Tweak Software Hires Alan Trombla as Director of Product Development

cadams3 · March 16, 2009 2:48 am

Tags: Alan Trombla, ILM, Renderosity, RV, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Tweak Software, VFX

Tweak Software, developers of RV, the image and sequence viewer for animation and visual effects, announced today the hire of visual effects industry veteran Alan Trombla. Trombla, who has worked at all levels of visual effects and digital animation production from writing software and managing large engineering teams to lighting shots and leading CG productions, joins Tweak Software as Director of Product Development.

Trombla launched his career in VFX with 10 years at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) primarily as a principal engineer and R&D Supervisor. At ILM, he supervised the design and production rollout of major new proprietary tools for matte painting and lighting and he contributed to many other technologies and techniques that are in wide use. He joins Tweak Software from Digital Domain, where he worked as lead technology architect for the special projects group. Prior to that, Trombla worked as technology development lead at Lucasfilm Animation, where he recruited and managed the Animation Tools Group and was responsible for maintaining and extending production technology for “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.”

Trombla first joined ILM in 1996, working in both the production and R&D divisions over the course of the next decade. Trombla’s early R&D contributions include work on MeshGen, a multi-resolution and dynamically paged terrain geometry system used for the “Star Wars I” Pod Racer sequence and Irender, ILM’s second-generation lighting tool, which was first used extensively on “Galaxy Quest.” He later supervised the design and development of Zenviro, ILM’s new matte-painting tool, and Lux, ILM’s third-generation lighting tool. Trombla also oversaw creation of the stereo 3D rendering pipeline for “Chicken Little.” During his time at ILM, Trombla spent a number of years working as an artist in ILM’s commercial and feature production divisions, serving as CG Lead on several projects.

“Filmmaking has always required a mix of art and engineering, but it's rare to find people who can do both things well,” said Seth Rosenthal, co-founder and president, Tweak Software. “Alan is one of those few people who can move easily between technology and art. He is the right person to steer our future product development.”

Trombla looks forward to joining the Tweak team, "I am excited to work with [Tweak founders] Seth and Jim. Jim is a unique individual who combines an amazing facility with computer graphics and cutting-edge algorithms together with refined engineering skills, and Seth has a great history of pushing the envelope to drive development of better, more useful pipeline tools."

“Creating elegant tools that can adapt to how artists work is core to Tweak, and RV is only the first step. I look forward to applying that same philosophy to developing new tools that are empowering and enjoyable for artists to use," Trombla concluded.

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. RV combines a flexible architecture and a hardware accelerated compositing pipeline with a lean, polished design tailored to professional digital artists. RV was developed by Tweak Software founders: Jim Hourihan, former principal R&D developer at ILM and Seth Rosenthal former ILM motion capture supervisor. Free downloadable trial versions of the software are available upon request at

About Tweak Software

San Francisco, CA-based Tweak Software was co-founded by Jim Hourihan and Seth Rosenthal in 2007. Co-founder and director of R&D 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. Seth Rosenthal, Tweak’s co-founder and president joined Tweak after seven years at ILM, where he supervised the motion capture group and established techniques that are still a standard part of ILM’s pipeline for creating digital doubles, digital reconstruction of scenes and sets, and image-based motion capture. Under the guidance of this talented team, Tweak Software is uniquely positioned to develop tools that address real-world production needs of VFX and animation professionals. For more information, visit

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