Reality created by new technology “in-camera VFX” Why Kobe City depicts Sannomiya in the 2030s

There is a technology called “in-camera VFX” that is used when producing images for movies and dramas. This is a method of projecting 3D CG (computer graphics) onto a huge LED wall and using it as a background for photography.

It was often used in Hollywood movies such as Disney, but it was introduced in Japan in earnest in last year’s NHK taiga drama “What’s Wrong with Ieyasu?” It is possible to create videos that are so realistic that they are indistinguishable from the real thing at first glance, and are expected to be used in TV commercials and promotional videos.

Kobe City has released a short video on YouTube that makes full use of this technology. The painting depicts Sannomiya Station, the gateway to Kobe, and its surroundings in the 2030s.

Realistically recreate the city of the future with the help of new technology

Reality created by new technology “in-camera VFX” Why Kobe City depicts Sannomiya in the 2030s

Kobe City’s intentions in producing the video are clear.

The city of Kobe, which faced financial difficulties while recovering from the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, was slow to move forward with redevelopment of the area around Sannomiya Station, which had been an issue for many years. As a result, the area was lagging behind Kyoto and Osaka in terms of the bustle in front of the station.

However, in 2015, 20 years after the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, redevelopment efforts finally began. By 2030, the station building of JR Sannomiya Station and the largest bus terminal in western Japan will be completed one after another, and the appearance of the station will change dramatically.

Furthermore, the construction of tower condominiums, which are touted as a trump card for population growth in local cities, was regulated in this area. This is due to Kobe City’s policy of turning Sannomiya into an extraordinary entertainment space where people can enjoy shopping and the art scene.

However, even though I was shown a rendering of the new building and explained that the sidewalks would be widened to make the area more inviting to walk, it was still difficult to understand. Residents and the council also pointed out that they were unable to get a sense of how things would change in the future.

Therefore, the city of Kobe responded to these comments in an easy-to-understand manner by drawing on the power of new technology, “in-camera VFX,” to portray the city of the future in realistic images.

Reality created by new technology “in-camera VFX” Why Kobe City depicts Sannomiya in the 2030s

Up until now, there has been a technology called “VFX (special effects)” used to visualize things that do not exist in reality. It is said that director James Cameron was the first to incorporate this VFX in the film industry.

Cameron’s masterpiece, Titanic, included a ship set that was 236 meters long, which is 90% of the original size, but VFX using CG was introduced to create the sea spray as it sailed and the sun setting on the horizon. ing. Also, 2009’s “Avatar” used VFX throughout almost the entire film.

In recent years, a method often used in VFX has been to film actors in front of a green background and then composite images created with CG.

In contrast, the technology adopted this time is called “in-camera VFX,” which displays a virtual space created with 3D CG on a huge high-definition LED wall, and places actors and props in front of it. and shoot with one camera. By doing this, unlike compositing CG after shooting, it is possible to create images that are natural and realistic. What’s more, the position of the camera filming is always known, and the CG displayed on the LED wall changes in conjunction with the camera position. If you move the camera to the right, you can see the right side of the CG building instead of the front. It incorporates the same technology used in such 3D virtual games.

Major features of “in-camera VFX”

The virtual production studio at Sony PCL’s Kiyosumi Shirakawa BASE (Koto Ward, Tokyo) was used to shoot this video of Kobe City.

Reality created by new technology “in-camera VFX” Why Kobe City depicts Sannomiya in the 2030s

Inside, a wall made of Sony Crystal LEDs was installed, 5.5 meters high and 27.4 meters wide. The images projected there are so clear and bright that they are indistinguishable from the real thing, surprising viewers.

This studio is equipped with high-brightness LEDs, allowing filming to be done without being restricted by weather or time, even if the scene is outdoors during the day like in this video.

The short video produced this time, titled “KOBE 203X,” was directed by Hidenori Uki, and Futaba Mori was cast as the lead. Both are from Kobe. The video is based on the theme of “A future that makes you want to walk,” and the content is as follows.

18-year-old Michi (Mori Futaba) carries a guitar case on her back. As she was walking in Sannomiya, Kobe, where the rain never stopped, a sudden wind beckoned her to the future. 10 years later, Michi landed in the town of Sannomiya, and as she strolled along the wide sidewalk, she saw a lot of people having fun…

At the preview screening held at Cine Libre Kobe to coincide with the film’s release on YouTube on April 17th, Futaba Mori said that she felt a “warm atmosphere” in the future space she walked through. Even though she was filming in a studio.

Here you can get a glimpse of the major features of “in-camera VFX”. When an actor is in a video that can be mistaken for the real thing, it is easy to create a sense of dynamism in their performance. It can be said that this is a clear departure from the traditional green screen shooting in an inorganic space.

Reality created by new technology “in-camera VFX” Why Kobe City depicts Sannomiya in the 2030s

It’s not CG that can play a human, it’s a human. Also, such images will probably move people’s hearts.

There was also a policy that Coach Uki had decided on from the beginning. “Turn everything into a painting.” Painting vividly acting human beings on a beautiful canvas created using the latest technology must have been a shortcut to achieving that goal.

There is no doubt that videos produced using this technology called “in-camera VFX” will continue to be actively used in a variety of fields.


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