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Epic Acquires Twinmotion from Abvent—Joins Unreal Engine Suite of Technologies

Epic acquires Twinmotion and adds it to its Unreal Engine suite of technologies for professional markets.

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Epic Games, the makers of the Unreal Game Engine, today have announced the acquisition of Twinmotion from Abvent Group of France. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Epic Games today welcomes Twinmotion as the latest offering to help visualization professionals in architecture, construction, urban planning, and landscaping industries to better communicate their designs. Twinmotion delivers real-time, final-quality rendering through a simple and intuitive interface, with the ability to quickly produce a variety of presentation options including images, panos, videos and virtual reality content for use in VR headgear. Twinmotion is powered by Unreal Engine 4.

Epic Makes Twinmotion Free

Beginning today, anyone can download Twinmotion for free at www.twinmotion.com.

The free download will last through November 2019. Early adopters who download Twinmotion between now and November will be able to keep using this version forever at no charge, with no royalty and no strings attached.

Epic Games has acquired the Twinmotion application from Abvent of France.

Epic will continue to develop and enhance Twinmotion with new capabilities to ensure architects and designers have the tools they need to succeed. Additional features and pricing will be announced at a later date.

Key features and benefits of Twinmotion include:

  • Photoreal quality in real-time — view and edit scenes at an unprecedented level of visual fidelity, all in real-time. With real-time radiosity and over 600 PBR materials that react to the environment, Twinmotion enables designers to achieve photorealistic visuals.
  • Simple and Intuitive — Twinmotion’s innovative, easy-to-use interface simplifies tasks regardless of a project’s size and complexity, or users’ previous CG experience. Users drag and drop lights and materials, or alter the season or the weather, by simply manipulating the slider tool.
  • One setup for all media — Using a single Twinmotion scene, users can create a variety of media exports including images, panoramas, immersive 360-degree videos, VR scenes, and more in mere seconds. Twinmotion is supported by the most popular VR headsets.
  • Wide compatibility — Twinmotion is compatible with most BIM software, and provides direct one-click synchronization with ARCHICAD and Revit projects. Users can also import any assets in FBX, SKP, C4D and OBJ formats.
  • Smart assets for lifelike scenes — Twinmotion’s library of over 2,500 objects includes both static assets, such as furniture and rocks, as well as dynamic assets, including animated human and animal characters, responsive plants, and ambient sounds, helping to bring designs to life and tell a story through visual design.
  • Geography-specific context — By setting a project’s geographic location, users can download maps from OpenStreetMap, adding real-world context to scenes.

“At Epic, we succeed when our customers succeed, and Twinmotion helps AEC professionals easily deliver stunningly detailed, lifelike representations of their designs,” said Marc Petit, General Manager, Unreal Engine, Epic Games. “Since launching our Unreal Studio beta in March 2018, we’ve seen particular demand in the AEC space. We’re thrilled to continue building Twinmotion to make high-end visualization even more accessible to the global architecture community.”

Positive Response from AEC Industry Leaders

“Many ARCHICAD users already find great value in using ARCHICAD and Twinmotion together to quickly and effectively communicate the intent behind their designs to clients and owners,” said Huw Roberts, CEO of GRAPHISOFT. “Real-time rendering indeed is the next big thing in photorealistic visualization, and GRAPHISOFT is excited to be closely working with Epic to bring the next level of immersive experiences to ARCHICAD users.”

Epic intends to advance Twinmotion to the next level but in the meantime Twinmotion today is a free app for everyone that wants to use it.

“At Trimble, we believe in 3D for everyone; that through simplicity and accessibility we help to democratize the world of design. Epic’s announcement today, with their free release of a simple-to-use visual storytelling tool capable of the most beautiful of visualization at interactive frame rates, opens a compelling new opportunity for our users. We’re excited to see what comes next!” shared Christopher Keating, General Manager of Trimble’s Architecture & Design Division.

For more details, and to download Twinmotion, visit: http://www.twinmotion.com

Architosh Analysis and Commentary

This latest development lends an interesting twist to the software Twinmotion, originally developed by KA-RA and lead by Raphael Pierrat. When KA-RA was acquired by France’s Abvent, Raphael Pierrat had become the Chief of Development at Abvent. 

KA-RA of Strasbourg had been developing Twinmotion since 2014 and a very short period of time built up a significant fan base of customers including big architecture names like Zaha Hadid, Renzo Piano, Jean Nouvel, and others. Abvent actually took over global distribution and marketing of Twinmotion in 2015 which eventually led to the merge of the two companies with Abvent essentially acquiring Twinmotion. 

According to his LinkedIn page, Pierrat was at Abvent from Jan 2016 to July 2017 but appears to still lead KA-RA as CEO to the present. Naturally, that doesn’t seem to make much sense and the big question we have at the moment is under the terms of this new acquisition of Twinmotion from Abvent, does the existing Twinmotion team come over to Epic and what role, if any, does Raphael Pierrat have? We intend to get those answers addressed this week when we talk to Marc Petit. 

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