Weta Digital Reverse Engineers the Human Face

The special-effects house behind Avatar reveals a bit of its magic

3 min read

If Avatar is the bright future of cinema, a great deal of that dazzle is going to come from Weta Digital, the firm that created most of the movie’s Oscar-winning visual effects.

This past January, IEEE Spectrum visited the company’s headquarters in a homey suburb of Wellington, New Zealand, where key officials spoke at length about cinema after Avatar. There were also a few tantalizing insights into Weta’s work for its next blockbuster, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
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A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar
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You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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