Friday, September 9th, 2016 Posted by Jim Thacker

Boris FX acquires GenArts

An overview of BCC 10, Boris FX’s collection of effects and transitions for key editorial and compositing software. The firm has just acquired one of its principal rivals: GenArts, developer of the Sapphire plugin collection.

Compositing and editorial effects tools developer Boris FX has signed a definitive agreement to acquire one of its key competitors: GenArts, developer of the Sapphire collection of plugins.

The deal, financial terms for which have not been disclosed, was announced at IBC 2016.

Following the pattern set with Imagineer Systems
The acquisition continues Boris FX’s recent aggressive growth strategy, which previously resulted in its 2014 buyout of Imagineer Systems, developer of the mocha planar tracking system.

The mocha technology was subsequently integrated into Boris Continuum Complete (BCC), Boris FX’s flagship collection of effects plugins.

The plan this time round seems to be similar: while “Sapphire will continue to be developed and sold in its current form”, the official news release also hints at future product integration.

In it, GenArts chief scientist Gary Oberbrunner is quoted as saying: “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.”

Less straightforward than integrating mocha?
Whereas Boris FX and Imagineer Systems shared a user base without producing directly competing technologies, there’s far more overlap this time round.

Although there is some market differentiation – Sapphire is higher-priced than BCC and also supports Autodesk tools like Flame – both are collections of effects and transitions for Adobe, Avid and OFX software.

(In a separate announcement, Boris FX has also just made BCC 10 compatible with Nuke, which further increases the overlap in host packages with Sapphire.)

In the long term, it will be interesting to see how Boris FX maintains two competing products under one roof.

In the short term, “key” staff from GenArts, including engineering, sales, marketing and support personnel will join Boris FX’s Boston office, while Gary Oberbrunner joins the firm as CTO of the combined groups.

Read the official announcement of Boris FX’s buyout of GenArts on the company’s blog