Mac EvangeList: A|W to make a "major announcement" re: Maya

in Mac Software edited January 2014
The EvangeList's Shane Anderson speculates that Apple's buying Maya.

Here's the post to the 'List:



Alias|Wavefront will be making a major announcement regarding Maya -

news that will permanently change the shape of the 3D industry.


3D animation technology is increasingly becoming a part of our daily lives.

It is fast spreading from the entertainment and design industries into new

marketplaces. Alias|Wavefront's software has been used by such leading

companies as Industrial Light+Magic, Sega and Nintendo to compete and win

the battle for market share. This technology was used to make two of this

year's Oscar-winning movies, Shrek (best animated feature) and The Lord of

the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (best visual effects)

And now, the most respected 3D animation software in the world is about

to make headlines.


*analysis: the current state of 3D animation technology

*forecast: the future of 3D technology

*BIG NEWS: hear how Alias|Wavefront is about to shake up the industry


Thursday March 28, 2002

11:30 a.m. EST


Doug Walker, President of Alias|Wavefront



  • Reply 1 of 23
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    Great. Apple buys Maya. Too bad we don't have the hardware to make it worthwhile. Maybe some industrial strength quad boxes custom designed for Maya use? A package deal. Maya unlimited and a quad Ghz G4, 23" cinema display, $15000. Or with a G5 for $100000
  • Reply 2 of 23
    /me cringes

    This kinda makes me think:

    Beyond the rumor sites. Way beyond.

    <img src="graemlins/bugeye.gif" border="0" alt="[Skeptical]" />

    [ 03-27-2002: Message edited by: starfleetX ]</p>
  • Reply 3 of 23
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    Keep in mind that "how Alias|Wavefront is about to shake up the industry" does not necessarily have to mean "Apple's buying us." Compare the acquisition of Nothing Real.

    Shane's speculation might be off, and A|W has something completely different in the works for Maya. But it's something to think about.
  • Reply 4 of 23
    jccbinjccbin Posts: 476member
    MS buys A|W and gives it to the borg'd Bungie Studios....

    &lt;&lt;Shakes and trembles in fear&gt;&gt; <img src="graemlins/embarrassed.gif" border="0" alt="[Embarrassed]" />
  • Reply 5 of 23
    it would make sense for apple to buy maya, then it wouldn't be availible for other platforms, and they would have to buy a mac.
  • Reply 6 of 23
    leonisleonis Posts: 3,427member
    [quote]Originally posted by I like Macs:

    <strong>it would make sense for apple to buy maya, then it wouldn't be availible for other platforms, and they would have to buy a mac.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Then people will go for SoftImage XSI
  • Reply 7 of 23
    Or it could be an announcement about a new product or enhancement to Maya. I don't read "Someone's buying us" from that, I read, "We're going to do something cool".
  • Reply 8 of 23
    [quote]Originally posted by M3D Jack:

    <strong>"We're going to do something cool".</strong><hr></blockquote>Like reduce Maya's MSRP to US$59.95!!

    Call now; operators are standing by. :cool:

    Or, more realistically, perhaps a Maya "light" version... kinda like an iMaya. Hrrmm.

    [ 03-28-2002: Message edited by: starfleetX ]</p>
  • Reply 9 of 23
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    [quote]Originally posted by starfleetX:

    <strong>Like reduce Maya's MSRP to US$59.95!!

    Call now; operators are standing by. :cool:

    Or, more realistically, perhaps a Maya "light" version... kinda like an iMaya. Hrrmm.

    [ 03-28-2002: Message edited by: starfleetX ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

    A consumer 3D app would be cool, and it would tie in with the statement about 3D being everywhere in people's lives.

    That would be a genuinely cool thing, if they managed to pull it off.
  • Reply 10 of 23
    kormac77kormac77 Posts: 197member
    This is what it is.

    APPLE will be waiting !


    Animation software to be available to all

    Thu Mar 28, 6:03 AM ET

    Fans of animation and effects-packed films such as Shrek and Lord of the Rings will soon be seeing an explosion in groundbreaking special effects, thanks to wider availability of the software used to create them.

    Industry giant Alias/Wavefront already has a free streamlined version of its Maya 3-D graphics software available for download from its Web site. A $5 CD version is due next week.

    Today, the company will announce drastic price cuts on its professional versions,Maya Complete ($1,999) and Maya Unlimited ($6,999). That's far below their former prices of $7,500 and $16,000 -- sums that might not faze Industrial Light & Magic or DreamWorks but exclude small-time developers.

    ''Anybody who wants to do anything professional in 3-D now will be able to afford the tools that the top innovators use,''says company president Doug Walker.

    Maya Complete lets users build, animate and add voices to 3-D characters and create 3-D objects and environments for movies and games. Maya Unlimited has premium features for creating realistic cloth and fur. The free version offers tutorials and the same capabilities as Maya Complete, but adds a watermark so that saved output cannot be used professionally. Still, students and budding animators can tinker with the technology used in films such as Ice Age,Monsters, Inc., Harry Potter (news - web sites) and the Sorcerer's Stone and Titanic.

    Part of the Maya strategy is to get dabblers to graduate to more powerful -- and more expensive -- programs. ''Going after the consumer market seems to be the Holy Grail for 3-D content-creation apps just now,'' says Daniel R.Huebner, editor of game development Web site

    More likely: Lower prices might attract studios that previously ''found Maya too expensive,'' he says.

    Others in the 3-D industry have aimed at developing new talent, too. SoftImage has a free version of its XSI 2.0 effects software available online, also with a watermark.

    And last week NewTek cut the price of its LightWave 3-D software from $2,495 to $1,595.

    Game publishers have been including a free developer version of Discreet's gmax animation software on games such as Microsoft's Flight Simulator 2002 so that players can create new models, maps and character appearances.

    And Sony is taking orders for its budget-priced Linux (news- web sites)-based PlayStation 2 (news - web sites)development kit ($199, due in May).

    This is all good news for moviegoers and video game players, says Jennifer Olsen, editor in chief of Game Developer magazine. ''Removing the cost barrier means that more people can learn to author high-end 3-D content,''she says. ''The hobbyists today will be the professionals of tomorrow, creating the sophisticated 3-D content consumers will be demanding.''

    <a href=""; target="_blank"></a>;
  • Reply 11 of 23
    scottibscottib Posts: 381member
    Perhaps Unlimited will be offered for OS X, as well (though that might happen when Maya 4 is released for OS X).
  • Reply 12 of 23
    leonisleonis Posts: 3,427member
    wow that's really big price cut :eek:

    I guess those who paid 7500 bucks for Maya complete are now really pissed off
  • Reply 13 of 23
    kormac77kormac77 Posts: 197member
    Well. This might be next step.


    The Following I'm reposting from the Alias Wavefront discussion list:

    Sounds to me like they're getting ready to announce their

    purchase by Apple. It may sound like a conspiracy theory,

    but here goes:

    Alias makes an agreement (with Apple) to be the bad guy, to

    essentially do their dirty-work in advance of the purchase.

    First they cut the higher "US Dollar paid" staff and retreat

    to Canada (Home of the Underpaid). Then they lower the price

    to the consumer level (a MUST for an Apple product) they will

    certainly take some heat from their loyal users that paid much

    more just a short time ago. (C'est la vie!) Then comes a

    convenient tradeshow (like NAB April 6-11)

    <a href=""; target="_blank"></a>;

    Then pretso-purchaso Steve Jobs announces that Apple has a new

    3D product, "Final 3D Pro"! Well OK they'll probably keep the

    Maya name, but who knows what evil lurks in the minds of the

    marketing team. Apple will get to be the hero by stepping in

    and saving the company.

    Will everyone in Toronto move to Cupertino?

    I dunno. Nicer winters though.

    (but NOT as nice as Santa Barbara)

    These ideas are my own paranoid ramblings, and in no way are

    meant to reflect anyone else's reality but my own.

    Best Regards

    Mark Noland

  • Reply 14 of 23
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
  • Reply 15 of 23
    kormac77kormac77 Posts: 197member
    Hello. Matsu. <img src="graemlins/smokin.gif" border="0" alt="[Chilling]" />

    long time no see.
  • Reply 16 of 23
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    Sir Ockham is rolling in his grave right now.
  • Reply 17 of 23
    kormac77kormac77 Posts: 197member
    Check this out.

    <a href=""; target="_blank"></a>;


    Apple, planning to enter this market, already has professional video editing software -- Final Cut Pro -- and with the acquisition of Nothing Real, can be a major player in the special effects space. However, the company lacks a 3D application, and sources say that the company is clearly in the market for a 3D vendor to acquire. This has been the subject of much speculation among creative professionals in the industry. Some question the plan's business sense, however, noting that the high-end graphics market, while high-margin, is only a fraction of a percent of the whole software market.

    Enter Alias|Wavefront, Silicon Graphics subsidiary and renowned high-end developer of Maya 3D software, which frequently makes appearances during Macworld Expo keynote presentations. Alias has undergone a great deal of internal reorganization, and insiders say that the changes were made to turn the company into a prime acquisition candidate. Apple is one of the main companies Alias hopes to be acquired by -- indeed, this has been a frequent rumor -- but these same insiders note that Apple simply isn't interested in buying Alias in its present state. Sources could not determine whether Apple's apprehension is due to business/financial reasons -- rumor has it that Alias may have debt issues -- or whether it has to do with problems regarding Maya and Mac OS X.


    SGI became too expensive lately. So they will have few more Qtr for try. However, holding A/W in SGI is not good for their recovery plan.

    So.... here we are.

    We will see more in near future.
  • Reply 18 of 23
    zozo Posts: 3,115member
    lets not forget our 'friends' at Pixar may get involved somehow too.

    Also, combine with the Raycer buyout a few years ago...

    Lets face it, 3D IS the next frontier. Apple might as well lead by example as usual.

    Hehe, I like the iMaya idea
  • Reply 19 of 23
    scottibscottib Posts: 381member
    Random thoughts:

    Well with the price cut, new users can use the extra money to by an Athlon box with a kickin' Wildcat card. [ducks]

    According to this NewsFactor <a href=""; target="_blank">article</a>, future versions of Maya will have feature parity across platforms (which I suppose means Unlimited will be coming to the Mac). The article doesn't mention when this will occur.

    Lost in all this Apple + A|W speculation is that A|W has another, less sexy, product: <a href=""; target="_blank">DesignTools</a>. Most, if not all, auto companies, suppliers, ID firms (including Apple Design) use this. Last year, GM purchased over 100 seats. It's not available for OS X, and, honestly, I don't think it ever will be due to its cost (mid five figures for the full featured version--AutoStudio--though with this Maya thing, that could change), and that Macs aren't and probably won't be prevelant in auto companies' design studios (A|W's largest clients). Most will be transitioning to Win2K/XP boxes when the Octanes retire, and nothing makes corporate IT people happier than having more Windows boxes--especially GM's tech people: EDS.

    I guess what I'm postiting is that, firstly, SGI wouldn't want to sell A|W, secondly, A|W wouldn't want to sell just Maya, and, thirdly, Apple wouldn't want both Maya and DesignTools--just Maya. I can't see this purchase happening.

    Honestly, I don't see the value of a consumer 3-D program--at least for the next half dozen years ("Honey, it's time to go to soccer practice." "In a minute, mom, let me kick off my ray-traced rendering of tulips for Grandma.")

    Finally, A|W has begun a new policy regarding licensing--at least for DesignTools (and perhaps for Maya--I have to check with our alias rep): if you want to move a seat of software across platforms, say, from an Irix to a WinTel or other *nix box (or any combination); it'll cost you $1000 for each cut moved.

    Currently, the small ID firm where I work has 8 seats of AutoStudio, 1 seat of Maya Unlimited, and 2 of Maya Complete served off an Irix server to various Octanes and and Win2K workstations. If we retire our SGI Origin to a Sun (or Dell or IBM-Unix), it will cost us $11K. Ouch.

    Assuming this does apply to Maya, this will hurt migration to Macs--especially for animation houses that have many Irix and Win2K workstations. This tarriff effectively adds $1000 to the cost of any new Mac (or any new box-platform)--unless Maya was originally purchased for the Mac. I suppose A|W needs to recoup some $$$ lost by the Maya price break.
  • Reply 20 of 23
    kormac77kormac77 Posts: 197member
    ScottiB: You are right! The other products in A/W is one of key factor which most people did not see.

    I would like to look the my perspective.

    I wrote several times that APPLE will buy SGI. I am still believe that buying SGI will be the best M&A Apple can do ,if the price is right.

    The SGI stock price was less than 50 cent one time before 9.11. And SGI could not find any solution to get out of the situation. Then , there was 9.11. It was tragic time for U.S.A but it saved SGI from death. After the tragidy, Gov and Military saved SGI. And current stock price is around mid- $4, which is very costly for APPLE to buy.

    And If I am a steve, I will not buy SGI + A/W now but will buy A/W alone until the price became reasonable.

    For SGI management, They can have more time and money to try save itself with cash from A/W sales.

    And for the A/W, they will have strong finacial backing from Apple when they became part of apple.

    And for the Apple, Apple will have strong 3D application in house that will continue develope good 3D product for OS X.

    <a href=""; target="_blank"></a>;


    *IF* SGI sells Alias|Wavefront to Apple, which

    could be announced at the upcoming NAB conference (??),

    I would take that as yet another good sign that

    SGI management is VERY serious about focusing on

    being LEANandMEAN, and better positioning itself

    to show sustainable EPS numbers.

    I'm *not* trying to spread rumors, but much of

    the recent leakage and news strongly suggests

    something might be up. SGI has been "divesting"

    of its other software groups/projects, and Apple

    is "making a play" for gaming and Hollywood as

    indicated by many of their press releases and

    other stories. SGI has clearly re-structured

    A|W, and pricing of Maya, to be a very different

    company/subsidiary, and probably not the type of

    company to remain within the new SGI.

    Anyone know what Apple paid for 'Nothing Real'?

    I tried searching, but couldn't find the answer.

    Apple has roughly 4 *Billion* in cash, so they

    certainly could afford A|W. I wouldn't think

    it's worth more than $100 Million or so though.

    (maybe less?)

    Anyway, while I think Alias|Wavefront is a sort

    of "treasure" I hate to see SGI let go, it would

    probably be best for A|W, as Apple would be a

    much better place for it to survive and grow.

    The timing of all of this could get interesting,

    with NAB coming up, and SGI announcing its

    results in April. My fear is that SGI will use

    such a sale to help offset negative EPS news,

    but hope for the opposite -- that SGI announces

    it's selling A|W for a couple hundred mil, and

    also announces a small profit. That, imho,

    could send SGI up a couple bucks easily.

    Again, please let me stress, I am NOT trying to

    further the rumor here about Apple and A|W, but

    am just thinking through the scenario, and its

    pros and cons. It would be interesting to

    debate whether this truly is good for SGI, or



    Why Am I telling SGI story in here ?

    Because The market which SGI holding strong is the Future MARKET for Apple Professinal product.

    3D animation is a just tip of icebug that.

    The major market for Apple was DTP & 2D graphics market. And if you look carefully, the market is saturated and it is Marketing term "DOG" stage.

    To APPLE, they need new area which PC does not have a good advantage and fast and high growth.

    To APPLE , the first market is Professional multimedia. Professional Video & Audio.

    For the Video, FinalCut Pro is the prime product.

    Add Shake and highend DVD application will lead the way with other 3rd party company. And they will go new frontier , which is Digita-Cinema, HDTV and MPEG-4 base streaming market, such as mobile phone.

    For the Audio, Apple will provide very strong support for Audio in OS X with QuickTime 6 in very near future. If What I hear is correct, we will see some movement in this year.

    Guess what is the best product AVID has for AUDIO ?

    I will talk more later.
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