Combined company in strong position to address broad set of workflows within arch viz

Chaos, a specialist in photorealistic rendering, and Enscape, a developer of AEC-focused real-time rendering software, are to merge. The combined company will retain the Chaos brand and has stated an intention to develop the ‘world’s greatest’ end-to-end ecosystem for visualisation and collaboration.

All products from both company portfolios will continue to operate and be available under their respective brands, including Enscape, V-Ray, Corona and Vantage.

With the merger of Enscape and Chaos, the combined company now has an expansive toolset for arch viz that should appeal to all kinds of users in the AEC sector, from visualisation novice to the most advanced digital artist.

Read what AEC Magazine thinks

Peter Mitev, CEO and co-founder of Chaos, and Christian Lang, CEO of Enscape, will share the title of co-CEO for the new company.

Vladimir Koylazov, co-founder of Chaos and current head of software operations, will also continue to drive R&D and innovation in a leadership position.

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2022. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The merger is backed by investment from global growth private equity firms TA Associates and LEA Partners. TA will join LEA, Enscape’s current majority shareholder, in the newly-combined company alongside the management of Chaos and Enscape, who will retain a significant minority stake.

What AEC Magazine thinks

This is an interesting move that certainly caught us by surprise. Both firms were already leaders in their respective segments and, moving forward, should put the combined company in an even stronger position in the broader arch viz sector.

Following its launch in 2016, Enscape quickly become a firm favourite with architects and other AEC professionals, thanks to its optimised workflow that can turn BIM models into realistic renderings and VR experiences at the push of a button. With plug-ins for Revit, SketchUp, Rhinoceros, Archicad, and Vectorworks, the company has most bases covered when it comes to BIM authoring tools.

In recent years Enscape has dramatically improved the visual quality in its software, while retaining its incredible ease of use. The integration of technologies like GPU-accelerated real-time ray tracing now allow architects to deliver results that could previously only be achieved by viz specialists. For many AEC firms it has changed the way visualisation is used throughout the design process.

Chaos, on the other hand, with its legendary V-Ray product, has been the tool of choice for many arch-viz specialists for over 20 years. And the classic combination of Autodesk 3ds Max and Chaos V-Ray remains a firm favourite for those seeking the highest levels of photorealism.

In recent years the company has looked to expand the reach of V-Ray beyond its traditional customer base and there are now versions available for SketchUp, Rhino, and Revit that have a simplified toolset to make them more accessible to architects. More recently, the company launched a V-ray for Unreal, which is particularly relevant as Chaos faces increased competition from Epic Games’ real-time engine.

The growing importance of real time visualisation is not lost on Chaos. In 2020, the company introduced Vantage (previously Project Lavina), which allows users to drag and drop huge V-Ray scenes to explore in real time. More recently the company introduced V-Ray Vision, a real-time visualisation capability built into V-Ray 5 for Revit, Rhino and SketchUp, that allows architects to get immediate feedback on their designs, before moving on to full photorealism with V-Ray’s final renderer.

With the merger of Enscape and Chaos, the combined company now has an expansive toolset for arch viz that should appeal to all kinds of users in the AEC sector, from visualisation novice to the most advanced digital artist.

By addressing the arch viz market from the top down and bottom-up, Chaos has all bases covered. It will be interesting to see what happens when V-Ray and Enscape meet in the middle.

An optimised workflow from Enscape to V-Ray is sure to be high on the agenda, just as it has been for Epic Games with its architect friendly Twinmotion and viz platform Unreal Engine.

Beyond AEC, there is also scope to enhance workflows in Visual Effects (VFX) and Product Design, verticals that Enscape doesn’t currently play in.

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Source: AEC