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What are pre-visualisations?

A couple of months ago we published a blog about how storyboards can be useful to video production projects so I thought in this blog I would look at pre-visualisations as they are another type of storyboarding and they work extremely well for certain projects.

Pre-visualisations have two main purposes; one is to use them to explain and showcase a creative idea that will be filmed and the other is to work out the dynamics and elements required for very complex shots. The second use is mainly used in films so I will concentrate on the first use for this particular blog.

With the cost of technology falling, more and more tools are becoming available for corporate video and promotional video shoots, this means that the content being produced is much more creative for its price point compared to previous years. With these more creative ideas it can get quite tough explaining a video concept using still storyboards and explanations through text so pre-visualisations can be extremely helpful. I should just add that pre-visualisations will be one of many components used in a video treatment and traditional storyboards still have a key role.

So what exactly is a pre-visualisation I hear you ask…A pre-visualisation is usually a simple 2D or 3D animation but it can also be a video that gives the client a general idea of how a shot or edited sequence will look once complete. Below is one we have recently produced for a client as it was something new for us and the idea was hard to visualise for our client.

As you saw in the example above, pre-visualisations are great to simply demonstrate fairly complex shots. After we produced this animation we then hired in the gear we would need for the project in order to carry out a real world test. Below is what we shot, even though it doesn’t look polished it served its purpose and the test confirmed to us what equipment will be required when we come to shoot the final video.

This next video shows the equipment we were testing in action.

As well as illustrating and testing ideas pre-visualisations have other uses, one of these being set design. If you wanted to have an interview shot in a particular location but it involves moving furniture around etc it can be quite hard for people to visualise how the final video could look. With a pre-vis you can mock up the set and show the client how it will look and we can then drop in the interviewer and interviewee to show how the conversation will be edited together.

I’m sure you can see the benefits of this and how they can help quell nerves or anxieties prior to the shoot taking place. One word of caution, on the whole pre-visualisations don’t have to look polished and perfect, they just need to portray a concept.

Even though it has been a bit of a short blog I hope it has been helpful. If you would like to find out more about pre-visualisations or speak to us about a video project please give Will or Andy a call on 01273 911345 or email them here.

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