View Full Version : PREVIZ tech and workflow

01 January 2009, 12:23 PM

i am about to start work on pre viz for a feature film.
just wondering if any people with experience doing this have tips or additional notes.

ie. technical or methodology

ill be using XSI 7 for the task and have installed real lens plugin to simulate camera lenses.

thanks guys

01 January 2009, 08:19 PM
Does reallens work with 7.0?

I THINK Wired Magazine did an article about previz a couple years ago. Maybe CineFX? I'm sure in some of these forums there is some info.

good luck


01 January 2009, 11:14 PM
yes it seems to plugin in just fine...but for anyone interested i will copy paste some discussion that has been going on from my same post on xsibase ...

01 January 2009, 11:28 PM
hi jonah
I have been working in the previz field for the past few years. what kind of info do you need?

usually previz is important to understand the storybeats, shot planning etc.

a few tips.
- always use correct scales of people, environments etc, use the real measurements they would have in a real world set
- use film camera lenses. such as 21mm, 27, 35, 40, 50, 70 etc
- learn about cinematic camera techniques to mimic real world cameras

good luck Re: PREVIZ tech and workflow
Reply #6 on: January 07, 2009, 03:58:51 am Reply with quote (;action=post;threadid=38518;quote=245538;title=Post%2Breply;start=0;sesc=d91dd06665d79b5664697d0defd536bd) | Modify (;action=modify;msg=245538;threadid=38518;start=0;sesc=d91dd06665d79b5664697d0defd536bd) | Remove (javascript:DoConfirm('Remove%20this%20message?',';action=modify2;threadid=38518;msg=245538;d=1;start=0;sesc=d91dd06665d79b5664697d0defd536bd');) well obviously a good grounding in film...shooting and editing techniques is necessary.
a sense of timng and story. also this must be carefully worked over with the director. assist them in giving you as much information as possible concerning your shotlist from them. do this and it should go pretty smoothly.

i mostly done this work in lightwave and i find the real camera setups easier in LW but i want to use xsi on this... as i said i have real lense this the best tool for use with camera in xsi to simulate real camera lens ?
are there other tools techniques.
does anybody have a chart of camera types and we could just ask...whata re you shooting with or what is final output going to be and easilt setup the camera to be 100 % on mark.

basically any cool geek tools / plugins for xsi that help previz, especially in lensing.

as far as the working in scale whicj you mentioned...absolutely. and i usually work to the standard that 1 unit - 1 ft.
i must say...i wish xsi had a metric s.ystem. it would make measuring and building to scale much more simple and intuitive. as everyone know xsi seriously needds some precision modeling tools for work dealing with architecture and product is lacking. anyone got a fix ?

yeah...dont even mention how clunky accurate measuring of distance and scale is ?

Unlike Raff, I know nothing of previs.

Were I to know something about it I'd say that half the job is managing politics.

I'd probably give the advice, "ALWAYS do the boards first."

I might suggest getting a copy of the American Cinematographer's Manual, including the second volume, and making sure that you are using the correct film-back for the film that you are working on. And make sure you get the camera department to give you a listing of their lense package.

I'd point out that using the "real lense" plugin is a waste of time unless you think you really have to simulate lense distoriton for the preivs. Unless you are working on an IMAX with a heavy fish eye, you almost certainly do not. You should be working with OpenGL in the viewport whenever possible. Previs is about fast iteration. You should not render unless you absolutely have to. Its a waste of time.

And above all, remember that you are a live action filmmaker. You are not a 3d guy or an animator. And you work for the production, not the VFX vendors. When there is a decision to be made or a conflict, you fall in favor of the production.

Also, don't forget to desaturate your images, use fake motion blur, and run your shots through AfterFX, adding god rays and glow whenever you can. And camera shake. Producers LOVE the camera shake. And did i mention the god rays? Producers LOVE the god rays. Camera shaking god rays get shot approvals.

That's it. nothing else to it. Re: PREVIZ tech and workflow
Reply #8 on: January 07, 2009, 01:08:29 pm Reply with quote (;action=post;threadid=38518;quote=245550;title=Post%2Breply;start=0;sesc=d91dd06665d79b5664697d0defd536bd) | Modify (;action=modify;msg=245550;threadid=38518;start=0;sesc=d91dd06665d79b5664697d0defd536bd) | Remove (javascript:DoConfirm('Remove%20this%20message?',';action=modify2;threadid=38518;msg=245550;d=1;start=0;sesc=d91dd06665d79b5664697d0defd536bd');) hey thanks..i linked to your site - very interesting, i see previz is part of your guys offerings.

well that reply contained some great info...see i never add godrays and the like ! great tip.
camera in make it look handheld or when there is a big impact ?
why desaturate the colors ? exact reasoning for this is ?
motion blur and glow for sure. now this is the stuff i want

so give the previs atmosphere for impact on the film makers

good pojint about real lens !
also i noticed that the openGL will not give an accurate representaion of the aspect ratio when using real lens, but rather stretches the frame in width when rendering.

now usually i simply output an openGL capture. you saying i should put the capture in after effects and add the touches ? or would you render simple images for this ? does not matter i guess

thaks ;p

01 January 2009, 11:35 PM

how about this...

how do you guys handle getting shots briefs, doing the shot and check points etc..... the flow of approval ?

if im gonna take my openGL into post to make it 'bling' , should i do that after the cam move is approved by the director and producer and head of art dept or should i do it and then show them.

after all the point of it was to help sell the shot.
usually all the previz i have done is for commercials and indie projects, and its for the studio im currently working at. now im a freelancer employed by the art department.

most likely ill discuss the scene with the director. try get a shot breakdown ( haha if i should be so lucky, more likely ill break the scene down then present to director then get feedback and changes )
so maby firstpass cam with no post...get changes and impliment post ??

any ideas

01 January 2009, 11:43 PM Re: PREVIZ tech and workflow
Reply #9 on: Today at 12:33:18am Reply with quote (;action=post;threadid=38518;quote=245574;title=Post%2Breply;start=0;sesc=d91dd06665d79b5664697d0defd536bd) Hy jonah,

I work as previz Artist at an Architectural visualization studio, so I often jump from previz to layout and so on.
I am also looking for a good opening in the previz industry for feature films or commercials,
but didn't have any luck yet.

However I can post some useful tips for you:

see this link from Brian Pohl CEO, Senior Artist from Persistence of Vision:

and try to see this DVDs: (

About the postFX to give some show off. I supose Leith is saying you shoud render a playblast (or preview, viewport capture) and apply some post-production FX. Very useful.

About openGL, Leith is totally right, but with new shaders and with Max 64bits s.ystem I experienced the opposite. So I think it depends on your software.

Best of luck to you in the future Jonah,
great post, I hope users to keep it going a little bit, see ya.

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