I just read a wonderful article on the uses of 3d previs techniques “traditionally” used for live action on animation. I put that in quotes because the “tradition” is about five years old at most. It’s an interesting behind-the-scenes read, and is giving me a further incentive to get my previs sample up on this web site ASAP. It’s funny, I spend 10 to 12 hours a day creating previs and story reel animatics, and yet have none to show publicly. (Incidentally it will be a relief when the term previs gets a standardized spelling. Is it previs or previz or pre-viz? Sometimes for clarification I’ve used pre-visualization, but that’s a needless mouthful.) This article reinforces my understanding that 3d animation has a lot in common with live-action, much more than traditional hand-drawn animation ever could, because it deals with solid objects occupying a solid set or location, with lighting and staging exactly the same as a live-action movie. So naturally live action terminology and film techniques would be employed to get the job done.
UPDATE: There’s another good article about the companies out there now who specialize in previs, with brief descriptions and interviews with the concerned parties. It shows who’s doing what, on a small company level, and where they see the industry going. Very interesting.
These are yet more good articles from VFXWORLD, a great resource for this kind of material. It’s free to register with them, too.