About Colorway and Colimo. Chat with Víctor Feliz (Motiva)

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UPDATE, July 18, 2014

The day after this post was published, several forums and mailing lists started threads on this issue. Some examples: this topic in Modo oficial TF Forum and also this one in NewTek, or this one in CGSociety, or this thread in a Softimage List, and more…

Brad Peebler (co-founder of Modo and President of the Americas at The Foundry) made a couple of interventions (here and here) to explain “their side of story”. He expressed also his point of view on this same blog (look comments here, below).

Two days ago Brad also sent me an email where he wanted to reach out me personally to explain their side of the story. I answered, offering my blog in order to update this post with that notice (still waiting for his response).

Brad also expressed his desire to spoke with Víctor directly, and both them finally contacted yesterday by Skype, to try address this issue and smooth things. And finally this topic was added to Modo Forums were you can see a link to a new interview with Víctor Feliz on TF site (no mentions to Colorway/Colimo “affaire”, though).

brad_forums_1

It seems that all these differences have been finally polished and that looks great 🙂

brad_forums_2

<— END OF UPDATE —>

 


 

As you probably now, The Foundry has recently released a new product: “Colorway”, a tool that makes possible to review and control ‘looks’ in our final renders in real-time. Users (our clients, for example) can also review and make modifications within predetermined material and lighting options.

Here is the teaser for Colorway:

The first time I saw this announcement I immediately have a counterposed feel:

Happiness, because another great tool was released by a company that owns the main application I use on a daily basis since 7 years ago (Modo), meaning that this one will be even more powerful, because the direct connection between both products.

Sadness, because this “new” product remembers so much to another tool that has been out there from some years ago: “Colimo” from the small but smart company Motiva. A firm leaded (and composed exclusively) by a couple of good friends of mine, Víctor Feliz and Alejandro Suárez, working hard on their small studio in the south of Spain.

Here is a quick presentation for Colimo:

But, hey, this is the “Real World”, one were competition exists and that is good for us, the users. It isn’t?

However I knew some interesting facts since time ago about Víctor, Alejandro, Colimo and Luxology (now The Foundry). I knew that Víctor and Alejandro were in near contact with different persons from Lux/TF several times on the past years.

And since I read a comment in Facebook by Víctor, a couple of days ago, were he didn’t show himself specially happy with this situation, I decided to contact him and maintain a small chat to get more details on this issue.

Here is the transcription of that conversation:

Cristóbal: When was your first contact with Luxology, Víctor?

Víctor: In April 2010 a retailer of Luxology in Portugal (Paraglobal), contacted me to see if we could create a version of Colimo for Modo. So I was introduced to Brad Peebler (co-founder at Luxology) and we started to work with a beta version of Modo 501. In September 2010 they released Modo 501 to the public in Madrid and Luxology invited us to come and show Colimo 1.0 (unreleased for public on that moment). We accepted, of course!

Cristóbal: How evolved these first contacts?

Víctor: Brad is a great guy and invited us to go to Bordeaux (France) to talk with more calm and to present other developments. In December 2010 we were showing a more evolved version of Colimo and the foundations of another project that would later become RealPerception OFX.

Cristóbal: All that means that you started a close collaboration?

Víctor: Well, not exactly, after that first contacts we received almost no other feedback, except for some emails related to diverse subjects, like trying to create another different plugins for Modo, but that stuff never arrived to see the light (this is the bad side of R&D: sometimes projects die on the road…)

Cristóbal: This means that contacts stopped completely on that moment?

Víctor: Nope! There is an extra important detail: much more recently, in May 2013, I was introduced to Bill Collis (CEO at The Foundry) and he asked me to tell them more details about Colimo in a video-conference with him, side by side with Andy Whitmore (who was the presenter for Colorway some days ago) and his “Chief Scientist” Simon Robinson.

Cristóbal: Yep!, that is an important fact! They seemed really interested on your work.

Víctor: Yes, but then the time started to run, and giving the fact hat I didn’t received anymore news from them regarding to this subject (even if we spoke about other projects) I just assumed that they simply were not more interested on Colimo.

Cristóbal: Until past latest week, I assume…

Víctor: Exactly. Now we arrive to July 2014 and magic!: Colorway appears. Bill Collis regularly and quickly answered to me by Skype, but no more actually. Although I must admit that Brad Peebler is standing up for himself, even if he don’t finds ethical problems with what has happened.

Cristóbal: I understand why you are not exactly happy, now… Some final words, Víctor?

Víctor: I want to stress that my “anger” is not because the competition, not at all!. It bothers me that they requested the meetings, asking for functions and other details, when they had this in mind (create their own product so similar to ours).

More details: this week they showed also a “Colorway Presenter”, a tool that allows to final user (the client) to change only some predefined options, and this is extremely similar to one of features we showed to them in our meet in Madrid (and they liked the more), the “Export to Web” in Colimo.

Obviously we have been too trusting and naive. Maybe because Luxology / The Foundry seemed so cool and nice people, specially comparing with other big companies.

In fact, it’s not “angry” but “perplexity”. And I wonder what the Lux/TF fans would say if this movement would be made by Autodesk, for example.

Finally: I understand that final users only want good tools that works fine for their needs, and Colorway, of course will do it’s job perfectly fine, I suppose. And all these disagreements between developers is not something of their interest… But this is something very sad even for the final users, because third-part developers can loose their interest on creating new tools for TF apps. In fact I had some other interesting ideas and proof of concept tools for Modo that finally, well… won’t see the light. I mean: the final users also loose something with all these issues.

Cristóbal: Thanks for you time, Víctor. Just a small advice: don’t show again an original idea to big companies, even if they look so cool and nice. Keep it closed under four keys 😉

Acerca de Cristóbal Vila

Llevo ya unos años haciendo cosas con los ordenadores pero cada día que pasa soy más consciente de lo mucho que tengo que aprender…
Esta entrada fue publicada en Apuntes y etiquetada , , , , , . Guarda el enlace permanente.

18 Respuestas a About Colorway and Colimo. Chat with Víctor Feliz (Motiva)

  1. meow dijo:

    They should sue the Foundry. Never liked Brad. He’s good in the outside but who knows what’s inside like a used car salesman. No ethics, no integrity. Like a snake.

    • Gideon dijo:

      OR how about signing an NDA and having the other party do the same while aslo documenting everything that you can. There is nothing done here that will hold up in a court, but for the future I’d advise you do so when talking about anything IP releated.

    • Pascal Beeckmans dijo:

      I was about to loose my job few years ago due to some project cancellation. Brad propose me his help, looking if some opportunities could match my needs.

      The CEO of a 3D company giving help to a simple customer, you can imagine that ? That’s Brad Peebler inside part !

  2. dobermunk dijo:

    Hello Cristobal, thanks for writing this. Troubling.

  3. danny dijo:

    An interesting video of relighting in Nuke from 2009

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmuTD1P7CBo

    • meow dijo:

      Combustion was doing some of that before Nuke but this stuff is so different to what colimo and colorway are targetted for.
      If this is your thinking might as well point out that photoshop can magic wand a selection and change the colors. Meow

  4. Brad Peebler dijo:

    Hello everyone,

    This is the dark side of the internet isn’t it? Where people can hide behind anonymity and snipe about people they have never met. It’s almost slanderous- which IS an actionable crime. But I digress. If you don’t know me, then don’t make broad reaching statements while hiding behind anonymity. It’s cowardly and immature. And, as I tell me children at home, when someone says something about you that is patently false that’s more of a reflection on them than it is on you. So, “Meow” feel free to shoot me an email. Brad at luxology dot com. I don’t hide. I’d be happy to get to know you better. Maybe in person. Then you can make all the statements you want about my person.

    I will be talking to Victor person to person to work thru this. There was nothing nefarious or malicious about the meeting. I simply suggested to Bill and Simon that Victor might be someone we should work with on any number of projects. As was pointed out already, NUKE had been doing re-color and re-lighting long before Colimo. If we were trying to steal there are better ways to go about that. Ever heard of Occams Razor?

    But from my point of view that is not the issue at hand. The issue is that Victor is a great guy and I’m sad that our interaction has left him feeling this way. While I know that we’ve done nothing wrong I don’t like that we’ve made Victor feel this way. I’ll resolve that with Victor directly I’m certain of it because we have a solid relationship.

    Cristobal, I shot you an email. We should connect as well.

    B

  5. Emi dijo:

    it sucks it happened to Victor, it sucks when you see how naïve you are when this happens to you.
    It’s hard to trust people now days.

    I wish Victor would not give up, but instead giving those tools that he says they won’t see the light to different and “not so big” companies/softwares… like Lightwave, I am sure Rob Powers would not do this to him and he would get to give users good tools.
    I mean if he can’t trust the foundry, then there is no point of closing his mind.

    • Phungus dijo:

      Rob Powers? He surely played his part in the Core disaster, so why you think so highly of him is beyond me…..
      On a side note….judging by this place, NT and Foundry forums it seems like Brad has rubbed some cat people the wrong way ;-p

  6. Steph S dijo:

    how the F**K did Rob & LW get brought into the conversation? well done Brad for stepping up to the plate and addressing this issue personally.

    As for the main issue regarding the “POST” I am sorry this happened but C’est la vie

  7. meow dijo:

    Brad #Not worth my time#

    To Motivo. Don’t accept anything less than financial retribution or compensation.
    Don’t be naïve again and accept some interview as a sign of good will.
    They’re just in damage control now. They didn’t give a shit before and only contacted you now that you went public with this.

    • Phungus dijo:

      Anyone surprised by that lack of backbone and integrity? Nah, didn´t think so….

    • Greg_Brown dijo:

      Hey Meow,

      I’ve met bad people. In my past I’ve had bad people take advantage of me as an artist and as an employee. Brad is actually one of the people that taught me not all people in positions of power do this. He taught me by example that you can be a good person and be a leader. You are entitled to your opinion but I do take exception to your comments about someone I have a deep respect for.

      I think you should meet someone before you make the very strong judgements you have made in your comments here.

      Good luck.

  8. Chris Burkert dijo:

    Nuke did all that stuff before Colimo?!

  9. Chris Burkert dijo:

    Oh, and btw..

    hating under anonymity…not classy, you guys.

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