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GenArts and The Foundry Collaborate to Enhance Nuke

GenArts Inc. has expanded its visual effects software portfolio (Sapphire, Monsters, Raptors and wondertouch) by acquiring The Foundry's Tinder and Tinderbox plug-ins, and will also collaborate closely to expand the capabilities of the Nuke platform.

Press Release from GenArts Inc.

GenArts Inc. has expanded its visual effects software portfolio (Sapphire, Monsters, Raptors and wondertouch) by acquiring The Foundry's Tinder and Tinderbox plug-ins, and will also collaborate closely to expand the capabilities of the Nuke platform.

GenArts will immediately assume all development, sales, marketing and customer support of Tinder and Tinderbox.

According to GenArts CEO Katherine Hays, there are two overarching dynamics that their customers in the VFX industry are facing: they are keen to reshape their production pipeline and better synchronize host platform and plug-in development.

"In the past, customers like Lucasfilm, Sony Pictures Imageworks and many others were very inwardly focused," Hays says. "They built up to 80% of the proprietary tools that they needed for a given project and purchased the remaining 20%. Today, they really want to flip that ratio. They would prefer to 'standardize' significant portions of their pipeline on reliable tools from a smaller number of trusted vendors who offer the portfolio, scale and dependability to become industry standards. This allows them to maximize resources and focus on delivering the audience experience that nobody else can deliver.

"Customers have made it clear to us that they see their plug-ins and their host platforms as a single, intertwined solution and they are looking for ways to maximize the value of that solution. With the advent of rapidly evolving technologies such as full floating point, GPU and stereoscopic, we’re starting to see a wide range of host platform capabilities, leading to plug-in constraints on some platforms, and potential weaknesses in the overall solution.

"Customers would like to see more seamless integration between what the host platforms do well, and what the plug-ins specialize in. A great example of this is stereoscopic support. Today, building stereo content like a feature film is a hugely time consuming activity for VFX artists. When Erik Liles from Hydraulx Visual Effects did his shot from AVATAR, he had to create a look in one eye using GenArts Sapphire, and then recreate that same look again manually for the other eye. He then tracked those 'eyes' through the entire shot using a Sapphire Grid plug-in to make sure they didn’t mis-align. It was extremely time consuming. What if Erik could have built the look in one eye, then have it /automatically/ applied to the second eye by Sapphire as it tracked through the rest of the shot? What would be required from the host platform to accomplish this? What would be the responsibility of the plug-in? There is significant opportunity for plug-in vendors to collaborate with host vendors to drive meaningful innovation."

As part of the alliance, GenArts will become the flagship partner in The Foundry’s new third-party partner program for Nuke. GenArts will have an exclusive co-marketing relationship with The Foundry as a provider of visual effects plug-ins for Nuke and Nuke customers will have the option to install trial versions of GenArts plug-ins on Initial installation.

"The Foundry is very pleased to have come to this new arrangement with GenArts," adds Bill Collis, CEO, The Foundry. "We believe that it's in the best interest of our customers for Tinder to be looked after by GenArts, while The Foundry concentrates on developing complex, problem-solving, image-processing plug-ins including further work on its award-winning Furnace and Ocula toolsets and new products based on our 3-D scene technology. We hope our new third party program, launched today, with GenArts as our first provider, will bring a variety of plug-ins to the attention of Nuke users enabling them to do even more within the platform."

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