Production Pipelines


Stages of Production

Depending on the nature and scope of the project, you need to decide the path and schedule that the production will follow from the initial idea to the finished product. This is called a production pipeline.

You can liken a production pipeline to a car assembly line.   It optimizes   production by arranging tasks in a specific order and so that they may be completed before moving on to the next stage. Going back and forth between stages can delay production, leading to a potential missed deadline and blown budget, both of which are frowned upon by all players involved.

A production pipeline for most projects can be broken down into three stages: pre-production, production, and post-production.

These stages are then distributed among several departments, depending on the type of project and what the final delivery method is. No two studios have the same process, but the following are common departments for animation


  •             Story
  •             Visual design
  •             Storyboard
  •             Edit
  •             Audio
  •             Modeling
  •             Scene  setup
  •             Texturing
  •             Rigging
  •             Animation
  •             Effects
  •             Lighting
  •             Rendering
  •             Compositing

If you’re the only person working on a project, you are responsible for carrying the workload of all departments for all three stages of production. Larger projects require the collaboration of multiple players, blending the talents and skill sets of the team to produce what would otherwise be a daunting task for an individual. It’s important to note that no matter the size of the team or project, you will need a strong production pipeline.

Although every project will go through all three stages of the production process, not every project that you generate digital models for will require all components. A 3D print graphic may not require rigging and animation, for example, whereas real-time 3D games typically do not require the rendering and compositing of image files.


This image shows the stages of production pipeline

production Pipe Line