Autodesk lit up by Illuminate buy

Autodesk lit up by Illuminate buy
Michael French

By Michael French

July 22nd 2010 at 9:19AM

Global graphics giant buys Swedish game lighting technology firm

The Swedish firm responsible for game lighting technologies Beast and Turtle has been bought by Autodesk.

Illuminate Labs makes the Beast middleware and Maya plug-in Turtle.

Although terms of the buy have not been made public, Autodesk confirmed that Beast middleware will remain as a standalone product - however Illuminate's Turtle will be incorporated into Autodesk's other applications going forward and will be discontinued.

Illuminate CEO Magnus Wennerholm and the Illuminate Labs team will now join the team at Autodesk Media & Entertainment.

Wennerholm commented: "In just a few years, Beast and Turtle have become production-proven technologies for in-game lighting. Leading game developers like Sony Computer Entertainment, Nintendo America and THQ/Heavy Iron rely on these tools to help deliver higher visual quality in their games. My team and I are excited about the technology development opportunities that Autodesk has to offer. I believe that this acquisition will benefit both Autodesk and Illuminate Labs customers."

Although best known for art tools Max and Maya, Autodesk has slowly widened its reach into games middleware, with the development of its HumanIK character animation took, plus the acquisition two years ago of French AI firm Kynogon.

"We welcome Illuminate Labs customers and employees to Autodesk," added Marc Stevens, VP of Games at Autodesk in the official announcement.

"Technological progress is a mainstay of the games industry. Autodesk is committed to helping game developers be more competitive with modern pipelines. We want our customers to spend less time building workflows and solving redundant problems, and more time realising their creative vision for the game.

"Advanced lighting solutions help game developers achieve their aesthetic goals, enhancing the game's design and story. Lighting brings games to life by defining environments, establishing mood, creating atmosphere and guiding players. Illuminate Labs' lighting technology and workflow tailored to game development are some of the most advanced in the industry. They complement Autodesk's games middleware offering."