SIGGRAPH AGUA Bombshell: Alias purchases Kaydara (UPDATE!: Press Release)


Kaydara and Alias agree to merge. Details to follow later today…

Los Angeles, SIGGRAPH — August 8, 2004 — Alias and Kaydara® today announced that Alias has signed an agreement to acquire Kaydara, a leading developer of real-time 3D character animation and motion editing solutions in the entertainment industry. SIGGRAPH® 2004 marks Alias’ debut as an independent company following the completion of Alias’ acquisition by Accel-KKR and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan from SGI®. Alias is the leading provider of 3D graphics technology and services for the film, video games, web, interactive media, automotive, industrial design, education and visualization markets. “Kaydara has quickly become the recognized leader in its field, and this strategic acquisition brings an additional pool of highly complementary intellectual and technical property to Alias’ existing product and service portfolio,” said Doug Walker, president of Alias. “This move effectively unites the top 3D product development talent in Toronto and Montreal – allowing our team to harness this combined creative power and deliver innovative 3D software solutions that enable our customers to create, visualize and communicate the world’s most compelling digital visual experiences.”

Operating under the Alias name, Kaydara will remain in Montreal and current President Michel Besner will stay with the company and join Alias’ Executive Management Team.

“Kaydara has built an impressive business over the past ten years, serving a number of leading clients in the television, film, game development, and Web content industries,” said Michel Besner, president of Kaydara. “The time was right to team up with Alias, as Kaydara will now benefit from access to further investment, Alias’ existing technology, and the company’s strong global marketing and distribution network. Ultimately, this union will bring even greater value to customers of both companies and the overall 3D industry.”

Kaydara products – most notably MOTIONBUILDER® and Kaydara FBX™ – will continue to support all current industry platforms and will be sold as standalone products under the Alias brand name. Kaydara FBX, a widely used standard for the universal exchange and reuse of 3D content, will continue to be offered as a vendor neutral format. MOTIONBUILDER’s unique real-time architecture, intelligent character technology and breakthrough story system lets any 3D animator create state-of-the-art results in record time, while FBX allows animation teams to easily transfer assets between multiple tools used during production. Recognizing the importance of openness and accessibility in the production pipeline, Alias has pledged to continue to offer Kaydara FBX as a vendor neutral format, further underscoring the company’s commitment to the overall success of the 3D industry.

“The future for Alias is incredibly positive,” Walker continued. “This is our first major step taken since becoming an independent company and operating in an environment enabling Alias to deliver significant new value to our customers in a shorter period of time. We’re in a unique position to push the science of 3D further and faster than we ever have before, and we’ll continue to evaluate organic growth opportunities and additional strategic acquisitions in the design and entertainment markets.”

The purchase is expected to close within 60 days, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions.

>>Kaydara Press Release<<



WTF?!! This is very interesting…



holy crap, thats random,
Here I am sitting in my hotel room looking at the Orpheum sign wondering what is going on at Agua and I hop on CGtalk and here is the scoop of what is actually going on at Agua.
I think this merger bodes well though. Im excited to see what will come out of this.

:slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:



I’m glad they are going to continue FBX, but I think this underscores the need for an open source, license free exchange format. Alias could easily decide in the future to make it closed and the license fees are already too high for small developers.


Merger? The Alias press release says they are acquiring Kaydara. Not that it matters, but is there a difference?


Yes merger means they’re joining together. Acquired means kaydara just got owned.


Well that doesn’t look to good for current MB owners. I wonder how this will change the current price/ugrade policy. :sad:


Well, far be it for me to say but I got the impression from reading the press release that Motion Builder will continue to be a seperate product but will just be called Alias Motion Builder. I also wouldn’t be suprised to see the HumanIK plug in ported over to Maya now.


I think Alias knows to not alienate the current Kaydara user base. I think what this will bring is tighter integration with Maya.

This is similar to Avid acquiring NXN. In these type of acquisitions companies have to be very careful not to alienate the community and user base that is there.


hha man you beat me to it!

i was going to post the exact same topic.

But yeah, motionbuilder will still be compatible with all file formats, not just maya’s. The president of Alias said so himself.


so roberto did u enjoy it?

I thought it was awesome.

the “afterparty” was kind of lame though… the food table was tiny, and there was a huge crowd around the table that were gathered like vultures.


It’s a good way to get other users to switch over to Maya if Alias incorpates Motionbuilder technology into the core package. You’ll have Max, Softimage, Lightwave, Cinema, model/scene import and export straight out of the box.

Does Alias retain licenses to the file formats that Kaydara had or do they lose them since Alias acquired Kaydara and Alias is a direct competitor to Discreet, Newtek, Maxon, Avid, etc?


Wow! Alias totally trumped discreet in the “aquiring character animation programs” category.


I was in attendance during the 2004 AGUA conference when Doug Walkerstunned
the audience by announcing the adquisition of Kaydara by Alias.
He stressed that all the platforms being supported by Kaydara would continue, and that the FBX format would continue to be supported.



Well, I hope this is a sign of Alias’s plans on their next gen 3D package. Maya is getting a little long in the tooth.


as long as they don’t alienate existing customers like apple did with a certain compositing tool, way to go. however, i somewhat doubt there will be updates for human-ik for max or efforts to keep all those fbx-plugins up to date.


My gosh this is going to make Maya the most complete 3d tool in the industry!!


A complete tool that takes a team of 10 3D artists to master. Seriously now, how long does it take to become a Maya guru, compared to other apps? The huger Maya gets, the more versatile the competition becomes in analogy.


This is the smartest move by Alias since their big price drop.
Now they own the default 3D interchange format, plus they can incorporate arguably the best character animation toolkit (MotionBuilder) into Maya.
Alias seem to be the only company really taking this 3D app war seriously.