Film company Weta Workshop expands Aspera deployment to handle large 3D and video file transfers for concept design and practical effects

Upgrades allow Weta to meet growing business demand and innovative advances in manufacturing processes

ARMONK, N.Y., May 30, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — IBM (NYSE:IBM) today announced that Weta Workshop, the award-winning concept design and manufacturing arm of the Wellington-based Weta Group of Companies, has upgraded and expanded its implementation of high-speed transfer software from Aspera, an IBM company, to meet growing demand for high-volume transfers of large 2D and 3D design and video files.

Weta Workshop is best known for its design and effects work on award-winning film projects such as The Lord of the Rings motion picture trilogy, King KongThe Chronicles of Narnia, Avatar and a large number of other blockbuster movies and television series. Over the years, Weta Workshop has expanded its business from traditional manufacturing processes to include digital 3D modeling solutions for large and small-scale props, costumes, animatronics, miniatures, set dressing and exhibitions. This is primarily due to technological advances in 3D printing and milling techniques. Additionally, the business needed a way to quickly move higher volumes of video-based content captured by their behind-the-scenes team. This shift in production process required changes to their digital collaboration workflows, based on the need to move even larger assets and larger volumes of data between members of the design and manufacturing teams and overseas clients and collaborators.

To accommodate the increases in file sizes and transfer volume, and preserve the security and reliability of their existing file transfer workflows, Weta Workshop decided to expand its network pipeline and upgrade its licensing of Aspera Connect Server to take advantage of the additional network bandwidth. Connect Server is used to quickly and securely send large files from the Workshop’s New Zealand headquarters to production teams and film sets in the US, Canada, Australia and the rest of the world. Clients use the free downloadable Connect Browser Plugin to initiate uploads and downloads. The company’s IT team monitors all transfer activities through Aspera Console, the web-based management application that provides a centralized transfer history database, and detailed auditing and reporting.

By upgrading, Weta Workshop can now transfer multiple large 3D design or video files that often exceed 7 to 8 GB each in under an hour. The speed of delivery is particularly important when the Workshop needs to send alterations to production teams on set; Aspera enables the team to share 3D design files quickly and reliably with clients anywhere in the world, guaranteeing the files are always delivered on time.

The initial decision to deploy Aspera’s high-speed file transfer technology came after a discussion with the heads of technology at sister company Weta Digital – an early adopter that has used Aspera since 2005 as a reliable way to transfer large data files that are at the core of the visual effects business.

“Aspera is the only trusted method of exchanging files with digital media companies. We followed Weta Digital’s lead and selected Aspera, and we haven’t looked back since. We’ve had a truly great experience,” said John McMullen, IT manager at Weta Workshop. “Plus, the support we’ve received over the years has been exemplary.”

“For Weta Workshop, Aspera is the bridge that connects globally dispersed teams and clients, improving collaboration and accelerating the approval process so designs can be finalized and ready for manufacturing or use in production whenever needed,” said John Wastcoat, VP business development, Aspera. “By deploying Aspera, they have essentially future proofed their workflows with the ability to increase transfer volume, speed and throughput to match any increases in their business.”

Aspera will showcase its solutions for Asia’s broadcast, audio and film industry at BroadcastAsia, booth 5G4-08, May 31 – June 3, 2016.

About Aspera
Aspera, an IBM company, is the creator of next-generation transport technologies that move the world’s data at maximum speed regardless of file size, transfer distance and network conditions. Part of IBM Cloud, Aspera software is powered by the Emmy® award-winning FASP® protocol to deliver the fastest, most predictable file-transfer, share and sync experience across on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructure. Aspera’s core technology delivers unprecedented control over bandwidth, complete security and uncompromising reliability. Organizations across a variety of industries on six continents rely on Aspera software for the business-critical transport of their digital assets. Please visit http://www.asperasoft.com and follow us on Twitter @asperasoft for more information.

About Weta Workshop
Weta Workshop is a five-time Academy Award®-winning concept design studio and physical effects manufacturing facility that services the world’s entertainment and creative industries. For over 20 years the Workshop has applied its creativity and craftsmanship to blockbuster films and hit television series including The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit motion picture trilogies, King Kong, Avatar, The Chronicles of Narnia, District 9, Elysium, Chappie, Thunderbirds Are Go and Ghost in the Shell. This diverse, innovation-driven company is also an international tourist destination, producer of consumer products, interactive studio in collaboration with Florida-based technology company Magic Leap, behind-the-scenes and media production facility, and creator of public sculptures and immersive exhibition experiences like the record-breaking Gallipoli: The scale of our war, at New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa. From humble beginnings in the back room of their flat, co-founders Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger have built Weta Workshop into what it is today. Drawing on 27 years of experience, Richard, now CEO, is involved in all projects, from concept through to delivery. Website: www.wetaworkshop.com

Media contacts:
Americas/Asia: Kim Willsher, +1 (310) 569 2603
Europe: Louise Wells, +44 (0) 20 7403 8878
Red Lorry Yellow Lorry – Aspera’s PR agency
aspera@rlyl.com