Things have been cooking behind the scenes.
The Foundry and Luxology are now one company. They have merged, but it seems to me it will take a while till we see any differences. First, The Foundry and Luxology state openly that there will be no change at the moment to anything. But we don’t have to believe them (though they both have excellent client relationships). More reasons: The Foundry is based in London, UK, while Luxology is based in Mountain View, CA. and though we have the interweb, it still means things will take time. Last, and this is a really good thing: they are two very different companies and don’t have any parallels in their product lines. There is nothing to kill off or merge.
It seems a little odd to me, this merger. The Foundry makes Nuke – the leading, industry standard, high end compositor, and with it has a client base which is high end, technical and professional about their trade. On the other hand we have Luxology who make Modo, a very capable 3D application but is hardly Maya or XSI. It is not high end, not an industry standard, prides itself in being friendly to artists rather than technical. It seems that Modo (though I’ve never been in a production that used it) is geared towards the light user, or the user that needs a faster turn around, who works alone or in a small group, which doesn’t rely on a pipeline and doesn’t have TDs at hand. All the reverse of a typical Nuke install base.
Who knows. I sure don’t have any inside information. But I must say that I like this. The Foundry doesn’t have a 3D application in the product line – now they have. Eventually Modo and Nuke will talk to each other a lot better. If they won’t, I really don’t see the point to this. Once they do there will be, for a compositor like me, an easy access point for 3D tools. I won’t have to learn the dreaded Maya! I will be able to use the much easier Modo and do the kind of stuff I need to do on occasion. A simple model. A projection setup, etc. At least this is me putting on a brave face. It’s hard to tell with these things what’s really happening. It might just have been a convenient business deal for the powers that be.
Meanwhile here’s Luxology’s 2011 Modo reel: