According to a post over at DEVELOP3D.com Autodesk has told a group of journalists that they are making the line of Alias products available on the Mac OS X platform. As DEVELOP3D poster Al Dean noted, “This is HUGE.”
Indeed it is.
While the news is shy on details — and we are in the process of obtaining more facts directly from our Autodesk contacts — Autodesk has apparently been working on this. They even have done work on the packaging. The post says there is a new bundle and new naming, in addition to new STL output, new rendering technologies and materials and tool, and a lot more control over surfaces.
When Autodesk signed a definitive agreement to purchase Canadian-based Alias back in October of 2005, Carl Bass, COO of Autodesk said: “Alias’ technology spans several of our most important markets and augments the synergy between our design and media businesses.” In essence back in 2005 Autodesk saw what was coming down the pike: the collision of the worlds of design and engineering with that of media and entertainment. “Our media and entertainment customers are increasingly using the data created by our design [and engineering] applications for broadcast, film and games projects,” stated Bass.
Windows Marries the Mac: Pipelines Expand
Creative pipelines are becoming so cross-platform in this “CAD to Ad” world that no longer is it acceptable to customers that Autodesk not provide OS diversity in its portfolio of software packages. You literally have customer segments with rapidly evolving and mixed pipeline scenarios. “The Mac is just like any other platform within entertainment sharing the same roles as Windows and Linux,” said Rob Hoffmann, Sr. Product Marketing Manager 3D for Autodesk, back in January of this year.
This evolution has shaped the importance of the FBX file format, the default file format of Autodesk MotionBuilder, itself an acquired cross-platform product in the company’s Media & Entertainment division.
Recently we met with Autodesk in San Francisco to discuss Autodesk’s latest Mac software announcements. In that discussion Carl Bass’ comments from 2005 were both reflected and amplified by the urgency of the evolving industries. Rob Hoffmann made it clear that Autodesk fully intends to meet the needs and demands of its global customer base.
Hence news of the old Alias toolset finding its way to the Mac should shock nobody now.