Bad Robot, the production company founded by director J.J. Abrams, used Tweak Software’s RV-SDI to review visual effects shots from Star Trek Into Darkness.
Tweak Software released RV-SDI just over a year ago, adding SDI output to accommodate color correct, 2K uncompressed, VFX dailies in screening rooms and on professional reference monitors.
Bad Robot production executive Ben Rosenblatt explained why working with RV-SDI was so crucial to the artists at Kelvin Optical, Bad Robot’s VFX division said, “Dependability is huge for me. When time is running short and the team is looking to review content, we can’t afford to be bogged down with tech problems or user issues. Using RV-SDI eliminated those hurdles; it was smooth sailing time after time.”
Bad Robot worked with multiple VFX facilities on Star Trek Into Darkness. Primary third-party vendors Industrial Light and Magic and Pixomondo both actively use RV as their in-house visual effects playback and review tool. Rosenblatt’s first experience with RV was while working with ILM. “I originally heard about RV-SDI when setting up a 2K review system for Gore Verbinski on Rango. I was looking for a good playback solution that wasn’t too expensive, and I knew ILM was already using RV’s desktop application facility-wide,” he said.
At the time, RV-SDI wasn’t yet commercially available so Rosenblatt tried an alternate product, but playback was unreliable and it lacked tools for annotation.
RV and RV-SDI include powerful review tools that allow artists and supervisors to organize and annotate media for desktop or dailies reviews, along with a host of advanced color, collaboration and editing features. “Annotation in RV-SDI is incredibly useful. Context and specificity are key for reviews of VFX work to be meaningful, and few review systems integrate annotation with high quality playback as seamlessly as RV,” Rosenblatt said.
As Bad Robot continues to build the capacity of its Kelvin Optical team, RV-SDI is playing a crucial role in the review pipeline. “We’re looking into possibly expanding our facility, in which case both RV-SDI and RV will play roles in screening room and desktop reviews. I’m also interested and excited about the synchronized sessions capability within RV and look forward to setting up remote reviews of work for future projects where we will likely be working with geographically dispersed teams,” said Rosenblatt.
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