Visual effects and film industry software giant, The Foundry, has quietly announced the discontinuation of Kronos for Adobe After Effects (AE) and Keylight for Apple Final Cut Pro.
As of 30 September 2015, The Foundry terminates sales, development and support. For those who have recently purchased, the company says it will provide good effort support for one year from the date of purchase. There will be no new builds or bug fixes after the 30 September 2015.
Macs on Hollywood Pipelines Take A Further Blow
As if Apple’s mis-steps on Final Cut Pro and the demise of Shake have been enough, one of the last key places where the Mac, particularly the new Mac Pro, had a logical place to be plugged in to Hollywood studio pipelines was with green screen work using Keylight (a plugin) for Apple’s Final Cut Pro.
A popular solution, The Foundry’s Keylight plugin lives along a family of plugins for Final Cut Pro, Adobe After Effects (AE) and The Foundry’s NUKE. For those who have been hanging onto Final Cut Pro 7 (and 6) or reverted back to it, Keylight is (or was) an advanced blue or green screen keyer.
Keylight has been used films such as Alice in Wonderland, Avatar, Sherlock Holmes, 2012 and Sweeney Todd, among other notables. Considered the best among a small field of tools that enable excellent handling of tackling issues such as reflections, semi-transparent areas and hair, whereby foreground actors and sets are seamlessly placed composited over painted matte or VFX backgrounds. (see image 02)
The Foundry produced Keylight for FCP 6 and 7 but does not support the maligned Final Cut Pro X (FCPX).
Other Discounted Items
The Foundry’s Kronos is also be discontinued at the same time frame. The plugin for AE on both Windows and Mac always required a CUDA accelerated rendering hardware setup (with CPU fallback rendering available) which the new Mac Pro with its integrated ATI based, non-upgradeable GPUs could never address.
Kronos is currently unsupported on Windows 10, as are CC 2015 and CS5.5 or earlier. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285 and Quadro FX 4800 were the last OS X GPUs to support Kronos workflows.
Foundry’s Support of OS X Strong
While some of the news hear is related to pressing concerns about the status of Mac hardware in Hollywood industries, The Foundry itself has been a major supporter of Apple’s OS X across the vast range of its pro software offerings due to demand from the market. Key OS X based tools in its offerings include: modo, Mari, NUKE, Ocula, Hiero, and Colorway (not counting its several plugins for AE, FCP and NUKE).
Apple’s Support of OS X Pro Apps Questionable
While The Foundry and the vast majority of software developers in the pro markets are strong on Mac, Apple’s own support of the pro markets may be wavering. Last week, Architosh editor-in-chief Anthony Frausto-Robledo wrote an observation piece on the disappearance of the new Mac Pro from Apple’s revamped Mac page and the Mac family portrait (i.e.: the Mac Pro was missing). You can read that report here.