Episode 248 – Maxon – Red Giant

Episode 248 – Maxon – Red Giant

Hello, everyone! This is Allan McKay.

Welcome to Episode 248! I’m sitting down with Maxon and Red Giant to discuss their recent merger and everything else industry related.

I’m so excited to sit down with Paul and Aharon. Maxon created Cinema 4D and recently acquired Redshift; and Red Giant creates a massive amount of great tools for Premiere, After Effects and other pieces of software. I think this is such a great merger for both companies!

Please take a second to share this Podcast with others.

Let’s dive in!

 

FIRST THINGS FIRST:

[00:54] Have you ever sent in your reel and wondered why you didn’t get the callback or what the reason was you didn’t get the job? Over the past 20 years of working for studios like ILM, Blur Studio, Ubisoft, I’ve built hundreds of teams and hired hundreds of artists — and reviewed thousands of reels! That’s why I decided to write The Ultimate Demo Reel Guide from the perspective of someone who actually does the hiring. You can get this book for free right now at www.allanmckay.com/myreel!

[1:20:40] One of the biggest problems we face as artists is figuring out how much we’re worth. I’ve put together a website. Check it out: www.VFXRates.com! This is a chance for you to put in your level of experience, your discipline, your location — and it will give you an accurate idea what you and everyone else in your discipline should be charging. Check it out: www.VFXRates.com!

EPISODE 248 — MAXON – RED GIANT

Maxon Computer is a leading developer of 3D software best known for its flagship 3D modeling, painting, rendering and animation software Cinema 4D. Red Giant is a creator of unique tools for editors, VFX artists, and motion designers. In December 2019, the two companies reached an agreement to merge under the media and entertainment division of Nemetschek Group to better serve the post production and content creation industries.

Maxon and Red Giant are well known and established in the digital content creation (DCC) industries, and share synergies in philosophy and long-term goals. Both companies have earned a peerless reputation for the quality and accessibility of products, and uncompromising commitment to service and support of the artistic community.

Maxon was formed in 1986 with a passion for providing extremely powerful, though exceptionally accessible 3D software solutions. Artists across the globe rely on Maxon products to create cutting-edge visuals. In April of this year, Maxon acquired Redshift, developer of the GPU-accelerated Redshift render engine.

Since 2002, Red Giant has built its brand through award-winning products such as Trapcode, Magic Bullet, Universe, PluralEyes and its line of innovative visual effects software. Their unique, industry-standard tools are staples in the fields of film, broadcast, and advertising. Red Giant has differentiated itself in the industry through its artist-driven approach to software creation and its popular training and award-winning short films.

The two companies provide tools for a who’s who of production companies including ABC, CBS, NBC, HBO, BBC, Sky, Fox Networks, Turner Broadcasting, NFL Network, WWE, Viacom, Netflix, ITV Creative, Discovery Channel, MPC (Moving Picture Company), Digital Domain, VDO, Sony, Universal, The Walt Disney Company, Blizzard Entertainment, BMW, Facebook, Apple, Google, Vitra, Nike and many more.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews Global Head of Community and Customer Experience Paul Babb and Aharon Rabinowitz, Global Head of Digital Experience, about the history and merger of the two companies, their leading products and subscriptions and the upcoming trends.

Maxon Website: https://www.maxon.net/
Red Giant Website: https://www.redgiant.com
NAB Show: http://www.c4dlive.com/
Maxon YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWhRfxKSqHU8hjx7mbmKVxA

HIGHLIGHTS:

[03:14] Introduction of Paul Babb and Aharon Rabinowitz
[08:43] Paul Talks About His Background and Maxon History
[11:34] Aharon and Paul Talk About the Merger
[19:29] Paul Talks About the History of Cinema 4D and Its Effect on the VFX Industry
[28:30] Paul Talks About the Acquisition of Redshift
[33:50] Paul and Aharon Discuss the Merger and the Community Reaction to It
[35:20] Paul and Aharon Talk About the Acquisition of Redshift
[39:51] Aharon Talks Red Giant History
[47:26] The Importance of Open-Mindedness About Tools
[52:34] Paul and Aharon Talk About Benefits of Subscription Based Products
[1:00:09] Maxon – Red Giant Tools for Social Media and YouTube Content
[1:04:32] Paul and Aharon Discuss Future Tools
[1:15:01] Additional Resources for Maxon – Red Giant

 

MAXON – RED GIANT

[03:14] Allan: Thanks again, guys, for taking the time to chat! Do you want to quickly introduce yourselves?

Paul: Yeah! I’m Paul Babb from Maxon. I’m currently the Global Head of Community and Customer Experience. That basically means that I do a lot of marketing stuff.

Aharon: Hi, I’m Aharon Rabinowitz. I’m the Global Head of Digital Experience. Previously, I was the Head of Marketing at Red Giant so Paul and I are working together on all the marketing for Maxon and Red Giant together.

[03:43] Allan: Just to dive into this quickly. Aharon, can you talk about your experience leading up to Red Giant?

Aharon: Yeah, those were the glory days. I started off as an intern working at Sesame Street. I really wanted to work in film and television. I wanted to be part of a solution and Sesame Street seemed like the perfect place. A few years later, I was doing animation for Are You All That? for Nickelodeon, which is like American Idol for kids.. I was working with animators at Sesame Street, while not being an animator myself. But I ended up learning those tools and became really interested in animation. When they closed down our Interactive Department, I reached out to my friends at Nickelodeon. There was this company being formed by Nickelodeon and Sesame Street called Noggin. As a Producer, I couldn’t afford an animator. So I rented a space at Nickelodeon to start animating some of these things myself. And the Producer asked me to send him my reel. I said, “It’s funny, I’ve sent you my reel 3 times.” And he takes me to this room that has a pile of VHS tapes and says, “Just pull out which one is yours.” I brought a new one the next day and ended up becoming an Animator and a VFX Artist.

Somewhere along the way I got interested in software development. I was using so much software! Red Giant and Maxon were some of the companies. I knocked on their doors. I said, “My daughter was just born and I don’t want to work a hundred hours a week anymore, even though I love this stuff!” They said, “We aren’t going to hire you.” I wrote a proposal and my wife, who works in HR, helped me write it. Eleven years later, I’m still doing the same thing. Now, I’m switching over to Maxon.

[06:32] Allan: Just to touch on that. I angle this Podcast to be career related, so I wanted to ask you: When you were writing a proposal on what you would do for the company, how did that go? I’m curious about the mindset of that. I think so many people make a mistake of focusing on themselves when they’re applying for work, instead of focusing on intent and what they would be doing for that company.

Aharon: I thought the company was great and I looked at what they did. And then I thought, “What didn’t they do well? And can I do that?” I didn’t mention that I had worked at Creative COW for a while and I would come home and take all that animation I’d learned and record a tutorial. And before I knew it, it became a weekly podcast. And I saw that Red Giant had an amazing arsenal of tools but not many tutorials. They had a few. But they weren’t pushing a community. They were cranking out a lot of great tools but they didn’t have a great personality (even though they had a lot of great personalities working for them). And I should say I did that with Maxon as well. I wanted to work with Paul at the same time. These were two awesome companies I wanted to work with, but Red Giant just worked out at the time.

[08:43] Allan: Sounds like it was fate! I love that! Paul, you have an extensive background as well. You used to work for Electric Image.

Paul: Early on, I worked at ad agencies and marketing companies. I go back to the days of layout out ads for magazines. My first experience was being the marketing person for Electric Image. My father was a programmer, and my mother was a traditional artist. I was around computers from an early age so 3D made sense. When Electric Image got bought, I did go back to ad work and one of jobs that came up was a PR story for Maxon. Eventually, I was asked if I would open a Maxon office in the U.S., and that was back in ‘97-’98. And here we are 20 years later. Aharon and I did talk about hiring him, but different offices worked on their own at that time. We were given our own territories. A couple of years ago the former owners of Maxon in Germany retired and they consolidated the company into a global entity and I was made the Head of Global Marketing. Then, we purchased Redshift and the final merger was finalized this January.

Aharon: Sometimes, doing these interviews, I learn about Paul. I didn’t know that your parents were artists. It’s really interesting!

[11:34] Allan: I think it’s cool that you both have come from industry backgrounds but also have a marketing background. I found it interesting going into Electric Image. They were a cool company. Leading into the merger of Maxon and Red Giant, how have things changed overall? What was it like, to have these pieces come together?

Paul: Leading up to it, Aharon and I were very excited. Obviously, we knew about it early on. We were very involved in management of each of our companies. I was really excited to work with Aharon. We would have these conversations at trade shows, “We need to figure out a way to do something together!” When it all started coming along, I was excited about it. I thought there was a lot of synergy and that we looked at our market as more of a community of artists and friends. Aharon and I aren’t out there trying to sell software. We’re out there trying to facilitate artists and create an exciting community that does cool stuff. After the merger, it’s a bit more complicated. There will be a transition for a while. Right now, we’re focusing on our individual products and then we’ll focus on how to approach it all as one big, happy family.

Aharon: Paul and I had a unique opportunity to work together. I was directing a short film for Red Giant and Paul has an acting background (which he didn’t mention). He was in the film. From my perspective, I think there are things that Maxon does really well. We just experienced it with Cinema 4D Live. We, at Red Giant, are a smaller company and Maxon has great resources. It’s a great example where there are things we can do to help each other. Paul was running this Cinema 4D Live thing and artists have been showing some amazing stuff. So when Paul says he prefers to facilitate artists doing some great work, I do the same thing with Red Giant. You create these products but it’s not about the products at all. It’s not about the tools but what the tools can do for the artists. And that’s all we think about: What can we do to help artists? The money that comes from selling products is secondary. I think about the artists and I’ve been one of them for a long time. That’s really what we have in common in our mission.

[16:23] Allan: I think you’re right. Sales are necessary but it is the key indicator of where the company is headed. It causes disruption because it’s not focused on how to get a better product.

Paul: I feel that’s where a lot of companies fail. We’re servicing artists. We aren’t selling a shovel or a widget. We’re selling to creatives, to people who are excited about creating imagery and animation. All of them have a short in the back of their minds. Having been in that industry and in art as well, we understand what’s exciting. And in the beginning, I must admit, I came at it as running a business. But then I realized that the most interesting job is what the artists are doing with our tools. When you create a community and the opportunity for artists, the sales come on their own. We’ve had times when people would come and start working with us — and Aharon was one of them — and they feel like they’re part of a community. The company cares about them. We spend more time and energy doing stories about our customers than about ourselves. I have a cheesy saying, “The painting is far more interesting than the paintbrush.”

Aharon: I used to run an After Effects group where we’d get anywhere between 100-400 people, once a month. Paul was my first real sponsor. What was Maxon really getting out of it, besides being part of a community? They weren’t asking for an opportunity to hit up our people with their emails. People loved Maxon’s product. But that is our thing. I’ve spent the last two weeks working on VFX shots. I work on these everyday and I get to use this stuff before it gets out there. It’s a really great gig!

[19:29] Allan: Can you talk to me about Cinema 4D’s history and Maxon in general? Where did the software make its big splash and how did it evolve?

Paul: That’s a really great question! In the early days, when someone introduced me to it, I was still at Electric Image. Back then, I would take a class to really get to know a new package so I could be familiar with the workflow. The first time I was introduced to Cinema 4D, I was surprised by its accessibility. It was fast and the tools were approachable. When I started working with the Maxon guys, there was an openness to hear what features were missing. They were so excited to get feedback from studios! I was able to get them an appointment at ILM when the Mac rolled out. It was really fun to take them into that environment and they were like sponges. The first few jobs were more commercials. One of the first ones was a funny Apple commercial with a snail where they were making fun of Intel chips on a snail. (But the commercial was done on a Windows, and we had to keep that secret quiet.) But in the early days, our product was inexpensive and it ran on any computer. We had a major studio and they were doing a commercial with an image of a globe. The art director had done some fantastic work in Cinema 4D. At the time, the company was known for its proprietary software. I went in and the art director was showing me the commercial. They never had to take it into their own software which was a scripting environment, because the client saw the art and thought the commercial was finished.

We’ve always come from the ground up. We never went to heads of departments asking them to use our product. We talked directly to the artists and they talked to the studios. Over the years, we’ve made our way into broadcasting because of After Effects. Fox Sports was our first broadcast client. It was taking motion artists and putting the power of 3D into their workflow. I’d like to think we helped bring that to the average artist. Back in the day, they would be the After Effects people; and the 3D guys would throw their stuff to them. We were actually putting the power of 3D into their hands and there was less and less need for a 3D department. And it grew from there. We went from a couple of people at NBC doing work in the morning that would go live in the evenings. And it just went from there. The broadcast was a boom for us. Artists would find 3D not as hard as they thought it was and they’d begin dabbling in visual effects. We started getting more into the VFX market. We built a 3D environment that was used by Sony ImageWorks. That was another situation where we were bringing the power of 3D to matte painters. We created tools to help them transition from a straight 2D painting. It really came from the ground up and artists leading the way. Medical animation, scientific animation is another big market for us.

Aharon: I was on the other side of that. I was an artist. When I was working at Nick Digital Labs (Nickelodeon), I was teaching at the same time. I was teaching Maya which I found complicated. Motion graphics weren’t easy to do in 3D. I was working at Nickelodeon and I saw someone using Cinema 4D. It was an older version. At that time, it wasn’t a strong player. But even if Maya was, there was only one person in the department that could use it. But I really want to give credit to Paul. I met him at SIGGRAPH. And when the mo graph came with Cinema 4D, it went from a tool that no one was talking about to being THE tool you were going to use in motion graphics. All through Paul’s efforts and their marketing team!

[28:30] Allan: You’re absolutely right! I have friends who’ve never done 3D in their lives (directors and artists). With Cinema 4D, I’ve always been shocked how those same people who’ve never done 3D and they’d start doing it! It’s freakish to see! People are just able to start getting results. Matte painting was a huge part of that, where people started turning to Cinema 4D, especially in New York. From there, it got more ground. I totally forgot some of that history. Can we talk about Redshift for a second? What was the decision that led to acquiring this renderer that has taken the industry by storm?

Paul: Sure! You know, a lot of it was about raising our game in the rendering job. There was always an interest to expand in the rendering area. The built-in rendering engine was serviceable but we didn’t have a strong game in GPU rendering. There had been discussions with them in the past. When our CEO Dave McGavran came on, we were talking about how to ramp things up in Cinema 4D. And we have our development team. The best way to approach that is to acquire. We had discussions with Redshift. They have a great play in VFX and the game industries. Having them as part of the company and of our community and a team that’s dedicated to it, it raises our game internally. Our rendering team can collaborate with Redshift guys and bring some of their features into Cinema 4D. The goal was not to bring Redshift on and make it solely available in Cinema 4D. We benefit from them developing their product for other packages as well. The philosophies of other companies don’t want to maintain parody with other packages. We’re much more interested in what artists can do with our tools! We aren’t an island. That feedback and workflow gives Redshift people to learn from all kinds of users. But it also raises our game in the GPU rendering and it brings a lot of ideas on what we can do in the future.

[33:50] Allan: During the merger, what was the community’s response? I feel like there are always some people getting nervous about it. I just interviewed Quixel and Epic about their merger. There was so much positive feedback: It was 96% positive, 4% negative.

Aharon: That’s normally how that goes! There were some people who were worried about the business side of things, like, “Are you going to sell to Adobe?” And that is not the plan at all! We can’t answer some of these questions yet. But 97% of the responses have been extremely positive and with the remainder, the studies show they may not be entirely sane.

[35:20] Allan: I’ve felt that there will be those times when backlash happens. But with something like this, the merger makes sense. It’s not the downfall of something. Even with Redshift, it was really great news. Having that support from you gave these guys an opportunity to make bigger things. What’s going to happen now that two good things merging?

Aharon: It’s funny! This definitely wasn’t one of those bullet-point mergers. It was more like, “What kind of beautiful babies can we make together?”

Paul: It was, you’re right! With the Redshift guys, they didn’t have a marketing guy / gal on staff. They were mainly developers. And we can take marketing off their hands. They don’t have to worry about that. Last September, we just did their first demo reel. They didn’t have one before. We made a piece of literature for them. We can help them with getting their name out there. And they’re really hands-on and passionate, but they didn’t have marketing or social media teams, they weren’t doing customer stories.

Aharon: They are a group of great people making a great product but they didn’t have a voice. Paul has been a really great voice for Maxon and he’s done it for Redshift. I’ve done it for Red Giant when I came on. It’s about what they don’t have — but what they do have.

[37:34] Allan: Can you talk about the history of Red Giant for a moment? Again, we’re all familiar with these tools, but I can’t pinpoint when you came on the market.

Aharon: I can’t talk too much about history. I came on 11-12 years ago but I know it was started out of a garage of two different people, Andrew Little and Sean Safreed. They didn’t even know each other. Sean was a tech guy and Andrew was a sales guy. They had some proprietary tools like Magic Bullet. The first month, they made 30K and they realized they had a business. That was a long time ago, 17-18 years. Magic Bullet became the Magic Bullet Suite. I was busting trapcode and their products convinced me that I really wanted to work with the company, because they understood the needs of artists.

When I came onboard, I wanted to be the Head of Content and Community, but they didn’t have the capability for that. I became the Head of Marketing and I failed at that! Marketing back then was different. I failed upwardly into the role that I’ve always wanted: The Head of Content and Community. I wanted to create tutorials and introduce products in a very interesting way. And eventually, Red Giant grew from 7 to 40 people. I think we were at 60 people when we merged with Maxon. Red Giant started developing tools and it became not necessarily a reseller but they began to make stuff. It started to make trapcode. Magic Bullet opened my eyes to what color correction could be. The industry of color grading, like the VFX industry, people want you to feel like it’s magical.

[43:12] Allan: But that’s also how you’re able to brag about the rates you’re charging.

Aharon: What would happen was that my friends wanted to try Magic Bullet and they’d confess that with it, they couldn’t charge the rate they were charging [because of how fast they would turn it around]. The tools that are coming out with After Effects, they are more bullet points. What we bring to the table is the ease of use and the final look that looks professional. And that’s what Red Giant was focused on, even as they were reselling software created by other people: They wanted to offer user-friendly tools. So anybody could do that! And that’s what we did with the Visual Effects Suite for compositing. We’ve taken that whole thing that can be complex and turned it into something that anyone can do!

[45:07] Allan: That reminds me of so many discussions we had back in the 90s about how we’d charge thousands of dollars for a Flame Suite. Why don’t we build an After Effects Suite?

Aharon: When Magic Bullet came out, I could see that the way that community reacted was: The people who’ve never done it said, “That’s awesome!” And the people who were doing it professionally [had resistance]. And now it’s all gone! When we came out with the VFX Suite, people who were using Nuke were throwing so much shade! I was high-fiving everyone at Red Giant. If they’re complaining, that meant we disrupted it. We took something from the realm of magic and put it into the hands of people. Like Paul says, it’s not the tool, it’s the artist. We’re allowing people to create something that looks great but they are a different kind of artist. If someone works at ILM, it’s not because they use certain tools — it’s because they think about VFX in a certain way. We aren’t trying to give people talent but to give them tools.

[47:26] Allan: I think this is such a deep rabbit hole to go down. With a lot of artists, or people in general, you use tools to validate yourself. It allows you to have some clout. It’s amazing to see artists who are open-minded about other tools. I’m not a Cinema 4D user, but there have been projects in the past that have proven it to be much easier to pull off. The open-mindedness to embrace and acknowledge tells a lot about the type of customer you have.

Paul: You know, the industry has evolved from that. Applications and operating systems had a religious devotion. Even when you’d call up a school, they’d say, “We’re already using another package.” The best analogy would be: You’re already teaching painting classes, but you aren’t using the same brush. I’m not telling you to replace your 3D package. I’m telling you there are advantages to using Cinema 4D. These are all artistic tools. We still get these when we do these streams, we’ll get some trolls screaming about their product. We’ve always walked into studios saying, “Here is why our product is good.” And our development team goes out of the way to show how we can share assets.

Aharon: You know what no one has ever said, “What’s great about his software is that you can’t use it with any other software!”

Paul: Except for the executive who directed that!

[50:16] Allan: Back in the day, you’d have Power Animator or Power Modeler…

Aharon: You just aged yourself really quickly!

[50:40] Allan: Things were a lot more modular. Maya, for example, became all in one solution. But then things started going the other way, doing everything cross-platform. You’re working with different departments, even different companies. Game of Thrones is a great example where everyone had to line up render passes for every single shot. For me, when choosing a piece of software, it’s more about making sure that data can come in and come out accurately. Things have to be used across platforms. That’s such a critical aspect!

Paul: That’s the difference between approaching the market as “I’m going to own this market, come hell or high water!” — or bringing value to the people that are using your tools. Inspire people to use your tools, don’t force them to do so!

Aharon: With Red Giant, we have tools Red Giant Universe or Magic Bullet and these are tools that run across different pieces of software, whether it’s After Effects or Premiere Pro, or Final Cut Pro. You’re going to have access to the same tools and you can pass them to each other.

[52:34] Allan: Can you talk about the monthly subscription you just rolled out for Red Gian?

Aharon: We had Red Giant Complete. You want to talk about reactions! It’s become the most popular thing we sell. Red Giant Complete made it possible to use all the tools. Instead of spending $4,000 on buying everything, you can spend $600 a year. Or $599. Anything new that comes out rolls right into that. Right now, we’re going through a pandemic and people don’t want to be spending that money. We just rolled out a monthly subscription.

[53:56] Allan: I think that’s great! I haven’t been resistant to subscriptions. Having seen a production so many times and ramping up a team, it’s hard to convince someone to buy $20K worth of software when you know it’s going to be needed for only a few months, for the duration of the production. With cloud rendering, you want to buy CPU cycles, you don’t want to buy the whole farm. It makes sense to buy something on a subscription basis.

Aharon: You talk about buying $20K worth of software. Subscription turned that into $4,000. If you buy the VFX Suite versus the bundle of Red Giant Universe, it would take you years to pay off a single product. People say, “Subscription is going to ruin everything!” It doesn’t! It just makes it possible for people who’ve never bought this stuff to buy it. You can jump in and try this stuff out.

Paul: The days of someone paying $3,000 to try out a single piece of software are gone! We’ve just removed the buy-in. Back in the early 2000s when we had a problem with Enron that played games with the systems, the rules have changed since! You can’t release a piece of software and then upgrade it. It’s actually illegal because it means what you released first was incomplete. It changes the way you deliver software.

[57:46] Allan: I guess you’re talking about if your KPI is for sales based on lifetime value.

Aharon: The Adobe switch over to subscription has taught me about what public companies can and can’t do. But as you begin to understand the laws. If you sell something and you tell your investors you’ve made this much money; but then you’re still putting out free stuff which means they’re losing money. With subscription we’re providing a service so we can continuously provide upgrades. The law prevents us from being able to do that. We’re about to do some amazing stuff with Maxon. And we can give customers free little upgrades. The laws make it better for the customers.

Paul: This release that we’ve just put out, our cycle was typically a year. If we had a new feature, we had to wait a whole year to release it, so we could justify an upgrade fee.

[1:00:09] Allan: That’s really fascinating! When it comes to social media, how has that played out with your tools? Are there tools that have been in demand for social media?

Aharon: I feel like you soft balling me with this one! We’re released Universe 3.2 which gives all kinds of great tools for people creating content, like videos for YouTube. There is stuff that’s geared for that. We have text tools. There was a time when you’d say, “You’re making YouTube videos,” it sounded so unprofessional. But now, it’s a business! Right now, YouTube is where people are going for entertainment.

[1:02:10] Allan: I was just down in LA for Corridor Digital. I was on their YouTube Channel. All their videos get at least 4 million views! YouTube has allowed people to have accessibility to the world. It’s amazing!

Aharon: On our team, we had Daniel Hashimoto who has his own YouTube Channel. He gets 80 million views. He does effects with his kids and it’s now a legitimate revenue stream for him. My kids now watch YouTube mostly, they don’t turn on the tv.

[1:04:32] Allan: I’m friends with Ryan Connolly and Andrew Kramer. You see what Film Riot does for the community. I remember talking to Ryan if he wanted to make a feature film of his own. He said that if he couldn’t get a studio backing him up, he could get his community’s backing. What are your thoughts on the future? What are the trends that you’re seeing emerge?

Paul: I know our focus is on democratization of the tools and putting the tools into the hands of more people and removing the fear of using them. Stu Maschwitz just did a presentation for us. It was the first time a lightbulb went off for me, on color grading. He made it so darn easy and how it integrates with the rest of the team. People are working at home right now and they’re educating themselves. This is the time to do it! People are now using our tools, working on personal projects. How can we help people create and tell their own stories? These short forms give people an opportunity to put out their own content.

Aharon: We were talking about A.I. earlier. I think things like rotoscoping, that’s where I see it going. Those are the barriers to get work done. I definitely live for the day when I don’t have to think about rotoscoping again.

[1:08:40] Allan: I saw a tutorial on Python the other day on how to write your own roto tool. With machine learning, I’m seeing these tools coming out. It’s that accessible now. There are these brute force things that will get affected the most. People are afraid their jobs would go away. But all it is that there are new tools that are more intuitive. It’s becoming easier and easier and it’s giving power to the users.

Paul: Once there is a uniform or a universal method of delivering AR, for designers, artists and creators, there will be an incredible amount of content created. That’s going to be the motherload.

Aharon: Locked at home right now, the idea that you can use AR to access things, even if it’s all through a cloud, it would accelerate things. It would be so much easier if I could turn to a certain monitor. The actual experience of having the whole production in AR is really interesting.

[1:12:20] Allan: I had a meeting yesterday with one of the guys at Facebook. We were talking about a sequence we had to do. I was saying it would cost $200K. This guy with Redshift and Quill managed to pull out the whole thing in a couple of hours. That’s what having intuitive tools does.

Paul: You mentioned tools getting easier. A lot of it has to do with the younger generation getting exposed to these tools earlier. This show was an eye opener for me. People who were calling themselves beginners were diving into node based material. As we keep moving through generations, the concepts are getting integrated earlier.

[1:15:01] Allan: With the show you did last week (https://www.fxguide.com/fxfeatured/stu-maschwitz-on-the-maxon-red-giant-deal/), is that available replay online?

Paul: Absolutely! We were hosting it on www.c4dlive.com. After each presentation, I was adding a link. There are 4 days of amazing presentations! Andrew Kramer did that THX logo. He’s broken down pieces of that before. But in the last minute, he created something new. He finished his presentation at 4:40 a.m. and presented at 9:00 a.m. It was some incredible content! There is something for everyone there! We had a great line up there.

[1:18:06] Allan: Where can people go to find out more about Maxon and Red Giant?

Paul: You can go to www.Maxon.net and www.RedGiant.com.

[1:18:28] Allan: When are you going to figure out your new names?

Aharon: We’re working on it.

Paul: We’ve worked with a great agency to do the analysis of your product. You don’t want to deprecate what you have out there. The reach of Maxon and Red Giant is exactly the same.

Aharon: It’s not an easy decision, but hopefully one day, we’ll find it. Until then, each brand will have its own identity.

Paul: You never asked the question about which next “Red” named product we’re going to acquire.

[1:19:56] Allan: It’s such a strong pairing. Your companies are doing such great stuff. I want to thank you for coming on the Podcast!

Paul: Thanks for having us! It was a lot of fun!

I hope you enjoyed this Podcast. I want to thank Paul and Aharon for taking the time to do this interview! I had a lot of fun and would love to have them back on the Podcast again.

Next week, I will be back with Louis Castle, the Head of Amazon Game Studios, also the former Owner of Westwood Studios.

Please take a few moments and share it with others. I’d really appreciate that!

Until next week —

Rock on!

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