An animatic, not to be confused with the animation itself, is a storyboard set to music. The scenes move forward, usually, with a voiceover track in the background. Animatics are primarily made for two reasons:
- To help the animator understand (and prepare for) the animation’s timing, pace, and flow.
- To give a client an understanding of how the piece will play out.
Ideally, when it’s time for the animatic, the storyboard has already been fully fleshed out. Sometimes, the animatic is even created after illustrations are completed, before animation. In this case, it’s purely for the animator’s use.
Here’s a side by side example of a Disney animatic, next to the real thing! Notice, it’s all about getting the timing right!