Here’s a little bit of acquisition news that is worth noting for editors out there: Boris FX has acquired GenArts, makers of the Sapphire effects package. Or to quote Boris FX, it’s a “Significant Merger of Industry-Leading Visual Effects Software Companies.” Why is this important news in a world of everyone acquiring everyone else? This will put both of the major NLE visual effects plug-in packages under the same roof. This is especially important if you’re an Avid editor and you do a lot of broadcast work. For shows that cut in Media Composer either the Boris Continuum Complete or GenArts Sapphire packages were often the effects package of choice as they both provide a ton of effects in a single package. While they are available for other NLE platforms it’s very important news to Avid editors as Media Composer has less third party plug-in tools available than either Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro.
@editblog Hmm… given they were the two competing products, it's hard to know if this is positive for users.
— Dylan Reeve (@DylanReeve) September 9, 2016
I wondered exactly what Dylan wondered in the tweet above when I read the news.
With both of these packages now under one company will that mean a merging of the two? Less innovation from either package? The killing of one of the products? A price change? A third package from another company to come online? No one knows at this point but there are a lot of editors out where who will be watching this with great interest.
Here is the full press release from Boris FX:
Boston, MA, USA – September 9, 2016 – Boris FX™, the leader in integrated VFX and workflow solutions for video and film, has signed a definitive agreement to acquireGenArts Inc., developers of premium special effects plug-ins. GenArts’ renowned flagship product, Sapphire™, is a gold standard for high-end visual effects creation at leading film studios and broadcast facilities around the world. Since 1996, Sapphire effects have been used in at least one of each year’s VFX Oscar-nominated films, and numerous award-winning television shows. Sapphire will continue to be developed and sold in its current form alongside flagship products Boris Continuum Complete™ (BCC) and mocha Pro™, creating the industry’s most powerful complement to applications from Adobe, Apple, Avid, Autodesk, Blackmagic Design and others.
The acquisition is part of Boris FX founder Boris Yamnitsky’s aggressive growth strategy. Boris FX most recently acquired Imagineer Systems, the UK-based developer of mocha: Academy Award-winning planar tracking tools.
“We are excited to announce this strategic merger and welcome the Sapphire team to the Boris FX/Imagineer group,” says Yamnitsky. “This acquisition makes Boris FX uniquely positioned to serve editors and effects artists with the industry’s leading tools for motion graphics, broadcast design, visual effects, image restoration, motion tracking and finishing — all under one roof. Sapphire’s exceptional suite of creative plug-ins has been used to design many of the last decades’ most memorable film images. Sapphireperfectly complements BCC and mocha as essential tools for professional VFX and we look forward to serving Sapphire’s extremely accomplished users.”
“Equally impressive is the team behind the technology,” continues Yamnitsky. “Key GenArts staff from engineering, sales, marketing and support will join our Boston office to ensure the smoothest transition for customers. Our shared goal is to serve our combined customer base with useful new tools and the highest quality training and technical support.”
The Sapphire team agrees on the value the merger will bring to the industry. “I’m excited about what a combined Boris FX/Imagineer/GenArts company can create,” states Gary Oberbrunner, Chief Scientist and VP of Engineering at GenArts. “We are impressed with the collaborative integration of mocha technology in the recent BCC 10 release and look forward to exploring similar technology sharing and product improvement opportunities.” Oberbrunner continues, “All of us share a passion for innovation, quality and creativity. Combining resources and knowledge, and working with our amazing customers, will enable us not just to continue the pace of innovation we’ve had separately, but to move even faster, creating entirely new effects, tools and combinations to delight our users.” Oberbrunner will now join the Boris FX senior management team as Chief Technical Officer for the combined group.
Longtime users of Continuum Complete and Sapphire are now sharing positive first impressions of the announcement:
Seth Buncher, Senior Finishing Editor at NYC’s Post Factory, recently completed the color grading and finishing on ESPN’s acclaimed mini-series “O.J.: Made in America.” According to Buncher, “BCC and Sapphire have been part of my finishing tools for over 10 years. I use Sapphire to create unique looks and BCC’s image restoration tools to help salvage and fix problematic footage. Both packages are essential to my finishing workflow on Avid Symphony and DaVinci Resolve, so learning that my favorite plug-in developers are joining forces is exciting news. I look forward to more BCC/Sapphire/mocha developments in the future.”
Yuhei Ogawa, longtime Sapphire user and current editor at Trailer Park in Hollywood, is thrilled at the announcement and all future collaborative possibilities. “Boris, Imagineer and GenArts joining forces is a colossal move for the post-production industry. Here at Trailer Park, we use all three products on a regular basis and they are a big part of our success. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this new plug-in powerhouse.”
Attendees visiting the IBC tradeshow in Amsterdam will have the opportunity to meet with teams from both GenArts and Boris FX and preview the latest new products and technology for professional post-production. Boris FX/Imagineer can be found at Booth 7.K29 and GenArts at Booth 7.J05.
About Boris FX
Founded in 1995, Boris FX is a leading developer of VFX, compositing, titling, video editing, and workflow tools for broadcast, post-production, and film professionals. Boris FX products have grown to serve over a million artists worldwide. The company’s success lies in its ability to tightly integrate and leverage technologies through strong partnerships with Adobe, Apple, Avid, Grass Valley, Nexidia, Sony, Quantel, and other leading developers of video editing software.
About GenArts, Inc.
GenArts, Inc. has been a leading global provider in specialized visual effects software for industry standard editing and compositing solutions since 1996. Its flagship product, Sapphire, has become the standard for high-end visual effects creation at leading studio, broadcast, and post-production facilities of all sizes around the world.
About Imagineer Systems
Imagineer Systems Ltd is the Academy Award-winning developer of visual effects solutions for film, video and broadcast post-production markets. Imagineer Systems has made its mark on such marquee Hollywood blockbuster productions as “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and the “Harry Potter” series. Imagineer’s flagship product is mocha Pro: the planar tracking, masking and removal utility. Imagineer Systems was founded in 2000 and its headquarters is located in Guildford, United Kingdom.