Our bud Trevor gave us a heads up on this article from this AWN.com about the previs work that went on for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
For previs, a lot of our software was mainly off the shelf. Maya and After Effects were used for individual shots, and Premiere was used for rough edits. We did some motion-capture in our volume at HALON for some sequences using our OptiTrak system along with Arena, then clean-up using MotionBuilder.
It is a really good article and gets into the work done for the film. It mentions the speeder chase that was cut from the film, too. It also gets into the castle battle and how that was a perfect marrying of CGI and live action stuff and how they made it click. I am a fan of seeing previs shots before they were completed and what the creators had in mind before editing.
Check out the full story here. It is a really good read.