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Boris FX buys Imagineer, makers of Mocha

In news that likely prompted a slightly less PG version of “holy cow,” Boris FX has bought Imagineer Systems, makers of the hugely popular and widely used Mocha, a planar tracking and visual effects tool used in film and TV. The technology won an Academy Award in 2013.

Mocha Pro has been used on the films Gone Girl, Birdman and Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, and TV shows such as The Leftovers, Game of Thrones and House of Cards.

For its part, Boris FX develops VFX, compositing, titling, video editing and workflow tools for broadcast, post and film. So you can see how this purchase might be a good fit for the company. You likely know their Continuum Complete package of plug-ins.

postPerspective’s Brady Betzel has reviewed both products. Click here for Mocha Pro
and click here for Continuum’s review.

“This strategic acquisition will allow us to offer the most comprehensive and advanced set of visual effects tools and solutions on the market today, serving everyone from the independent filmmaker to the professional video editor working with effects to the feature film VFX artist,” explains Boris Yamnitsky, founder/CEO, Boris FX.


Boris Yamnitsky

“Imagineer Systems has the best-of-breed motion tracking, masking and rig removal technology. The company’s engineering and product design expertise perfectly complement Boris FX’s own highly regarded team of visual effects software developers and industry specialists. Both Boris Continuum Complete and Mocha Pro will greatly benefit from combining our resources and technologies, as will the many mutual customers we serve.”

Imagineer CMO Ross Shain weighs in as well: “The merger of Boris FX and Imagineer will ultimately be a win-win for customers. One of the important aspects of the merger to me is that Imagineer’s team is staying on to continue developing Mocha. In recent years, Mocha Pro has been widely adopted by feature film and high-end visual effects artists. With added resources from the developers at Boris, we’ll be able to add valuable new tools for these users.

“This actually points to a key reason that this acquisition/merger works for both companies: we have lots of complementary technologies and talents that will improve the products in various markets. Continuum Complete (BCC) is widely used by broadcast editors, and with OFX support is now used by colorists (Resolve, Scratch) etc. Adding Mocha planar tracking to BCC will allow these users to perform even more visual effects tasks without leaving their timeline.

“Ultimately, both companies are very committed to working directly with the users and creating useful tools that solve problems. On the Boris side this has been adding creative tools not found in host systems such as excellent 3D titling, image restoration, or creative glows and effect transitions. For Imagineer, Mocha has made its name as the best tracking and roto application with a dedicated interface designed to minimize keyframing tasks. Identifying these key cross-over areas and exposing them to our respective customers is the end goal. ”

You likely have a bunch of questions swirling through your head at the moment, and Boris FX was kind enough to answer many of them with this Q&A from their Website. So here it is.

Why did Boris FX acquire Imagineer?
Imagineer Systems’ technology, branding and team are a perfect complement to Boris FX. We see the acquisition as a strategic merger that will build upon the strengths of both organizations, allowing us to offer the most advanced and wide ranging tools to the broadcast and post-production industry. Combining technical resources will result in advanced new features for both companies’ products and help bringing amazing new workflows to our customers. Integrating proprietary mocha technology will allow Boris FX to speed up VFX workflow and further improve return on investment of our toolset. In addition, future Imagineer products will draw upon Boris FX’s expertise in advanced integration with host support, delivering planar tracking to a wider user base. Additionally, combining technical support teams will better serve our customers with staff now located in the UK, Boston, New York, California and Australia.

Ross Shain becomes CMO.

Imagineer’s John-Paul Smith and Ross Shain.

Will Imagineer Systems be operating independently?
Imagineer Systems will continue to operate as a wholly owned UK subsidiary of Boris FX. Current CEO John-Paul Smith will continue to lead Imagineer’s technical and operations strategy from the Guildford, Surrey, in the UK. Boris Yamnitsky will serve as the CEO of Boris FX, and Ross Shain will become the chief marketing officer of both Boris FX and Imagineer. Check out our interview with Shain during IBC 2014.

Will there be any changes to the organizations?
The current staff will remain in place and the basic organizations will remain intact. The plan is work together to best leverage technical, support, sales and marketing talent to improve the overall customer experience. There will be a transition phase, but we expect business as usual from a customer perspective. Already both companies share many mutual customers, so these customers will benefit from an account and support perspective. Organizationally, we will look for areas that benefit our customers such as the ability to better support our customers with more global technical support resources and experienced product specialists.

boris larger

I use Boris FX tools. How will I be affected by this deal?
Boris FX customers should expect no change to the quality of service, pricing and customer promise they are used to from Boris FX. Already, Continuum Complete users are seeing the value of integrating Mocha’s robust planar tracking data into systems such as Avid Media Composer, Blackmagic Resolve, Adobe Premiere Pro and Sony Vegas. In the future, there will be even greater benefits as we integrate Mocha’s planar tracking technology directly into our products. While this will not be available immediately, we think the future is quite bright for BCC users that are want to be on the cutting edge of visual effects and post production.

I am a Mocha user. How will I be affected by this deal?
Mocha users should be assured that the acquisition is great news from the perspective of Imagineer’s team. The plan is to continue our mission of making Mocha the most powerful and easy to use tracking, roto-masking and object removal utility in the market. We see no change in the plan or or in the ability deliver new and improved products.

Together Imagineer and Boris FX staff will continue to support all existing customers including those using bundled or licensed products such as Mocha AE CC or Mocha HitFilm. Beyond this, we are excited by Boris FX’s proven experience in advanced host integration, GPU acceleration, user-friendly licensing system and of course, the deep well of hundreds of professional filters that complement advanced Mocha workflows.

How will this affect Imagineer’s licensing and technology partnerships, such as Adobe bundled Mocha AE?
We see no foreseeable change in our license relationships with companies like Adobe, Quantel, Silhouette, FXhome, and CoreMelt. Imagineer recently delivered new and improved updates within Adobe After Effects Creative Cloud 2014 release and the new HitFilm 3 Pro. Both Boris FX and Imagineer share the common goal of working closely with our partners to better support all editing, effects and post software in the industry. If anything, our partners should continue to see even more future benefits and improvements in the licensed and bundled Mocha products.

What are the plans for the future products?
While it is early to say, we are confident that both Boris FX users and Mocha users will see useful benefits in future releases: Boris Continuum Complete will continue to be developed as the most comprehensive plug-in package in post production. Adding Mocha’s planar tracking to BCC will add major workflow advantages to better handle challenging tasks such as advanced screen inserts, tracking 3D text and particles. We envision BCC users will appreciate the ability to access the power of planar tracking directly from their host system, without having to leave the timeline. Mocha Pro will continue to lead the industry as the “planar tracking problem solver” purposely designed to reduce the manual keyframing commonly associated with tracking, roto-masking and object removal. Adding more host support and improved performance is a priority and we will continue to work closely with our customers to push innovative ideas into reality. Together the Boris and Imagineer teams look for your questions, feedback, suggestions and support.


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