Tweak Software’s RV, used by Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) as its image and sequence viewer of choice, helped the company streamline stereo 3D visual effects reviews on the summer blockbuster Transformers 3. RV enabled stereo dailies review, collaborative reviews between its Singapore and San Francisco studios, and remote stereo reviews by director Michael Bay in Los Angeles.
Nigel Sumner, ILM digital production supervisor said, “Transformers 3 was unique in that we were working with a wide array of media, both film and digital, spherical and anamorphic, with the final result being a checkerboard of native stereo and dimensionalized media. RV gave us the advantage of being able to review all of our imagery in a single application and in multiple locations simultaneously.”
Mike Morgan, ILM’s manager of media systems engineering added, “It was vital for us not just to play back dual stream stereo in real time, but also manage stereo convergence and color correction, and in addition, to easily be able to switch between 2D and 3D viewing in real time. RV gave us that flexibility.”
Just over 300 artists, along with production staff and the director, used RV to review work in progress. ILM replicated the San Francisco dailies pipeline for the crew in Singapore and relied on RV’s remote sync features to enable teams in both locations to review and play media at the same time while annotating comments.
ILM also set up RV remote review for the filmmaker in Los Angeles via a secure connection to RV at ILM in San Francisco. “RV enabled us to mix different media types and organize media into sessions. That was key and RV was a central part of the remote review solution,” said Sumner. “When the director requested the reference or annotation for any given shot, RV allowed us to navigate across different media and quickly pull up what he was looking for.”
ILM, along with Lucasfilm Animation, Lucasfilm Animation Singapore B.V. and LucasArts, standardized on RV in 2009, replacing its in-house-developed playback software.
“RV has become a fundamental part of our pipeline, hands down,” said Sumner. “Its extensibility has allowed us to integrate it into our pipeline fairly easily. It’s our primary viewer and its integration is becoming stronger every day.”