Earlier this week I was able to attend one of the cast and crew screenings of The Avengers at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The film came out incredibly well: funny, well-paced, and the visual effects are top-notch. It is truly a blockbuster in every sense of the word, and I feel very fortunate to have been involved with it. I hope those reading this blog check it out (preferably in 3D, which adds another level of immersion and fun) and enjoy it as much as I did. Remember to stay for the Easter egg at the very end, too. While you wait, be sure to look for the 'Previsualization by The Third Floor' credits (you'll see me as Joshua Lange on the left side of the screen).
I am a Visualization Supervisor in Los Angeles with over seventeen years of experience crafting powerful, cinematic moments for the entertainment industry. Clients include Disney, Marvel Studios, 20th Century Fox, Universal Studios. Before my career in the film and advertising industry I worked at Rockstar Games, where I was a Senior Animator on Red Dead Redemption. I also make visual art in my spare time.
WHAT IS VISUALIZATION?
Visualization is a process that allows a complicated production to be imagined in advance, usually with the use of computer animation. It is commonly used to help plan out sections of entertainment projects like films, television shows, commercials, VR experiences, and theme park rides.
An example of visualization in action is "previsualization" artists using 3D software to animate an early version of a feature film sequence that will rely on complicated visual effects. The extra amount of detail provided by this first pass of the sequence is a crucial blueprint for the director, cast, and crew once production begins.
After the film is shot, "postvis artists" use software to finish a rough pass of incomplete shots that feature bluescreens and other stand-in material. These updated shots become clear enough for editors and test audiences to follow the action of the film, so studios can get a sense of what is working as a film evolves in post-production. By the time the final VFX are finished, the previs and postvis work is fully replaced, with no trace left for audiences other than the guide for compositions and timing that only a team of skilled visualization artists can quickly provide.