[Nausicaa.Net] The Hayao Miyazaki Web

||  Main  |  Mailing List  |  Films  |  Search  |  Ghiblink  |  Feedback  ||
[Princess Mononoke mainpage]
Mononoke Hime
(Princess Mononoke)


Computer Graphics in Princess Mononoke (I)


About 15 minutes of CG (Computer Graphics) were used in Mononoke Hime. Of those, 10 minutes are the scenes that used digital ink & paint only. The remaining 5 minutes used various CG techniques, such as texture mapping, 3D rendering, morphing, particles, and digital composition. The goal when using CG in Mononoke Hime was "CG which doesn't look like CG". An enormous amount of care was taken to blend CG and cel-animation seamlessly.

A new CG room was set up at Ghibli for the production of Mononoke Hime. By the end of the production, Ghibli had two servers, 21 desktop client computers, and peripherals such as printers and scanners. The filming division also uses computers for filming and digital composition. Except for the film recording, which was done by the film laboratory IMAGICA, almost all CG-related work was done at Ghibli.

3D Rendering

In this scene, the snake-like feelers of Tatari-Gami were animated using three-dimensional CG rendering.
[Tatari frame] The wire frame of the feelers. The 3D model of the feelers was made on the computer, with various data such as perspectives from every angle, shades, and movements.
[Tatari rendered] The model rendered by 3D rendering software. It looks like a "CG image".
[Tatari painted] The model painted by "Toonshader", shading software that alters CG images to have a more "cel-like" look. The software was developed by cooperation between Ghibli and Microsoft.
[Tatari and Ashitaka] The snakes are then composed with the background and Ashitaka (hand animated).

Tatari Gami in this scene was entirely CG (including the arrow). However, it was too time consuming to animate it with CG everywhere, so it was hand animated in other scenes.
[Tatari allCG]

Texture Mapping

In scenes where the background needs to move as the camera moves, background animation is typically used. Since background animation traditionally uses cels, the backgrounds in such scenes look very different from the very detailed backgrounds painted by the art department. Texture mapping makes it possible to "move" background pictures.

[3D terrain] The 3D model of the terrain where the scene takes place. The model was calculated with many parameters, such as the undulations of the land and the speed with which the camera zooms in.
[foreground] The foreground. The pictures painted by the art department were "mapped" onto the model made by the CG department. In this way, the high quality paintings done by the artists can now be made to move.
[background] The background. This is hidden behind the foreground at the beginning of the scene.
[composed] By composing the background and the foreground, and moving them in the computer, you can get the effect of the camera tracking in. The background gradually appears as the camera moves in.


The key animation of the rotting Tatari Gami. Instead of drawing in-betweens, the morphing technology makes "in-betweens" of these three pictures by reshaping and overlapping them.
[Rotting Tatari]

The morphing technology was also used in the scene where plants grow back at the end of the film.
[Growing plants]

To the Next CG page

[Blue Ribbon Icon] This page is brought to you by Team Ghiblink.