British Nuke developer The Foundry and Californian modo-maker Luxology have merged. VFX guru – and one of the original developers of Photoshop – John Knoll of top VFX house Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) played matchmaker to the deal, according to the companies, which will both retain their separate identities for the immediate future.

Nuke is a 2D and stereo 3D compositing application that’s widely used across the visual effects industry and on VFX-heavy films and commercials such as Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Lynx’s Even Angels Will Fall spot. Nuke 7 was announced earlier this month. The Foundry’s products also include Hiero for shot management, Mari (above) for 3D digital paint, Katana for look development and plug-ins for tools such as After Effects.

Modo (above) is 3D modeling, animation and rendering software that’s used across VFX, games, and product design and visualization. Modo 601 was released earlier this year, and Luxology has recently released a pack to allow non-realistic rendering effects such as cartoon shading.

The companies say that in the short term, nothing will change. All products will continue to be sold, and no job losses will take place. Luxology has also reassured modo users working on product design and visualization that despite The Foundry having no products in this area, it’s still an important area for the combined companies – and will remain so for the future.

“Both companies are a great match for each other,” says The Foundry’s CEO, Bill Collis. “The Foundry and Luxology's products are highly complementary, and we both like our products to be open and flexible, letting the customers choose how they want to work.

“In the short term we will be continuing to develop the interaction between our products, which will be of immediate benefit to all of our customers. We can’t wait to see what our combined experience and knowledge will allow us to build in the long term.”

“Joining forces with The Foundry will allow us to accelerate the development of modo,” says Brad Peebler, President of Luxology. “We simply can not wait to leverage our combined strength to change the landscape for content creators everywhere.

“I am a big fan of both Luxology and The Foundry having been using modo for quite a while and Katana here at ILM in the last 18 months,” says John Knoll. “Their marriage is really exciting for the VFX community. Their combined technology and similar approach to working with customers is a very interesting development. I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes on them.”