Guardians of the Galaxy had at least 6 main VFX vendors, 2 pre-vis vendors, multiple CG environments and two fully CG main characters. How did VFX Supervisor Stephane Ceretti keep track of it all? "cineSync ! We had countless cineSyncs with all our vendors."
Jake Braver, VFX Supervisor, The Fault in our Stars: "I’ve been using cineSync as a tool for many years now, but it was really this movie when I said 'I really can’t picture getting this movie done on time without it!'."
The new action film Snowpiercer, from Korean director Bong Joon-ho was shot in Prague. Post production was then spread from Germany to Korea to the US and beyond. The team relied on daily reviews in cineSync to keep everyone travelling in the same direction.
VFX Supervisor Richard Stammers on X-Men: Days of Future Past: "During post we worked with 12 different VFX studios from around the world, so we tried to cineSync and conference call them at least twice a week to review work in progress."
Godzilla saw UK VFX powerhouses Double Negative and MPC (plus MPC Vancouver and MPC Bangalore) really stepping up to the plate, with great supporting work from Germany's Scanline, NZ's Weta and the US's Hammerhead and Pixel Playground. cineSync had a big role to play to help keep communication clear and efficient.
Transcendence director Wally Pfister on working with London's Double Negative: "We set up all our post offices on The Lot in Hollywood, and did all the editing there. And D Neg would shoot over files and we’d give notes. Every day we’d have a cineSync session with them."
MPC had three facilities working on 300: Rise of an Empire, split between the UK, Bangalore and Vancouver, while VFX Supervisor John "DJ" Desjardin was based in LA. "The work was based out of MPC London so with DJ over in Los Angeles we had regular cineSync reviews."
"Tim and Alfonso would use reference footage and the previz to help describe what was required for various elements in the sequence. This was done through a large amount of cineSync sessions and video conferences"
Fusion CI Studios: "Through phone calls, secure ftp, email and cineSync sessions (a brilliant technology, by the way!), we’re in constant communication with our clients, providing them with wips as we go along, getting feedback and revising, just as if we were their effects department down the hall in their own facility."
White House Down was a massive VFX picture, with facilities contributing work from right across the Northern Hemisphere. "There would be conference calls and cineSync meetings where shots would be reviewed and critiqued. Getting feedback by showing our work in progress was instrumental in producing the results that the client was looking for."
Jeff Kleiser's VFX studio Synthespian just completed VFX for Bollywood's biggest ever Sci-fi epic Ra One. "Synthespian Studios did about 120 shots for the show and then I went to India to supervise their team in Mumbai, as well as about 15 other companies in India," Kleiser said. "A total of about 800 artists worked on this film. There are about 3,000 visual effects shops, so it was an enormous project by any standards."
Australia's Rising Sun Pictures talks about their VFX work on The Wolverine. "We made extensive use of cineSync for our reviews so that we could sketch ideas on the fly which made for a really easy creative communication workflow."
Pacific Rim Reviews: "Each cineSync session was populated with about a dozen folks. On the Mirada side we had myself, Mathew, John, the team leads and the production staff. At Warner Bros. we had Guillermo and his crew. From up north we had John Knoll. It was a great experience being able to get such direct and clear feedback from Knoll and del Toro despite the fact that we were all spread out".
The massive amount of VFX work in Pacific Rim meant multiple studios contributing work from all over the world, from North America to Denmark to China and many places in between. Again, cineSync played a role in keeping the communication clear.
London-based Cinesite on Iron Man 3: "We communicated via conference call and cineSync to review iterations of our work at video res, simultaneously shipping full res data, from them to review during their daily sessions in LA."
Cloud Atlas was a huge undertaking, with the post production being spread across the globe. From the US to Germany, from the UK to Canada, the production relied on cineSync to maintain visibility through the Cloud.
The London-based producers of the Discovery Channel's "Strip the City" used Canadian VFX house Modus FX to create all the CGI sequences and relied on cineSync to review their work. "The approach made the daily feedback sessions extra focused."
Warm Bodies, the new zombie romance from film maker Jonathon Levine debuted at number one at the US box office over the Super Bowl weekend. A story about a romance between a girl and a zombie, Warm Bodies required extensive VFX to bring the characters to life.
MPC on using cineSync for Total Recall: "Working from London with the west coast of America can be very efficient, as you can submit work at night and have feedback by the next morning, the artist comes in the next day with the Directors feedback for his shot."
Marvel's The Avengers, directed by Joss Whedon, is currently taking the world by storm, recently becoming the world's third highest grossing movie of all time. Of course, given the scale of the project, cineSync was an important part of the process.
On the latest Aardman production The Pirates! Band of Misfits, the animators worked closely with VFX house Double Negative to bring their vision to life. Much of the VFX work was carried out in Singapore, requiring extensive cineSync reviews to keep the communication channels open.
The VFX work for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance was spread between facilities in the US, Canada and Australia. cineSync was again the key to co-ordinating an internationally distributed post production process.
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island had 81 shots spread between 5 Pixomondo facilities around the world, with another 370 shots split between 6 other vendors - for VFX Supervisors Boyd Shermis and Bryan Hirota, cineSync was an important part of co-ordinating the project.
Hugo VFX Supervisor Ben Grossmann: "I could take dailies from Stuttgart and send a certain playlist of shots for review in LA, and Shotgun would initiate the file transfer to the screening room in LA. Then I’d click and get a cineSync review with Stuttgart."
Coinciding with the DVD and Blu-ray release of Captain America, Art of VFX talked to Trixter VFX Supervisor Alessandro Cioffi about Trixter's involvement with the film. cineSync proved to be an important part of the process.
A Lannister always uses cineSync
The great HBO series Game of Thrones has location shooting in Ireland, supervisors in the US and VFX facilities in Dublin and London. cineSync - together with Shotgun - helps to keep the communication clear.
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark was shot and posted in Melbourne, Australia, while the US director and production team were spread across the globe. cineSync helped to make the process somewhat less scary.
"All of the team on both sides, both our editorial team in LA and Weta down in New Zealand every day we would collaborate by way of cineSync to look at every single shot, and every single stage of every shot, and always be referencing back to what we shot on the day."
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine is an upcoming third-person action video game developed by Relic Entertainment and published by THQ. The cinematics were handled by Newbreed VFX, who used cineSync to communicate with the animation team at Relic.
"Most of our reviews were done with cineSync. Our vendors were in Germany, France and London. Even for the ones that are close to you sometimes it is quicker to get on a cineSync because your day is so tight that you don’t want to spend time in transport."
"We used cineSync to be in constant connection and communication to discuss submissions, establish turnovers and work descriptions, in order to ensure that we were always on the same page regarding these shots." Stephane Ceretti, VFX Supervisor, X-Men: First Class
Priest VFX: Co-ordinating so many facilities necessitated strong information and asset management, on a world-wide scale. “We spent a lot of days in cineSync sessions with the vendors, hitting our UK vendors in the morning, Australia at the end of the day and people in North America in between.”
The latest film from Screen Gems is a 3D VFX extravaganza called Priest. Due to a relatively low budget, the VFX work was spread all over the world and cineSync was used to help co-ordinate the project.
The new production of Thor relied on cineSync during prep to keep all the principal players on the same page. "This allowed the VFX and production design teams to move forwards with their work, and not have to wait until September when we eventually got together in person".
Ridley Scott's big budget re-telling of the legend of Robin Hood was a massive undertaking for all involved. With the DVD release of the film, VFX Talk interviewed MPC in London about the making of the VFX - and how cineSync helped...
450 VFX artists and technicians spread between New Zealand and North America came together to create the fully CGI lead character for the new live action film Yogi Bear. When collaborating over that kind of distance, you need to be able see what everyone else is doing - so the team used cineSync.
The Visual Effects for Paul W.T. Anderson's latest film Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D were largely handled by Canada's Rodeo FX and Mr X FX, both long time cineSync customers. "Our process of approvals and corrections were made almost exclusively through weekly sessions on cineSync."
For Clint Eastwood's latest film Hereafter, which features a major sequence with a CGI tidal wave, VFX Supervisor Michael Owens had to rely on a reasonable degree of remote collaboration to pull all the resources together.
Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) recently made Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole with Australian VFX company Animal Logic. "I had a Wacom tablet with a QuickTime/CineSync session every day... Every day I would get my shots in and with a red mark, I could draw on each frame, and say, "Move this, move that; dolly faster…" And I could course correct the movie as it went."
Director Jon Turteltaub's latest film The Sorceror's Apprentice saw VFX contributions from facilities all over the world (including our own sister company Rising Sun Pictures here in Australia). London's Double Negative completed around 380 shots for the film. Since the production's VFX Supervisor and Director were based in the USA, Double Negative made extensive use of cineSync to manage the collaboration.
Christopher Nolan on working with a UK VFX vendor while based in LA:
“We did it all on the lot at Warners, except for our visual effects, which were done by Double Negative in London. We’d hook up via cineSync every day and conference in to discuss the shots and any changes, and we could speak to each other in realtime and examine the shot. It’s a very efficient way of working — in fact, for me it’s far more efficient than being in the same city. It’s all focused communication on exactly that show you’re working on and what’s in frame, and there’s no time wasted driving across town. It’s right there.”
The entire VFX of the new film Priest was co-ordinated from the "virtual office" of Jenny Fulle's The Creative-Cartel, using a combination of cineSync, iChat and conference calls. Says Fulle:
"I believe in the idea of a virtual studio. I think that when you find talented people, you actually get a lot more boom for your buck when you let them stay in their own environment and work more comfortably."
For M. Night Shyamalan's latest film The Last Airbender (based on the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender), San Francisco based Industrial Light and Magic used cineSync to manage the VFX reviews with Shyamalan's production company Blinding Edge in Pennsylvania.
VFX Supervisor, Director and VFX artist Allan McKay, in a recent interview with CG Society said "Some industry technology being built around the industry budget tightening can really help get things done more practically and cheaper. CineSync and VFX tracking software allow shots to final quicker, so these are more supportive tools for the industry that definitely help streamline a lot of the production processes."
In the latest Screen Production Guide for Film New Zealand, promoting NZ's awesome post production facilities, the very first paragraph is dedicated to remote collaboration and the solutions provided by cineSync (and our partners Aspera among others).
Legend of the Guardians, a collaboration between Australian VFX Studio Animal Logic (Happy Feet) and director Zack Snyder (Watchmen, 300), faced some distinct communication challenges as Snyder worked on other projects in the US while animation work was being done in Australia. However, Snyder says using cineSync while in the US, "I do 2 hours a day with Australians and it works out pretty good actually."
With a troubled production history and key personnel spread all over the planet, co-ordinating the VFX of The Wolfman was a major challenge. However cineSync was able to ensure communication remained clear and the final results speak for themselves.
German Ninjas? Only with cineSync
Movie making truly is a global business these days. Making a film with a director based in the US and VFX facilities based in Europe can lead to some pretty difficult communication challenges. That's where cineSync comes in.
In Clint Eastwood's latest film, the rugby themed Invictus, the VFX team had to create entire stadiums full of people and in many cases, recreate the stadium itself. With the number of facilities involved in the FX work, VFX supervisor Michael Owens said "It would never have happened if we didn't have the capability that we have today," says Owens. "I can cineSync with anybody on the planet, and work alongside him with him on a monitor."
To create the immersive 3D world of Pandora in James Cameron's new blockbuster Avatar, New Zealand's Weta spent many months working back and forward with Cameron, using cineSync to visually communicate.
For the latest film from James McTeigue (V for Vendetta), VFX work was spread between a number of companies in North America and Europe. One of those European companies, Ghost in Denmark, spoke to Danish online magazine Kino.dk about the process of working on the film, including the use of cineSync to maintain communication - "It is a super tool".
In conjunction with the DVD release of JJ Abrams' Star Trek, FX Guide have released an interview Digital Domain and Svengali FX (both cineSync customers) about their work on the film. Because the project was split between ILM in San Francisco and several other vendors in LA and San Francisco, cineSync was used to keep everyone in the loop at all times.
For the second live action film from the Cartoon Network, Ben 10:Alien Swarm, studios from all over the world communicated remotely to pull the VFX together. Using a combination of cineSync and database application Invisually, Zoic Studios (LA), Turner Studios (Atlanta), Ghost FX (Denmark) and Super 78 (LA) - all regular cineSync or cineSync Pro users - were able to communicate effectively and deliver the shots without ever being in the same room.
For two new advertising spots for Saatchi and Saatchi, Stockholm-based Motion design company Happy Camper teamed up with Kiev-based The Chimney Pot, using cineSync to clearly communicate visual concepts, despite the physical distance between the companies. "With the use of cineSync we got dailies and gave our feedback easily"
For the newly released feature film 9 from director Shane Acker, animation work was spread all over the world. Initially communication with far flung studios was a problem, until the work was redeployed and cineSync used to streamline the communication process - “This tool was key for us, enabling us to do a portion of the show remotely.”
The latest versions of cineSync and cineSync Pro have been released today, sporting a number of new features. Both have an updated Playlist Viewer, with the ability to sort your playlist into groups. Both have a new function that allows you to select and loop only part of a clip. There are also now preferences that allow you to turn off annotations while you are playing, and to allow user selection of thumbnail frames.
The VFX work for Terminator:Salvation was spread all over the world, with nearly a dozen companies from the US, Canada and Australia. In an article with FXGuide, Asylum VFX and Rising Sun Pictures talk about the process of creating some of the effects and the use of cineSync as a way of managing communication between the production and the various contributors.
Today sees the release of both cineSync 1.3 and cineSync Pro 2.1
The major improvements across both tools include an eraser tool and an entirely new Playlist Viewer (replacing the old Playlist Organiser) which greatly improves the process of building playlists, including drag and drop functionality and thumbnails for each clip, as well as improving and simplifying file transfers. In addition to file transfers via FTP you can now also transfer files using SFTP, FTPS, HTTP and HTTPS.
The new film X-Men Origins: Wolverine was shot in Sydney Australia, with visual FX carried out around the globe, including Australia's Rising Sun Pictures and Fuel VFX, UK's Cinesite and several North American facilities including Frantic, Hydraulx, Soho VFX, Tippett Studios and Luma Pictures, all cineSync users.
In an article for FX Guide, the team from Rising Sun Pictures talk about the role of cineSync in distributed post production.
For the latest Nascar promo spot, Fox Sports decided to take it underground. Working with Spanish VX house La Huella, Fox Sports Creative Directors Robert Gottlieb and Mark Simmons used cineSync Pro to facilitate communication between LA and Madrid, to create a visually dynamic view of the Nascar action from below the ground.
Jerome Debeve from La Huella said "Dealing with changes and from the distance: that was one big concern, but we established from the beginning a fluid communication with Fox Sports Design team, including cineSync sessions so we didn't really feel we were separated by a few thousand kilometers."
For the latest horror film from Dreamworks, the Guard Brothers' The Uninvited, the film-makers and VFX house CIS Vancouver used cineSync to easily facilitate communication between LA and Vancouver during post production.
"This was a typical 21st century production - we never ever sent anything physical to anybody. We did everything with cineSync sessions. I never ever had to get on a plane."
One of the key pieces of software that made the entire system work [on The Spirit] was cineSync, a software tool from Rising Sun Research (RSR) for remote collaboration and review. “Some of these VFX facilities only know each other through the cineSync sessions, but it was enough and it felt very personal.”
In the latest film from Gil Kenan (Monster House), audiences are taken to the underground lost City of Ember. Shot in Ireland, with VFX work completed in Paris and Los Angeles, Kenan and VFX Supervisor Eric Durst used cineSync to coordinate their geographically distributed team. "CineSync was a life-changing concept for me", says Kenan.
The latest issue of American Cinematographer magazine has an extensive article on the use of cineSync in post production on The Dark Knight.
"I used [cineSync] from Hong Kong, Chicago, LA, London and Paris", says Dark Knight VFX supervisor Nick Davis. "Wherever we were, I was able to stay in contact with the director and the vendors. It really makes the world a much smaller place."
The new Eddie Murphy movie Meet Dave, about a spaceship that looks like Eddie Murphy being piloted by a miniature Eddie Murphy, is a necessarily VFX driven comedy. VFX Supervisor Mark Stetson (Superman Returns, Lord of the Ring: Fellowship of the Ring) worked with LA based VFX houses CIS, Hydraulx, Pixel Magic and Make VFX (among others) to deliver the shots. cineSync made communication between all the facilities quick and easy.
"Although we worked entirely with L.A.-based VFX studios, and our post production offices were in L.A., we used cineSync nearly always for dailies and shot reviews" says Stetson, in an interview with VFX World. "That saved us hours in traffic each day. There were key meetings and final reviews where we did get together face-to-face, but cineSync covered about 95% of it".
When Frantic Films' two Canadian divisions (Winnipeg and Vancouver) were selected to create more than 130 shots for the new Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D feature film, they relied on cineSync to effectively communicate visual images between locations.
In an interview with Post Magazine about the various challenges of creating the shots, Frantic's Randal Shore said that "Frantic's two locations communicate as freely as if they were across the hall from each other using cineSync".
For the latest vision of the The Incredible Hulk, director Louis Leterrier worked with VFX facilities Rhythm and Hues, Soho VFX, Image Engine and Hydraulx, spread between LA, Vancouver and Toronto, while the shoot was split between Canada and Brazil.
In order to effectively co-ordinate the distributed VFX team, while on the road, Leterrier found the simplest solution was cineSync - "with CineSync it’s so easy".
cineSync is increasingly being adopted for audio post production in film, television and animation. An article from Post magazine highlights cineSync's role in the post of a recent animated film Turok.
From the article:
“We all had the same QuickTime on our desktops and anyone could hit play or stop and we all could see it. So, we could have a meeting about the show and we did not have to be in the same place. It’s like a spotting session that takes place in 10 different places at once. If that didn’t exist, then I probably would not have been able to work on this job.”
Today sees the release of cineSync Pro - the ultimate synchronised review and approval solution.
Expanding on the hugely successful and widely adopted cineSync, cineSync Pro takes interactive, real time reviews to another level and is fast becoming an essential part of production and post production pipelines the world over.
Rising Sun Research announced today that Montreal's Meteor Studios employed its cineSync remote review and approval tools and cineSpace color management to streamline workflow and keep quality consistent during visual effects creation for the highly-anticipated 3-D movie, Journey 3D. The movie, from Walden Media and Walt Disney Pictures, is an updated take on the classic Jules Verne story, where a geologist and his son travel to the center of the Earth and discover an unknown world. Starring Brendan Fraser and shot in live action with landscapes & creatures created using HD, photo-real 3-D technology, the ambitious stereoscopic picture comes to theaters in 3-D in summer 2008.
The Spiderwick Chronicles is a fantasy adventure movie based on a series of childrens' books of the same name. The magical and sometimes dangerous creatures of the books were brought to life by Tippett Studios and Industrial Light and Magic, both long time cineSync users.
Prime Focus London and their Indian sister offices were required to do extensive VFX work for the new feature film Tales of the Riverbank, based on the children's television series of the same name. As the production was based in the UK, Prime Focus relied on cineSync to maintain an accurate communication pipeline throughout the post production process.
Production and post for Columbia Pictures' new film Vantage Point was based in London, but Vancouver based Rainmaker Digital were called on to complete many of the film's complex effects shots. To enable London based VFX supervisor Paddy Eason to easily communicate with the Canadian crew, he utilised cineSync.
When Entity FX were required to create CG elements for the new Sean Penn film Into the Wild, they used cineSync to review material with the picture editing department to ensure seamless integration of their work.
Riot recently delivered more than 80 visual effects shots for The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising, a supernatural fantasy released on October 5th by Walden Media and 20th Century Fox. Even though Riot's studios are based only 30 minutes from the Fox offices, cineSync enabled the shots to be reviewed much more efficiently by eliminating driving and parking delays and allowing reviews to be set up at mutually convenient times.
Surfing the Power of the Web for Fantastic Reviews
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer director Tim Story talking about using cineSync during the post production of a big budget VFX extravaganza - "It’s a technical wonder and so fantastic for post.... If I want to hit a scene, let a shot go and stop it on a point, they’re looking at it just like I am here in LA.... It allows us to use iChat, and through the Mac cameras we’re able to see who we’re talking to in New Zealand.... So technology has made New Zealand feel like it’s next door in Santa Monica"
cineSync assists Warner Bros' German Invasion
When VFX Supervisor Boyd Shermis (Poseidon, Gone in 60 Seconds) needed to set up robust communication between facilities in the US and Germany for the visual effects work on The Invasion, he again used cineSync - having used it succesfully for Poseidon 2 years earlier.
Effective Reviews are the Difference Between the Quick and the Dead
For this year's followup to the highly successful 28 Days Later, the sequel, 28 Weeks Later utilised a number of VFX houses around the world. One principal vendor was Prime Focus, who have offices based in England and India. To enable clear visual communication between the two offices, Prime Focus used cineSync.
cineSync Helps to Keep the Traffic Moving in Rush Hour 3
On the recently released Rush Hour 3, starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, cineSync formed an important part of the post production process, connecting facilities in LA and Vancouver. Zoic Vancouver's vfx supervisors Randy Goux and Patti Gannon worked closely with the film's overall vfx supervisor, Adam Howard, throughout the delivery process.
For the children's feature Charlotte's Web, VFX companies all over the world were called on to create different individual characters to populate Charlotte's barnyard. In order to be able to co-ordinate and review the work at the different facilities, VFX supervisor John Berton Jr utilised a combination of iChat and cineSync, to great effect.
Rising Sun Research was nominated as the hottest company among 14 technology developers that participated in this year's ANZA Technology Network Showcase conference, held last week at the Plug and Play Tech Centre in the Silicon Valley town of Santa Clara.
Rising Sun Research won the award for its cineSync technology, which allows visual media practitioners - whether they be film, TV, advertising, graphic design or a myriad other fields - to collaborate on digital media in real time, regardless of their physical location...
Rising Sun Research celebrates the first birthday of the world's preferred visual media review tool.
Since its commercial release in November 2005, cineSync has become the preferred software tool in the international film industry for reviewing, annotating, discussing and approving picture edits, visual effects shots, credit sequences and other aspects of post production. An integral part of the workflow of major Hollywood productions such as X-Men: The Last Stand, Poseidon, Superman Returns and Charlotte's Web, cineSync has quickly become the market leading review tool...
"Each person has the QuickTime and cineSync connects them all,' says Hitesh Shah [co-founder and CEO of FrameFlow]. "So if someone goes to 2:37, all the people see the same footage in real time. You can also draw on frames and that metadata is saved. That's been a tremendous help in shot turnover and a great tool for feedback. Whenever you draw on the frame it generates separate image files as JPEGS so you can go back and see the notes and pull up the still frames."--Studio Daily
All vendors used Rising Sun Research's cineSync. "We had QuickTimes of effects shots, cut sequences or jpegs in folders on our computers at Red Sun," Joyce Cox explained. "The vendors had the same material in folders on their side; so we could bring shots up in sync, watch playback with sound, and Mark could stop the image, draw on it, and say, "move this to the left, make this more gray..." That enabled us to manage more than 500 shots out of the country"--CineFex July 06 Issue
Rising Sun Research are pleased to announce the upcoming release of cineSync 1.1. This version will introduce a Playlist Organiser for uploading, downloading and re-ordering your media. New drawing tools (Arrows and Circles), Text Marker capability and a built-in whiteboard/blackboard will enable you to share your vision from any distance...
Visual Effects Supervisor Stephen Rosenbaum, DP Gabriel Beristain, and Director Brian Robbins used cineSync to remotely review and approve the digital effects shots for Disney's The Shaggy Dog. "It has probably made me give up satellite transmission systems forever." remarked Stephen Rosenbaum...--Millimeter Magazine
Rising Sun Research proudly announced the release today of cineSync v1.0, marking a new era for people working together dynamically with visual media. cineSync allows for multiple you to simultaneously view quicktime movies in multiple locations, with all locations staying in sync...
Spielberg uses cineSync for War of the Worlds
Every day during the last month of production, ILM transmitted shots to studios where Spielberg was working. To make sure they kept getting the approvals, sometimes ILM would video conference at his home via the Mac's iChat AV and transmit files over the Internet. "We have this other program called cineSync where they could download the files off a secure server and we could call him up and use the camera to talk to each other while watching the file."--Post Magazine Online