The year begins with Allegorithmic joining the restricted circle of the 1% French companies that are part of "BPI Excellence", an investment fund managed by the French government, thanks to our potential and swift growth. The team is now growing faster than ever, and so is our reach: now having a solid presence in Games but also growing rapidly in VFX, Design and Architecture. More innovation is yet to come...
This is the year when it is safe to say that Substance has become a standard for texturing the world's most beautiful games, as more than 150 AAA game development projects have adopted the tools. We also open new offices in Paris, and are awarded the trophy of International Digital Business France / FrenchTech. It is also the year when we launch Substance Share, a P2P platform where you can freely share textures, images, meshes etc. with other Substance users. We also got deeper into our mastery of Virtual Reality with the creation of VR experiences for luxury brands. Substance is integrated into Houdini and Cinema 4D, and it also embeds NVidia's Iray. The Architecture and Design industries start looking at the potential of our tools for their applications.
In 2014 we open offices in Lyon, at "Pôle Pixel", a coworking space dedicated to companies active in the creative and cultural industry. This year we also release Substance Painter, the 3D software tool that saw the fastest growth in the history of 3D tools since ZBrush, which also marked the rise of the Substance community; one of the most prolific 3D art communities out there. Substance is integrated into Luxology's modo, Mixamo's Fuse and UE4, for which we create a demo with Xpec called "Atlantis".
As we continue to grow, we open new offices in Shanghai. We create the "Beneath" demo for the launch of the UE3 Substance Engine plugin. We also launch our first own mobile game, “Flight of the Condor”. We make our first big sale on the Steam platform, where we sold 5,000 licences in our first year. And the leading AAA studio, Naughty Dog, begins using our software tools to produce their future, secret then, game: Uncharted 4.
We release Substance Database, a content library of more than 1,000 customizable textures. This year seems empty, but was full of hard work and marks the beginning of the software sales' explosive growth in the game industry.
That year we launch Substance B2M (aka Bitmap2Material), which allows to generate a full material from a single image (and make it tile). We create a new demo called Airstream, participate in the development of Autodesk's famous compositing tool Flame, and Substance Engine is integrated by default into Unity, Flame, 3DSMax and Maya!
Launch of Substance Designer (yeah!). We expand to Asia with new offices in Seoul (Gangnam district). Cédric Littardi, a famous entrepreneur (seen in France as the "king of French geeks"), invests in Allegorithmic, alongside VC firm Sofimac.
We launch Redux, a middleware tool dedicated to online game developers, aiming at reducing the size of bitmap textures up to 50 percent without any quality loss. We also release Substance Air, which would later become Substance Engine.
ProFX is awarded Best Innovation Award at FMX in Stuttgart, Germany. We move to our current office Place de Jaude in Clermont-Ferrand, the city’s main plaza, since the workforce grows to 15 people and we need more space (the view is amazing too!). The "Namacius" demo, a fully procedurally textured level for Unreal Tournament 3, is also made that year.
ProFX is launched in 2007, and is based on the technology pushed by its use on RoboBlitz. This is also the year when Dassault Systèmes takes a minor stake in our company, and when we enter the Epic Partner Program. We also meet on a regular basis with Brad Peebler, co-Founder and President of Luxology (creators of modo), whose connection with the community was an inspiration, and with Alexis Khouri, our VP, who clearly gave a new breath to the company.
Launch of RoboBlitz (by NakedSky Entertainment): the first Unreal Engine 3 game ever. Most importantly to us: the first 3D game textured almost entirely with procedural textures, thanks to Allegorithmic's technology and the genius of Gilles Fleury, on-site in LA during development. Sébastien also meets with Neil Trevett that year , VP of NVIDIA and President of Khronos Group, who saw great potential in Allegorithmic’s technology. Sébastien would also meet Pascal Daloz, true visionary and Executive VP at Dassault Systèmes, who would become Sébastien’s mentor for a very long time. Also noteworthy, Sébastien meets Torsten Reil, Founder and CEO of Natural Motion, always thought provoking and part of the "procedural technology family".
Sébastien meets Dave Taylor, a game development legend, former developer on Doom and Quake (id Software). Dave is one of the first people to see the potential, for game developers, of the technology developed by Allegorithmic; not only for Animation. Dave would become like a coach for Sébastien. And a dear friend.
We launch MapZone, a free procedural texture editor, and then MapTime, an AfterEffects plugin which was a fully editable video filter authoring tool. Sébastien begins spending half of his time in the US from then to 2009, without even speaking English at first! This year also marks the encounter of Vincent Brisebois, at the LA Motion Graphics conference this year, and who became the "entry point" of Sébastien in the US and later his roommate. Allegorithmic also hires its first sales representative in the US: Joe Bayen, a professional track and field athlete, met in the train between Paris and Clermont-Ferrand in France (how about serendipity!) and who since became a successful entrepreneur. It is also the year of international expansion: we open a branch in Los Angeles. We have our first users / testers in the VFX and animation industry (Mac Guff, then Pixar), and we register for the first of many patents: "Method and tool for modifying a procedural map".
We move to ISIMA, a university in Clermont Ferrand, and hire our first employee: Christophe Soum, a very talented student of Sébastien, who is still Lead Software Architect at Allegorithmic today. Sébastien is awarded the Young Graduate Special Prize by the Minister of Research (and Astronaut!) Ms Claudie Haigneré, and the medal “Train de l’innovation” by Renaud Dutreil, Secretary of State in charge of SMEs.
This year marks the incubation phase for the Allegorithmic corporation. The original idea behind that creation was to sense the interest in turning, into commercial products, what freshly-granted Dr Sébastien Deguy had developed in his PhD thesis “The tdMAP model, a partially identifiable complex medium generator” lead by Prof Dr Albert Benassi, which was completed in late 2001. During this incubation, the projet was awarded Laureate of the National Contest for Emerging, Technological and Innovative Companies Creation, held by ANVAR. Sébastien also ran into Cyrille Damez again (about ten years after first exchanging Apple II C programs during high school), in Pisa, Italy at the Eurographics Workshop on Rendering. Cyrille would later become Allegorithmic’s CTO.
Why our logo?
Our logo is the conjunction of a Pi symbol and a bird. It represents the same bridge between science and feeling that is at the origin of Allegorithmic, whose name is itself the intersection of Algorithm and Allegory. Over time, the design of this Pi-bird has changed from a light hand-painted style to an origami-style blue-green colored gradient version. The idea remains the same.
Artists and Scientists are often viewed as very different types of people - even polar opposites. But at Allegorithmic, we allow artists to express their creations in the purest form and remove the barriers between imagination and achievement by using complex math and science. It’s because we love both that we are able to present you with ever-evolving products. This is represented by the use of origami in our logo - this ancient art is complex, melding technicality and aestheticism.
Our bird is a crane, or grus grus (its scientific Latin name). Before they head south on their winter migration, some of them fly over our hometown of Clermont-Ferrand, France. This is where our story began. The research thesis that served as the cornerstone of Allegorithmic examined the creation of physically realistic digital clouds. What better than a migratory bird to represent our story: from a small firm in the province of Auvergne to a global company that does mores than 95% of its revenue abroad?