Saturday, 13 February 2021

Why Animators Need an Animatic

"Giles and Rupert's Prehistoric Predicament"
What is an animatic? And why do animators need one? An Animatic is something that all animators need to create as a first step in making an animated short film .

An animatic is an essential first step in the creation of any animated content. Don't start animating until you have made your animatic - this is where you will test your material and make sure that your story makes sense. 

Giles and Rupert's Prehistoric Predicament
The video below is an animatic created by a number of my first year undergraduate students at Escape Studios, based on an idea by Toby Haslam

What is an Animatic?
An animatic is a filmed storyboard,  (sometimes called a story reel, and historically often called a Leica Reel), is essentially a series of drawn images cut together to tell the story of the film. Usually it will include music, sound effects, voice-over narration and voice actors - where appropriate.  Think of it as a filmed comic book or graphic novel of the final film, a blend of sound and pictures. Often, the overall sound design is as important as the visuals.

The Lighthouse at Whale's End
Below is another example of an animatic created by some of my animation students titled "The Lighthouse at Whale's End".  It was written and directed by Paloma Zhu, who also created the concept art. Morgan Mda did storyboards and concept art, Konrad Peczkowicz did editing and sound design. Callum Wylie produced, and did post-production.

The purpose of an animatic
The animatic is an important story-telling tool.  It helps the film-makers to visualise the scenes prior to tackling the long and complex process of animation, and helps to tease out potential problems with the story while these problems are still fairly easy to fix.  Storyboards will tell you how long your film is, how many characters are in it, and - overall - whether the film is working or not. Does it work as a story? Is it clear? Does it have a natural rhythm?

Animatic -v- Previsualisation
An animatic is similar to a previsualisation ("previs") of the film but there are differences. Previs performs essentially the same function as the animatic, but where the animatic is a filmed storyboard, previs includes 3D elements. The previs pass will usually include low resolution versions of all the characters and the sets, figuring out the cuts and the camera work in detail.  To see the difference between the two, watch the previs version of Giles and Rupert's Prehistoric Predicament below.

Film-Making Resources at Animation Apprentice
For more information on the making of animated films, read the blog posts below:To find out more about Animation Apprentice, click here for a link to Frequently Asked Questions. To sign up for our next classroom at Animation Apprentice, follow this link.

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