Ashita Sekai ga Owaru Toshitemo Anime Film Production Uses Deep Learning Tech

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

Craftar Studios Inc.'s original anime film Ashita Sekai ga Owaru Toshitemo (Even if the World Will End Tomorrow) utilized some cutting edge technology for some of its 3D animated scenes. Preferred Networks, a tech company based out of Chiyoda, is part of the production committee for the film and provided its DesignChainer and MotionChainer deep-learning software to help make the film.

DesignChainer uses deep learning technology to reinterpret input designs via a technique called abstraction. The program takes the initial design and applies abstract vectors and features to interpret how it would move in a 3D environment. The image below is the head design for the Armatik (note: romanization not confirmed) creature from the series. The image on the left is the original design and the image on the left is abstracted version created by DesignChainer.

The MotionChainer technology was used for large crowd scenes. Preferred Networks notes that scenes with large crowd movements used to take a huge number of man hours. MotionChainer creates these scenes in far less time and can make individual members of the crowd move without input from an animator. Preferred Networks states that the software can easily create crowds of 1,000 people.

The anime and manga industry has continued to look to alternative technology for various time-consuming staff tasks. Japanese animation production companies Imagica Group and OLM Digital have joined forces with the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) to develop a technique for automatic coloring within anime production.

Publishers have recently used artificial intelligence to color manga pages. Hakusensha began using developer Taizan's PaintsChainer automatic coloring software to create color versions of Akira Hagio's josei romance manga Kekkon x Renai and Asuka Sora's romance manga Watashi-tachi xx Shimashita.

Keisuke Iwata, president of Japan's anime television network AT-X, spoke last year about how anime production processes could be "completely replaced by AI."

Advances in the industry have led some anime studios, such as Polygon Pictures, to embrace technological and other forms of progress. However, some members of the anime industry remain skeptical that AI and CGI can save the industry because it can potentially put animators out of work.

The Ashita Sekai ga Owaru Toshitemo film will open in Japan on January 25. Craftar is credited with the original work, and Yūhei Sakuragi (The Relative Worlds, Ingress) is directing the film and writing the script. Shochiku Media Division is distributing the film. Aimyon is performing the film's theme song, as well as the film's insert song "Ra, no Hanashi." The film will mark the first time Aimyon is contributing music to an anime work.

The film centers on Shin and Kotori, who are both third years in high school. Shin lost his mother when he was little, and since then he has a tendency to close himself off. Kotori is his childhood friend who always looks out for him. One day, another "self" from another Japan appears in front of them.

Sakuragi is also penning a novel that is considered the original work for the film. Kadokawa's Da Vinci magazine began serializing the novel in its November issue on October 6.

Source: Preferred Networks

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