What is Pre-Vis?
Updated: Nov 24, 2020
Short for Pre Visualization, Pre-Vis is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, a creative tool that allows you to see a production before arriving on set.. There are many different forms of Pre-Vis, but in this post you will see examples of simple 3d blocking along with lighting effects.
What is the purpose?
The purpose of Pre-Vis is to allow production teams to put their ideas into a digital 3D space to see what blocking, lighting, staging etc will be possible in a given space, based on a rough re-built location. The process allows you to have storyboards that accurately convey what is possible to your crew, tonally and spatially.
Why is it so valuable?
If you have a big expensive production on your hands, but only have so much time to execute your vision, Pre-Vis allows you to create your scenes in advanced. Pre-Vis is not a perfect 1:1 simulation of real life and tweaking will still be necessary. However, it's an extremely effective way to establish what look you're going for ahead of time with your client and having a rough outline of how to achieve that look. It eliminates a lot of translating and back & forth with your clients on what the "feel" of a video should be.
Why you should be using it.
I believe every creative team involved in video or photo should have some kind of Pre-Vis software because the cost of entry is virtually nothing and the value it adds through time saved, on set, is significant. It can also be a valuable tool for clients to look at varieties of looks for the same scene almost like a swatch of fabrics.