Artists can 'handle' the model like a physical object – moving, rotating, zooming in and out as they paint. This is much faster than old-fashioned 2D painting methods, letting artists move quickly from trying out ideas to producing final looks. This efficiency improvement was vital to Weta's ability to produce the unprecedented number of digital assets required for Avatar. Weta Digital partnered with a commercial VFX software company, The Foundry, to sell Mari to the public. Mari is now part of the standard toolset used at top visual-effects and video game studios.
As a single asset I would have to say I'm most proud of the Hometree. It has incredible detail on the surface of the bark that is only glimpsed at in the really close-up shots of the tree.
Scientific and Engineering Award
To Jack Greasley, Kiyoyuki Nakagaki, Duncan Hopkins and Carl Rand for the design and engineering of the MARI 3D texture painting system.