Foundations of 3D Graphics

First Stages of 3D Pipeline- Pre Production and 3D Modelling

Pre Production

Pre Production is the tasks completed before production of the project, e.g. film begins. Pre Production involves processes like concept art (character, prop and/or environment), visual look and development, storyboard, colour script as well as general scheduling.

Production Strategies is an often forgotten part of pre-production but is very important in the success of any project. It involves things like scheduling, budgeting and basic resources.

Concept art is one the most important parts of Pre Production and animation in general. It is the development of look of characters, props and environment, and it can be done in any medium.

skm_c308170220124104skm_c3081702201241033The images above are concept art pieces from Disney’s “Tangled”, 2010, it depicts the some of the different components (buildings and characters) that are developed through concept art. The bottom the picture depicting some of Pascal’s concept art shows some reference pictures as well, which is an important part of developing a character.

skm_c3081702201241034 These are some pictures of Toothless from Dreamworks “How To Train Your Dragon” 2010, showing different facial expressions whilst they were developing his character.

The visual look and development relates to all of the concept art, as it is about creating the overall style of the film, so that everything connects or matches in a way.

skm_c308170220124101 skm_c308170220124102

These are pictures are from Disney’s “Cinderella” (1950), but the creators of Disney’s “Tangled” (2010) used it in their styling of the buildings of the buildings in the film, they were inspired by the curves used in “Cinderella”.

The story board and the colour script are similar. The storyboard shows the flow of the scenes through simple pencil sketches showing layout and camera angles. The colour script shows the set up of the scenes but shows the colour palette of the scene.skm_c308170220124105 This is part of the story board for Disney’s “Tangled”.

skm_c3081702201241025skm_c30817022012410133D Modelling

3D Modelling is the creation of any structure (building, character of object) in 3D. Most if not all 3D models would starts as concept art. There are several different ways to to create 3D models including Polygon Modelling, Sub-Division surface modelling or NURBS modelling to name a few (Lecture 2: Polygon Modelling Basics, slide 6, Sae Brisbane).

Polygon Modelling is a popular and quick way to model. The model created is constructed of polygons that are 2 dimensionally shape made of only straight edges, (, 2016). By editing the amount of polygons and their shape, it allows you to build your object.


 Depending on the use of the model there may be a limit to the amount of polygons you can use, as the more polygons/details your object has the longer and harder it is to work with (Lecture 2: Polygon Modelling Basics, slide 6, Sae Brisbane).


Lecture 2: Polygon Modelling Basics, slide 6, Sae Brisbane

Miller-Zarneke, T. (2016). The Art of How To Train Your Dragon. London, United Kingdom: Titan Books Ltd.

Kurtti, J. (2011). The Art of Tangled. California, United States: Chronicle Books.

Amidi, A. (2011). The Art of: Pixar 25th Anniversary.  San Francisco, United States: Chronicle Books.



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