September 9, 2016 is a day that will live on in post-production history. It was the day that Boris and GenArts finally merged. It is the merging of the most beloved post production plugins on planet Earth. To post production professionals, this is Ross and Rachel, Jim and Pam, and Sam and Diane all at once. This is the ultimate dream couple for anyone who edits as these products serve everyone in post-production. It doesn’t matter what you use whether it’s After Effects, Avid, Premiere, Final Cut, Resolve, Nuke, Smoke and more. The ripple effect to this reaches everyone who sits behind a computer to create in post-production.
Boris FX owner, Boris Yamnitsky, (see IMAGINE cover story April 2012) has been on fire as of late. Boris FX’s acquisition of Imagineer has augmented the toolset of Boris FX and helped push Boris FX to the head of the class when it comes to post production software plugins. The merger with GenArts has made them unparalleled and unchallenged in the video plugin space.
There is no post house doing anything worthwhile that isn’t using Boris FX, GenArts Sapphire, or even both products. Both products are the number one and number two plugins in the video effect space. These plugins aren’t only used in creating special and visually stunning effects, but they are also both used in restorative applications too. They can clean up old footage and remove blemishes from transfers from old film. I have even spoken to people who use these products in forensics to help solve crimes. These plugins both entertain us and help us and I can’t say enough good things about either of them.
So with this big merger, what can go right? Both products have their own Achilles’ heel that I hear about in just about every post house I visit. For GenArts users, it’s the price. Everyone who purchases GenArts’ plugins will grimace at the price compared to Boris, however with each editing software upgrade they do, they always seem to find budget to upgrade GenArts as well. For Boris users, the pain point is the render times, which most will admit has actually
gotten better over the years. If there was a way that this merger could solve both problems, that would be
To many people, the ultimate dream package would be a package that offers Sapphire and Continuum Complete, the flagship products of both respective companies. However the reality is this may not happen as in Boris’ press release, it’s noted that the Sapphire will be sold and developed on its own. So editors will have to wait a while to get the ultimate bundle of plugins.
There is another significant thing to notice here as well. This makes Boris more powerful than any editing or post production software. The thing to not be ignored here is really how much this elevates Boris and GenArts collectively. Those respective effects are used countless times in all different walks of life in television, film and internet. They make your edited products look so much better that it’s more of a challenge to find a program that does not use those
So all this celebrating aside, you have to ask yourself, “Is there anything that can go wrong?” Well if you don’t have competition you don’t really challenge yourself. There will always be competition for Boris, as there are many other plugin companies out there, but none of them have the size and scope that Boris now has. Most post production plugin companies have less than a handful of people on staff. Most software plugins are written by the same people who are out there selling it. If Boris and Sapphire are developed separately as they are today, perhaps some interoffice competition will drive both products with the winners being anyone using the products.
Also, this merger could make Boris so appealing that an even bigger company could acquire Boris in an attempt to make the product line exclusive to their editing software. If Apple comes to Boris Yamnitsky with a tractor trailer full of money and a life on the beach, who is he to say no? Taking Boris and GenArts and making them exclusive to one editing software platform would truly be devastating to any competition. If Adobe purchased all these plugins and made then exclusive to Premiere, it would give Adobe such a competitive advantage, that I don’t think Premiere’s competition could ever match it.
In other post production plugin news, BlackMagic has made two acquisitions, in Ultimatte and Fairlight. Fairlight firmly puts Black Magic in the post production audio space, and many speculate that Ultimatte will now be bundled with Resolve. With all this news coming, it’s going to add some excitement to NAB 2017 seeing how all this unfolds.
So what is next? Maybe a Boris and Izotope merger in 2017 making one big New England mega-giantall-in-one-plugin-distributor? Only time can tell. But, in the meantime, if you haven’t used both of these products, please, do yourself a favor and sign up for the watermark-free trials that both products offer and see what you have been missing.