VFX software developers The Foundry and Luxology have joined forces.

The Foundry said Luxology’s software, including its flagship 3D modelling, painting and rendering software Modo, would be “highly complementary” to its own technology, which includes compositor Nuke, shot management tool Hiero and 3D paint system Mari.

The Foundry chief executive Bill Collis said the two firms had been working in tandem for the past few months, with product managers tasked with making their software work together “seamlessly”.

Collis said some evidence of the merger would be seen “almost immediately”, but the fruits of their efforts would likely become apparent with the 7.1 version of Modo, which is slated for release in the first quarter of next year.

“Our creative specialists and demo and sales teams understand Modo, and vice-versa, so right away we will be able to get our products in front of more people,” Collis told Broadcast.

President of US-headquartered Luxology Brad Peebler said that while the firms share a similarly “open” ethos, they operate different business models.

He said: “We have been great at selling to independents and freelancers but not as strong when it comes to large-scale sales, and that is where The Foundry excels.

“We do have penetration in studios, but it’s at the artist level - people who are passionate [about our products] convince their studio to buy it.”

Collis added: “Modo has a great position within the VFX community but I think there is a lot we can do to get it more widely adopted.

“We’re pragmatic and it’s something that needs attention from us.”

The “very strong and well known” Luxology and Modo brands are likely to remain, but Collis did not rule out rebranding the software at a later date.

The Foundry has 160 staff and Luxology just under 40, making the combined headcount almost 200.

Peebler expects that figure to grow over the next year.

The Foundry will keep its Soho base, with both firms also set to retain their California offices.

The firms said the merger came about after a chance meeting organised by Industrial Light and Magic visual effects supervisor John Knoll, who “threw down the

challenge of integrating products from both companies”.

Luxology president Brad Peebler said: “Creative industries are converging in terms of media, quality and deliverables.

“Joining forces with The Foundry will allow us to accelerate the development of modo, ushering in a new era for our customers.”