CGI buildings in EoE

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CGI buildings in EoE

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Postby marsing » Fri Jul 10, 2020 10:02 pm

Was doing another rewatch of EoE, and noticed this
Image
interesting shot during the real life dream sequence. Exact timestamp in my rip was at 1:34:46, and seems to show the NERV retractable buildings added into what I assume to be the location shots of Hakone. Wondering if anyone else noticed this?

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Re: CGI buildings in EoE

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Postby Blockio » Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:49 am

I'm not sure if this is CGI actually, this could very well be practical effects, too. It's a bit hard to tell with the visual distortion probably why they added it, but the overall look of this could also very much be models at different scales positioned at angles so that with some clever camerawork it looks like it's all in the same scale

EDIT: That being said, if anyone knows more about the exact production process of this scene, I'd be very interested in hearing the details of it
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Re: CGI buildings in EoE

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Postby Mr. Tines » Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:21 pm

There was a previous thread about this a few years ago.
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Re: CGI buildings in EoE

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:24 pm

I think it was discovered that some computer graphic assistance was involved, though I'm still skeptical if all of the buildings were rendered in 3-D. I think it might be several photographed elements (miniature buildings, footage taken on a train, etc.) digitally composited together to make it all look like it's in the same shot. Shinji Higuchi (the storyboard artist for NGE) had just finished special effects for two of the Gamera movies at the time, and he used a mix of miniatures and 3-D rendered objects to complete that film, so it's anyone's guess as to exactly what's going on there.
Last edited by FreakyFilmFan4ever on Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CGI buildings in EoE

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Postby pwhodges » Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:25 am

Shiro Sagisu??
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Re: CGI buildings in EoE

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Postby Arcadia's legacy » Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:39 am

Are you sure you don't mean Shinji Higuchi?
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Re: CGI buildings in EoE

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:57 pm

Wow, I must have been tired that day. Yes, Shinji Higuchi is obviously who I meant.

Fixed.
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Re: CGI buildings in EoE

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Postby AdamMalkovitch » Sat Aug 15, 2020 7:22 pm

Film nut here [partially because of Eva], looking at the shot itself those could easily be 90s CG or miniatures, given the basic designs of the buildings in the shot. Taking into account Gainax and Anno's love of Kaiju movies, and CG not being used for the most part in even later 90s anime, it's most likely those are miniatures, especially since Anno even had practical effects play a massive role in Shin Godzilla despite CG being normalized and expected in modern film.
For how the shot was done, that's hard to say. It's a moving shot from a train, and you can see the perspective on the buildings change as expected as the train moves, so personally, I'm thinking this was pulled off by filming the real world buildings and mountainside of a suburban Japanese area from a train, and then calculating the distance between the rail section the film was taken and the area between the buildings and mountains in the distance, then scaling that distance down and running a model train with a camera on it at the same scaled down speed. Then some fancy editing I don't know bruh I know about effects not how they're inserted.
EDIT: I'm an idiot I totally forgot about matte paintings. So the buildings don't appear to "rotate" since they're so far away, but they do move on a plane closer to the camera than the mountains behind them, so now I'm thinking they cut out the frames of the suburban buildings and removed whatever was actually behind them, then had a transparent frame of the buildings on top of a frame of the mountains behind them, and edited it together that way. Think parallax scrolling in a Genesis or SNES game, or a multi-plane camera in an animated movie https://youtu.be/3YIR39KeJMk?t=270 [Walt Disney introducing the device and process he invented for Snow White]
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Re: CGI buildings in EoE

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Postby Reichu » Sun Aug 16, 2020 12:10 am

From the thread Mr. Tines linked to earlier:

View Original PostJoy Evangelion wrote:So, I was watching my Manga Entertainment copy of EoE the other night and noticed another of the fake skylines during the live action portion that's shown before Episode 25'. Which brought me to EvaMonkeys page on the alternate live action sequence;http://www.evamonkey.com/alternate-live-action-sequence/. Then I checked out the translated script on Eva Otaku to see if there was any mentions of the buildings and would ya know it, there were!

It refers to them as "mat and CG composition" at one point and "CG composition" at another.

So, it seems if the transcript is indeed legit we have an answer. :kawaii:

And yes, it is legit.
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Re: CGI buildings in EoE

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:18 am

I might be splitting hairs, but “CG composition” doesn’t necessarily mean 3-D CGI rendered buildings. It could mean that the compositing (or, the joining of two separate images) was done digitally, rather than through the older chemical processes of film. Older, analog composite mattes would be done with several chemical processes that would create high-contrast versions of green-screen photography that would be over-laid on top of the original green screen footage, and the finished product would be a composite that had a lot of heavy matte lines around the border of the green-screened figures. The ability of the computer to select the green screens and key them out almost automatically was a huge development in the 80’s and 90’s, so it could be that the term “CG composite” referred to the newer, non-chemical form of mattes.

Given how rudimentary the known 3-D CGI looked in EoE (the swimming Reis that were all just female bodies with blue balls for heads), I doubt the buildings were digitally 3-D rendered. That leaves either using the computer to digitally composite live-action miniatures shot on set, or using the computer to photoshop an entire digital painting of the buildings, then digitally compositing that digital painting into the shot.

For me, the easiest and fastest way to go about it would be that last suggestion, digitally painting the buildings in the computer (maybe by photoshopping a lot of different buildings together) and then compositing them into the shot in my editing software. The hand held effect would also be done after I crated the fully rendered composited image, that way everything tracks with the movement of the camera with as little human effort or digital processing time as possible. However, Shinji Higuchi had just finished directing the special effects of two Gamera movies, each one using miniature sets for the buildings, so it is possible that he may have opted to shoot mixture buildings on a live-action set, then digitally composited them into the finished film.

I know it seems pedantic at this point, as many viewers would simply be happy with the “oh, CGI seas used,” and move on with their lives, but seeing as how I do stuff like this constantly, I like trying to figure out their exact workflow.
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Re: CGI buildings in EoE

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Postby Reichu » Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:29 am

It's standard for anime production to specify "3DCG" when referring to rendered 3D assets, so I would guess that you're correct here: it's compositing via computer.
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