Today, Adobe announced that they have bought Mettle’s SkyBox Plugin Tools, a set of drag-and-drop, customizable transitions and tools for cinema-quality virtual reality workflows. VR continues its relentless march into our creative tool set, whether we want it to or not. With Adobe leading the charge, can VR really become the next great frontier for content creators?
“We believe making virtual reality content should be as easy as possible for creators. The acquisition of Mettle SkyBox technology allows us to deliver a more highly integrated VR editing and effects experience to the film and video community. Editing in 360/VR requires specialized technology, and as such, this is a critical area of investment for Adobe, and we’re thrilled Chris Bobotis has joined us to help lead the charge forward.” – Steven Warner, vice president of digital video and audio, Adobe.
Building on the lessons Mettle has learned providing Freeform plugins for Adobe After Effects, in 2015 Mettle took the next big step by looking to ride the virtual reality wave. The result was SkyBox, which uses Mettle’s proprietary 3DNAE technology to create the world’s first virtual 360° camera within the editing space. This enabled users of After Effects and Premiere Pro to make virtual reality content for leading campaigns from The New York Times, CNN, HBO, Discovery VR, and others.
“Early experimenters of 360/VR tested the waters in Adobe Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC. We got to know this vibrant community of content pioneers and one name consistently came up: Mettle. Their collection of SkyBox plug-ins was designed exclusively for post-production in Premiere Pro and After Effects, complementing Adobe’s 360/VR cinematic production technology.” – Adobe
Having plugins available, Adobe’s VR post-production workflow has continued to kick into high gear. The timing couldn’t have been more ripe for merging the tools natively into Creative Cloud so that content creators could have even greater latitude in producing VR content.
“The acquisition comes at a time when increasing numbers of creators, global brands and media and entertainment companies are embracing 360/VR,” according to Adobe, “and are looking for seamless, end-to-end workflows for this new, immersive medium.”
Mettle’s c0-founder Chris Bobotis will join Adobe to provide the leadership for the merger and continued development of Mettle’s SkyBox set of tools. He has more than 25 years of experience in production, and is the driving force behind Mettle’s success in the VR realm.
“Our relationship started with Adobe in 2010 when we created FreeForm for After Effects, and has been evolving ever since. This is the next big step in our partnership,” said Bobotis, now director of professional video at Adobe. “I’ve always believed in developing software for artists, by artists, and I’m looking forward to bringing new technology and integration that will empower creators with the digital tools they need to bring their creative vision to life.”
The tools are available now to Adobe Creative Cloud subscribers. All you need to do is send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your Adobe ID and name as it appears on your account. Within 24 hours, the plugins will be made available.
As for exiting Mettle SkyBox users, nothing has really changed, and you can expect to receive the same support through Mettle as before, though additional SkyBbox plugins will not be available for purchase during the integration process.
“Existing and legacy SkyBox customers will continue to have the same contact and support process through Mettle at: www.mettle.com/support,” Mettle’s PR email said. “All Mettle SkyBox Customers have an additional SkyBox Suite in their accounts, with 10 activations. All prior purchases have an additional 10 activations. Purchases made up to 15 days prior to this announcement will be reimbursed.”