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Evangelion:2.0 CRC interviews, part 10

Evangelion:2.0 CRC interviews, part 10

Sep 28, 2022

Part10: CGI also worked well in humanoid EVA.


As for Evangelion, there are many cuts that you would not notice as CGI unless you are told.

The robot's joints move in complex ways and its waist is deeply curved, reminding me of the drawings by Takeshi Honda.

I wonder how much involvement he had in the CGI EVA.


There were not so many instructions from him to "do this" in the cold open.

Rather, he gave instructions at the middle stage of the falling 8th angel.

We used quite a bit of CGI in the sequence where the three EVAs of Unit-01, Unit-02, and Unit-00 run together.

He must have given very detailed instructions for the running poses and so on in that scene.


Does that mean that the original drawings were modified by the animation director?


First, I draw a rough sketch of the layout, which is drawn up to the point where it roughly moves.

Next I think when we put the CGI together with that, we are partially reworking the modeling as well.

Running is a repetitive movement.

'The foot and knee come in this position, then the ankle comes in this position.' Unless you specify this properly, it is possible that the afterimage will not give the feeling that the feet have moved nicely, and the movement may look strange.

When you do it with drawing, it is not a problem because you can control the silhouette. However, when it comes to CGI, it is difficult to control the silhouette unless the size and length of the arms and legs are changed.

Then, the only way to control the silhouette is to transform the modeling itself for each pose and create a silhouette that roughly follows the layout that we have drawn.

At first I thought it would be better to make it with CGI because running is a repetitive motion. However, it was rather the opposite.

I just watched from the side because I was not in charge of the scene, but I realized that it was totally not for CGI.


Is that the idea of using CGI for all buildings and EVAs, since the CGI worked so well for buildings in "Jo"?


I think so, since the idea was to transform the city and support the EVAs.

It's a building with a more limited use than the facility intended to support and assist EVAs, which was active in "Jo," so it could be seen as a gag, though.

Higuchi drew the image board. It is a large-scale, silly but silly scene that is typical of his work.

In addition, CGI was used not only for buildings with special shapes, but also for ordinary buildings and houses this time.

It must have been Anno's idea to make many miniatures of buildings and houses and decorate them in front of the camera to make the film look like a special effects stage.

I am sure he must have had a lot of fun.


Overall, was it one of the attempts in "Rebuild of Evangelion" to create such background animation using CGI?


Since "Jo," we have been experimenting with various ideas such as "Can't we replace miniature special effects with CGI work?" Now the challenge is to "assemble a set."

We have already gone beyond the range of assembling a set with miniatures. In the scene where Unit-01 tries to stop quickly after running, you can see buildings and houses lined up in the distance.

It must have been quite a challenge. They created almost an entire city there using CGI.


Did you discuss how much and where to use CGI before you started production?


Rather, the amount of CGI work must have increased as we worked on the production.

If the results were good, we would increase the amount. That is our usual approach.

In the case of the "run" mentioned earlier, I believe that at first we talked about using CGI only for the simple repeating part. But, as a result, the number of CGI elements has increased tremendously.

This is the result of Orange providing more than what was requested.


So, you don't want to make all the decisions at the beginning, but rather wait and see how things turn out.

What did you think of the results from the animator's point of view?


It's good.

To be honest, I didn't think we could make it this far.

I myself was sceptical at first, thinking that it would be difficult to create the main body of EVA using CGI, and while everything in PROVISIONAL UNIT-05 is based on CGI, I thought it would be impossible to create Unit-01.

I thought it wouldn't be so easy to use it without some directorial touches, for example, making it a backlit silhouette or an aerial battle.


And I was surprised because the movement has Honda's taste.


Animation action scenes are all about showing silhouettes anyway. So the theory is that if he draws the silhouette in a rough sketch of the layout, even if it is CGI, it will look like an action scene created by him.


Do you think it is still a big possibility in the future?


I think we can find a way to make it work better, depending on how we do it.

I don't think CGI modeling will work for a robot shaped like Evangelion.

If we can do this well even under such disadvantageous circumstances, I have high hopes that we may be able to make it work.


Did the use of CGI increase the number of other mobs?


Yes, because we used them as a test for the pedestrian bridge scene in "Jo" and it worked better than we had expected.

I expected that they wouldn't be able to do anything other than walk, but in fact they were able to do detailed acting while walking. That was interesting.

Now that we know this is possible, you would see a significant increase in them this time.


The same can be said for the railroad crossing scene, right?


I think almost everything except the background was done in 3D CGI.

However, there were a few cuts where it was difficult to use it.

For example, if you want to create an atmosphere with a special pose in a still picture, it is difficult to do so with CGI.

The drawing of the businessman on his cell phone, carrying a heavy bag, and his suit wrinkled, is still better drawn by drawing.

So, there are quite a few cuts where the person in the foreground is drawn with cel and the person in the background is modeled with CGI.


Other than that, is the vehicle moderated by CGI?


I think the cars in this movie are always CGI moderated and not drawn if they are moving.

It is quite difficult to draw a car. Misato's car at the beginning of the movie is an Alpine Renault A310. However, when the animators draw it, if you ask them if it looks like an A310, they only get the impression of 'a blue sports car'.

Cars are all very similar. Therefore, it is impossible to express a specific type of car by slight differences in form.

But if you do it with CGI, the form will never be lost. So, no matter how it moves, it has the advantage of looking like an Alpine A310.

It is the same with tanks.

Even if you could draw a good drawing of a Type 90 tank, it would be difficult to draw the difference between a Type 90 tank and a Leopard 2 next to it.

If it is a Russian tank and a Type 90 tank, it is possible to draw the difference of their forms. However, it is almost impossible to draw the difference between a Leopard 2 and a Type 90 tank in a scene where they are moving together.


So CGI is suited for drawing such models?


If you are particular about the model and year, CGI is a good choice.

But actually, Anno doesn't seem to be particular about the type of car, tank, or fighter plane.

Rather, it may simply be that they are totally different from my particulars (laughs).

'Why would you choose this tank instead of this one?' This kind of thing happens often.

For example, regarding the fighter escort aircraft when Aska arrives, there was one model that I had in mind, "This fighter will be fit".

It had a lot of extra tanks (additional fuel tanks) and I wanted to give the impression that she had come all the way from far away Europe. However, Anno chose the fighter Sukhoi because it was the coolest looking.

And it is carrying a lot of missiles instead of having a lot of tanks (laughs).

I think he chose it because of his sense of special effects.

It is true that in the special effects of the 1960s and 1970s, it was common for the tanks to be painted in the colors of American models, even though they were Soviet tanks.


He put a lot of emphasis on visual impressions and didn't ask for much realism in them, didn't he?


So he may be actively loose about such things.

But he would never allow such a thing only with regard to ships.

As for the ship in the beginning, I believe there were instructions from Anno when selecting the type of ship.

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