Pre-Production: The Industry Secret
Pre-Production - The Industry Secret I have never forgotten the introduction that John Lasseter wrote in his "Principles of Animation…" article. "The appearance of reliable, user friendly [computer] animation systems… will enable people to produce more high quality computer animation. Unfortunately, these systems will also enable people to produce more bad computer animation." As a teacher of animation I long ago added this one to my list of truths witnessed every day. There are two reasons for this phenomenon. First, students don’t integrate the basics; they prefer to learn the latest 3D animation software tools believing this will compensate for their lack of skills. As Ed Catmull, V.P. Pixar, observed “this doesn’t work… rather than thinking that the computer can replace these skills, the computer is really an amplifier for what skills you do have.” Second, students jump into making the animation [production] without planning; without Pre-Production. In the frequent “How-to” shows on TV we often see “How” the animation [production] was made and “How” everything was composited in post-production but the unglamorous steps of pre-production are all too often glossed over in these segments. However, I'm happy to report that the animators and directors who live and die by their pre-production have generously shared their secrets with us in the “supplemental” sections and disks that come with the special editions of the animated movie on DVD and laser disks. You won’t necessarily find this information on the VHS copy or the consumer DVD editions.
PRE2009-Film and Video