Autodesk lays off Alias employees -- CORRECTION

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Jan 13, 2006

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Yesterday an article titled "Alias to lay off 400 in post-merger move" was posted here on Highend3d that referenced an article posted in the National Post Toronto. The article was very inaccurate on it's facts. I followed up with Kevin Clark of Autodesk this morning and he has confirmed that the article was based on speculation and not facts:

FACTS:
  • The 400 number is inaccurate. The actual number is not publicly divulged
    • Redundancies are a sensitive topic, and to respect those affected, we do not release names or number of staff affected.
  • This was not a merger, it was an acquisition. Autodesk, Inc. acquired Alias, Inc.

FACT inaccuracies:
  • 400 layoffs (not accurate)

Comments

Dashboard_avatar
Jan 13, 2006
Post id: 5196
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I'm still sad.

Dashboard_avatar
Jan 14, 2006
Post id: 5197
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So much for their BS song and dance about how nothings going to change, and they are going to keep doing everything they were doing before...

Dashboard_avatar
Jan 14, 2006
Post id: 5198
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notice that they did not say how many people really were fired. could be 200 could be 500? who knows? I'm guessing that it prob is 400. someone who got fired gave the paper the scoop or something then autodesk PR got wind of it and threatened legal action of some sort. it would be nice if autodesk would fully disclose to the community how may people were fired. but judging by how this whole shady acquisition has gone i doughty if we will ever have any open disclosure from here on out.

Dashboard_avatar
Jan 14, 2006
Post id: 5199
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Who really cares about the numbers anyways. What really matters is what made Alias once a thriving Canadian company, is no longer. How this reflects onto Maya, StudioTools, etc, has yet to be seen. Autodesk, the balls in your court. Don't drop it!

I don't think the National Post has all their numbers right (there is no paper called the Toronto Post btw). However, if you think about the people that would be inevitably let go, such as Human Resources, Finance, Sales and Marketing, some Web Developers, some Support and some Product Developers, that is a whole lot of people Worldwide. Even if Autodesk decided to layoff HALF the staff, do you think it will be the same Alias? Hmm... probably not.

BTW, Maya should be in good hands with Dave Wharry onboard Autodesk's M&E division. Dave, if you have any say in Autodesk's website, at least for the Media & Entertainment section, please change it to something... a little less boring... and a little more dynamic! Perhaps more like Alias.com? Thanks.

Dashboard_avatar
Jan 14, 2006
Post id: 5200
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Good article about Autodesk's track record and the Autodesk/Alias future.

http://www.planit3d.com/source/review_files/ducks.html

Dashboard_avatar
Jan 15, 2006
Post id: 5201
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As loyal as Maya users are - we're about due for new leadership. Alias has a serious issue with draggin' their butts on simple tool development -- mismanaging their priorities and give us bells and whistles before there's a solid machine to attach them to.

How long did it take us to select edgeloops ? How long to fix the broken bevel ? Our Sub-D editing is the pits ...

I welcome and support the change.
Let's just rejoice in the fact that Softimage didn't buy Alias or we'd really be in big trouble.

Dashboard_avatar
Jan 15, 2006
Post id: 5202
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I totaly agree... Let's get back to the point :it's not the software, it's the user. Whatever the name. And users always want evolution in their tools. Enjoy the experience !

View Farsheed Ashouri's profile
Jan 16, 2006
Post id: 5203
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No NO No, if autodesk is good in 3d, it should be correct it's max. "not our maya".
I am very sad and be sure maya will never be better in autodesk's hand, BE SURE.

Dashboard_avatar
Jan 16, 2006
Post id: 5204
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Imperial Storm Troopers at work.

Dashboard_avatar
Jan 16, 2006
Post id: 5205
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Let

Dashboard_avatar
Jan 16, 2006
Post id: 5206
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Having initially worked as a demo artist for a couple of years in the 3d software space, and encountering people from all sorts of companies, I must say that Autodesk is a very traditional suit and tie type of company. A company run by people with limited imaginations that controls this much of the 3d market is not good for the end user. I hope smaller companies which usually have more innovation can come out on top. To bad the people at alias have to endure this autodesk charade, but on the end of the day autodesk cares about shareholders and not the passion that has brought many of us into this business.

Dashboard_avatar
Jan 16, 2006
Post id: 5207
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An unfortunate fact of a merger is that people will be laid off, and no one really believes a company that says that won't happen. But saying that Autodesk is "run by people with limited imaginations" is both unfair and untrue: the breadth and depth of their products shows that they are a leader in creating products that people want to buy and upgrade year after year. You may not like the actions of the corporate and/or marketing people, but you have to give credit to the programmers and the people who interface with the clients -- they are, on the whole, good and intelligent people.
And before we wax nostalgic on the golden calf that is Alias, take a long-term look at the company, they've been hemorrhaging money for years -- that's why they had to sell out to SGI, and why SGI dumped them to the supermarket conglomerate (I think it was the guys who own Safeway), subsequently being dumped again and sold to Autodesk. At least this time they are owned by a company that both understands what it has and can integrate it into a larger family.

Dashboard_avatar
Jan 16, 2006
Post id: 5208
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For those of us using the windows platform, today with win XP we are still using technology which was develloped about 8 years ago with OS 9.2 for Mac. Have you guys noticed any groundbreaking evolution since photoshop 6? NO! Why? because these companies all have a share of the market which lets them afford not to spend money on devellopmnet to fight the competition, but rather spend that money on law suits to keep everyone forced to use their shitty programs... Maya will only evolve significantly in the next release or two. That will be a great stratagem to shut everyone up about Maya's evolution in autodesk's hands. After that you can kiss new ground-breaking techniques goodbye... Big studios want open-endedness? Well you can kiss that goodbye too. As time goes on Autodesk will bend it's packages into closed product which will require plugin coders to "buy" their right to create a plugin.... 1984...

View admin 's profile
Jan 16, 2006
Post id: 5209
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I happen to like Autodesk as a company for 3d and from the talks we've been having with them for over the last year and half and their support and willingness to help us build the 3ds max community here on highend3d I can tell you they had the best interest in mind for thier users. A lot of companies only care about banners, but they wanted to work with us to make sure that max users had the best resources in a community.

It will be interesting to see which corporate mind set takes over the "3d division" there, but if its with the teams currently in place I see a lot of gain for both max and maya users.

Dashboard_avatar
Jan 17, 2006
Post id: 5210
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[quote]pixelslinger said:
An unfortunate fact of a merger is that people will be laid off, and no one really believes a company that says that won't happen. But saying that Autodesk is "run by people with limited imaginations" is both unfair and untrue: the breadth and depth of their products shows that they are a leader in creating products that people want to buy and upgrade year after year. You may not like the actions of the corporate and/or marketing people, but you have to give credit to the programmers and the people who interface with the clients -- they are, on the whole, good and intelligent people.
And before we wax nostalgic on the golden calf that is Alias, take a long-term look at the company, they've been hemorrhaging money for years -- that's why they had to sell out to SGI, and why SGI dumped them to the supermarket conglomerate (I think it was the guys who own Safeway), subsequently being dumped again and sold to Autodesk. At least this time they are owned by a company that both understands what it has and can integrate it into a larger family.[/quote]

I was not referring to the engineers that are actually writing the software and doing the research, but the folks spending to much time on golf tournaments. There is a conference call recording you can probably still find on the web from when the actual acquisition happened. Try to listen to the discussions and q&a in that recording. You will laugh at the questions and especially the answers from some of the top management people of both companies. They sound like they sort of know what maya and 3ds does, but not exactly... It's quite a interesting piece if recording.

Dashboard_avatar
Jan 17, 2006
Post id: 5211
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So does that mean that Maya wont have future versions ? I havent seen or heard of any updates. And that Autodesk will take over the programming stuff for the ware. Im sure there will be many differences in the ware. I hope theres no downfall in Maya...

Dashboard_avatar
Jan 17, 2006
Post id: 5212
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My word. What with Adobe aquiring Macromedia, it's been quite a week of news for me (I'd heard nothing of either aqusition until very recently).

So we're approaching scary ground, and I hope that much of our aprehension turns out to be unwarrented. It's beyond me to predict how Maya will develop in the forseeable future. As it stands, Maya is a product valued by a lot of people. I chose it over MAX as my software of choice!

Surely any collective business mind would be able to see the value in continuing to support a popular piece of software such as Maya.

Dashboard_avatar
Jan 17, 2006
Post id: 5213
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Well well well, maya in hands of autodesk, i recently started learning maya and i've found it easy to learn, at the same time i was learning 3d studio, but i realised that there is not version for 3d studio for the mac, my primary platform for creating design and tv ads is the mac, so the next logical move was to learn maya or 3d studio and suddenly autodesk bought alias, damn damn... Autodesk does not consider the mac platform profitable enough to port autocad nor 3d studio max and now the have the jewel of the crown MAYA, i hope they (autodes) does not stop developing maya for mac citing economic reasons, i have a big doubt about the future of maya in mac. i hope those unenmployee engineers from alias end up in apple lands or so so apple can enter the 3d arean.

Dashboard_avatar
Jan 18, 2006
Post id: 5214
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[quote]larkis said:

I was not referring to the engineers that are actually writing the software and doing the research, but the folks spending to much time on golf tournaments. There is a conference call recording you can probably still find on the web from when the actual acquisition happened. Try to listen to the discussions and q&a in that recording. You will laugh at the questions and especially the answers from some of the top management people of both companies. They sound like they sort of know what maya and 3ds does, but not exactly... It's quite a interesting piece if recording.[/quote]

There are those guys in any company, and nobody likes them anyway :)

But those are the guys making the rules, and what they look at is marketshare. Max has always had more marketshare than Maya, and the Mac Platform only accounts for less than 3% of overall computer usage. They know these numbers, and this explains why Autodesk doesn't support the Mac platform (why waste resources?) and gives you an idea of what may happen to Maya.

Dashboard_avatar
Jan 19, 2006
Post id: 5215
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alternados writes:
"...i hope they (autodes) does not stop developing maya for mac citing economic reasons, i have a big doubt about the future of maya in mac. i hope those unenmployee engineers from alias end up in apple lands or so so apple can enter the 3d arena."

Well I've been been watching this AutoDesk/Alias and OSX-Intel development, and I'm sure i'm not the only one , like a hawk. Word is that Apple looked at purchasing Maya when it was first selling for only $43-45 million and Apple passed. This means that Apple was , indeed, shopping at the time.
Current word is that Apple will be announcing it offering of a professional-level 3D /modeling/animation/rendering of its own to complete its professional presence of Shake/FinalCutPro/Logic. I was under the *intuitive* impression that Apple may simply buy up Luxology and lend support to finish the development of their animation engine.

Who knows if Apple might be able to bring to bare some new expertise from Jobs' other industry star PIXAR which has it's own proprietary animation & rendering software. Word is PRemderman is being prepared for the nexr gen MacIntel workstations.

Bottomline: Apple has had no reason to go with a professional 3D app as yet because Maya was already on board and was happy about the level of response/sales they were seeing from the OSX-client base. ( wasn't it between 30-to-40% of sales? ) . Now all that's changed with the AutoDesk buy-out . AutoDesk has not yet issued a poblic statement regarding their plans for Alias' following into OSX-Intel phase , but if AutoDesk's past record on anything Mac is any indication , then Apple would certainly want to add a professional-class 3D tool that they can guarantee will be OSX-Intel optimized and in a timely fashion. Apple's purchase of industry-grade compositor Shake proves that Apple wishes a presence in the highend market. Now that Maya may be leaving OSX-Intel support in the cold I'm sayig that this is incemtive enough for Apple to drop the other shoe and release it's own 3D app. Intuitively I've been feeling that Luxology's Modo is a ripe candidate for purchase , but who here knows what's been cooking in Apple's/PIXAR's labs since Apple decided to *pass-up* buiyng Alias.

I'm told they'll be an announcement within 2 months which would just about conincide when AutoDesk's 6 month window for completing the takeover of Alias finalizes and formal statements should be forth-coming.

Dashboard_avatar
Jan 20, 2006
Post id: 5216
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was it autodesk that destroyed discreet?

Dashboard_avatar
Jan 20, 2006
Post id: 5217
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Hey Will/Admin, Autodesk's willingness to help you build the 3ds max community here on highend3d was probably because they had a lack of their own community website. Now check out Alias' Community site... if you have access that is. Now I tell ya, that is a community!!!

Now that they have all Alias websites under their control, lets see how willing they are to help you going forward. Hmm... just some food for thought.

Dashboard_avatar
Jan 21, 2006
Post id: 5218
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Have you not learned that money always rules?! That eventually what was once a great concept has to give away to greedy shareholder, etc. Often great craftmanship will be lost in the process.The history of commerce in the last century has proven that over and over again. I saw a change in the company when they received that Oscar- it was as if their lost focus of what was once so important to them and what made them superior. I tried Max and think that it has nothing to offer in terms of integration of workspace (UI) verses Mayas UI and its superb tool integration. Max users may disagree but I just received my diploma in 3D Animation and we used Maya on a G5. My message to Autodesk is, I challenge you to proof me wrong here, but I do get funny feelings in my stomach just thinking of what direction Alias took. In the end the customer will decide wether or not a product "Rocks"

Dashboard_avatar
Jan 21, 2006
Post id: 5219
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Scary, really- Time Effort, Time Learning curves, Technique. Time. I actually moved to Maya from 3dsmax for great reason, and feel very happy about the change.
How much has max really changed since it was a few guys trying to design a great network rendering tool. The core ideas concepts and downfalls have not really changed in YEARS. A few tweaks and intigrations (which are great) but not really that much different. I was sad when max was purchased by Autodesk, yuk, now maya.
I hope the Alias Crew will stay in-touch and think of a perfect new and improved angle to aprouching CG needs.
Alias was rated as top 100 business to work for in canada.
Lets see if Autodesk can treat there employees the same.
I must admit I would love to see a maya-max max-maya Hybrid
containing all the tools of each, with a UI of any combination of the 2, or a bit of booth. Why not. Please dont tell me why, lets know there is a way. mmm Perfect integration with a zbrush displacement high poly twist. Ah

View Cyclic Goddard's profile
Jan 23, 2006
Post id: 5220
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It's ugly and it's only going to get uglier. Autodesk buying Maya is the saddest thing I have heard in a long time.

Look at the lies already. When Autodesk announced the Alias purchase, they promised there would be no changes to the branding, no reorganization for Alias. Read the first article they posted. Now look at these money hungry, non creative, unethical business people from autodesk. Go to Alias.com, first thing you will notice is the brand change for the Alias site, along with some 3d work created in 3D Studio Max!! WTF!!??? That has to be the most spiteful act ever. Next look at the company reorg taking place. Get rid of Alias talent?!?!?! I could see if Alias was buying Autodesk, the other way around, they would get rid of the Max guys.

Look at the output quality from both products. Anyone seen the work from King Kong in Max? That shit looks fake! What about the API developers for Maya? The Max API is so weak in comparison, it's not even funny.

Max has been copying user interface features in Maya since Maya beta 1. I can tell you this because I've used Maya before it was released to the public. I tried max during that time and it was no where near the feature set that maya was at and maya was just entering the windows scene.

Max is lacking major features, integration, API/SDK features, and toolability. Not to mention, Max doesn't even run on SGI, Linux, or Mac, and even if it did, it woudl be such a bad rip of Maya that I would see no reason to use it in the first place. Max has always tried to emulate Maya as a creative tool and could never compete. While Max is sitting on your computer in middle school, Maya is sitting on professional's desks at ILM, Pixar, and many other studios, along with Softimage.

When it comes to a real world, production quality, feature rich, and developer inspiring toolset, Maya kicks Max all over the place. As for CAD? wtf? I don't know one architect that uses CAD. I don't know one automotive engineer that uses CAD. My friend is a world renowned architect http://www.fieldarchitecture.com - uses Maya, and my father is an "elite" engineer, for 25 years, at Chrystler - uses Studio Tools and Catia.

Thomas Goddard
ThomasGoddard.com

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