A VAD is more than previs. It involves interacting with the entire film, creating virtual environments — complete with lighting, texturing and atmospherics — that the director can use to explore how live actors interact within a 3D scene. Powers understands the power of the VAD, having first introduced the concept in James Cameron’s Avatar.
For his work on Tintin, Powers assembled a team of artists to work in Spielberg's Los Angeles-based VAD unit, using NewTek’s LightWave 3D as the primary tool for asset creation and texture baking. Digital assets were delivered to Weta Digital as FBX files that were imported into the studio’s Autodesk Maya-based pipeline and shared with Giant Studios for motion capture integration with Motion Builder.