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Technology Stocks : MetaCreations (MCRE) - Detailed Goo in a Soapy Dream

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To: jean who wrote (56)6/23/1997 5:30:00 PM
From: Damon Pham   of 846
Nice little plug for MCRE in this month's Fortune as one of the coolest companies in the country.

July 7, 1997

Cool Companies, Part 2


Visual Computing Software

It's seven in the evening in the sleepy Southern California beach town
of Carpinteria. While some of the locals are squeezing into wet suits
to catch a few sunset waves, engineers Ben Weiss and Andrea
Pessino are just beginning their workday at MetaCreations.

Ben and Andrea aren't vampires. That's just the way life is for
employees who report to Kai Krause, chief design officer at
MetaCreations, the product of a recent merger between two hot
visual computing software companies: Fractal Design and
MetaTools. "People are most creative when they're able to forget
about the constraints of time, which I think working through the night
does," explains Krause. "Plus, there are no distractions like ringing

His method may seem mad, but it works. MetaTools' first product,
an enhancement for Adobe Photoshop called Kai's Power Tools
(KPT), is used by more than 50% of Photoshop devotees. The
software enables graphic designers to add sophisticated special
effects to their work, ranging from curling paper to scaly skin. KPT
has been used to design everything from Issey Miyake clothing to
CD covers for bands like Toad the Wet Sprocket.

Last year Krause's team produced a CD-ROM bestseller, the
appropriately named Kai's Power GOO. The software turns
computerized images and photos into virtual Silly Putty that users can
manipulate for the pure amusement of seeing oddities like a leering
Mona Lisa. The company's newest product, Kai's Photo Soap
($50), is designed to help anyone clean up photos for catalogues,
greeting cards, websites, and more. It will go head to head with
photo-editing bestsellers like Adobe PhotoDeluxe ($50), Microsoft
Picture It! ($55), and MGI PhotoSuite ($50), which share in an $18
million market.

Taking on powerhouses like $786-million-a-year giant Adobe,
MetaCreations is stepping into the big leagues of graphics software.
Says CEO John Wilczak: "We want to corner the market on 2-D
and 3-D visual computing." To that end, the company last December
bought Real Time Geometry in Princeton, N.J. Real Time's Russian
emigrant scientists are among the world's best 3-D graphics
researchers (chief scientist Alexander Migdal was a quantum gravity
theorist for the Soviet space program before moving to the U.S. in
1988). Seems MetaCreations has found a few more employees who
have no problem leaving the surfboards at home.
--Erin Davies

Carpinteria, Calif.
Founded 1992
Rev.: $62.3 million
Employees: 300
Nasdaq: MCRE
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