Thursday, December 2nd, 2021 Posted by Jim Thacker

Unity acquires SyncSketch

Unity has acquired real-time review and collaboration firm SyncSketch. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, and Unity hasn’t announced whether it plans to integrate SyncSketch with its existing services.

An artist-friendly web-based real-time collaboration system, developed by Pixar veterans
Founded by former Pixar character TD Bernhard Haux, and launched fully in 2016, SyncSketch enables users to review media – anything from still images or video to 3D models – in a web browser.

Reviews are carried out synchronously, with all participants seeing changes simultaneously, in real time.

As well as annotating files directly, users can brainstorm collaboratively on a shared digital whiteboard.

The system works with mobile browsers, making it possible to join reviews using a tablet or smartphone, and integrates natively with Maya, ShotGrid and the Unity game engine itself.

Users include animation and games studios like Buck, Double Fine, and even Epic Games‘ special projects team. SyncSketch was also used in the production of Oscar-nominated animated feature Over the Moon.

Few details on how Unity plans to make use of its latest acquisition
The deal makes SyncSketch the latest entry in a growing list of art tools developers that Unity has bought: most recently, and most famously, Weta Digital, the acquisition of which was formally completed yesterday.

Unlike previous acquisitions, Unity’s blog post gives few hints on how, or whether, it plans to integrate SyncSketch with its existing products and services, simply quoting Bernard Haux as saying:

“By combining our technology and talent, we will continue to define the way creators will want to work and communicate, from anywhere in the world.”

We’ve contacted Unity to ask if there will be any changes to SyncSketch’s pricing or availability and will update if we hear back.

Updated 3 December 2021: Unity told us: “At the moment, nothing changes for … customers. SyncSketch will continue selling as usual. We don’t have specific updates on pricing or availability.”

“Long-term benefits include a deeper integration within the Unity ecosystem and better workflows for creators. We have no specific details to share on integration at this time.”

Pricing and availability
SyncSketch works with standard desktop and mobile web browsers: Firefox or Chrome are recommended.

Free Light subscriptions provide the core collaboration and annotation tools, but lack the Maya and Unity integrations. Paid Indie and Teams subscriptions now cost $12/user/month and $25/user/month.

Read Unity’s announcement that it has acquired SyncSketch

Read more about SyncSketch on the product website