“Previs” is a newer term used in the entertainment industry and is simply a short way of saying “Pre-Visualization”. In an industry which loves its little shortcut names this one is understandable.
Previs is simply a way to visualize how a film could look before spending all the money to make shoot it. Pretty general term, yeah? Nope- not today. These days, previs refers to one type of pre-visualization: 3D animated versions of shots and sequences using, obviously, computer generated 3D models of characters, props and locations, all “shot” with virtual cameras within a computer.
The effect of well done can often look quite amazing, but if the needed amount of work isn’t put in they can easily look rather corny as well. Either way, it is an excellent way of pre-visualizing a film.
Previs is not easy to do. It requires a lot of time, talented 3D guys and therefor money. Previs teams will often employ storyboard artists to storyboard out the scenes they are going to build in 3D.
I do have a point to make, something I want to point out. Storyboards ARE Previs. If you want to pre visualize a film, the quickest and most cost effective way to do this is not by employing a team of guys with computers, waiting for a month or two for a somewhat crudely animated scene. The most cost effective way to get it done is to hire an artist with a pencil!
If you have the time and money, you should consider getting yourself a Previs team to render out your most important and hard to describe scenes and shots to get difficult shots figured out before getting out the fancy cameras, dressing your expensive sets and making up your talent. If you want a crisp, clear, relatively cheap and quick visual version of your film or key scenes- storyboard it!
To see some of our storyboards click here.