Alienbrain 2019: Unreal Integration and Other Upgrades

Alienbrain 2019: Unreal Integration and Other Upgrades

Alienbrain Ltd has just announced the release of Alienbrain 2019, the latest iteration of its popular version control software for artists and designers. Alienbrain 2019 includes an all-new integration with Epic Games’ Unreal Editor, additional file preview support, as well as an attractive new subscription pricing model. Interested teams can download a free trial version of Alienbrain 2019 from the official website.

Most version control systems are built to handle source code, whereas Alienbrain has been designed specifically to help creative teams work together on the massive digital art files required for next-generation productions. Alienbrain combines an intuitive, thumbnail-based visual user interface, with file storage, version control, and collaboration features, to keep teams focused on what’s important: creating. The Alienbrain server manages all project files and keeps a full history and timeline of each one, ensuring artists always have access to both current and historical versions of all their files.

The tool provides seamless integrations with leading 2D and 3D art applications, including Photoshop, Autodesk 3ds Max, and Maya, allowing users to gain the benefits of working with Alienbrain without ever switching applications.

The new version introduces the integration with Unreal Editor which makes Alienbrain even more valuable for game developers and 3D designers. Artists can automatically check-out, check-in, and version scenes and other Unreal assets, making it even easier to use during the production process.

There’s also a new subscription-based pricing model designed to make it more accessible for smaller developers, design companies, and startups. Typical pricing per user is $250 per year, which includes Unreal integration. Other options are also available.

We’ve also talked to Nic Johns, founder, and CEO of Alienbrain Ltd., to get more details on the tool. Below you can find our short interview.

Could you introduce yourself to us?

I’m from the UK, but I’ve lived in various places including Los Angeles and Munich, Germany. I’ve always been a gamer, and made my way into the industry back in 1999 when I took a job with NxN Software: I helped set up the LA office, met with practically every games company in the US over the next five years, and was ultimately involved in the sale of the company to Avid Technology. For some years after that, I produced a few small but successful mobile games and apps, before returning to take on my current role as CEO of Alienbrain Ltd.

Can you tell us a little about Alienbrain? What is this company all about, how long has been around and what is its story?

Alienbrain was originally launched back in the late 1990s. That is when I got involved. And even then, its focus was on helping game artists version their files. Alienbrain Ltd was formed in 2017 in order to manage the ongoing direction and development of Alienbrain the product. As a team of industry veterans, we’re looking to focus on games, as well as the exciting new industries that games technologies are heading towards.

What are the main problems that artists in games actually face in terms of version control? 

The problems faced by games artists have not changed much over the years. If anything, they’ve become only larger as art teams have grown and productions become more complex. It boils down to this: where are my files, which is the latest version of the file that I should be working on, and how can I keep someone else from overwriting the latest changes I have made to my artwork? Version control itself is a mature technology but is often aimed at programming teams. Alienbrain was developed from the beginning to appeal to art and design teams, with a very visual interface and clean versioning features.

Alienbrain provides a straight-forward way to manage and version the digital art files in game production and does so in a graphical manner. Most common file types appear as thumbnails, so that team members can view digital art files and their historical versions even if they don’t have the appropriate tools installed. What’s more, Alienbrain integrates directly with games industry tools, such as Photoshop, 3dsMax, Maya, and now Unreal Editor 4, so that artists can work without constantly needing to switch back and forth between applications to ‘do version control’ during their day.

Could you talk a bit more about your integration with UE4? How does that help developers? 

The integration with Unreal Editor 4 is the main feature in our new release, Alienbrain 2019. We’ve tightly woven them together, allowing artists to automatically version within Unreal for all types of content, while on the Alienbrain side we have a full preview of almost all types of Unreal Engine assets – even if Unreal is not installed. It’s really cool how nicely the two tools work together.

How can users actually start working with Alienbrain?

The latest version of Alienbrain can be downloaded from the website and includes a 30-day trial with full technical support to get teams up and running. We also have new pricing for Alienbrain 2019: the mid-range subscription is $250 per year per person, which includes all the artist integrations and features. All of the details are on the website. We feel that the new pricing will be very attractive for everybody from small indie teams to huge AAA productions.

Nic Johns, founder, and CEO of Alienbrain Ltd.

Interview conducted by Kirill Tokarev

You can learn more about the tool here.

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