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rhinofx Launches Previs Division

After three successful years rhinofx, the New York visual effects studio, has launched a new division offering 3D previsualization. Having ventured into visual effects projects for film, television and video games, rhinofx is doubling its workspace in their New York midtown office building. A larger workforce and more artist stations are in place and previs services are being ramped up to form the new division called rhinofx previz.

Previsualization is a process that creates a three-dimensional moving blueprint; utilizing computers to visualize a concept before shooting or CG work begins. Besides saving money, it smoothes out the production workflow from concept to postproduction by giving everyone a visual reference to work by. "We have actually been doing previz work since we opened in August 2000," says rhinofx partner/exec producer Rick Wagonheim. "We use it to demonstrate our vision to potential clients. But the directors, the agencies and the agency clients, all find it invaluable for making production go more smoothly. It eliminates the unknowns and the guesswork and involves the client at the earliest stages of pre-production and production. And by eliminating the unknowns, the anxiety levels are greatly reduced."

"In terms of working with the directors, it really locks in the timing, look and feel of a spot so it goes much more smoothly throughout all phases of production," added rhinofx partner/inferno artist Vico Sharabani. "Recently, we used it for a Cadillac ad [directed by Nick Piper of Backyard Prods., Santa Monica]. "In that spot, live action and CG were mixed together and previz got everybody working together well. It cuts down on miscommunication tenfold."

But while rhinofx has employed previs to sell their own services and to help streamline the workflow, agency creatives and directors have caught on of late and been using it as a selling tool for their concepts and visions. With more requests coming in for just previs jobs, rhinofx believes that launching a previs department is warranted. "By taking more space, we can now devote ourselves to launching the previz business and offering this service to the industry," Wagonheim said. "If a creative needs to sell a concept to a client, or a director wants to get what's in his head 'down on paper,' so to speak, they can come to us."

"On the recent animated Lugz spot we did, the concept was so out there that there isn't any way to sell it without previsualization," said rhinofx director Arman Matin. "When you have a 50-foot Funkmaster Flex levitating cars in a parking lot and spinning them like records and the whole thing kind of looks like a comic book, it's hard to imagine a pitchman selling that concept just on description alone. We prevized that spot long before we got started animating and it made all the difference."

rhinofx has used previs for Aqua Fresh directed by Michael Schrom of Schrom & Co., Long Island City, NY; AT&T; Vise-Grip; Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield and Fabreze directed by Clay Williams of bicoastal/international Morton Jankel Zander, to name just a few. "For us, we were using peviz as a means of pitching our services," explains rhinofx creative director Harry Dorrington. "Previz is the best way of showing our clients that we understand exactly what they want without having to go through the expense of doing it."

"The previz can show lensing, angles, timing, rough animation, camera movement and editorial, and works out all kinds of creative and logistical problems in advance of the shoot or commencement of CG work," explained rhinofx exec producer Camille Pirolo Geier.

"For an upcoming Claritin spot, we used previz to sort out the problems of working with a mostly live action commercial that includes an entirely CG section," said mvg partner/editor John Starace. " By having the exact timing of the previz, it helped determine the pace of the editorial. This made it much easier to segue way in and out of the CG section."

rhinofx (formerly Rhinoceros Visual Effects and Design) and rhinofx previz are located at