Pre-visualization, or pre-vis for short, takes the process of visualizing complex scenes in a movie before filming a step further with 3D environments and asset creation. The advantage of previs is that it allows directors to experiment with different staging and art direction options—such as lighting, camera placement and movement, stage direction and editing—without having to incur the costs of actual production.

On larger budget projects, directors can work with actors in visual effects departments or dedicated motion capture (mo-cap) rooms. Pre-vis can add music, sound effects and dialogue to closely emulate the look of fully produced and edited sequences, especially for scenes that involves stunts and special effects.