3D Production Pipeline – Pre-Production

The Pre-Production phase of any creative project is the first and most important step of an entire project.  It is the foundation upon which all creative projects are built-in order to achieve the desired goal within budget and schedule.  The main purpose of the pre-production phase is to develop ideas and concepts into an understandable road map that communicates clear directions to every team member effectively.  Some of the main components in the pre-production phase include: concepts, story boarding, and model sheets.


Environ Conc

During the concepts process of a 3D pre-production phase, idea’s will take form to convey various aspects like style, theme, characters, layouts, and environment to name a few.  All of which is designed to portray the overall look and feel of the project or aesthetic experience so that it can be seen whether or not the project is on the right track before it has even begun.  It also provides the blueprints for team members to build from.  Concepts can take the form of concept sketches, reference images, documentation, meetings, and mock-up builds.

Story Boarding   

Story boarding is similar to that of a comic strip.  It consists of a series of drawings that detail aspects like, character animations, story, scene layouts, and ideas.


In comparison to scripts, story boards visually communicate not just the story but also the scenes, enabling developers to better see where aesthetic experiences could be improved and thus preventing changes being made to the project further into development.

Model Sheets  

Using a model sheet, modeler’s and animators alike can construct an object or character from any angle including facial expressions, mannerisms and poses of said object/character.

Beast Rough Model Sheet237

There are different kinds of model sheets that detail various attributes of the model such as mouth movements for dialogue, construction sheets to specify models with unique anatomy and character concepts that detail poses and size in relation to other characters.  Detailed and effective model sheets provide less room for interpretation when it comes to the modeling and animation processes which helps in scheduling.



Oliver. Jennifer, Character and Creature Design Notes, Accessed 6th June 2015, http://characterdesignnotes.blogspot.com.au/2010/12/model-sheets-101.html

Storyboards, Accessed 6th June 2015, http://accad.osu.edu/womenandtech/Storyboard%20Resource/

Understanding a 3D Production Pipeline, Accessed 6th June 2015, http://blog.digitaltutors.com/understanding-a-3d-production-pipeline-learning-the-basics/

Digital Tutors, CG101: What does a 3D Production Pipeline look like for studios?, Accessed 6th June 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlQVPbC5iJ0

Gulati. Pratik, Step-by-Step: How to Make an Animated Movie, Accessed 6th June 2015, http://cgi.tutsplus.com/articles/step-by-step-how-to-make-an-animated-movie–cg-3257


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