NEW YORK — Post recently sat down with GenArts CEO Katherine Hays to chat about the plug-in company’s line of visual effects solutions that will now scale across markets, from the highest end tools for feature films, television shows and commercials, to solutions that will be made available to consumer video enthusiasts.
The goal of Cambridge, MA-based GenArts is to democratize the power of visual effects, providing solutions for three primary markets, while not sacrificing quality anywhere along the way. And during our meeting with Hays here in New York City, she emphasized GenArts is not abandoning its core market — professionals — in doing so.
Film studios will remain an important customer segment, and would even help to create branded looks that would then be commercially available to those who subscribe to its FX Central (free the first year and $99 a year thereafter).
The company released Sapphire Edge back in June. The $299 product is aimed at the broader professional market and is platform agnostic, working with FCP 7, FCP X (in beta) and Sony Vegas. Sapphire Edge includes 350 presets, and a preset viewer allows users to see how their material will be affected. In addition, the presets will be refreshed regularly so that those on the subscription always have the most current offerings.
In the fall, GenArts will release Sapphire 6, the next version of its high-end visual effects tool, which is also platform agnostic and works with systems running Flame, Smoke, Nuke and After Effects, among others, including Avid NLEs. And in early 2012, GenArts will release its consumer product — Sapphire Creator — which will be geared toward cloud and PC editing solutions.
All three lines are 64-bit and make use of the company’s Sapphire effects engine. In addition, an analytics component will look at the use of effects, case studies and the success they have in different types of projects, giving them ratings, rankings and forward looking predictions. This is designed to help users find the tools they are looking for more easily as well as recommend solutions for themed projects.
GenArts will be at the SIGGRAPH show in Vancouver in August and plans to show Sapphire 6 at the IBC show taking place in Amsterdam in September. It will ship later that month.