In filmmaking, previsualization or “pervis” is a tool of utmost importance as it helps the directors in planning sequences along with the camera work before the real photography starts.
For art directors, communicating their ideas and visions is paramount to create a film that stands out from the crowd. This is where previsualization comes in handy. It’s specifically for the directors to take control over the pictures and determine what the movie will look like after the pictures are set in motion.
Some of the best previs-ed movie examples are; Mandalorian, Star Wars and all of the Marvel movies.
Now that you know what previsualization is, let’s take a look at a few facts and reasons why previs is important in movie making.
1-Previsualization Isn’t Just Limited For The Movies
What most people don’t know is that previsualization isn’t just for the movies, in fact, it’s used in different games, short films, advertisements, product animation video and even the theme park rides. If used correctly, this tool can help the directors eliminate any story plot loopholes and on top of everything, it saves them a lot of time and money.
2-There’s A Difference Between Previs, Post-vis and Tech-vis
In the movie industry, there are three different tools used; previs, post-vis and tech-vis. Among these three, previs is what artists usually work on, it’s a process of creating a 3D storyboard whereas tech-vis is the process that comes after previs. In techvis, the artists have to take care of all the technicalities using the previs sequences to ensure that all the shots are shootable in the planned locations. Post-vis on the other hand is all about previs-ing after the footage has been shot. It’s more like a post production thing. A post-vis artist has to plan the movement of the digital characters in the shots before spending millions on just rendering the characters.
3-Adaptability Is Of Utmost Importance
One of the most important things for previs artists is that they should learn the art of adaptability when using this tool. Previs changes are quite common and they occur on a daily basis. A small change can cause a huge ripple so being adaptable is more like a requirement for the artists. Especially for racing movies like Ford V Ferrari where all the cars run on curves, a single change of location would mean that all the curves will have to be reshaped so that the cars sit right on the road. The artists will also have to ensure that there’s enough distance between the cars as it’s all relevant to the story points. They’ll also have to keep the car speed in check and ensure that the cameras are placed right on the shootable areas.
4-Cheating Is Good In Previs
A previs artist is responsible for every single thing that happens in a frame. In fact, they even have to test different ideas and visions for which they often use the Autodesk Maya playblasts. The playbasts however can’t handle the time consuming simulations which is why there’s always some room for shortcomings. Artists overcome these shortcomings using cheats.
For example, in action films where they have to show huge explosions, the simulation team is responsible for handling the production. However, in the early stages of production, the artists have to come up with some sort of a cheat or a workaround to show the effect of the explosions. What they do here is that they use a card which is more like a transparent image showing the effects of an explosion. The artists then have to animate both the placement and the size of the explosion creating a quick effect for it.
Why Is There A Need For Previs?
The process of previsualization might appear a little complicated to some. In fact, you still might be wondering if it’s worth your time and effort. What you need to understand is that previsualization is an important process and it’s not complicated at all. Once you get a hold of it, things will become a lot clearer and easier for you.
Here are some reasons that explain why you need previsualization;
1-It Helps Refine Your Thoughts
One of the biggest advantages of previs is that it helps in condensing your broad vision and then blends all of your ideas into a single cohesive vision. When you test different illustrations, test different camera angles, refine your script, all of your initial thoughts turn into perfection.
2-Cost And Time Effective
Having ill-covered plans for a shot that make you stay on the location overtime can cost you several hundreds of dollars. Even a minor mismanagement can inflate the overall film production cost and hamper its progress. However with previsualization, you already have a proper plan and you already have synced the tiny details so that there’s no room left for any mismanagement. Imagine producing an animated movie and halfway through it you have to make some changes in the start. The little changes can destroy all of your efforts as you’ll have to start over. This is what previsualization saves you from.
For a movie to be successful, it’s important that the visuals and the story integrate with one another perfectly. It helps the directors know whether the story is making any sense or not. To make things seamless, directors, graphic designs and animations artists work together to determine how their vision will slowly evolve into the movie.
It’s a known fact that producing a film is no easy task. It’s a one bumpy ride where you have to put in all of your blood and sweat to produce results. In this bumpy ride, previsualization just paves the way for you and saves you from any factors that can hinder the progress of your film. Learning previsualization is of utmost importance whether you are making a film, an advertisement or working on some theme park ride. When done right, this tool can be a game changer for you!