Thursday, November 7th, 2019 Posted by Jim Thacker

ftrack acquires Cospective

Production tracking firm ftrack has acquired Cospective, developer of shot review tools cineSync and Frankie. No redundancies are expected, and the two companies will retain separate headquarters.

There are no immediate changes to the pricing or availability of cineSync, and Cospective will continue to support integrations with other production tracking systems.

Frankie will continue to be developed “for the foreseeable future”, but Cospective’s team will also contribute to the development of ftrack’s own ftrack Review.

Cospective: an Emmy and Academy Award-winning developer of remote shot review tools
Originally spun out from VFX facility Rising Sun Pictures, Cospective’s shot review tools are widely used in the visual effects industry, with clients including ILM, Double Negative, Framestore and MPC.

Its flagship product, remote shot review and approval system cineSync, won a Scientific and Technical Academy Award in 2011, and an Engineering Emmy Award last year.

The firm subsequently launched Frankie, a lower-cost browser-based shot review system.

Cospective has had a “close working relationship” with ftrack since 2015, and has included an integration with its production-tracking platform, also named ftrack, with cineSync Pro since 2016.

The latest cineSync showreel features projects including Game of Thrones and Avengers: Endgame.

No immediate changes to pricing; cineSync support now available 24/7
In the short term, the buyout should change little about Cospective’s tools: there are no changes to pricing, availability, product bundling or the level of product support.

Cospective will also keep its own separate branding. According to ftrack: “The cineSync brand has built up a respected and worthy position in the industry. We intend for things to stay that way!”

The two firms retain separate headquarters – Cospective in Adelaide, Australia and ftrack in Stockholm, Sweden – and no redundancies have resulted.

According to ftrack: “Although Cospective’s products were a core driver of this acquisition, the most critical factor was the team itself.”

The firm says that it will now “expand all areas of the team in Adelaide, from development to support, sales, and marketing”, as well as recruiting globally across ftrack in 2020.

The only immediate change is that, as part of a larger global firm, cineSync product support will now be available around the clock, rather than only during Australian working hours.

‘More robust’ ftrack and cineSync integration expected, but no plans to bundle the services
In the longer term, ftrack states that it will continue to maintain all existing integrations between cineSync and third-party tools, including rival production-tracking systems Shotgun and NIM.

The firm said that it was “too early to comment” on specific technical changes as a result of the acquisition, but that it itended to make integration between ftrack and cineSync “more robust”, commenting:

“Cospective and ftrack’s products possess a great deal of mutually beneficial features. We will look very closely at the opportunities these synergies present.”

cineSync will not be provided as standard with ftrack subscriptions, as has been the case with Shotgun and the RV image viewer, both of which are now owned by Autodesk.

According to ftrack: “We will continually review our service with customers over the coming months and years [but] what we won’t do is force our customers to buy a bundle.”

Frankie development continuing ‘for the foreseeable future’
Of Cospective’s products, the one most likely to change seems to be Frankie.

ftrack now markets its own dedicated shot review and approval system, ftrack Review, a “streamlined” edition of its original platform, ftrack Studio.

While Frankie will be supported and developed by the Cospective team “for the foreseeable future”, Cospective will also work on the development of ftrack Review itself, which is described as “expand[ing] on th feature set of Frankie, while offering similar functionality”.

However, speaking to CG Channel by email, ftrack CEO Fredrik Limsater said that what happens to all of the products “ultimately comes down to our users”.

“This won’t be solely an internal effort. We will continue to work closely with our customers to understand their needs and add further capabilities that … aid in the creation of higher-quality work.”

Read ftrack’s official FAQs on its acqusition of Cospective