The Foundry to be bought by Adobe or Autodesk?

I just read an interesting news:

Adobe eyes £200m bid for British visual effects firm The Foundry

Who will win the bet? Each day I’m more grateful that such tools as blender exist!

I’m extremely skeptical of such rumor based news articles with little to no real basis. If anything, it might have been planted to cause doubt right before the coming launch of Modo 901, which is going to be their biggest launch yet feature wise.

Lets wait till theres more reliable information. No one at the foundry seems to be worried, so we shouldnt be too worried either.

Well there was widespread news of the possibility of the Carlyle Group offloading the Foundry to a potential suitor this year, it’s also a very logical choice for Adobe if they want to enter the 3D market in a big way with minimal effort.

Now Autodesk buying it may worry the community as they just might do the same thing with it as with XSI, slowly phase it out over a period of years while the better aspects of it get absorbed into Max and Maya.

That actually never happened. I used Softimage and Maya during this time. Softimage got a lot of development as they tried to punch up the special effects aspects. ICE mainly.

And there we no phasing out or gradual influx into other tools. They legitimately tried to develop Softimage. It was not until just before it was canceled that they moved the teams around. I think a year before.

Since then none of the technology from Softimage has shown up in either Maya or Max. Influences, yes. Developers from XSI and more resources? Yes. But technology directly no. The new Nodes in Max is not ICE. It was developed from scratch over a year period. Is it similar? Yes. So are the nodes in Maya. But neither is direct, nor a use of the technology. Just a few more minds into the mix to improve things.

But there are no facts to back up the many claims that they bought Softimage for the tech. None of it has been used thus far. And no facts to back up the claims that they intended to shelve Softimage from the beginning. Just not true.

Maya and Max are both getting fresh development from these new resources after closing down XSI development. But that is it.

And Softimage is not the only development project that has failed at Autodesk. If you look at their track record they have invested lots of money in projects that did not pan out. Unfortunately Softimage was one of them.

Just read the news. I’m not optimistic about Adobe’s plans for Nuke if it does happen.
Will keep using Nuke but I’ll be spending as much time as I can continuing to learn Flame and am now going to pick up Fusion soon.
I hope this isn’t farewell…


I agree. GMAX was one of them. And the seperation of MAX another (design?, now no longer seperated, AFAIK).

Anyway, its a testing time for 3d generalist.

Maybe ADSK+Maya/MAX will end up being Microsoft + Windows + Office.

You just gotta use it because it was the ‘standard’ and most people uses it, and stable development (remember BeOS anyone?)

ADSK purchased Softimage because they want the team behind it. This is a declaration done by the ceo after Softimage end of development (during release 2015). They want the team and some patents technology, for this reason they don’t sell it, for the patent technology. After acquisition the team was entirely moved (a year after or similar) to Maya, and the new softimage team become a smaller team in Singapore. So XSI doom was decided during acquisition. During ADSK management, softimage see a very slow if not minimal development (release 2014 was, practical a maintenance release with bugs fix), the road map for this development was decided during Avid era (words from Luc-Eric, ex lead development tem for softimage), but this was diluted in a more long time (probably the update we see in 4 release was designed for a single release during AVID roadmap). In the past every XSI release was a wow moment, during ADSK era only release 2010 have something really interesting. Some news was embarrassing… like the “HQ viewport”, and from release 2010 to 2014 the viewport becoming less responsive (someone said this was totally fixed on release 2015)

If ADSK will buy Fundry (why? I don’t see any reason ADSK must have any interest in Modo, maybe in Mari and Nuke (a great competitor for their Flame) they will do for a single reason: patents.

More sense if Adobe will look at it. Anyway, Modo cannot be a threat for Maya, but Nuke + After effect/premiere will cover the low and high end solution for freelancer and studio (making Flame more and more marginal), also Mari and the technology actual in development for sculpt can put a stone tomb on Mudbox.

both adobe and adsk would be terrible.
Why is the foundry so unstable. Didnt they get acquired by someone a couple of years ago already?

They would be better off with The Pixel Farm or Black Magic but BM has Fusion now.
A lot of the other big companies have a nasty habit of killing off compositing applications.

“Hi Nuke, have you met Combustion and Shake? You should get to know them, you’ll be spending eternity together!”

Maya/MAX turning into the “MS Office of 3d” thing is scary. hoping that never happens.

Again your claims are not true. If you have an opinion, fine. But your have your times and facts are all screwed up. Autodesk said those things, yes, at that point. Of course they would. They own the software, have the teams on contract and have the patents. But that is after 7 years and spending millions of dollars on acquisition and development. 7 Years is a long time and a lot of money on development. Quite a lot of improvements went into ICE in that time. And some other features.

They did not move the team a year after acquisition in 2008. They moved the team a year before announcing XSI was to be discontinued. 2014 that is 6 years after acquisition in 2008

No one will argue about the later faltering of development. But you can say the same thing now about Mudbox and MotionBuilder. That does not automatically mean that they bought both the tools only for the technology.

It could be so. You could make the claim about MotionBuilder because Maya actually did get quite a lot of this tech in HIK. And other technology they have bought like Bifrost, Nex, specifically to add to Maya.

If they had bought XSI only for these reasons, going on their track record they would have announced it just as they do every time they buy technology specifically for that purpose.

And the real proof as I said is that none of the tech made it into Maya or Max from XSI. Not until XSI was discontinued did they use the ideas - not the tech itself - in these other products. And this is why they did not sell as it allowed them to not worry about violating patents. You have that part right. But it has nothing to do with the reasons it was acquired in the first place.

Mudbox has been owned for a long long time. And finally now they are using some of that tech in Maya. I suspect they have plans to ditch it for the same reasons they ditched XSI. Just not getting a good return. And they have plans for Maya which is clear from what they are actually now doing that prove they plan to take some or all of this from Mudbox. But again that does not mean it was the only reason Mudbox was purchased.

The XSI thing is just more emotional. More people are upset about it and accusations fly that are not at all based on facts.

And again unlike Mudbox, which is happening now, zip, none, nadda, of the tech has appeared in any of the apps from XSI. If anything as you mentioned it was attempted to go the other way with HQ viewport, camera switching tracks and some improvements to the graph editor.

is not my idea, already you wrote “ADSK said those thighs”, so not exactly “my idea” but they said so. As a XSI user noticed, as many others, the softimage upgrade was very poor every release, this is a fact, not my invention. Look the actual maya release, look the upgrades, compared to XSI releases. Comparing AVID release before ADSK acquisition. Luc Eric, ex softimage lead developer, said ADSK followed the AVID road map for softimage, they add poor and few idea (like ribbon, set to ADSK external software (in a poor way) and few others). The news and update release from 2011 to 2014 are so poor and so bad implemented (again, how useful is HQ viewport? Really, do you use softimage?)

Sorry, totally false… The team was moved about a year after, and in the second year after the acquisition they trained the Singapore team. Read Luc Eric post (now on maya development) on si-community.

ADSK CEO said that: they brought for the team behind softimage and patent. All the rest are speculations. they gave a try, trying to push softimage as “companion”, but the money invested on it was very poor, softimage did not appear in any banner or advertise, not proposed like tool for student, no info about etc. etc. The future is Bright, do you remember?

What proof? A software code is not like Lego block, take from this and attach to this one. They use the patents, and the team, this is sure. As far I know only the decimation code from XSI was copied.

Agree with these: if XSI was a best sellers, they never axed it. But was clear XSI cannot compete. When Luc Eric enter the first time into ADSK studios, they noticed a sad truth about his work on softimage: there was a first and second place (maya and 3dsm) for what concerned installed seat, the third place, softimage, was so behind the first two to appear practical insignificant from a business point of view. Was clear from the start, there was not place for softimage into ADSK portfolio. The money invested into softimage? A team of (probably) 6 guys (this is only a speculation) doing, for the most part, maintenance.

I writing about facts, no speculation. All what I said was declared by ADSK or Luc Eric. You wrote ADSK spent many money on softimage development… How much? Do you know? Or you doing speculations? The facts are:

  • ADSK declaring they wanted softimage team and patents, no interest on software itself.
  • The development after release 2010 had a dramatically slow down.
  • Luc-eric affirm the team was moved after a year from softimage to Maya FX.
  • Some of the old team trained the new Singapore team for a year.
  • On softimage mailing list there is only 6 name for the new Singapore team, so is a speculation not far from reality said the new team was composed only by 6 developers (the old one oscillated from 10 to 15 if I remember correctly)
  • From the beginning softiamge advertise totally disappear from everywhere (magazine, cgtalk, etc. nothing)
  • From Luc-Eric words appear clear the road map of softimage was diluted from 1/2 years to 4/5 year (this is half speculation and half fact… anyway, look the table of content of every release, they added, like new feature, the “ribbon”…

AS I wrote, code is not like lego, and don’t forget the softimage team, if ADSK can use some code entirely from softimage they’ll use without any problem (I mean ethical or whatelse), but cannot do. You see now in Maya some solution used in softimage (node have a similar design, also modelling tools of the integrated and revised NEX, and not only that, ex-softimage team working hard on the enormous Maya base core, all thighs you cannot see).

I had a feeling they would do that to mudbox years ago when they bought it.
Just when they acquired it, they moved Maya’s interface to QT - the library that mudbox is using. Previously Maya used the ancient fltk

They were acquired by The Carlyle Group, an investment firm. It was pretty much known that eventually they’d be resold, and for more than what they were purchased. The “For Sale” sign got posted around autumn last year. The issue is that the reported asking price limited choice to only a handful of potential buyers (Adobe and Autodesk among them).


I have more things to do in my day than get into a quoting match. I respect your opinions. Your facts are a little jumbled from my direct experience with Maya and Softimage as well as knowledge of news and I see no reason to restate or back up anything I have said. If anyone is interested they can research these things, and come to their own conclusion.

I don’t think you and I are going to agree or solve anything by going head to head.

However I will give you the decimation tool which I think was improved in Maya 2014 if memory serves. And yes it is basically the same as Softimage. I have used both.

Cheers :slight_smile:

Doubt this will become profitable for any buyer. Look at how many amazing ‘tools’ have grown since 2012. How many have been opened.
This ‘news’ are just for gaining a momentum before selling. Nothing more. CG knows it & want to make ‘the last man standing’ profit before they loose more than they’re willing.
Meteorite has hit ground. Giants are dying, small studios are on the rise… showbiz industry is evolving. That’s all folks.
Dinosaurs survived evolving into birds.

Um… what? I dont even know where to begin… where are you getting your information?

For starters, the vfx industry is practically reliant on Nuke, and its not even that old from a compositing standpoint. It’s already combining video editing into its utility as well as VR support. Let that sink in. Not much will be able to impact that or threaten them in that position for quite some time. Every year studios shell out a ton of money just to keep their nuke licenses going. There’s no fear in the short term for that being replaced and since trade schools and universities are teaching Nuke, its in the same position Autodesk is with Maya, only Maya actually is old. Nuke is still young as far as this kind of software goes. Their closest competitor for compositing is Fusion, and Fusion was commercially available long before Nuke was.

Luxology, which developed Modo has one of the youngest and most modern 3d applications available right now, so its young and new… and now owned by the Foundry. The Foundry btw, came to be in the early 90s, its practically on par with Blender’s starting point.

Additionally, The Foundry is one of the few if only software studios to get a hold of the tech and patent for ADF technology, this happened through their acquisition of Mischief. That alone is worth a ton of money, especially when it gets converted over into other areas of CGI.

Autodesk is actually making money, not losing it though mostly due to their CAD software. Maya and Max are losing a little bit of ground but its in part due to their change in business model and software like Modo rising up (again, The Foundry).

Unless you are thinking of the Foundry as a small studio, I really dont know what software you have in mind with the “small studios on the rise” thing.

Most if not all of the development in Softimage were already in the pipeline before it got bought. Autodesk most definitely bought it to kill it. There was no other reason to buy the company, they already had two products in the same category that did the same thing. A lot of the Softimage team actually left (to form Fabric Engine) which is why you don’t see a lot of Softimage tech in Maya or Max.

First off. Anytime any company buys a software it means that the development of the tools are already in place. This was true with Maya as well as Max when they were purchased. And it is true with any software acquisition by any company. Citing this as definite proof of your claim defies any logic.

Additionally a comment like this comes from lack of knowledge of Softimage and what it can do. There are vast differences between Max Maya and Softimage. There is/was absolutely nothing like ICE in either Maya or Max. And absolutely nothing like Face Robot either.

And bifrost was purchased and developed for Maya. ICE was never used in either Max or Maya. And still has not been used.

Softimage was promoted as the VFX offering from AD and the closest thing to it was Houdini as far as a node based non-destructive and proceedural workflow.

Both ICE modeling and ICE rigging and Croud FX were developed under Autodesk. ICE Modeling is extremely powerful. And again the only reasonable alternative is Houdini.

However in the race - if you will - for being the best VFX tool, Houdini won and Softimage lost, despite efforts to develop Softimage in this area.

I won’t pretend to know why the vast majority of VFX went to Houdini but it did and XSI lost the race.

Sure, Softimage users, will say that the tool is an all around 3D tool, not a VFX tool. And that is true. But that is not how it best fit within the AD line up.

For character animation the tools in Maya are far more capable than Softimage. Max had its strong points and markets.

A lot of development went into trying to promote bridging these apps together, called “interoperability”. Improvements were made over the years in this area. Trying to promote a suite of apps that artists can use to handle all areas of production.

This development model failed in my opinion. And we are seeing the result of that now.

Just saying that AD bought the tool only to kill it is a gross oversimplification that only serves the purpose of promoting damaging misinformation and cast aspersions on the subject of software acquisition by large corporations.

How that relates to a thread like this is that there is no way the Softimage story would repeat with a purchase of the The Foundry, no matter who it is. It was a unique situation that had a string of facts which only applies in that isolated case.

If The Foundry is purchased by Autodesk there is no reason to expect a repeat of what happened with Softimage.

And the same is true with Adobe. There is no reason to expect anything similar to what has happened in the past.

In either case or even with another company, it will be a unique situation with its own dynamics based on the people involved and what they are trying to accomplish.

Welcome to Capitalism, large corporations make decisions based on profit… by out your competitors, acquire patents, increase market share, repeat.

Investment group, buy low sell high.

long live Blender:)