SIGGRAPH 2004 got underway Sunday in Los Angeles, and already there’s big news on the digital animation front. Alias, maker of the popular Maya 3D modeling and animation package, announced plans to acquire Kaydara, a developer of real-time 3D character animation and motion editing solutions. The purchase is expected to close within 60 days, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions.
The move will bring real-time capabilities to Alias’ technology and services for the film, video-game, web, interactive media, automotive, industrial design, education and visualization markets. In turn, Kaydara will benefit from access to further investment, Alias’ existing technology and its strong global marketing and distribution network.
Alias president Doug Walker comments, “This move effectively unites the top 3D product development talent in Toronto and Montreal’allowing our team to harness this combined creative power and deliver innovative 3D software solutions that enable our customers to create, visualize and communicate the world’s most compelling digital visual experiences.”
Operating under the Alias name, Kaydara will remain in Montreal and current president Michel Besner will stay with the company and join Alias’ executive management team. Kaydara products such as MOTIONBUILDER and Kaydara FBX will continue to support all current industry platforms and will be sold as stand-alone products under the Alias brand name. MOTIONBUILDER’s unique real-time architecture, intelligent character technology and story system lets any 3D animator create state-of-the-art results in record time, while FBX allows animation teams to easily transfer assets between multiple tools used during production.
SIGGRAPH 2004 marks Alias’ debut as an independent company following its acquisition from SGI by Accel-KKR and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Highlighting the company’s presence at the show are the popular Maya MasterClasses and a variety of papers and panels featuring Spider-Man effects house Sony Pictures Imageworks, Shrek 2 producer PDI/DreamWorks and award-winning filmmaker Chris Landreth (Ryan).