Remember Avatar, the epic science fiction movie by director James Cameron? One of the most ambitious movies ever brought to screen, a defining characteristic was its extensive use of life like CGI characters, complex action sequences, and elaborate other-worldly sets. A key tool Cameron used to help him visualize the movie before any filming began was “Pre-visualization”, aka “Previz” in Hollywood lingo.
Previz is the process by which directors and other members of the film production team are able to see a 3D representation of the scene that they are about to film. It’s visualizing the film as the director wants it to look.
Cameron used previz tools to show him what the computer-generated characters — who were made to look as if they were 10 feet tall — would really look like, inhabiting a completely artificial world, as seen from a particular camera angle.
This video shows the pre-visualized sequences of Avatar with the corresponding scenes in the movie. As the video shows, the previz was very close to the final product - a testament to how powerful, and accurate previz can be.
The advantage of previz is that it allows the movie production team to experiment with the staging, layout, look and feel of various scenes in the movie without incurring the costs of actual production. Previz can add music, sound effects and dialogue to closely emulate the look of fully produced and edited sequences.
Previz continues to evolve. It is already based on 3D animation. Now it is being adapted to work within a VR environment so that directors and other production members can be completely immersed in the environment and look around the virtual set freely.
But previz has real world applications far beyond Hollywood.
Just like previz can help bring futuristic, sci-fi movie visions to life with clarity and efficiency, immersive VR previz can be a powerful tool to help ground-breaking projects come to fruition.
Whether it be an innovative concept like a luxury space station hotel or a supersonic passenger jet, high-fidelity VR can be highly effective. The key is that the previz needs to be as close to proposed finished product or experience as possible.
By their very nature, complex, innovative, never-seen-before projects can be hard to imagine. They are open to highly subjective interpretations from individuals, and that subjectivity in groups and stakeholders leads to misalignment, miscommunication, unknowns, uncertainty, doubt. All of these negatives kill such projects in their infancy.
Using 3D VR-based previz, those receiving a pitch can really “get it” when they’re being pitched for investment, approval, or purchase on a project.
VR-based previz can also be a key component during actual project implementation. It can be used as a rapid prototyping tool that enables designers and project managers to fix problems before it’s too late or costly to do so. If you can experience exactly what something will look like, you can catch flaws in it before it becomes a train wreck. Previz can also serve as a communications hub. Every team working on a component of the project can see how that piece works within the larger project.
So if you are struggling to articulate your vision for a novel enterprise or real estate project, consider using immersive, high quality VR as a tool for buy-in, alignment, and execution.
At Outer Realm, we help visionaries bring their ideas to life by allowing them to virtually, but clearly, realize their vision and share it in a compelling way with others.