Adobe Aquires Allegorithmic


Well that’s the crux of the matter. Adobe could easily bump the cost of their suite another $15/month or whatever and say it’s justified because of “recent value added from acquisitions”… but if the cost says the same or nearly the same and both Designer and Painter continue to be developed fully (tend to doubt it), then existing customers who don’t have these apps certainly have a reason to smile. Perpetual license holders who don’t subscribe to CC on the other hand have plenty of reason to be pissed or at least very concerned. Right now all questions about licensing are being dodged until “later this year,” which IMO is not a good sign.

Reading the comments over on their forum and reading the PR BS, I suspect the team at Substance has been given the same false assurances we have from Adobe. They probably do believe everything is going to be fine. I don’t think they’re trying to deceive people. But the line about all the dev teams staying intact, continue to design the same apps, etc. That will end up being true for about 12 months before everything starts to change IMHO.

Adobe is a full of crap when it comes to stuff like this / can’t really be taken at their word. They’re a digital “chop shop.”


Now that I think about it, David McGavran, the new CEO of MAXON came from ADOBE and this reminds me of when Stephen Elop who worked for Microsoft became the CEO of Nokia just before Microsoft bought Nokia…
This is what happen when a new CEO have a double standards.


Now that I look at Stephen Elops Bio I see that he was also the CEO of MACROMEDIA (RIP) before it was purchased by ADOBE…



Stefano Corazza, founder of Mixamo and the head of AR at Adobe makes the following case for the acquisition: - As an attempt to make PBR and Substance industry standards, in the same way that Photoshop and Illustrator are.

Stefano’s a personal friend and my last boss, and while initially annoyed by the the acquisition of my favorite tool, it’s difficult to argue with his reasoning. I think unlike Mixamo, Substance should receive relatively low interference and will likely receive a lot more financing for future releases… For starters, I know that truly infinite procedural materials vs the current 4k tillable import of substances mats, will be an option soon. Which alone is a very exciting proposition and something Maxon should absolutely get behind, in terms of integration.

Mixamo suffered an interesting fate; in that it’s still free, but not as feature heavy as it would/could have been, had it stayed on a small scale. By now we might have seen quadruped rigging and perhaps IK rigs for robots etc. Instead, that dev team got swallowed up; or laid off. And those remaining with Adobe work on other efforts… That being said, I know from having worked for Adobe, that they’re making efforts to tie all of this work together, so that games, AR and other lightweight CG design, might all work on a single platform in the coming years.

The workflow I used at Adobe was a mess:
ZBrush models to C4D for clean up, C4D to 3D Coat for UV mapping, Rizom3D to perfect those maps.
From Rizom to Substance painter. Substance exported as dimension files, loaded into Maya for animation.
And finally Maya to gLTF with animation. Not excluding manual changes to the gLTF text to the fix texture paths.

There’s plenty of tedious workflows that follow similar paths and I for one welcome a more simplistic approach down the line. Despite the possibility of a price hike. Thankfully I pay nothing for Adobe products or the Substance suite for time served. But I don’t envy those throwing away money to these companies for a monthly subscription plan. That pay as you go aspect, is the only part that doesn’t feel sit well with me.


:sob::sob: Not much else to say without adding a ton of expletives!


Stuart - Thanks for this thought out response and insight. We will wait and see where this goes.


stranger things… Perhaps you haven’t been around as long as some of us. When Adobe needed to innovate to sell new versions you would see major improvements in EACH app across the suite.

In recent years we might get one or two trivial new features or enhancements per year, if that. Adobe promised a new rendering engine over five years ago…and they’ve never delivered. The majority of the rendering pipeline isn’t even multi-threaded!!! The product has generally gone sideways the past 3-5 years. It’s hard to think of any major improvements.

It’s slave-scriptions.


Well you you whippersnapper I’ll get my cane … I owned an SG Octane! Photoshop since 2.5 / 3ds r2 (pre max) / C4D on the Amiga!!

That’s a pretty negative view of a software house. Any company is there to make money. Good on them. The more they make the more they can add to CC. Still think it’s insanely cheap IF you use a number of the apps. I use 12 / 25 of the listed CC apps on a regular basis… You say trivial… I say useful. You are never going to please everyone. And you used to get a lump of innovations every 2 years - now we get 2/3 a year

I make money purely with adobe stuff / C4D and each release has got more stable and they add a lot of features… Some of course that people don’t use some they complain. Me included. After effects is woefully under developed IMO. The project window alone hasn’t been touched in about 10 years. The little object preview window on a 4K screen is about 5mm across. And totally agree with the lack of Multi proc stuff… but at least it works now… not that Multi instance mess from about CS5. I am not saying Adobe are perfect by a long stretch - I do most real comp work in Nuke… and I could make an enormous list of problems with AE. But there is NOTHING comparable for Motion graphic work unfortunately.

But they are at least making the apps UI cohesive with shared libraries / similar workflow and Panels and keyboard shortcuts behaviour etc

Single threading is major problem on a lot of apps. C4D included.

Can you expand on the promised render engine? CUDA / OCL / Metal have all appeared in that time and have been integrated in AME.


It’s very unlikely to be sold as I mentioned before. Maxon is owned by Nemetschek since 2000, a huge company in it’s own right and is very successful for them and they have integrated technology / apps - they just have them all under separate brands for different industries.

I suspect adobe are building their own 3d App. I am surprised they didn’t buy the Foundary a few years back. It sold to an investment firm for a paltry $312m… and well investment companies are known for NOT taking a higher offer right?


Back in the day I was an Adobe certified trainer and am quite familiar with their product suite.

I do have a very gloomy view of Adobe since Narayen became CEO.

They have purchased or launched some cool tools: Director, Muse, Fuse, Mixamo…only to kill them or let them languish. They have pocketed slavescriptions rather than make meaningful upgrades to their core apps.

If you are hopeful that Substance Painter and Designer will flourish and grow under their care…all I can say is that I wish I shared your optimism.

For a number of years I stood on the sidelines after they went to the subsc. model, but since I rely on some of those apps…I’ve become a serf myself. Yes I feel dirty about that.


Agree about After Effects. They’ve been doing the “modernizing” talk for several releases now but the same fundamental problems with rendering performance and workflow remain in many cases. Not that it’s been devoid of innovation in recent releases but they seem to be “skirting the issue” quite a bit. I think they made a mistake 3 or 4 years ago when they started this; they should’ve done a concurrent re-write of the app. Keep existing AE going by cleaning up a bunch of bugs and UI annoyances and tuning some performance, but on the side developing a new version with a new multi-threaded and GPU-aware core. However long it took / takes, it takes, and when it’s ready everyone is happy to move onto something that’s an order of magnitude better… most likely 4 years on or whatever it’s been, they’d be done by now. That’s assuming Adobe had been willing to put in the human and other resources / commit to it.


Blinny you are probably right about that. It can be easier to write new code that to rewrite.


Unfortunately, Maxon is simply not in a position to truly capitalize on this unexpected turn of events with Bodypaint 3D.

In fact, both Adobe and Maxon share two similar handicaps; neither of them cater to game development markets. Traditional industries of television broadcasting, education, desktop publishing, product visualization, marketing and photography remain as their main focus. Adobe in particular is infamous for viewing game development and VFX industries with disdain.

Game developers, most of whom consist of independent small teams or individuals, form the nexus of Allegorithmic’s customer base. These people were attracted to a company that fostered an indie friendly atmosphere with a pricing structure to match. Allegorithmic offered great value for high quality texturing tools which could either be bought outright or leased to own. Either way, you were provided with a perpetual license with the final cost based on annual income. The superior workflow, affordability, progressive licensing terms and supportive community allowed those game developers with limited budgets to operate without Photoshop and thus, free themselves from Adobe’s subscription services.

Now, these same customers are suddenly met with the stark reality that their beloved Substance Painter and Designer are in the hands of a company whose priorities are more aligned with the casual Behance photographer or the guy with the unenviable task of creating office stationary than on the needs of game developers. To say nothing of the vast software graveyard that is the history of Adobe acquisitions, of course.

In addition to seeing the end of perpetual licensing, Allegorithmic customers are acutely aware of the possibility that Adobe will slow the developmental pace of Substance software, perhaps to abandon it entirely at a later date as they cannibalize its technology for Dimension, often referred to as Keyshot for dummies. Those who choose to stay will likely need to install the resource sucking CC manager to load future versions of Substance Painter and Designer; further adding insult to injury.

Allegorithmic’s success was due in no small part to the desire of independent game developers to detach themselves from the Adobe ecosystem. Now, those same customers who were once fiercely loyal to Allegorithmic have been rewarded with what could only be described as betrayal following a sell out to the one company they wanted most to avoid. The simple realization is this -independent game developers who invested in Substance software are the sacrificial lambs to Adobe’s concerted effort to bring 3D to the masses. This is why the uproar in response to Adobe’s acquisition of Allegorithmic is so deafening.

As for Maxon, the company has never set their sights on game development and as such, they have a much bigger hill to climb.

The world of content creation for games is still largely dominated by Zbrush, 3DSMAX and Maya with Blender quickly closing the gap. Maxon is a very distant contender, far behind even MODO.

Stacked against Maxon are the lack of substantive business partnerships between it and major game development studios and more importantly, game engine companies. This is something Autodesk has been cultivating for many years and as a result, continue to enjoy native support for its file formats from Unity, Unreal and CryEngine that make authoring much more seamless.

Pricing is another hurdle for Maxon. Bodypaint is around $945 with an upgrade price of about $650. As of the date of this posting, both Substance Designer and Painter can be had for about $300 USD. Those are perpetual licenses for TWO programs – costing 50% less than the Bodypaint upgrade price alone.

I’ve yet to even mention the numerous weaknesses already suffered by Cinema 4D (inadequate UV mapping toolset, limited character animation, etc.) which has an unjustifiably high price tag of $3500 USD where modern game production is concerned.

To cater to the game development market, Maxon would need to fundamentally alter its pricing tiers and licensing terms. That means offering an indie version of Cinema 4D Studio with flexible income level based pricing for game developers. Limitations may include maximum output resolution of 4k x 4k and perhaps the deactivation of some specialist features needed only by film/VFX artists such as motion tracking.

Bodypaint 3D itself would require a massive rewrite to bring it to the level of a professional PBR texturing tool that is similarly priced to the competition.

The only indication I can see where Maxon may begin to shift gear in terms of strategic focus was from their recent announcement of targeting the VR market. Creating for VR has identical requirements with conventional game development but with added considerations for physical hardware attachments. Even if taken seriously, that will still be years away for a company like Maxon who favors a more ponderous approach.

At the moment however, it makes more sense for a budding game developer to start with Blender or even Maya LT at $10 a month for a full featured modeling/animation package. Should the worst happen to Substance Painter and Designer, 3D Coat or even Blender’s Eevee plugin could be possible alternatives in the future.

Adobe’s acquisition does bring up an interesting question however. If Adobe intends to develop Dimension as a full 3D package with easy mode buttons, will they integrate it with After Effects and if so, what will become of Cinema4D lite?


The CEO of Allegorithmic reached out to me a few weeks back to see if they could use some of my work for this announcement. I said yes, but they switched it last minute for the another artist’s work.

After reading much of the 55 pages of complaints on the Substance forum.
I have to say, that I’m really quite happy that my artwork is not associated with this cluster f***!


(A Spanish poem)
Powerfull knight
It’s Mr. Money…

Cinema 4D (Cineversity, After Effects - C4D integration).
This would place C4D in a advantaged position front to Autodesk.

I’ve read, that C4D wants to focus on the virtual reality environment.
I think Adobe, that does not care, they are only interested in good 3D software that supports After Effects


Not true. AR/VR is one of the areas Adobe is working toward. I don’t like the merger, but I think people have gone waaaay overboard with the doom and gloom.

Out of curiosity, I installed Dimension, and it is quite a joke of a piece of software.

But hey, now creative directors everywhere with no 3D experience will be able to do some 3D work, and take us out of the loop for mock-ups. This is a double-edged sword.

This is the way Adobe is working these days. They want to bring design/creativity to the masses. (Albeit only those who can pay to play.) Look at Character Animator…it is literally marketed as a tool for animation for people who can’t animate. I know it is capable of being more complex than that now, but that was the goal when it was first created, and let’s be honest. Any pro animators don’t find it a joy to work with. It’s more of a performance capturing tool. Like mocap for 2D.

I really don’t care how Adobe wants to implement 3D, as long as they don’t ruin MY workflow with Substance. The Substance team members are saying other than being a part of CC, things should remain largely the same. At least for now.

If you look in the Adobe stock site, you’ll see tons of Substance materials already in the store. Now is a good time to use credits on Source if there are materials you want/need. At some point, those probably won’t be included as part of the sub.


Hi Gary–can yo please point me to this? Thanks!

EDIT–Nevermind–I think I found them?


Yep you found them. Some of them are very similar or exact copies of what you get on Source…however I think Source has a TON more.