What is an animatic?

An animatic is a collection of storyboards placed together in a sequence, on a timeline, using a movie editing software. When placing the storyboard on a timeline, we can make each board shorter or longer to see how the timing works for the animation (Plursight Creative, 2014). These timed storyboards can also be timed to the music or dialog. The purpose of this is to view one’s entire animation and make any needed changes more quickly or easily and much less expensively. 

Animatics is a preproduction tool that is actually both used in film and animation (Chew, 2018). Its helpful in creating because the elements that are hard to grasp on a storyboard are the timings and audio involved in the final production. An animatic can precisely communicate how long each shot is and can also communicate when an action happens in relation to camera moves or dialogue. 

One can also create more complex animatics where there are elements separated from the storyboard so that they [elements] can move independently of the background (Plusight Creative, 2014). For example, there can be two elements in on animatic shot, the background and foreground. A ball in one shot [foreground] can move across the screen to show which direction and it moves. The complexity of animatics depends on much detail one wants to add, the more detail, the more complex, but the better it will communicate on what the final product should look like.

In nutshell, an animatic is an animated storyboard used to determine the timing of each shot with key pieces such as sound effects, dialogue, and music added to give a good representation of what the final product should be. Animatics help bridge this gap between post-production and the final production. The next time one is working with storyboards, think about the working out the timing with an animatic.


Plursight Creative, (2014, February 22). CG101: What is an animatic? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/3sE5ox9kkUg.

Chew J. (2018, January 17). Learn how animatic is used in film and animation. Retrieved from https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-an-animatic-4058250.