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WETA Digital Integrates Tweak Software’s RV

Open Architecture, Customizability and Stereo Playback Encourages Facility-Wide Adoption of RV Playback Software

Tweak Software, developers of RV, the image and sequence viewer for animation and visual effects, adds WETA Digital, the New Zealand-based Academy Award-winning visual effects house, to its long list of leading VFX industry clientele. WETA has been championing Tweak’s RV software since its pre-beta release, and recently began to integrate it throughout the entire facility.

“WETA has really exploited the flexibility and openness of RV to weave playback capability seamlessly into the artist workflow. They’ve managed to make playback permeate the environment so that artists hardly have to think about finding and viewing the right images or edits. It’s remarkable what they have done with RV to refine their pipeline.� Said Seth Rosenthal, Tweak Co-Founder.

Johan Aberg, Senior Compositor at WETA was initially drawn to RV for its customizability. “That’s definitely one of the things that sets RV apart, the ability for the end user to customize. It’s apparent that Tweak is listening to its customers’ needs because with each new release the company keeps adding in new hooks that make it even more fun to work with.�

Custom RV features developed by Aberg and others, enable artists at WETA to use drag and drop of custom EDL files, copy/paste of special text commands from email, web-links, menu items, hot keys, and typing of shot IDs into RV to load images, sequences, edits and movies. RV talks to the WETA shot database through python scripts that make it easy to load shots based on IDs. RV uses special EDL files developed at WETA that are not hard-coded; they automatically retrieve the latest takes of each shot while preserving cut information.

“For animation we’re constantly referring back to previous takes or comparing with reference footage. An artist can load a shot from our web page, and then tell RV which version to compare it against. RV automatically sets up an A/B compare. That’s an invaluable tool for us,� explained Malcolm Aitchison, Technical Support Team Leader, WETA Digital.

“When we’re in busy periods and hiring more artists, it only takes them about five minutes to learn how to drag and drop anything they need to view into RV, without any extensive training. A lot of our integration is tailored to the end end-user, making our pipeline as artist friendly as possible,� said Matt Welford, Head of Compositing, WETA Digital.

With its current VFX production slate, which includes Stephen Spielberg’s “The Adventures of Tin Tin: Secret of the Unicorn,� James Cameron’s “Avatar� and Peter Jackson’s “The Lovely Bones,� working in 3D stereo is becoming increasingly more important. “The way that Tweak has pushed stereo workflow and tools into RV has really helped. It’s the only tool we have that lets us load stereo movies. RV has become key for our artists to view their work in stereo at their workstations,� concluded Welford.

About RV

RV is a real-time, film resolution, high-dynamic-range image and sequence viewer for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. The application also includes native support for stereo 3D, Remote Sync, 2K uncompressed playback from disk, and HDR LUTs. RV combines a flexible architecture with a lean, polished design tailored to professional digital artists. Free downloadable trial versions of the software are available upon request at


About Tweak Software

San Francisco, CA-based Tweak Software was founded in 2007 to develop tools that address real-world production needs of VFX and animation professionals. The company was co-founded by Jim Hourihan and Seth Rosenthal in 2007. Jim Hourihan is the recipient of two Sci-Tech Academy Awards and is best known for developing Dynamation, the first commercial particle system that was subsequently incorporated into Autodesk’s Maya software. Hourihan also spent six years as a principle R&D engineer for Industrial Light and Magic where he developed many tools still in use at the facility today. For more information, visit