The Foundry, provider of creative software used globally by leading artists and designers, has expanded its market reach while simultaneously bolstering the strength of its technology by acquiring Made With Mischief. Its flagship product, Mischief, a pen-based sketching application for Mac and Windows, blends sophisticated underlying technology with an elegant, clean interface.
This makes it easy for creative people to explore, create and share art in a digital format on a truly infinite canvas while preserving the emotional experience of the physical. Under the terms of the private deal, Made With Mischief, founded by Sarah Frisken, will become a wholly owned subsidiary of The Foundry. The company will be headquartered in Boston, with team members located in Boston, London and Shanghai.
“Made With Mischief brings both immediate and long-term value to The Foundry,” said Bill Collis, chief executive officer of The Foundry. “First, this allows us to enter a new market, with an offering that’s both powerful and simple to use, ideal for professionals and creative hobbyists alike. Second, Mischief uses a powerful new technology that has massive potential to impact future creative solutions. As we work with Sarah and her team to enhance the current Mischief platform, we’ll identify applications for our design, visual effects and gaming customers as well.”
Mischief is powered by a revolutionary patented shape representation, known as Adaptively Sampled Distance Fields (ADFs), co-invented by Frisken. ADFs have several advantages for creative applications: they provide high-quality stroke rendering; they are amenable to hardware-based rendering so drawing is extremely responsive; they are very compact, resulting in small file sizes; they can be scaled without introducing pixelation artifacts; and they can accurately represent much richer and more complex shapes than traditional vector-based stroke representations. For Frisken, the acquisition of Made With Mischief by The Foundry enables her to retain her core vision of providing high-quality software tools for wide range of artists and to preserve its accessible price point, while bringing future versions of the platform to an even broader audience.
“The Foundry has a proven record of taking exciting, innovative concepts and commercialising them for a broader market,” said Sarah Frisken. “By becoming a part of The Foundry, we now have the ability to grow our team, to be more responsive to our users, and to further our vision. I’m also very excited about the addition to the team of Chris Cheung, who will head our product agenda. Chris has invaluable experience in building a large and loyal following in the artistic and design communities so we’re very happy to have him on board. With our talent and technology, we will create new and exciting products that in turn create new possibilities and experiences for our customers.”
In the new organisation, Frisken will become chief scientist, allowing her to explore the convergence of technology and art in future innovations. She will work closely with Cheung to drive the conceptualisation, development and commercialisation of digital artistic solutions. Christopher Kenessey, chief sales and marketing officer for The Foundry, will assume the position of president of Made With Mischief. In his new dual role, Kenessey’s executive leadership will drive adoption of Mischief among a broader market while also identifying development opportunities through technology crossover.