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Japanese animation studio Craftar took to the stage at Unite Tokyo 2019 to talk about the new possibilities that Unity brings to the Japanese animation industry. 

Few Japanese studios have explored the potential of Unity as a production tool for anime because they don’t know if its real-time improvements to their workflow can deliver the extremely high-quality animation that audiences demand. But as visionary studios like Craftar have found, Unity streamlines their production pipeline and delivers incredible results, while also creating new opportunities. 

The many achievements of Craftar, which is the consulting arm of major Japanese PR company Hakuhodo Inc., include world-class content such as the Netflix anime INGRESS and 2019 animated film The Relative Worlds. The latter, produced by its subsidiary animation company, Craftar Studios, implemented Unity in several difficult scenes. (You can see how Craftar worked with Unity’s NavMesh feature here.)

This fall, global auto parts supplier Denso Corporation reached out to Craftar to create an animated promotional video showcasing Denso’s vision for a near-future smart city, highlighting the ways that VR and AR content could be integrated into self-driving cars. The entire animation was rendered in real-time with Unity and can be viewed as either a VR or a standard film experience.

Simultaneously creating anime and VR content in Unity

Using Unity, Craftar was able to seamlessly create the animation and VR content simultaneously. The result is an experience that immerses viewers inside an anime world that’s as captivating as a standard animated film, thanks to Unity’s real-time rendering capabilities. 

During the Keynote at Unite Tokyo 2019, Shoichi Furuta, CEO and creative director of Craftar, explained Craftar’s philosophy towards animation: “Our company doesn’t just make animation, we use animation to tackle issues in the industry and in society.” The company is driven by “smart CG animation,” its vision to push the industry forward using the latest technologies like real-time engines and AIwhich ultimately led them to choose Unity to create the beloved, richly expressive Japanese anime style using cel shaders. 

Craftar CEO and creative director Shoichi Furata speaking at Unite Tokyo 2019.

“We at Craftar have only just begun bringing our wealth of expertise into Unity, which will soon become one of the core engines of life and society,” said Furuta. “We’re in an age where everything from smartphones to cars is going digital, which is massively expanding the UX/UI market. It’s essential for every interface to have excellent motion design, and Japanese animation expertise is invaluable when it comes to delivering abundant information in a short time with limited resources.”

The innovative Denso project blurred the line between the entertainment and automotive industries, Furuta explained. “Thanks to Unity helping to bridge the gap between the anime industry and the automotive industry, we’ve even been able to smoothly overcome the barriers between businesses and between devices, and bring two previously unrelated industries in Japan closer together.” Using Unity, Craftar intends to continue not only to push the boundaries of games and anime but to also break through the walls between other industries. 

 

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  1. Good for them, I guess. But would honestly be more excited if this was a tutorial on how to achieve a pro anime look for games (specially using the new render pipelines)…

  2. Really love Unity! Looking forward for that anime feature :) https://naukry.net/

  3. I would love the video to have subtitles :p

  4. Anime is EVIL!

  5. Lots of progress is happening. Awesome job Unity!

  6. At a time where the engine is at a worse state than it ever has been, docs terrible, features all over the place, these non game related and non engine related posts dont do yourselves any good in regards to winning back everyong that are feeling frustrated with the current state of things.

    Maybe instead of using the blog as a way to try and show of flashy crap, why dont you make a post detailing that you are aware of the terrible state unity is in and how it is percieved by the community, and then detail what you will do to fix it with accountable people and timelines made public.

    That will do you far more in terms of winning over people to use it in X industry. Right now anyone in anime industry reading this will do research on unity and find the discourse everyone is having surrounding the state of the engine. No studio is going to jump onto this sinking ship until you say loudly and clearly what you are doing to make it float.

    I love(d) unity but I am at the edge of my tether and it sounds like a lot of people, even some moderators, in community are getting there too. You dont seem to realise that unreal understand this and are using it to amplify their marketing initiative.

  7. Things will only get less focused than they are now at UT after their IPO. They’ll need to see new buzzword features every fiscal quarter in order to placate the investors. The bread and butter of the engine, games, will continue to be less of a priority for the company. There will eventually only be a skeleton crew of dedicated but overburdened improving the engine in the areas that matter to the vast majority of developers.

  8. Dmitriy Titarenko

    12월 3, 2019 7:08 오후 응답

    Do not understand why anime needs unity if it do not have 3d editor and animation editor rigs etc, if it’s will be much easier to make in other software and rendering with cell shading

  9. The anime scenes here show looks like the early beginnings of experimenting with CGI anime in 2002.
    Its Still a long way to go, to reach a good anime and not computer like look.
    Like The latest Dragonball movie or the Latest Boruto Arc in the Past.

  10. Paul Schindler-Saefkow

    12월 3, 2019 6:08 오후 응답

    The anime scenes here show looks like the early beginnings of experimenting with CGI anime in 2002.
    Its Still a long way to go, to reach a good anime and not computer like look.
    Like The latest Dragonball movie or the Latest Boruto Arc in the Past.