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Alice in Borderland – Season 2: Doi Atsushi – Total VFX Supervisor – Digital Frontier

In 2021, Doi Atsushi defined the visible results work for the Netflix collection, Alice in Borderland. He’s again right this moment to inform us concerning the new challenges for the second season of this wonderful collection.

What was your feeling to be again within the universe of Alice in Borderland?

I completed Season 1 feeling like there was nonetheless a lot extra to be instructed. So, with Season 2, the storyline, VFX, quantity, and problem stage elevated and I used to be glad that I used to be in a position to tackle a brand new problem.

How was the brand new collaboration with Director Shinsuke Sato?

It’s all the time an thrilling and galvanizing problem with every work with Director Sato and I consider that not solely the VFX workforce however everybody on the employees feels the identical method.What the director needs is one thing that may be loved, one thing that challenges to established order and with Season 1 we introduced the whole lot as much as world-class requirements. Following Season 1, we have been in a position to introduce new methods and problem ourselves over again.

Did he wished to alter something concerning the visible results after the primary season?

After Season 1 was over, Director Sato instructed me that for Season 2, he was considering of turning Shibuya right into a vegetated space. Initially, within the authentic story, the world of Think about (aka Borderland) started to be coated with crops, however in Season 1, we didn’t present that a lot to focus extra on Tokyo being uninhabited.The success of the CG illustration of Shibuya in Season 1 led us to proceed with the theme of a vegetated Shibuya and Tokyo.

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AliceinBorderland S2 DoiAtsushi ITW 12A

How did you set up the work of your VFX Producer?

We requested the VFX producer to assign every vendor, regulate schedules, handle budgets, divide and assign work to every shot, and so forth. For the reason that variety of photographs exceeded 2,000 and the schedule was fairly compressed, we requested the producer to coordinate so that every one the photographs may proceed immediately. In the long run, we assigned work to 12 distributors along with Digital Frontier. I believe the scheduling of the VFX producer and our workforce of manufacturing managers was the important thing to the success of this manufacturing.

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How did you select the assorted distributors?

The belief was that we might be capable to break up up the sequence and have sufficient artists obtainable to assign to the amount of every shot. The premise was whether or not or not we may safe the variety of artists we may assign to the venture. We then chosen distributors based mostly on their strengths, akin to whether or not they may deal with belongings or animation. Though there have been some distributors that we needed to request on brief discover because the supply date approached, we have been in a position to proceed with the venture with little delay.We have been in a position to proceed with the venture with minimal delays and a few distributors have continued to work with us since Season 1.

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AliceinBorderland S2 DoiAtsushi ITW 07A

Are you able to inform us the way you break up the work amongst the distributors?

We’ve got allotted the work to be performed in order that it may be divided by sequence for every sport.

Under are the distributors assigned to every sequence.

Digicam Monitoring > Yannix
Roto > NetFX
CleanPlate > NetFX

ep01 Shibuya Sequence

Asset > Digital Frontier
Comp > Alphaliez, Digital Frontier, Studio GOONEYS, Marza Animation Planet

ep01 Automobile Chase?

Asset > Omnibus Japan, Digital Frontier
Comp > Omnibus Japan

ep02, ep03 Armband monitor of « Suutori”

Comp > Studio GOONEYS

ep03 « Suutori » container, big monitor, set extension

Asset > Digital Frontier
Comp > Alphaliez

ep03, ep04 « Dokubo » set extension, monitor

Asset > Digital Frontier
Comp > Digital Frontier

ep04, ep05 Heiya’s Synthetic Leg

Asset > Digital Frontier
Comp > Omnibus Japan

ep05 « Kamayude » Stadium Collapse

Asset > Digital Frontier
Comp > Kassen

ep05, ep06, ep07 Dots of Tokyo metropolis in vegetation

Asset > Linda
Comp > Linda

ep06 « Tenbin”

Asset > Megalis
Comp > Megalis

ep07 « Goal »

Asset > Marza Animation Planet
Animation > Marza Animation Planet
Comp > Marza Animation Planet

ep07 « Minomushi »

Asset > Marza Animation Planet
Animation > Marza Animation Planet
FX > Digital Frontier
Comp > Marza Animation Planet

ep07, ep08 Aerial view of Tokyo in vegetation

Asset > Large Step
Comp > Large Step

ep07, ep08 Shibuya sequence with vegetation

Asset > Digital Frontier
FX > Digital Frontier
Comp > Alphalieze, Digital Frontier, Studio GOONEYS, Kassen, Marza Animation Planet, NHK ART

ep08 « Croquet »

Asset > Digital Frontier
FX > Digital Frontier
Comp > Imagica EMS

ep08 Fireworks pointillism in a botanized Tokyo metropolis

Asset > Large Step
FX > Digital Frontier
Comp > Large Step

ep08 Shibuya Scramble Crossing

Asset > Digital Frontier
Comp > NHK ART

ep08 Collapsed Shibuya

Asset > Digital Frontier
FX > Digital Frontier
Comp > Digital Frontier

ep08 Collapsed Shibuya (Aerial view)

Asset > Large Step
FX > Large Step
Comp > Large Step

ep08 Heya’s Synthetic Leg

Comp > Marza Animation Planet

All episode Airship Photographs

Asset > Digital Frontier
FX > Digital Frontier
Comp > Digital Frontier

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AliceinBorderland S2 DoiAtsushi ITW 02A

What was your strategy concerning the surroundings work?

The principle theme of Season 2 was a vegetated Tokyo. First, I created a picture board of a vegetated Shibuya scramble crossing after which selected the ultimate picture of a vegetated metropolis.

For instance, the Supreme Court docket, the positioning of « Tenbin », was created based mostly on drawings made by the Artwork Division.

For the outside of the stadium after the collapse of the « Kamayude » venue, a tough collapse mannequin was created based mostly on a Lidar scan mannequin of the particular stadium, and a picture board was drawn and a CG mannequin was created based mostly on this mannequin.

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AliceinBorderland S2 DoiAtsushi ITW 03A

Are you able to elaborate concerning the vegetation that invades town?

The world of Alice in borderland is proscribed to the 23 wards of Tokyo. Finally, the world outdoors the 23 wards might be coated by mountains, however preserving with the storyline of Season 2, the collection is split into 5 ranges to point out the gradual development of vegetation:

  • Stage 1 is grass rising out of the bottom
  • Stage 5, your complete metropolis is roofed with crops, together with buildings

That is shared with all departments, together with the director. In Alice in borderland, time passes quicker than in actuality, in order the episodes progress, town is roofed with crops. The sport is depicted as if town is changing into increasingly more vegetated because the episodes progress.What’s particular is that the sport venue is just not coated with crops as the sport venues are managed by the sport grasp.

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AliceinBorderland S2 DoiAtsushi ITW 08A

Which location was essentially the most sophisticated to create and why?

There have been a variety of them! The scene that grew to become fairly a problem from what we had initially envisioned is the sport « Goal » in EP07, the place the participant throws a glowing ball. Through the shoot, we are literally holding and throwing the ball with LEDs in it after which changing the ball with a CG ball and altering the ball’s trajectory and luminescence. If the ball’s path was too lengthy, it regarded too sluggish, and if it was too brief, it regarded too far-off from the picture. To make the ball bounce off the wall, the path wanted to be lengthy and to make the ball look quick, it wanted to be brief. In the long run, by combining the 2 kinds of supplies, we have been in a position to obtain the look we had imagined. We discovered that the easier the scene appeared, the extra sudden the pitfalls have been.

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AliceinBorderland S2 DoiAtsushi ITW 11A

This season we see a lot better the Zeppelins. Are you able to inform us extra about them?

The airship was designed in reference to the Hindenburg and the Aeroscraft, a joint improvement of NASA and the U.S. Division of Protection. The Hindenburg’s retro design was used to create an environment of catastrophe and Aeroscraft was additionally used as a reference to make the enormous enjoying playing cards dangle and look transportable. The feel of the plane is mirrored within the design to present it an enormous and scary look.

The enjoying card is fabricated from tarpaulin, and there’s a purpose why it’s divided into items. We thought that in a single piece, it might be vulnerable to wind resistance, so we divided it into a number of items and a wind pathway, thereby creating a way of actuality.

As for the destruction of the airship, I began from the start line of the explosion. We positioned a bomb within the cockpit of the airship and used it because the detonation level. The cockpit explodes, the airship is broken by the explosion, and the helium contained in the airship ignites, inflicting the explosion.

The symbolic explosions are the airship falling to the bottom.

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AliceinBorderland S2 DoiAtsushi ITW 09A

Are you able to elaborates about your work on the lengthy steady photographs?

Automobile chase sequences weren’t really filmed in Tokyo, however in Nagoya and Toyama. We blocked off a 300-meter lengthy street, positioned vehicles, and particles on the bottom. The motion director created a video with miniature vehicles earlier than the shoot and we created CG pre-visualization for a number of the lacking elements, and selected the taking pictures methodology.

We selected three patterns for the placement taking pictures:

  • actors driving (automotive towed),
  • stuntmen driving,
  • and green-back studio taking pictures.

For the buck portion of the shoot, we thought-about digital manufacturing, however determined towards it as a result of reflection of LEDs on the windshield and the brightness of the daylight, so we determined to not go for it this time.

The lengthy shot, like the opposite photographs, was shot with the street blocked off, however with a comparatively giant area between the vehicles to be able to hold the CameraCar’s path clear. To compensate for this, CG vehicles have been positioned in locations to make the shot extra highly effective. The automotive during which the forged is using is pushed safely. To ensure the vehicles the forged was in didn’t appear like they have been driving safely.

We added vehicles that may hit one another, made the digital camera go proper on the fringe of the vehicles, and added machine-gun fragments in entrance of the digital camera, and so forth, to make it appear like the forged was driving safely.

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AliceinBorderland S2 DoiAtsushi ITW 10A

How did you’re employed with the SFX and stunts groups?

Through the storyboard verification stage, we had detailed discussions to find out which elements can be performed in CG. Director Sato has labored with this workforce many instances earlier than, so I believe we had no drawback working collectively.

Which loss of life was essentially the most complicate to boost?

I believe it’s the loss of life of Daimon, one of many feminine characters within the sport in Episode 06. I wanted to precise that the sulfuric acid poured into the stability overflowed, and her physique was coated with it and melted. Daimon’s melted corpse was created by the particular results workforce throughout the shoot and I used Photogrammetry to create a 3D mesh, which was then used to create the mannequin, animation, and results. Through the shoot, we had her bathe in water and even nod her head. The water (sulfuric acid) was dyed pink and blood within the CG to mix in with the CG on the transition level.

Are you able to clarify intimately concerning the creation and animation of the fireworks?

Borderland begins with the fireworks Chota sees in Season 1, however the last fireworks have a unique which means than these. It was a celebration of the tip of all of the video games so the fireworks have been colourful and vibrant and fireworks have been set off numerous instances.

The fireworks have been shot off everywhere in the 23 wards of Tokyo and I attempted to precise the depth of the fireworks by making smoke from the fireworks shine by means of. I’ve heard that it’s troublesome to precise the deep blue colour of precise fireworks.

As a firework reference, I used essentially the most well-known Nagaoka fireworks in Japan. I used the Nagaoka Fireworks Competition, essentially the most well-known firework pageant in Japan, as a reference. Japanese fireworks have the which means of repose of souls, and I consider that these fireworks additionally specific our emotions for the gamers who died in Borderland.

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AliceinBorderland S2 DoiAtsushi ITW 05A

How did you deal with the elephants creation and animations?

In laying out the elephants, as symmetry between the 2, Alice and Usagi,we began with two elephants, a male and a feminine elephant.

On the request of the director, the dimensions of the elephants was adjusted to make them look mysterious and incredible. If we had adopted the director’s storyboard, the elephants would have been twice the dimensions of the particular elephants, which might have regarded too giant. If we had positioned them in a practical measurement, they might have regarded too small, so we finally settled on a measurement in between. For the animation, we first determined to make use of reference movies from YouTube to find out the bottom motion.

Then, blocking, animatics, and animation have been performed. At first, we proposed a movement of a male and a feminine enjoying harmoniously collectively, nevertheless, this was an excessive amount of when it comes to course.

We determined to restrain the motion and make the elephants look mysterious as they stand within the steam of the recent spring. The male elephant bathing along with his snout within the collapsed stadium was an exquisite sight. The glowing splashes of water are lovely and mysterious and actually emphasizes this lovely scene.

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AliceinBorderland S2 DoiAtsushi ITW 14A

Are you able to elaborates concerning the design and the creation of the huge last destructions?

Concerning the autumn of the meteorite, I requested a specialist on the Chiba Institute of Know-how what he thought the dimensions of the collapse can be in step with the staging of this movie. We wanted a setting the place the meteorite regarded like fireworks and the Shibuya scramble was outdoors the crater’s vary.

  • If it was a rock, it might be destroyed within the ambiance
  • if it was an iron meteorite, it might stay till it fell
  • Whether it is an iron meteorite, it is going to stay till it falls
  • Whether it is blown up within the air, it will likely be destroyed by sizzling air explosions

The molten materials on the floor of an iron meteorite would seem as fireplace sparks. A 30-meter iron meteorite explodes at an angle of incidence of 20 km/s 45 levels, 500 meters above the bottom,1 km horizontal distance harm happens, it was summarized.

Primarily based on this, we decided the middle of the meteorite explosion, the world of harm, and the harm.

The aerial explosion occurred over Yoyogi Park, and the Shibuya scramble crossing, no buildings collapsed, however home windows have been damaged, billboards fell, window frames and the metal frames of buildings have been destroyed. The sonic shock wave precedes the explosion and is adopted by smoke and different particles.

Did you wish to disclose to us some other invisible results?

As in Season 1, the world of Borderland, nobody exists apart from the gamers, and the lights outdoors of the sport room are turned off. So, it was essential to verify each body of the cityscape shot intimately and I needed to flip off all of the lights across the sport venue.

If all of the lights across the sport venue have been turned off, it might be pitch black and there can be no depth to the scene. We needed to take into account the world to be turned off, with an emphasis on the looks of the world.

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AliceinBorderland S2 DoiAtsushi ITW 06A

Which sequence or shot was essentially the most difficult?

The problem on this season was create a 400-shot, vegetated Shibuya Scramble Crossing.

Initially, in Season 1, we tried to create the Shibuya Scramble Crossing in Unreal Engine, however the machine specs on the time have been low and the Unreal Engine ray tracing was not steady. So we restricted it to solely part of the intersection (a number of swaying bushes). In Season 2, we determined to create all of the CG of the Shibuya scramble crossing in Unreal Engine. We solely had about two and a half months to truly composite however have been in a position to iterate on the shaking of the foliage, lighting modifications, and so on. in a really brief time frame, and the rendering prices have been lowered tremendously. So I believe we made the best selection.

Shibuya, which was not vegetated, was created utilizing Maya’s Vray, and after it was vegetated, it was additional developed utilizing Unreal Engine.

What’s your greatest reminiscence on this present?

After we have been filming the « Checkmate » sport a hurricane hit the world. Moreover, the sport was shot at a thermal energy plant that was nonetheless in operation, so we would have liked to verify there was no disruption.

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AliceinBorderland S2 DoiAtsushi ITW 04A

How lengthy have you ever labored on this present?

Location looking began in December 2020 and in 2021, based mostly on the areas and storyboards, we began conferences with employees from all departments to finalize location choice, begin pre-visualization, picture board creation, and so on. Filming happened from July to December 2021, Modifying was mounted in April 2021 and we labored on VFX till September 2022.

What’s your subsequent venture?

It’s nonetheless below lock and key however I’m presently engaged on one other movie venture for Netflix – extra on that quickly! Moreover, I’m presently working as a CG director, aiding with compositing for different productions.

An enormous thanks in your time.

Digital Frontier: Devoted web page about Alice in Borderland – Season 2 on Digital Frontier web site.
Studio GOONEYS: Devoted web page about Alice in Borderland on Studio GOONEYS web site.
Netflix: You may watch now Alice in Borderland on Netflix.

© Vincent Frei – The Artwork of VFX – 2023



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