IMAX–TRANSPHERE

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Case Study

GOLDEN LION ASIA WINNER 2020

Juice | Imax–Transphere

Transphere is a story that follows a pair of fated souls finding each other in parallel dimensions and in re-incarnations. The viewer is taken on a fast ride through time and space, with zoom switches from micro to macro and back, Buddhist philosophy being a visible inspiration. Kosai and his production company NION, creative agency Drill and VFX studio Juice in Tokyo, had to tell a captivating story while making the best of the IMAX potential in a visceral cinematic ride.

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Juice | Imax–Transphere

  • HOW TO TELL AN IMMERSIVE STORY OVER 9 MINUTES?

Challenge #1

“The biggest challenge was immersing ourselves in the director’s mind and truly understanding the story, which seemed quite complex at first,” said Michał Dwojak-Hara, Juice Tokyo’s Managing Director. 

The Director Kosai Sekine, both as an artist and a Philosophy major, had the tools within reach to imagine this astonishing tale. His quite abstract ideas needed a visual language that combined immense 4K IMAX footage and CG materials, working seamlessly together. The briefs weren’t straightforward, but that was the beauty of this particular cooperation. “This project was tricky because the material being worked on was in the same size as the final files they had to deliver,” adds Dwojak-Hara. “If they were 10K [files], it would have been a piece of cake.”

 

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Juice | Imax–Transphere

Challenge #2

There was actually no possibility to shoot it using IMAX dedicated cameras, as there are so few of them, and they are used only for high profile, big projects. The crew had to work with whatever the budget allowed for, but the IMAX camera quality is incomparable so this what Juice had to aim for in the final presentation.

Filming was done in a month around the suburban Tokyo locations, so then Juice had four months to do their CG work on the tightly choreographed footage. Due to a limited budget, there was no possibility to do more motion control, to hire any particular camera lenses to make the whole process more effective. The Juice animators had to manually adjust the camera movements previously captured, so each shot meshed into the next.

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Juice | Imax–Transphere

SOLUTION

Solution #1

Due to a very long R&D stage and rich preproduction for the filming in Tokyo,  Juice took a big part in the creative process, workshopping and consulting on possible solutions with the director, looking for the right visual expression. In order to find the best ways to express the visuals technically, lots of previs, concepts, even animatics were created and prepared. This abundance of concepts helped the director Kosai choose what style would best embody his vision.

Solution #2

There is always a fixed price, meaning that a certain amount of work has to be put in the project, either on set, or later in post, and it is inescapable. In this case, the Juice team were doing a very ambitious project with a pretty tight budget, so it was more efficient from the financial point to do the work in postproduction.

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Juice | Imax–Transphere

“Often the decisions made in conjunction between the CGI artist and production specialist, benefit client and agency, while still delivering on the very tight deadline. And as we all know in today's commercial world, times are not extending but constantly shrinking. Whatever solutions we might have to accommodate that – especially if they are in sync with cost saving, we believe them to be the future of approach to commercials.”

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Adam Tunikowski, the CEO and co-Founder of Juice.

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JUICE是一家久负盛名的CG及后期制作工作室,总部设在波兰,在日本设有分部,也计划尽快在中国上海开设分部。虽然是明星视觉特效公司,JUICE却不会因背景或国家对客户区别对待,客户永远是第一位的,虽然高端但绝不会高冷。

这一系列的第四期:“聚思工作坊” ,我们将为大家介绍一部IMAX电影短片《Transphere》,这是日本第一部IMAX技术短片,开启了日本电影制片的新篇章。这部独特的爱情故事由擅长广告片与大电影都的导演关根光才执导,该片曾获得2019年CICLOPE亚洲广告创意节的一等奖,并在上周刚刚闭幕的上海金狮奖中,荣获最佳视觉特效金狮奖。

聚思工作坊4:TRANSPHERE

Transphere 讲述了一对命中注定的灵魂在平行世界与来生转世中找寻彼此的故事。带观众在时间与空间中快速穿行,思绪跟随微观与宏观的镜头来回转换,不断起伏,轮回转世的禅宗哲学是该片隐藏的线索与灵感。此次关根光才和他的制片公司NION,与创意代理Drill和视觉特效工作室JUICE在东京展开合作,希望能在讲述引人入胜故事的同时,最大限度地利用IMAX技术,带给观众一场身临其境的视觉享受。

如何用9分钟描述身临其境的体验?

挑战之一:“项目最大的挑战是如何走进导演的脑海,去完全地理解这个故事,最初我们觉得这也太复杂了” JUICE东京的常务董事Michał Dwojak-Hara回忆到。

导演关根光才即是艺术家,还有哲学背景,这是他构建这部奇妙故事的基础。他抽象的奇思妙想需要华丽的视觉语言,大量的4K IMAX和CG素材,天衣无缝地去呈现。虽然该项目在简报中并没有明确地给出方向,但这正是此次合作的魅力所在。“这个项目很棘手,因为我们的原始素材和最后需要提交的成片大小是一样的,” Dwojak-Hara补充到。“如果我们当时能有10K (的素材),就是小菜一碟了。”

挑战之二:事实上,因为资源稀缺,使用IMAX专用镜头拍摄基本没可能,一般只有大制作,大项目才会采用IMAX专用镜头。团队得利用手里有限的资源,去尽可能地创作,但IMAX镜头的质量又是无法妥协的要素,所以JUICE必须以此为目标,尽可能地完成任务。

拍摄在东京周边进行,一个月内完成,之后JUICE在四个月内,用有限的拍摄素材,制作完成CG的部分。因预算有限,无法做更多的交互式摄影控制(MoCo),也无法租借任何镜头设备来提高效率。JUICE的动画师们不得不人工调整已拍摄好的镜头,以确保转场流畅自然。

解决方案

解决方案之一:得益于研发阶段较长,东京拍摄前期准备充分,JUICE在创意过程中发挥了重要作用,以工作坊的形式多次与导演探讨可行的解决方案,寻求最佳的视觉传达方式。为了找到最佳的视觉表达技巧,团队制作了大量的视觉预览,概念图,甚至动画故事版。这些大量的概念素材帮导演关根光才找到了最满意的风格。

解决方案之二:“一分耕耘,一分收获” 好的项目都是要付出实在努力的,不在前期努力,就得在后期加油,工作量是无法避免的。这次项目颇具挑战性,且项目预算有限,所以从性价比的角度来考虑,JUICE团队便把工作的重点放在了后期。

CONTACT

Aleksandra Watras
Head of New Business
Email: a.watras@j.studio
Website: j.studio
Instagram: @juice.pl

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