Siggraph: Method, Autodesk Team Up To Develop Previs Tools

Marc Weigert Headshot - P 2014
Courtesy of Autodesk

Marc Weigert Headshot - P 2014

VANCOUVER—Visual effects company Method Studios is working with software developer Autodesk to create what Method’s recently named president Marc Weigert  describes as the "Holy Grail." That is, the ability to "previsualize" an entire movie at a "low budget."

Speaking at Autodesk’s press conference during CG confab Siggraph, Weigert said, "the cheapest previs I’ve seen is [around] $2 million," he asserted, adding that some efforts effectively created, low-resolution CG renderings of what a project would look like have been in the range of $5 million — and have in some instances had the film canceled.

“We’re working with Autodesk to create full previs at a price that is a maximum of two shooting days," he added, equating that to "roughly half a million dollars to previs a large feature."

The umbrella for the effort the newly launched "Next" unit of Method, which maintains bases in nine cities including Los Angeles, London and Vancouver. The work, at least initially, will be spearheaded in Los Angeles and Vancouver.

According to Weigert, plans are to offer some proprietary previs tools at Method, though other tools developed through the partnership will eventually be offered by Autodesk, including some through its Maya CG software.

During the press conference, Autodesk’s additional announcements included new Extensions for its Maya and 3ds Max software, as well as enhancements to the Shotgun Software platform, which Autodesk acquired in June.

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