CG Production: Pre-production, Production and Post-production

Frank Rousseau
Published in
2 min readMay 8, 2017


The thing to understand about production management is the main steps of a movie production. You probably already know these concepts. But to start our production management blog post series we wanted to properly frame the main stages of a production. In the following, we’ll present each stages briefly and discuss the impacts on the pipeline and production team.


This is the time where storyboard and concepts (2D designs for characters, environment, etc.) are made. It’s the time where ideas are tested and artistic R&D is done. It’s a very exciting moment where the project finds its shape.

The production team is in charge to set the planning and the budget. Production will size the team and start building. Decisions regarding investments in hardwares and new softwares will be decided during that time as well.

For the pipeline team, it’s the moment to adapt the existing tools to the upcoming work. It’s also the opportunity to experiment new in-house or commercial softwares.


At this stage, the work is running. There is not much place left for experimentation or improvisation. Most of the bonus time is dedicated to the handle the director’s changes.

For the production team, the main job consists in making sure that all the information are properly communicated, deadlines are well respected and that validation are properly tracked. The hiring process still runs at that time for specific tasks or to reinforce teams

For the pipeline the priority is maintenance. When there is time left, writing quick and dirty scripts to help CG artists is the priority.


Special effects, cloth and hair simulations are done before the compositing (it requires a lot of computation). Then it’s time to make last improvements and integrate everything together: shot transition, sounds and visual effects. Then, the delivery files are built and the final backups are done. Finally the post mortem of the production can be done!

For the production team it’s the rush. Everything must be ended on schedule. They have to ensure that everything is properly shipped.

For the pipeline team, if all the scene dependencies were properly tracked, things are quieter. People can spend more time on R&D or improving the tooling. The focus is already on the next production.

That’s all. Hopefully now you have a better picture on the main stages of a CG production and know the main softwares that are being used, we can go deeper into the details and let you know.

Writing mainly about production management and pipeline doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy looking at beautiful pictures too. If you would like broader topics and curated content about the CG industry in general, you can follow us on Twitter!

Picture by Gabriel Garcia Marengo



Frank Rousseau
Editor for

Founder of CGWire, Software Engineer and CG Lover