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Boris FX Acquires Academy Award-Winning SilhouetteFX and Digital Film Tools

Boris FX adds highly-specialized feature film rotoscoping, paint, and photo editing plug-ins to its award-winning suite of post-production and visual effects applications

Boris FX™, the leader in integrated VFX and workflow solutions for video and film, acquires SilhouetteFX (SFX) and Digital Film Tools (DFT). The two companies have a long history of developing tools used on Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters and deep industry experience collaborating closely with the world’s most renowned VFX studios including Weta Digital, Framestore, Technicolor, and Deluxe.

The merger marks the third Boris FX acquisition in recent years following Imagineer Systems (2014), and GenArts (2016), and builds upon the most powerful creative editing, visual effects, and motion graphics solutions currently available to the film and television post-production industry. Silhouette and Digital Film Tools join Boris FX award-winning flagships SapphireContinuum, and Mocha Pro.

Silhouette’s groundbreaking non-destructive paint and advanced rotoscoping technology was recognized earlier this year by the Academy of Motion Pictures (Technical Achievement Award) for its continued and lasting contribution to the world of film. It first gained prominence after Weta Digital, the visual effects company founded by director Peter Jackson, used the rotoscoping tools on King Kong (2005). Now the full-fledged GPU-accelerated node-based compositing application features over one hundred VFX nodes and integrated Boris FX Mocha planar tracking. For the last fifteen years, top feature film artists have used Silhouette on record-breaking box office hits including Avatar (2009), The Hobbit (2012), Wonder Woman (2017), Avengers: End Game (2019), and Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019).

Weta Digital, Avatar still(Avatar courtesy of Framestore)

Digital Film Tools (DFT) emerged as an off-shoot of a Los Angeles-based motion picture visual effects facility whose work included hundreds of feature films, commercials, and television shows. The team used their strong practical understanding of photography, film and video editing, and in particular visual effects, to design highly-specialized software.

The Digital Film Tools portfolio includes standalone applications as well as professional plug-in collections for photographers, filmmakers, editors, and colorists. The definitive digital toolbox contains hundreds of realistic filters for optical camera simulation, specialized lenses, film stocks and grain, lens flares, optical lab processes, color correction, keying, and compositing as well as natural light and photographic effects. DFT plug-ins support Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, After Effects, and Premiere Pro; Apple Final Cut Pro X and Motion; Avid Media Composer; and OFX hosts including Foundry Nuke and Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve.

“This acquisition is a natural next step to our continued growth strategy and singular focus on delivering the most powerful VFX tools and plug-ins to the content creation market,” says Boris Yamnitsky, CEO & Founder, Boris FX. “Silhouette fits perfectly into our product line with superior paint and advanced roto tools that highly complement Mocha’s core strength in planar tracking and object removal. Rotoscoping, paint, digital makeup, and stereo conversion are some of the most time-consuming labor-intensive aspects of feature film post-production,” continues Yamnitsky. “Sharing technology and tools across all our products will make Silhouette even stronger as the leader in these tasks. Furthermore, the DFT product has developed a loyal following in the professional photography market as an incredible set of Photoshop plug-ins. We are very excited to be working with such an accomplished team and look forward to collaborating on new product offerings for photography, film, and video.”

Silhouette team accepts Academy Award 2019(Pictured, Paul Miller (L) and Marco Paolini ® at the Academy’s Scientific and Technical Awards)

Silhouette founders, Marco Paolini, Paul Miller, and Peter Moyer, will continue in their current leadership roles and partner with the Mocha product development team to collaborate on delivering next-generation tools. “By joining forces with Boris FX, we are not only dramatically expanding our team’s capabilities, but we are also joining a group of like-minded film industry pros to provide the best solutions and support to our customers,” says Marco Paolini, Product Designer. “The Mocha planar tracking option we currently license is extremely popular with Silhouette paint and roto artists, and more recently through OFX, we’ve added support for Sapphire plug-ins. Working together under the Boris FX umbrella is our next logical step and we are excited to add new features and continue advancing Silhouette for our user base.”

still from Avengers: End Game, copyright Marvel(Avengers: End Game, copyright Marvel)

“Silhouette has been an essential tool for us for over 15 years,” says Matt Mueller, Head of Optical, Weta Digital. “It’s a robust feature-packed tool that allows us to continually add to the sophistication of our roto and paint capabilities. We’ve developed a deep partnership with them over the years and look forward to continuing that partnership in this exciting new era.” Digital Paint Lead, Eddie Soria, adds, “The hand-paint capabilities, the automated paint strokes and the smart integration with other apps, make it my everyday software for any paint shot we have to deliver at Weta Digital.”

Both Silhouette and Digital Film Tool plug-ins will continue to be developed and sold under the Boris FX brand. Silhouette will adopt the Boris FX commitment to agile development with annual releases, annual support, and subscription options.

Attendees visiting IBC (September 13-17, 2019) in Amsterdam will have the opportunity to meet the team from Boris FX and preview the upcoming Silhouette 2020 release, currently slated to ship October 2019. Boris FX can be found at IBC in Hall 7, Stand A65.

About Boris FX

Founded in 1995, Boris FX is a leading developer of VFX, compositing, titling, video editing, and workflow tools for broadcast, post-production, and film professionals. Boris FX products have grown to serve over a million artists worldwide. The company’s success lies in its ability to tightly integrate and leverage technologies through strong partnerships with Adobe, Apple, Avid, Blackmagic Design, Autodesk, FilmLight, Grass Valley, Magix, SGO, and other leading developers of video editing software. In 2014, Boris FX acquired Imagineer Systems, the Academy Award-winning developer of Mocha planar tracking software. In 2016, Boris FX acquired GenArts, the developer of Sapphire, the gold standard plug-in package for high-end visual effects. In 2019, Boris FX acquired SilhouetteFX and Digital Film Tools for advanced feature film rotoscoping, painting, and effects.

About Silhouette FX

SilhouetteFX has provided leading visual effects industry tools since 2004. SilhouetteFX has long been a film industry innovator offering early support of a full stereoscopic workflow, the first Inverse-Kinematic driven rotoscoping system, a breakthrough hybrid raster paint system and a new vision for shape-driven warping and morphing. In 2019, the Silhouette team was awarded an Academy Award for Technical Achievement.

About Digital Film Tools

Digital Film Tools brings together the unbeatable combination of superior software designers, motion picture visual effects veterans, video editors and photographers. Add three Emmy Awards and experience in creating visual effects for hundreds of feature films, commercials and television shows and you have a recipe for success.