VFX studio MPC has standardized on Tweak Software's image and sequence viewer, RV, for playback and review across its feature film VFX facilities in Vancouver, Montréal, London and Bangalore. RV was first used at MPC in 2010, and is now fully integrated into its global pipeline, and has successfully streamlined VFX production on both 2D and stereo 3D blockbuster films including Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, X-Men: First Class, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Prometheus, Life of Pi, Skyfall, Fast & Furious 6, Man of Steel, World War Z and many more.
Tweak’s RV is a collaborative cross-platform, real time, high dynamic range image and sequence viewer offers pipeline-friendly customization, out-of-the-box integration with key tools including Nuke and Maya, support for a variety of industry standard image formats, one-click remote sync, and more. With more than 1,000 artists to manage across multiple continents, MPC taps RV in the screening room, at artist workstations and as the underlying platform for its new proprietary ReviewTool VFX editing software.
“All of our films run through RV, and we’ve had a great experience with it since day one,” said Damien Fagnou, global head of Software at MPC. “We’re able to use RV very successfully across facilities and like the fact that it runs on Linux, Mac and Windows and supports all of the formats we use from EXR to Cineon, and it also supports a wide variety of LUTs.”
One of the biggest benefits MPC has realized in working with RV is in the screening room. “Before using RV, we used to use really specialized equipment in the screening room, like expensive 2K players that required dedicated operators—our other option was to play work back in Final Cut Pro, but then we couldn’t review 2K frames,” explained Fagnou. “With RV, we enable all artists, leads and supervisors to drive their own review sessions and that has made a huge impact. We are installing a Wacom tablet at the front of each screening room so, for example, supervisors on London can annotate directly on the 2K content they’re reviewing in a synced session with artists in Bangalore, which is the kind of direct, real-time feedback that is crucial.”
MPC has also significantly improved the speed with which artists can interact with their shots in review. “With the customization ability in RV, we have embedded our proprietary asset management system directly into RV. It has improved the rate at which we can review shots and interact with media by 10X. Artists in particular love this,” continued Fagnou.
At the SIGGRAPH conference July 21-25 in Anaheim, California, MPC will be presenting a paper about its new in-house VFX editing software, ReviewTool. Development of ReviewTool was driven by production needs as VFX Supervisor Adam Valdez was working on World War Z. ReviewTool is a database-driven VFX editing application that MPC built on top of RV. ReviewTool and RV allow supervisors to edit VFX sequences without an editor. Fagnou said, “Artists can be in control of simple VFX editing directly from their workstations to review in 2K with their team before passing it along to an editor for final implementation. This has changed how the VFX teams interact with their media in a big way.”
Fagnou and Valdez continue to refine ReviewTool as MPC artists test it on work for upcoming films. “There are so many technological aspects to RV that make it a great platform for MPC – but it’s also about the people,” Fagnou said. “Tweak’s crew always give us stellar support, and we’re very confident in their abilities. We’re thrilled to have developed such a great partnership with them – they’ve truly changed how our artists work.”
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