The pre-production phase of the production pipeline essentially explores the concepts and ideas of the production, be it film, animation or game content. This phase of production encompasses many creative milestones integral to the forward momentum of the project. Dunlop suggests that much of the work is explorative in nature, primarily involving storyboarding and concept art to discern the visual style and basic structure of the story (2014, pg 28). Additionally it is during this stage of production that the dialogue and script are developed as having access to the timings and vocal tones can be very helpful when animating a character in a scene.
In essence 3D modelling is the process of building the elements of the production in the digital world. The basic building blocks for these elements are polygons, namely triangles, as they are the simplest shape to construct a model from. High levels of detail can be achieved in a model by creating it with more polygons, however this increase in quality comes at the cost of increasing rendering time and utilising a larger amount of the limiting processing power of the platform. When working with animation this increase in resource cost is acceptable as the goal is high quality and the production is not limited to the processing speeds of the destined platform as it would be when producing a game. As with all things, the goal is efficiency, using less polygons in modelling without losing the desired quality of the image. 3D models are the underlying foundations of many other phases of production, and as such their quality directly affects aspects of the processes that build on the models.