Animatics are a type of animation that is used to make the process of creating an animated TV show, movie or video game more manageable.

Animatics are usually created by using storyboards and voiceovers for dialogue.

The animatic helps to visualize what the final product will look like when it is complete.

They can also be used as a tool to pitch an idea to investors who might not otherwise understand how much work goes into making an animated piece.



What Is An Animatic?

An Animatic is an animated storyboard that shows how the final film will look like with music and sound effects added.

It was created by Walt Disney studios when he needed to pitch his movies to Hollywood studios before production began.


Ever wondered how your favorite animated films and TV shows take shape before they hit the screen?

That’s where animatics come in.

They’re the blueprint for visual storytelling, transforming script into a visual sequence that sets the stage for the final production.

We’ll take you behind the scenes to uncover the magic of animatics, a crucial step in the animation process that breathes life into ideas.

From storyboards to fully realized scenes, we’re diving into how these pre-visualization tools help filmmakers and animators craft compelling narratives.

What Is An Animatic

An animatic is a crucial component in pre-production for both films and animation.


It serves as a preliminary version of a movie, produced by sequencing a series of still images—typically storyboard panels—with dialogue, sound effects, and a rough soundtrack.

This tool allows filmmakers to find pacing issues and experiment with the flow of scenes.

It’s a dynamic storyboard, a step up from static images that could change the course of production with its early insights.

Animatics play multiple roles in the animation pipeline:

  • They provide a visual script for voice actors to perform to,
  • They inform the camera work and timing for the final shots,
  • They help editors understand the narrative before all the elements are finalized.

We use animatics to communicate our vision across the production team more effectively.

By watching an animatic, everyone from the director to the animators gets a sense of the rhythm and progression that the final product should aim for.

Using software such as Adobe After Effects or Storyboard Pro, we can animate our storyboards and add a temporary soundtrack.

This brings our storyboard to life and helps us refine our narrative before committing to the full animation process.

The animatic must capture the essence of the script and convey the intended emotions and storytelling beats to the audience.

It’s not just a blueprint; it’s the foundation that ensures every subsequent step aligns with our storytelling objectives.


Remember, the key to a successful animatic lies in its ability to be easily edited and refined.

We often rework sequences in our animatics to perfect the timing and flow, a critical step before diving into the intricate world of animation fully.

The Role Of Animatics In The Animation Process

Animatics serve as the architectural blueprint in animation.

They shape the foundation from which we build the rest of the production.

This pre-visualization technique allows directors and animators to explore creative ideas without the constraints of finalized animation.

It’s a flexible sandbox where storytelling elements are refined.

In the early stages of animation, animatics are a key tool for collaboration.

They bring together different departments to unify the vision.

From our experience, animatics help:

  • Establish pacing and timing – ensuring the narrative flow is just right.
  • Fine-tune camera movements and scene compositions – crafting the visual narrative before final animation begins.
  • Provide a reference for voice actors – giving them context for their performances.

Animatics inform every aspect of the animation process.

They’re crucial for making sure that all creative efforts are aligned with the project’s goals.

We use them to experiment with various pacing alternatives, camera angles, and storytelling techniques without the high costs associated with full production.

During pre-production, our animatics act as the storyboard in motion.

With sound effects, dialogue, and a scratch soundtrack, they come to life.


This dynamic representation guides everyone involved in the project, providing a clearer understanding of the final product.

Software like Adobe After Effects and Storyboard Pro help us craft animatics effectively.

They allow animators to translate static images into moving sequences that capture the script’s essence.

The flexibility of these tools facilitates creative exploration, all while keeping a watchful eye on the project’s timeline and budget.

From a business perspective, animatics are a cost-efficient way to refine the animation before investing in detailed, time-consuming frames.

They enable us to make significant creative decisions and perform edits with ease, saving time and money before we commit to the labor-intensive process of full animation.

Our aim is always to create a compelling story that resonates with viewers.

Animatics play a pivotal role in achieving this, allowing us to iterate on the narrative and visual style early.

We iterate and refine until each scene conveys the intended emotion and propels the story forward, ensuring our vision is fully realized on screen.

How Animatics Bring Ideas To Life

Animatics are pivotal during the early stages of film production.

They transform the static images of storyboards into a dynamic visual script.

Our process involves taking each storyboard panel and giving it motion.

We create a sequence that mimics the final film but is more economically produced.

Through animatics, we begin to understand the rhythm of the scene.

They are essential in recognizing which shots work and which need rethinking.

We use animatics to collaborate closely with composers.

The rough timing allows them to craft a score that hits all the emotional beats.

Voice actors rely on animatics to deliver performances that match the intended pacing.

Their input often leads to adjustments that enhance the final cut.

In the creation of iconic scenes in films like The Lion King, animatics played a crucial role.

They helped establish the epic feel long before the final animation.

We optimize each scene for maximum impact through this iterative process.

Important facts and data suggest this is a key step in audience engagement.

Animatics also serve as a communication tool between departments.

They ensure everyone’s efforts are synergetic.

Let’s consider key elements animatics bring to life:

  • Authenticity in action sequences,
  • Nuanced timing for dramatic effect,
  • Visual coherence across scenes.

Finessing transitions and flow becomes possible with animatics.

They allow us to preview the film before full production.

eventually, animatics save our projects time and money.

They do so by identifying potential problems before they become expensive fixes.

By understanding the full potential of animatics, we empower our storytelling.

We can craft a narrative that is both visually stunning and emotionally resonant.

The Importance Of Storyboarding In Animatics

Storyboarding is the backbone of any animatic.

Before a single frame of the animatic is created, storyboarding sketches out the scenes, ensuring that each shot is visually and narratively coherent.

This preparatory stage is where the visual storytelling begins and sets the foundation for what will be crafted into the animatic.

The magic of storyboarding lies in its ability to pre-visualize the final product.

It allows us to communicate complex ideas simply and effectively before engaging in costly animation processes.

With storyboarding, filmmakers can explore different visual styles and shot compositions, which will shape the animatic’s development.

Storyboarding brings the script to visual life.

Scenes are not just described but are shown, providing a tangible glimpse into the final film.

This phase helps iron out any narrative kinks and enhances the story’s overall flow.

Below are the key benefits of storyboarding in the creation of animatics:

  • Provides a clear blueprint for the animation team,
  • Facilitates collaboration among different departments,
  • Allows for the visual exploration of creative ideas,
  • Helps pinpoint issues in the narrative before animation starts.

By putting emphasis on storyboarding, we’re committing to a more efficient production.

We’re able to identify potential setbacks early on and address them, ensuring that the animatic conveys the desired emotion and storytelling pace.

Storyboards don’t just guide the visual aspect of animatics; they are the pivotal step in transforming written scripts into the dynamic storyboard that becomes the roadmap for the entire production process.

In crafting an animatic, every shot is meticulously planned out within the storyboard.

We create storyboards with the intention of making each transition seamless and each scene purposeful.

The storyboard doesn’t just guide the animatic but also informs the subsequent phases of production, offering a detailed guide for directors, animators, and editors.


From Sketches To Fully Realized Scenes: Creating An Animatic

Transitioning from the static images of a storyboard to the dynamic flow of an animatic is a revealing stage in our filmmaking process.

It’s where scenes come to life, offering a glimpse of the rhythm and timing that the final film will have.

We begin by adding movement to sketches.

This might involve panning across a drawing or using simple animations to mimic camera movements.

What seems like a simple sketch gains depth and motion, delivering a better sense of how a scene will unfold.

Incorporating sound effects, voice-overs, and a preliminary soundtrack is the next step.

These audio elements fundamentally change the animatic’s impact – it’s not just about visuals but how they blend with auditory cues.

We then refine our animatics by focusing on:

  • Timing and pacing of each scene,
  • Transitions between shots,
  • The emotional tone set by music and sound.

By iterating on these components, we ensure each moment is framed just right.

It’s a meticulous task but essential for conveying the narrative effectively.

Our team reviews and tweaks the animatics, optimizing them for the best visual storytelling experience before full animation begins.

Through this intricate process, animatics serve as an essential bridge between conception and the final animated sequence.

They enable our team to experiment with different approaches without the high costs associated with full production.

Each adjustment in the animatic phase is a step towards the climax, ensuring our story will engage the audience as we’ve envisioned.

As we work through these stages, we’re careful to preserve the core of our vision.

Animatics bring our narratives into sharper focus, allowing us to anticipate how audiences will react to each beat of the story long before it reaches its final form.

What Is An Animatic – Wrap Up

We’ve seen how animatics play a crucial role in animation, transforming storyboards into dynamic blueprints for the final product.

They’re not just a step in the process; they’re a creative playground where we refine the heart of our storytelling.

Through animatics, we ensure that every scene resonates with the intended emotion and rhythm, setting the stage for an impactful audience experience.

As we move forward, our animatics remain a testament to the power of pre-visualization in bringing our stories to life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is An Animatic In Animation?

An animatic is essentially a pre-visualization tool that animators use to bring storyboards to life with basic movement, sound effects, voice-overs, and a preliminary soundtrack, allowing them to gauge timing, pacing, and emotional tone before the final production.

How Does An Animatic Differ From A Storyboard?

While a storyboard is a sequence of static images representing key frames, an animatic adds movement and sound to these images, resulting in a rough version of the final animated sequence that conveys a stronger sense of pacing and timing.

What Is The Main Purpose Of Creating An Animatic?

The main purpose of creating an animatic is to refine the animation by experimenting with different approaches to timing, pacing, and emotional impact using sound and movement, which ultimately helps to anticipate audience reactions and preserve the core vision of the story.

At Which Stage Of Production Is An Animatic Created?

An animatic is created after the storyboarding stage and before the full production begins.

It serves as a bridge, allowing animators to test and refine the narrative flow of the story.

How Does An Animatic Help Animators?

Animatics assist animators by providing a blueprint to experiment with and refine elements such as timing, transitions, and the emotional tone set by the soundtrack, which are crucial for the storytelling before committing to the labor-intensive process of full animation.

What is an Animatic