The magic of Weta Workshop helps to shape the future of art and technology
5 February 2016

It’s looking to be a watershed year for Magic Leap’s Mixed Reality Lightfield™ technology, and Wellington’s Weta Workshop is playing a pivotal creative role.

Today, Magic Leap CEO, Rony Abovitz announced a Series C funding round, led by the Alibaba Group. At the same time, Weta Workshop CEO and one of Magic Leap’s founding directors, Richard Taylor lifts the lid on his and his company’s preeminent Magic Leap partnership. A seven-year affiliation with Rony that is now a growing interactive division within the Workshop, right here in Wellington.

This team of Weta Workshop creatives and Magic Leap engineers was founded at Magic Leap’s genesis and hardcoded with the creative DNA of Weta Workshop. The artists, engineers, technicians, experience architects, storytellers and producers who make up this growing team are now engaged in helping to shape the creative vision of Mixed Reality: entertainment and computing’s next giant leap forward. It is a work of science fiction, and it is happening right now, right in our own back yard.

Richard and Rony’s seven-year professional relationship and great friendship predates the Magic Leap platform by almost a year. The pair first met in June of 2009 when Rony sought out Richard and his Weta Workshop team to help realise a number of creative projects integral to the creation of Magic Leap. They became fast friends and, in 2010, Rony asked Richard to become a founding director on Magic Leap’s board. In Richard, Rony saw a creative leader with over 27 years’ experience making imaginary worlds a reality. In Rony, Richard saw nothing short of the future.

“Magic Leap holds the keys to new worlds for storytellers and creatives to play in,” says Richard. “These are not born of print or film or TV, but rather, they are images and experiences, entertainment, education and information laid into our own reality. Our design team has fully embraced the possibilities of this new frontier. The unique possibilities of Magic Leap’s Mixed Reality Lightfield™ have already sparked incredible creative evolutions within our company. The ability to design and create these new experiences is not just the future for entertainment; it has the potential to be the future of everything.”

Since joining the Magic Leap Board, Richard and his Weta Workshop team have provided invaluable creative direction, strategic thought leadership and drive to Magic Leap.

“Richard and the Weta Workshop team have been there since the beginning,” said Rony Abovitz, Founder, President and CEO of Magic Leap, Inc. “They’ve provided an incredible, creative partnership and friendship that has helped set the stage for the future of Mixed Reality Lightfield™ experiences.”

Weta Workshop will continue to play a pivotal role in deciding what that face of Magic Leap will look like; blending both physical and digital experiences together in ways that we have not seen before.

As well as providing creative input for the Magic Leap interface, the Weta Workshop Interactive Division is already well-advanced on a game for the Magic Leap hardware based around the world of Dr. Grordbort’s, the extraordinary creation of Weta Workshop’s Greg Broadmore. The game, named ‘Dr. Grordbort’s Invaders’, is an advanced Magic Leap project already in development at the Workshop and is being co-produced by Weta Workshop and Magic Leap.

Two decades ago, Wellington was home to a film creativity and technology movement the likes of which our country had not seen. It established not only a group of filmmaking companies on the Miramar Peninsula, but a film-based economy that has helped to shape our Capital’s creative credentials. Now, with the help of a bit of magic, it looks like we’re all set for the next big leap forward, into 2016 and beyond… 

About Magic Leap, Inc.

Magic Leap is developing the next computing platform that will enable you to seamlessly combine and experience your digital and physical lives. Magic Leap is headquartered in Dania Beach, Florida, with locations in Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, Mountain View, Seattle, Austin, the UK, New Zealand, and Israel.

Dr Grordbort’s Invaders proof of concept:

Invaders character footage shot through the Mixed Reality LightfieldTM: