Weta Digital uses spherical harmonics to store information about the effects of each light (including directional occlusion and light contribution). Originally developed to enable the incredible level of light complexity required for Avatar, it is now a core part of Weta Digital's lighting pipeline. It is vital for the creation of realistic hair and eyes. In 2014, Weta Digital's work on spherical harmonics was recognised with an Academy® Scientific and Technical Award for Technical Achievement.
To Martin Hill, Jon Allitt and Nick McKenzie for the creation of the spherical harmonics-based efficient lighting system at Weta Digital.