With their increasing popularity within the advertising industry for research and pitch purposes, CGI production outfits have got very savvy at tightening their 3D animatic pipelines so that they can get maximum productivity and create great time-effective solutions.

We are lucky to have an excellent production facility teamed with decades of project managing/producing experience.

For those of you who are interested in but are yet to delve into the world of 3D animatics here is a breakdown of the process that we use, known in the industry as the ‘pipeline’. Hopefully this will shine a little light into the exciting (and not at all daunting) animatic process.

Script & Animation Brief

We break down the script, carefully working out what is needed, how many scenes, what backgrounds and props.


We make a rough thumbnail storyboard to visually explain the shots. This is a great opportunity to make sure you are happy with the flow and storytelling of the animatic. Its a quick and easy process to make changes to the shots, props or characters. Once you are happy our CGI specialists can crack on with creating the characters and backgrounds.

Scanned Document

Character Build (rough)

We will have asked you for visual references as so that we can get a grasp of the overall look of the characters you are after. Using this, we will create a mock-up of suitable characters, for you to pick from.

Rough Animatic

Using the thumbnail storyboard we will put together a rough animatic using a ‘guide’ voice over. This will help to gauge a sense of the timings and shots, and we can easily make changes accordingly.

3D Blocked Animatic

After you have decided on the timings and shots the CGI team will create a 3D rough version of the animatic. It will be blocked out with ‘dummy’ assets to help visualise overall timings/camera angles. This is also a very good opportunity to fine tune the timings and make sure you are completely happy with the shots before we start work on the time costly aspects (such as character build, backgrounds and animation)

Character Build (development)

Our CGI team will begin building the characters, sometimes they will be able to work from the base of a stock character meaning that they are able to complete the character within 2 days. In other scenarios the script may require something more bespoke which would take longer. As with all animation, hair can be quite time-consuming, whilst faces can be a bit quicker to change and manipulate. Clothing is the easiest and quickest element to change. This is your opportunity to make sure we build characters that you are happy with.

character development group


The type of background material that you choose depends entirely on the type of look and feel that you are after. Using a mix of photographs integrated into a 3D build is very popular. Another option would be to insert drawn elements into a 3D background.

background development

Animation Work-In Progress

At this stage we will share with you the stills that the CGI team have created along with any short animation sequences, we will keep sharing as much as possible with you so that you can approve each shot/scene as its made, schedule permitting.


We have an established relationship with a professional studio where we can offer voice casting, music search/licensing, sound design and custom music should you need it.

Final Amends and Render

We allow a day and a half for the final render and quality checks. At this stage we would expect to a have created you a superb animatic, something that meets your research/pitch needs perfectly.

That’s all folks! We hope that you have enjoyed learning more about our 3D production pipeline. If you would like to know more or have a project that you would like help with why not send us a email and we will do our best to help!

[email protected]

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Copyright: Three Blind Mice 2014

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