Alias Systems Corporation

Alias ​​Systems Corporation is a Canadian company based in Toronto, which has made ​​a name in particular in the development of 3D software. Founded in 1983 as Alias ​​Research and Wavefront Technologies 1984, merged the companies in 1995 under the umbrella of the Silicon Graphics Inc. ( SGI) and call themselves now Alias ​​®.

  • Maya 2.1
  • 2.2 Studio Tools
  • 2.3 SketchBook Pro

History of company

1983 - 1989

Alias ​​was founded in 1983 by Stephen Bingham, Nigel McGrath, Susan McKenna and David Springer. The name (1984 on a SIGGRAPH conference) comes from anti-aliasing, as they then offered a software anti-aliasing for SGI users. 1984 Wavefront Technologies was founded in Santa Barbara, California by Mark Sylvester, Larry Barels and Bill Kovacs, since they found no suitable software for the creation of computer graphics in film and television.

In 1985 there was an important alias for cooperation with General Motors, in which the young company should develop an integration of NURBS in General Motors spline -based CAD application.

Alias ​​wanted to use the high-performance computer from SGI for its application and therefore came with SGI in contact. SGI suspected that every time an application of Alias ​​would be sold, the customer would buy one of their computers. So SGI became the main supplier of hardware for Alias ​​and its customers. In addition to General Motors were to 1986 smaller production houses, Kraft Foods and Motorola to important clients of alias. Alias ​​received an award of $ 400,000 for computer controlled TV equipment with which the world could see what looks the Hubble Space Telescope from space in 1986. In 1985 there were of Alias ​​software (Alias ​​/ 1) - based on Cardinal Splines - created much more accurate lines and surfaces than with polygons was possible. The second version was published in 1986 Alias ​​/ 2 was groundbreaking in the field of computer - aided industrial design ( CAID ).

Alias ​​/ 2 was a great success for the company and was used in 1988 by many large companies in the automotive and entertainment industries. Steve Williams ( alias) in 1989 moved to Industrial Light & Magic (ILM ) and was involved in the creation of the creatures for the film Abyss - Abyss of Death. It emerged modeling the B -spline technique from 2.4 alias to use (on SGI workstations ).

1990 - 1999

In 1990, Alias ​​Studio and Power Animator ago. ILM used the Power Animator to create the chrome copy of Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2. Compared Schwarzenegger cost $ 200,000 and the minute the digital copy $ 460,000 per minute.

IBM bought shares of wave front, because IBM wanted to gain a foothold in the film industry and design, which was determined previously by SGI computers. Wavefront In 1991, the composer ( mixing and special effects) out while his alias software made ​​available for Mac and Windows users now.

1992 car Studios (create auto designs ) of Alias ​​and Kinemation ( 3D character animation system ) and Dynamation released ( Editing scenes ) of Wavefront. In close collaboration with the car manufacturer Ford 1993 Studio Paint originated (now integrated into the Studio Tools), a drawing program especially designed for sketches and renderings of vehicles.

1993 began the development of Maya, the successor to Power Animator, which was used at that time by ILM for visual effects in Jurassic Park.

In 1995, the merger of Alias ​​and Wavefront Technologies was decided. The company has since been under the name of Alias ​​| Wavefront known. Then the renaming of " Alias ​​| Wavefront " In July 2003, "Alias ​​" was announced.


The company made last around 80 million U.S. dollars in annual sales (2004 /2005). On 4 October 2005, a purchase agreement for 128 million U.S. dollars for the then privately held shares of the company by the listed Autodesk Inc. was signed. On 10 January 2006 Alias ​​was acquired by Autodesk Inc. at a price of 197 million U.S. dollars.



For Maya, a NURBS - based visualization program for 3D animation and visual effects, Alias ​​was honored in 2003 as the first Canadian company with the Good Design Award from the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. In March 2003, Alias ​​was | Wavefront also awarded for the development of Maya software and its 3D animation and effects package the Technical Achievement Academy Award in Los Angeles. The software is used in many Hollywood productions in the field of special effects, game development, advertising and the production of interactive 3D content.

Studio Tools

A further successful product of Alias ​​Studio Tools was the leading CAID software (computer - aided industrial design ) for automobile manufacturers and industrial designers. Direct competitors in this field are Rhinoceros and ICEM Surf. As part of the acquisition by Autodesk Studio Tools were first renamed Autodesk Alias ​​Studio, to be finally divided into the products Autodesk Alias ​​Automotive Autodesk Alias ​​Design and Autodesk Alias ​​Surface.

Sketchbook Pro

Sketchbook Pro is a character and Skizzierprogramm, which is specially designed for intuitive operation with a tablet or tablet PC. All important functions can be over an area at the bottom left / right of the working surface by means of marking menus call. Using pressure-sensitive tools, such as a digital pencil, airbrush and other important sketch tools, can use this program to create digital sketches, and visualize ideas and concept designs quickly. Advantages of digital sketches are, for example, working with layers and almost unlimited repeatable etching and undo make. Alias ​​SketchBook Pro was awarded by the press more than once, in Macworld and innovation of Computer Graphics World.

Sketchbook Pro is marketed since the takeover no longer under the alias brand but only as Autodesk SketchBook Pro.

Pictures of Alias Systems Corporation