There’s not many people that haven’t heard with word AKIRA muttered at some point, it’s one of Anime and Manga’s famous sons.
Originally conceived in the early 80’s, this six volume epic was longer and different from the 1988 film of the same name.
In homage to the great Katsuhiro Otomo, a technical master of the Manga arts, NGON wanted to create something that paid tribute to his mechanical-like precision as an illustrator, by creating this modern piece using 3D shader techniques with a dash of hand drawn line art to tick a box regarding the original artwork of the series.
Often stylized as AKIRA, is a Japanese cyberpunk manga series written and illustrated by Katsuhiro Otomo, collected into six tankōbon volumes by its publisher Kodansha between 1984 and 1991. It was published in the United States by Marvel Comics under Epic Comics, becoming one of the first manga ever to be completely translated into English. Otomo’s art is considered outstanding and a watershed for both Otomo and the manga form. The manga is also famous for spawning the seminal 1988 cyberpunk anime film adaptation of the same name.
1 ——– Branding
2 ——– Design + Art Direction
6 ——– 3D Conceptual Design
8 ——– 3D All-Type Visualisation
9 ——– Artworking
As mentioned above, there had to be a certain technical reference to this piece, and NGON loves complexity. So the two jelled from the very beginning.
The modelling aspect considered the manga over the anime, simply because of the style, so it was decided to replicated the same technique from the graphic novels, as well as various scenes that never appeared in the film.
There was some last minute changes made, as you can see in the split sections. Originally, there was going to be a reference to Tetsuo punching the moon, but was later changed to a large illustration of his head instead. This simply worked better for balance and also allowed for some extra hand drawn type to be placed in there.
As you can see from the split, there was quite a bit of illustration involved, but subsequently, some 3D you might not of expected to be CG.
Using Surface ID outputs allows for easy area masking and colour adjustments inside of Photoshop, which shows in the final design.
NGON loves the iPad Pro, such a convenient way of quickly illustrating everything from line art to typography. Combine this with the application of 3D and you get a visual barrage of story telling.
The end piece was a collection of clean lines and complex shapes. All dancing to the same rhythm of destruction in Neo Tokyo.
Design + Direction – NGON
F1.0 ——– NGON’s are like a concept.
They start with a single point that grow with guidance.
Adding structure and purpose within helps solidify the shape. Then refining with meticulous crafting, finally brings it to life.
We are bound by imagination. Limitless and forever evolving.