as head of research and development, and now he will oversee the new arm, which hopes to bridge the gap between R&D and production. Previously, Sylwan worked for Autodesk as senior industry manager for film and TV.
Transfx will get some New Zealand government support, but most of the funding will come from Weta. The team will consist of 20 researchers and students. Sylwan will do recruiting at SIGGRAPH and SIGGRAPH Asia. Already working with Transfx are visiting professors UC San Diego's Henrik Wann Jenson, University of British Columbia's Robert Bridson; and Columbia's Eitan Grinspun.
Sylwan wrote the final "Digital Eye" column for VFXWORLD in February: "Stereoscopic 3-D and the Future of Visual Storytelling".