Previsualization

previsualizedpre-vispre-visualizationprevisPrevizelectronic cinemapre-visual effectspre-visualizepre-visualizedpre-visualizing
Previsualization (also known as previs, previz, pre-rendering, preview or wireframe windows) is the visualizing of complex scenes in a movie before filming.wikipedia
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FrameForge 3D Studio

FrameFroge PrevizInnoventive Software
Some directors prefer to do previsualization themselves using inexpensive, general purpose 3D programs that are less technically challenging to use such as iClone, Poser, DAZ Studio, Vue, and Real3d, while others rely on the dedicated but user-friendly 3D previsualization programs FrameForge 3D Studio which (along with Avid's Motion Builder) won a Technical Achievement Emmy for representing an improvement on existing methods [that] are so innovative in nature that they materially have affected the transmission, recording, or reception of television.
FrameForge Storyboard Studio (formerly FrameForge Previz Studio) is previsualization storyboard software used by directors, cinematographers, VFX Supervisor and other creatives in the fields of filmmaking, television production, filmed advertising, industrial videos and other filmed or video content.

One from the Heart

film of the same name
The most comprehensive and revolutionary use of new technology to plan movie sequences came from Francis Ford Coppola, who in making his 1982 musical feature One From the Heart, developed the process he called “electronic cinema”.
Dubbed the "electronic cinema," it would involve shooting and editing a visual storyboard on videotape, allowing for a reference during the actual shooting on film.

Edward Weston

WestonEdward Weston’sWeston, Edward
However, White himself said that he learned the idea, which he called a "psychological concept" from Ansel Adams and Edward Weston.
Among Weston's most important early writings are those that provide insights into his development of the concept of previsualization.

War of the Worlds (2005 film)

War of the Worlds2005 filmremake
Since then, previsualization has become an essential tool for large scale film productions, and have been essential for Matrix trilogy, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Star Wars Episode II and III, War of the Worlds, X-Men, and others.
Spielberg collaborated with crews at the beginning of pre-production with the use of previsualization, considering the tight schedule.

IClone

Some directors prefer to do previsualization themselves using inexpensive, general purpose 3D programs that are less technically challenging to use such as iClone, Poser, DAZ Studio, Vue, and Real3d, while others rely on the dedicated but user-friendly 3D previsualization programs FrameForge 3D Studio which (along with Avid's Motion Builder) won a Technical Achievement Emmy for representing an improvement on existing methods [that] are so innovative in nature that they materially have affected the transmission, recording, or reception of television. Moviestorm works with 3D animation and creates realistic previews similar to iClone which offers realistic 3D scenes and animation.
Besides being used as a 3D moviemaking tool, iClone is also a platform for video game development and previsualization allowing users to import and export content such as characters, props and animation data with external 3D tools like Unity, Autodesk Maya, 3ds Max, Blender, ZBrush, Poser and many others through popular industry file formats like FBX, OBJ and BVH.

Storyboard

storyboardsanimaticanimatics
Previsualization is used to describe techniques such as storyboarding, either in the form of charcoal sketches or in digital technology, in the planning and conceptualization of movie scenes.
A storyboard is a graphic organizer in the form of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualizing a motion picture, animation, motion graphic or interactive media sequence.

Moviestorm

Moviestorm works with 3D animation and creates realistic previews similar to iClone which offers realistic 3D scenes and animation.
Since the footage used in previsualization is not intended to be included in the final product, the quality of the graphics is not a critical consideration.

Visual effects

visual effectVFXvisual effects artist
The advantage of previsualization is that it allows a director, cinematographer or VFX Supervisor to experiment with different staging and art direction options—such as lighting, camera placement and movement, stage direction and editing—without having to incur the costs of actual production.

Sound effect

sound effectseffectsFX
Previsualizations can add music, sound effects and dialogue to closely emulate the look of fully produced and edited sequences, and are most encountered in scenes that involves stunts and special effects (such as chroma key).

Chroma key

green screenbluescreengreenscreen
Previsualizations can add music, sound effects and dialogue to closely emulate the look of fully produced and edited sequences, and are most encountered in scenes that involves stunts and special effects (such as chroma key).

Digital video

videodigitalDV
Digital video, photography, hand-drawn art, clip art and 3D animation combine in use.

Photography

photographerphotographicphotographs
Digital video, photography, hand-drawn art, clip art and 3D animation combine in use.

3D television

3D3DTV3D TV
Digital video, photography, hand-drawn art, clip art and 3D animation combine in use.

Ansel Adams

AdamsAdams, AnselFriends of Photography Ansel Adams Center
Visualization is a central topic in Ansel Adams' writings about photography, where he defines it as "the ability to anticipate a finished image before making the exposure".

Minor White

The term previsualization has been attributed to Minor White who divided visualization into previsualization, referring to visualization while studying the subject; and postvisualization, referring to remembering the visualized image at printing time.

Walt Disney Pictures

DisneyWalt Disney ProductionsWalt Disney Studios
The term “storyboard” first came into use at Disney Studios between 1928 and the early 1930s where the typical practice was to present drawn panels of basic action and gags, usually three to six sketches per vertical page.

Leica reel

Disney Studios also created what became known as the Leica reel by filming storyboards and editing them to a soundtrack of the completed film.

Depth of field

depth-of-fieldDOFselective focus
Other prototyping techniques used in the 1930s were miniature sets often viewed with a “periscope”, a small optical device with deep depth of field that a director could insert into a miniature set to explore camera angles.

Camera angle

camera anglesanglesviewpoint
Other prototyping techniques used in the 1930s were miniature sets often viewed with a “periscope”, a small optical device with deep depth of field that a director could insert into a miniature set to explore camera angles.

Focal length

back focal distanceeffective focal lengthfocal distance
This allowed them to accurately depict the set as seen by a lens of a specific focal length and film format.

U-matic

3/4" tape3/4" U-matic3/4" VCR
In the 1970s, with the arrival of cost-effective video cameras and editing equipment, most notably, Sony’s ¾-inch video and U-Matic editing systems, animatics came into regular use at ad agencies as sales tool for television commercials and as a guide to the actual production of the work.

Traditional animation

cel animationtraditionally animatedTraditional
In the 1970s, with the arrival of cost-effective video cameras and editing equipment, most notably, Sony’s ¾-inch video and U-Matic editing systems, animatics came into regular use at ad agencies as sales tool for television commercials and as a guide to the actual production of the work.

George Lucas

LucasGeorge Luca$George Lucas Award
George Lucas, working with visual effects artists from the newly established Industrial Light & Magic, used footage of aerial dogfights shots from World War II Hollywood movies to cut together a template for the X-wing space battles in the first Star Wars film.

X-wing fighter

X-wingFinger-wing fighterLucasfilm X-Wing Starfighter
George Lucas, working with visual effects artists from the newly established Industrial Light & Magic, used footage of aerial dogfights shots from World War II Hollywood movies to cut together a template for the X-wing space battles in the first Star Wars film.

Return of the Jedi

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the JediStar Wars: Episode VI – Return of the JediStar Wars: Return of the Jedi
Another innovation included shooting video of toy figures attached to rods; these were hand-manipulated in a miniature set to previsualize the chase through the forest on speeder bikes in Return of the Jedi.