Monday, October 17th, 2022 Posted by Jim Thacker

U-Render shuts down

Renderer developer U-Render Visual Technology has announced that it is closing down, and ceasing sales of U-Render, its ‘really real-time renderer’ for Cinema 4D.

All registered users will receive a perpetual licence key, enabling them to use the final version of the previously subscription-only software indefinitely.

Genuine real-time rendering for both viewport previews and final-quality output
Designed more like a game engine than a conventional offline renderer, U-Render promised genuine real-time rendering, for both viewport previews and final-quality output.

Although it didn’t support features like particles, limiting its use for VFX, it was capable of simpler visualisation and motion graphics work, and provided artists with a quick way to render personal projects.

The software had been available for Cinema 4D since 2018, with U-Render announcing a Maya edition in 2020, although the latter never made it to a public release, despite a teaser video last month.

Closure attributed to the economic fallout from COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine
According to U-Render’s insolvency filing, the Austria-based company had liabilities of around €1.4 million but assets of only €0.8 million on its dissolution. The company had 16 employees.

The filing describes its software as having been “quickly overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic” on leaving early access in late 2019.

“Companies in the media and animation industries [were] reluctant to invest in new technologies, resulting in a significant drop in sales.”

Although U-Render had been trying to negotiate the sale of the company since the beginning of 2022, the “Ukraine war and the associated energy crisis led to restrained interest”.

The potential buyers are listed as “groups from the 2D and 3D industry from Canada, the USA and Germany” – a description which would apply to Cinema 4D developer Maxon and its parent company Nemetschek.

One U-Render employee we spoke to said that the news “was a shock for everyone, especially now that we were close to releasing the Maya plugin”.

All registered users to receive a final perpetual licence key
In a press release, U-Render founder Martin Weber said: “As you can imagine we are all heartbroken by this decision. I want to thank everyone who has supported and encouraged us throughout the years.”

Although U-Render went subscription-only earlier this year, the firm says that it will issue all customers with a perpetual licence key, making it possible to continue to use the software.

At the time of writing, the announcement isn’t on the old U-Render product website, so we’ve reproduced the text in full below.

U-Render’s final press release:
U-Render visual technology GmbH announces that it will cease selling its real time rendering technology and close the business.

Despite great advances in their technology, a new non-photoreal feature set and the near completion of their macOS and Maya ports all during 2022 the company was forced to close.

“As you can imagine we are all heartbroken by this decision. I want to thank everyone who has supported and encouraged us throughout the years. My heart is with the team which performed miracles to bring U-Render to life.” – said Martin Weber (Founder and CTO).

A final version will be issued for existing customers that will support a perpetual license. All customers will receive their perpetual license key by email.

“We have always done everything we could for our customers and want to try to continue to look after them even after we are gone.” – said Renate Schneider (CSO).

The U-Render team would like to express a heartfelt thanks to all their customers for their support and encouragement over the years.