2: Anatomy of a Successful 3D Previs

A video presentation – 3D Previs examples, Progression from 2D

  1. Design work from various productions at Living Lines Library

  2. Production examples at Animation Progression Reels

  3. Previs work from Pixel Liberation Front and The Third Floor

  4. Assembling a working edit

Discussions on Production Schedules

Discussion on Camera Setup:

  1. Use aperture settings from real world specs for predictable cameras.

  2. Maya aperture settings always in inches

  3. Maya camera rotate order is better set from default to ZXY

Euler Filter: 
Your friend against the unending war against gimbal lock.  See Cameron Fieldings post on the euler filter and gimbal lock for more detail.

Scene Referencing Hierarchies - When dealing with environments the choice is:

  1. Have a separate environment file per shot with environment assets referenced in. (This allows for environment flexibility per shot)

  2. Have one set file for multiple shots with either assets imported or referenced in. (trade flexibility for a smaller data set to work with)

Group discussion of member’s Animatics/3d Previs in progress

Class Short Pitches and Interviews


  • Finalize remaining work on 2D Animatic based on feedback

  • Move all data (design work, animatics, etc. from last semester to your new shotgun project)

  • Update Shot List (every week) in shotgun and develop a Production Schedule for the semester and rough in for senior year.

  1. Build your sequences list with a unique 3 letter code and number ie. for office scene that is the first sequence of a project: "OFC010".

  2. Build your shot list under each sequence with a unique number ie. "s010". Tasks for each shot should be build using the default shotgun template.

  3. Build your asset list under the asset tabs. Add model, rig, shade tasks.

  4. Schedule these tasks.

  • Begin work on 3D PREVIS, use simple scenes, character stand-ins and refine camera choices and compositions:

    1. Analyze and make best guess as to cameras/lenses. 

    2. Use simple/found Geometry Start blocking out shots with consistent scale, use free rigs and props to start. Turbosquid and Creative Crash are great resources for free stuff. 

    3. Assemble a working edit with 2d animatic as bottom most layer and top most thumbnail layer. Insert 3d previs shots inbetween.