My goal is to make an animated short lasting somewhere between 2-4 minutes.

I've made and rigged all the characters, made common actions and poses for them. I also have environments and have a detailed storyboard. I'm not sure about the timing and duration of the storyline though.

I'm trying to understand how to use the NLA editor to plan and edit my movie and switch camera angles and motions.

Most tutorials on the NLA editor are very basic about making actions and blending them, but I haven't found any on making a complete movie.

My idea is to make everything rough and ugly, to get the timing and approximate camera angles right, and then fine tune the animations.

What is a good workflow of actually putting it all together?

I'd love some tips on how to stay organized and effective.


I haven't come across any NLA tutorials that teach more than mixing actions together. When it comes to making the final movie, using the VSE is more common. In the Sintel videos you will find a couple that should interest you, the first is about animatic editing, the other laying out a shot - both are available free from the blender cloud.

As you have done a storyboard, start by adding those images to the VSE, play it back and adjust the length of each shot until the timing feels right. Then as you progress through completing each shot you replace the storyboard images with the updated animations. This is the process you will see in the animatic editing video.

I think that once you get past a simple animation made from one camera, you will find that models get saved into their own files and then linked into shot files that render each part of the final video, then all these pieces get mixed together for the final video.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks I'll check them out. I didn't read much about the VSE but the idea with storyboard images and timing was excellent! $\endgroup$
    – Niclas
    Mar 11 '17 at 11:28
  • $\begingroup$ The videos were great, answer accepted. I also got a lot of good (but partly overlapping) info from BlenderArtists forum where i asked the same question, for anyone else that don't have time to watch the videos... :) $\endgroup$
    – Niclas
    Mar 12 '17 at 18:38

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