Digital Technologies Revolutionize Animation Industry
March 16, 1999
The advancement of digital technologies and falling software prices are revolutionizing the anime (animation) industry. Once dependent upon hand drawings by professional artists, the major animation studios are now starting to fully integrate digital technologies into the anime production process. On the other end of the spectrum, the ability to create homemade anime on an inexpensive personal computer has made it possible for amateurs and semiprofessionals to get in on the act, swelling the ranks of the industry's anime creators.
Computers Allow for Greater Self-Expression
This has led to a rush to achieve fully digital production of anime for television, where mass production is essential. Studios that produce film-length anime are also working toward fully digitized production: Many of Japan's famous anime directors, who brought Japanese anime onto the world stage, promise that pieces integrating digital technologies on a large scale are "in the works."
Saved labor is not the only benefit gained by digital technologies. One other benefit is the more varied forms of self-expression afforded by the computer. Digital technologies allow for the perfect integration of complex movements, including smoothly flowing backgrounds that look extremely accurate from the perspective of the characters and audience. It is also possible to freely integrate richer textures and patterns in the images. Moreover, looking ahead to the coming of such digital media as digital broadcasts and DVD, if works are digitized from the start it will be that much easier to adapt them to these secondary uses.
Producers Wanted: No Experience Necessary
In addition, powerful yet inexpensive software capable of coloring and editing two-dimensional animation, as well as creating three-dimensional computer graphics, is now available to the general public. Some software manufacturers hold computer graphics competitions, and schools and courses for those who wish to seriously study computer graphics technology are opening one after another. Homemade anime is flourishing.
Because of this, amateurs can make their professional anime debut without having to work their way through the ranks, and professionals from such other industries as industrial design are increasingly crossing over into anime production. The influx of amateurs and semipros trying to enter the anime industry could open a world of new possibilities for Japanese anime.
Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources. Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese Government.