An animatic. When creating planes the animators had to have the planes look as people like as possible for such an object. When they fly, they have to look just like planes and fly like planes do. SO they had to have a Flight Supervisor named Jason McKinley. Thomas Leavitt was the Aerial Pre Vis Artist. Together they worked together and they did a lot of research. Jason has a huge love of planes and almost became a fighter pilot but he uh, wasn’t fond of listening to “authority”.
They had to create an Animatic and that’s what they start with. It’s a very rough draft of the plane and a real plane couldn’t do it in the amount of time. It’s just a rough draft so to speak about what they want to have in a sequence in the movie.
Then they build a model of real size real needs, this is called the pre-vis. They use a real size airport and a real size in the computer so they are able to get a feel of what it looks like. This allows them to get a larger feel of what they need to do with the animation. Can you imagine a 2 mile creation in the computer, I mean in a way it blows my mind yet I also understand the computer processing power that it takes to build that. The storyboarding on a computer allows them to explore so many more options. I’m so impressed as I’m sitting here listening to the details because this is what I really wanted to do when I was in college learning about art and computers.
Then they render it after they understand what they needed to make the planes look real. And this whole process takes about a year. And there are a ton of revisions within each collaborative process. Then they have to also testing things on bigger screens. And they scrutinize the scene to see the details to make an amazing movie. Now they are working on Planes 2.