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Aardman Studios Integrates Tweak Software’s RV

Frame-Accurate Audio Sync, Ease of Use, and Open Architecture Lead to Adoption of RV Playback Software

Tweak Software, developers of RV, the image and sequence viewer for animation and visual effects, adds Aardman Studios, the UK-based Academy Award-winning animation studio, to its long list of leading animation and VFX industry clients. Aardman has been using Tweak’s RV software since its pre-beta release, and recently integrated it into a new Linux-based CG pipeline.

“One of the perks in this field is that you get to collaborate with artists or studios who you really admire. Aardman’s work over the decades has earned the studio a unique place in the history of animation. Having Aardman adopt RV is a great acknowledgement of the software as a tool for artists,� said Seth Rosenthal, Tweak co-founder.

Tom Downes, Pipeline Lead at Aardman explained, “We are developing our CG pipeline on Linux and we are fitting RV in pretty much everywhere we can. To start with, we are using it for lip sync tests and playblasting because it is frame accurate and syncs the sound nicely. It’s pretty much the only player we’ve tried that does that. On Linux, as far as I am aware, there is no good alternative.�

Downes and his team have integrated RV into the artist workflow to make it easy for them to find and play the media they need, and to play it in the context of the latest cut. “We’ve written our own Python wrapper around the RV session,� Downes explained. “We generate playlists by querying our production database and adding footage, frame ranges and audio to the Python object, then we write out the RV session file. For our previz team this is quite key because they rapidly turn around shots and they want to see them in the cut all the time.�

According to Downes, some of Aardman’s key stop-motion animators are using RV for animation planning tests being done in Maya. “They are not really keen on using computers so playback has to be a really transparent process – they will have 8 or 10 RV sessions up at the same time to compare playblasts. We’ve wrapped it up a little bit to make it transparent, but we don’t need to do much, it’s a simple program to use.�

About RV

RV is a real-time, film resolution, high-dynamic-range image and sequence viewer for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. RV is 32 and 64 Bit on all platforms. 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 and joined by Alan Trombla in 2009. 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, Trombla and Rosenthal, all spent years at Industrial Light and Magic where they developed many tools and techniques still in use at that studio today. For more information, visit