cineSync: the preferred Pirate software
Wednesday, 18 April 2012
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 by Double Negative's Singapore facility and the aim was to treat the Singapore side as simply an extension of the London office, as VFX Supervisor David Vickery explained in an interview with the Art of VFX:
How did Double Negative got involved on this project?
Ben Lock originally approached us from Aardman and we jumped at the chance to work on the project. Everyone felt that the crew would very much like the idea of working on something that their children would enjoy!
What have you done on this movie?
Double Negative‘s work on the show ranged from compositing multiple GS layers, rendering CG hero characters and crowds, sky replacements, complex wire and rig removals, and painting out the cut lines on characters faces.
How did you split the work between Dneg London and Singapore?
The majority of the visual effects work was carried out by our Singapore office with Jody Johnson remote VFX supervising from London. However, we did a lot of the initial look development and pipeline set-up in London to make it easier for Jody to sign off on.
How did you organize the work feedback and reviews between those two place so far away?
Jody worked very closely with Aardman VFX supervisor Andrew Morley and would then relay briefs to Oli Atherton (our 2D supervisor in Singapore), via Polycom video conferences. It was really important to us that Aardman considered the Singapore crew to be part of Double Negative as a whole and not a separate facility on the other side of the world. Singapore lead 3D artists Cori Chan, Sonny Sy and Leah Low would take charge of hero sequences and give progress reports to London during daily cineSync sessions. It all worked very smoothly, even the time difference worked to our advantage. When we got in first thing in the morning it would be midday in Singapore and their crew would be ready with loads of questions. The London team would pick up the baton and be working well after our Singapore crew had gone home for the night. Producer Clare Tinsley could schedule London to fix problems for Singapore whilst they were fast asleep and be ready for them when they returned to work the next day!
You can read the rest of the chat at the Art of VFX. It goes into quite a bit of detail about how the work was shared between traditional animation and modern VFX and is well worth a read.
The official site for The Pirates! Band of Misfits is here.