End of an era: long-serving Softimage product manager Jason ‘Chinny’ Brynford-Jones – the creator of countless such Softimage demo videos – has moved on to new projects in the latest Autodesk reshuffle.
Autodesk has reshuffled its Softimage development team, with the original Montreal staff moving onto Maya VFX.
Softimage development will now be headed up by a six-person team in Singapore, led by Senior Software Development Manager Chun-Pong Yu.
The change was made last month with little official fanfare: we only spotted the news when the relevant part of the Softimage mailing list was linked on a thread on CG Talk.
More developers than two years ago
Addressing the issue of whether Softimage is being sidelined, Chun-Pong Yu notes that the dev team is now larger than two years ago, and that the new staff have backgrounds in coding at Nvidia, Ubisoft and LucasArts.
“It’s true that the team doesn’t know the code as well as [original developers] Luc-Eric and team but that’s not to say that we’re newbies to software development. Sure, we don’t have the 10-15 year histories with Soft that the ‘old’ team had, but we’re happy to say that they’re still around … and still helping out when there’s a need.”
Nevertheless, it’s still the end of an era: on the same thread, legendary product manager Jason ‘Chinny’ Brynford-Jones – for many, the public face of Softimage – confirms that he is no longer working on the product.
Edited 7 May: Comments below and in a second CG Talk thread over the weekend suggests the original wording of this story was misleading, and the six people referred to above represents only the new lead developers for the product, not the entirety of the development team, as implied.
Edited 17 May: Following our previous update, we contacted Autodesk for clarification. Chinny responded to an informal email to say that Autodesk doesn’t normally comment on development team sizes, and we’ve had no response to an official request for an up-to-date figure.