The Foundry, a leading visual effects software developer, and Luxology, the makers of modo, have recently announced a merger. The companies note the move expands creative possibilities for designers, CAD artists, and arch-viz experts that require the best high-end VFX and 3D software tools for their visualization projects.
Architosh readers may not be that familiar with The Foundry and its flagship product, NUKE, an industry standard compositor. NUKE has truly become one of the gold-standards in the area of compositing, used in film and broadcast TV production. Compositing software combines visual elements from separate sources, including live-action shooting and digital or analog visual imagery or 3D generated imagery. Today’s Hollywood blockbusters typically make extensive use of digital compositing and NUKE is an award-winning solution that runs on both Windows and Mac OS X platforms.
Luxology is one of the hottest 3D newcomers in the past decade, making a big splash on Steve Jobs’ stage a San Francisco Macworld Expo many years ago. An award-winning 3D application that runs on both Mac and Windows platforms, the company has a strong affinity to Apple and its modo application set new standards early on with visual interface design within the Mac OS X development platform. These two applications fit easily into the same pipeline as well as support other Foundry tools.
“We were impressed by modo’s strong roots in the design market and by Luxology’s focus on creating artist-friendly, highly advanced technologies,” said Bill Collis, CEO of The Foundry. “Our customers are already using The Foundry’s products in areas including product design, architecture and even on projects such as album cover artwork. The Foundry and Luxology’s products are highly complementary, and we both like our products to be open and flexible, so the customers can choose how they like to work.”
Both companies have strategic plans for driving integrations. “In the short term we will be continuing to develop the interaction between our products,” said Collis, “which will be of immediate benefit to all of our customers. We can’t wait to see what our combined experience and knowledge will allow us to build in the long term.”
Brad Peepler, President of Luxology commented, “The Foundry has an impressive pedigree in the visual effects industry, where its products and attention to customers are second to none. Joining forces with The Foundry will allow us to further our efforts to make modo the preferred tool for both concept design and product visualization.”
Over the past few years Luxology has driven into CAD and product design markets with modo, offering CAD integration toolkits and its rendering technology to other companies. Yet, design studios is still where modo has its primary foothold. “As a concept designer, modo has become the most innovative and essential tool supporting my creative workflow,” said Scott Robertson, President of Design Studio. “I look forward to great things coming from this merger of two of the coolest computer graphics companies on the planet.”
Other Foundry Tools
The Foundry has several other interesting complete software packages, in addition to plugin toolsets. One of the coolest is a brand new product called Hiero, a shot management, conform and review software for visual effects. The product was built from the ground up on Mac OS X and Linux and a Windows version is in beta now.
Another tool is Mari, which came from WETA Digital. This 3D paint system tool is available for Windows platform uses and The Foundry and WETA still work on its development together. Lastly, Katana is a lighting and rendering pipeline tool which works with Pixar RenderMan and Arnold 3.3.x and higher renderers.