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BITS & PIECES 4 POST JULY/AUG 2021 NOISEFLOOR EXPANDS WITH NEW LOCATION CHICAGO — Despite the pandemic, Noisefloor ( had a successful 2020, with many new clients and projects to their credit. The busi- ness success led the studio to expand its facilities in the heart of River North, where they found a new home at 320 W. Ohio Street. The new location had a number of key resources the studio needed to con- tinue working on shows, movies and commercials, though it involved a major renovation. The audio post facility is now in the final stages of construc- tion, and according to partner/sound designer/supervis- ing sound editor Bryen Hensley, the most exciting announcement is the addition of a theatrical mixing and screening room, which can hold up to 30 people. Set up for Dolby Atmos mixing, the theater features a Christie 4K laser projector, Dante integration and cinema-style seating. "We will even be adding DCP creation to our services," Hensley adds, "so it will be easy to create the DCP and then have our clients sit back, relax and watch their work all in the same day." Noisefloor's new location spans 6,000 square feet and includes multiple edit rooms, production rooms and recording booths. The new space is also home to a custom built Foley stage, where creative producer/Foley artist Katie Waters says she is "looking forward to having a dedicated space to perform, record and edit Foley that will also be a home for existing and new props. It's going to be a dream come true!" In related news, Noisefloor will bring back its internship program once it is safe to do so. The program has opened up opportunities for Noisefloor sound editors Jeff Ryan and Victoria Salazar, who have both been a part of the com- pany's growth. "I'm excited to see the new space," says Ryan, "It's cool to watch a company expand and then actually have the opportunity to grow with it." "Being a part of the growth here has been super exciting," Salazar adds, "I'm looking forward to working in our new Dolby Atmos stage and utilizing the Foley stage to record new sound libraries." Along with the internship program, Noisefloor is continuing to expand and search for new employees. AUTODESK'S MAYA GAINS WETA VFX TOOLS LOS ANGELES — VFX studio Weta Digital ( has partnered with media & entertainment software provider Autodesk (www.autodesk. com) to launch a new product offering that places Weta-designed tools within Autodesk Maya. WetaM productizes Weta's proprietary VFX tools, built on Maya's open API, and will be commercialized by the studio as a subscrip- tion-based cloud service. The launch of WetaM marks the first product launch under a newly formed Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) division within Weta Digital. This new business arm is an integral part of Weta's expansion strategy to offer professional and prosumer tools to artists across the global entertain- ment industry. Weta Digital has won 13 Academy Sci-Tech Awards for tools that helped artists produce many successful film and TV series, including The Lord of the Rings, Avatar, Game of Thrones and Planet of the Apes. WetaM will roll out in private beta in Q4. "WetaM is the first step in the democratization of VFX and animation production," says Prem Akkaraju, CEO of Weta Digital. "Weta Digital brings together the most creative minds in the world and has been a pioneering innovator in the visual effects and en- tertainment industry for decades. WetaM is a trans- formational move that will raise the bar for global creative production, redefining the industry in the process. At its core, this partnership with Autodesk will extend the reach of the Weta magic, making it more accessible for artists in pursuit of creating amazing characters and worlds across film and television." "We are longtime fans of Weta's remarkable visual effects achievements, and they are constantly breaking new ground building immersive, imaginary worlds and unbelievably real and engaging digital characters," says Diana Colella, se- nior vice president, entertainment & media solutions, Autodesk. "The debut of WetaM is a gamechanger as it opens up years of Weta's dedicated animation and VFX R&D resources to all creatives. It is exciting to be working with Weta to bring their magic to Maya artists, offering them powerful new effects tools and time-saving automation capabilities."

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