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Making a film is expensive, very expensive.

There’s the cost of equipment, labor, food, locations, actors, and much more that can add up to create one very pricey piece of entertainment.

Of course it depends on the scale of your project. Obviously a couple of film students making a movie in their backyard is going to cost less than Godzilla but similar principles exist in both circumstances.

On a multi-million dollar film production, costs add up exponentially which makes time the most precious commodity. The producers may not be able to afford to film every scene from every angle to try and achieve the director’s overall vision for the shot.

This is where Pre-Visualization comes in to play. The idea is to have a solid foundation from which to build your camera technique from instead of just trying to figure it out on location. Muddling about on set with your camera operator is unprofessional and time consuming.

So they hire someone to map out the shot/camera views in a rough 2D/3D interpretation. Storyboards have always existed in one or another as a way to visualize shots before carrying them out. With the advent of computers; and 3D soft-ware becoming more common in the industry, we are able to build upon that and take it a step further.

All together it can help you map out lighting, shadows, music, low-key effects, and even rough animation. You have can have a fairly good representation of what the film is going to look like. Having this helps save money in the long run and also helps sell the idea to other producers as it is easier for them  to judge a films financial worth when they can see it right in front of them, before making their investment.

The tools you use to make this are up to you. Hand drawn images scanned in and combined with 3D character animation, rough effects, music, all stitched together in a program like Final Cut Pro or Premier. It’s not meant to look pretty. The amount of time you have to do it will determine its quality and sophistication but that’s alright. It’s only meant to give the crew a basic idea of what is happening so that everyone is on the same page.


Zachary Green

Zachary Green is an award winning 3D artist currently working in Simulation Design and Development for the Oil and Gas Industry.

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