Music Video for New Vaundy Track “Naki Jizo” Using LED Virtual Production Technology Produced by AOI Pro., TREE Digital Studio, and Hibino
October 19, 2021
Tokyo – AOI Pro. Inc. (hereafter “AOI Pro.”), a company with business centered on commercial film production, has collaborated with TREE Digital Studio Inc. (hereafter “TREE”) and Hibino Corporation (hereafter “Hibino”) for a music video. TREE conducts planning and production for digital editing, computer graphics, and extended reality as well as equipment rentals and studio operations. Hibino designs and installs audio and video systems as well as provides video and audio services for concerts and events. The three companies came together to film a music video for the new song “Naki Jizo” from the multi-talented artist Vaundy, employing in-camera VFX virtual production technology using high-definition LED displays. The video was released today.
Original image from the music video
Previous shoots involving background composition included challenges such as the necessity to perform and shoot using backgrounds like green screens while imagining how things would look after composition. It was difficult to grasp the full visual picture using this method. Furthermore, it required long composite editing times after shoots.
In-camera VFX LED virtual production is a method of filming that installs high-definition LED displays throughout a studio to project photorealistic, three-dimensional computer graphics created with Unreal Engine onto a background. This method is actively used in Hollywood film productions. Shooting in an immersive space has advantages like making it easier for actors to perform and for light to blend with subjects. It also allows filming beyond the limitations of season or time of day and the use of elaborately planned, constructed sets. Because the location does not need to change, in-camera VFX is one filming-method that serves as a solution under present conditions in which the COVID-19 pandemic makes traveling difficult.
Real-time rendering technology can be used not only for shooting films but also in live streaming. High-quality compositing is possible, and the technology can offer the audience a unique experience.
The music video for Vaundy’s new song “Naki Jizo,” produced using this technology, has been released today.
AOI Pro. and Hibino began this collaborative production aiming to create a video using virtual production with the cutting-edge in-camera VFX filming method.
The key to success with in-camera VFX filming is the method's pursuit of realism, which comes infinitely close to erasing the boundaries between real and virtual. Several test shoots were done in the preparatory phase at Hibino VFX Studio, a virtual production studio offered by Hibino. Repeated trials for all sections, including lighting, set construction, and filming, were an opportunity to combine knowledge across different teams. Repeating enough tests to establish a work flow made it possible to finish a shoot with many cuts in two days. The production companies attempted methods of expression that could only be done thanks to in-camera VFX, such as by using a rotating base in front of an LED display and using fine wire mesh as a set piece, which makes background compositing difficult on a green screen. Another noteworthy point was that scene changes could be made within a single cut by modifying the computer graphics projected on the LED displays.
AOI TYO Group’s AOI Pro. and TREE were able to achieve a more seamless video production by building a virtual production system and working together. The music video was filmed at TREE’s Media Garden studio. CRANK provided the shooting equipment; LUDENS and REALIZE supervised the production of three-dimensional computer graphics and virtual production; and DIGITAL GARDEN was responsible for grading, online editing, and multitrack audio. LUDENS and REALIZE participated from the planning stage, supervising and coordinating with the crew to successfully express effects that are unique to virtual production. They committed themselves to optimizing scenes depicted in real time and guaranteeing quality.
AOI Pro. will continue proactively to adopt new technology, including virtual production, and take on the challenge of innovative video production.
A 21-year-old university student.
He is a multi-talented artist who writes, composes and arranges music all by himself and his talents expand to direction and self-production of designs and movies.
Since his first music post on YouTube in spring 2019, his songs “Tokyo Flash” and “Fukakouryoku” have instantly become social media sensation.
With over 900 million views on YouTube and subscriptions, they have become a symbolic figure in the era of Reiwa subscriptions. All of his live performances so far have been instant sell-outs. He has also been critically acclaimed by fellow artists and is actively involved in collaborations.
With an invitation from the international pop star LAUV, Vaundy participated in a global remix album and released “Modern Loneliness (Vaundy Remix)”.
His work has also been featured on the global culture site Nowness for his “Fukakouryoku (Global Dance Video)” produced by his global production team and his performances and creative activities crosses the borders.
His songs having been a long time presence in the charts, they have been chosen as tie-up songs in commercials and dramas.
With an unmistakably unique and addictive voice that catches the audience’s ear and a broad sense of music that is not confined to any genre that gives a sense of unparalleled talent, Vaundy is rapidly expanding his fandom especially among teenagers.
I would like people to take note of the one-of-a-kind CGI world created by MIZUNO CABBAGE and the use of virtual production technology that was employed to help us dive into the world he envisioned. Although the use of this new technology seemed liked a lot of work...!
I think the hard work really paid off in this film so I hope people will enjoy it from various different perspectives.
Comments from director MIZUNO CABBAGE
The theme for this music video was a warning to everyone. Have you ever watched people’s unhappiness as entertainment content?
Recently, opportunities to see people’s unhappiness and misfortunes have increased because of social media. However, it seems to me that people witness these and let such images slide without fully registering what they have seen. People consume it as media content. I also sometimes unconsciously watch people be unhappy in the same way. This is a warning to myself and everyone who does it. The music video is intentionally abstract so I would love for people watching to examine the work and feel various emotions.
In using virtual production technology, we struggled at first with how to use it optimally to stage a complex story. Then, through studying the technology by repeating several test shoots, we were able to produce expressions and a unique world view that had never been seen before. I feel this technology has many more possibilities.
AOI Pro. Executive Producer: Hiroyuki Yamada, Yoshiyuki Suzuki Producer: Itaru Shibamura, Yuzuki Shigenobu Business Producer: Junya Hiraoka Production Manager: Masahiro Oyamada, Naoko Kido, Haruka Ono BTS: Masahiro Kawamoto
TREE Digital Studio Virtual Production Supervisor: Masanari Hirashima Unreal Engine Artist: Luomeng Yuan Unreal Engine Engineer: Masato Negishi CGI Producer: Yuki Yamada, Yoshiaki Ishigaya Studio Staff: Media Garden 1st AC: Tatsuro Koga 3rd AC: Kaito Muranaka Lead Compositor: Hiroya Yoshida Lead Colorist: Mine Iguchi Lead Mixer: Hiroki Okumura
Hibino LED Executive Producer: Junichi"IMO"Imokawa LED Coordinator: Shigenori Kikuchi In-Camera VFX Coordinator: Toshihisa Takita Unreal Engine Operator: Shinnosuke Watanabe disguise Operator: Yuko Takeda RedSpy Engineer: Takahiro Naito Video Engineer: Tatsuyuki Kobayashi LED Engineer: Shinjiro Kato
Creative Director: Vaundy Director: MIZUNO CABBAGE Assistant Director: Michikatsu Yoshihara Cast: Show Kasamatsu, Mio Sasaki Stylist: Junshi Sato Hair and Make-up: Minako Suzuki, Misato Narita Special Make-up: KAIHO Choreographer: Nao Yoshigai, Ayano Yokoyama Director of Photography: Ryoma Kohari 2nd AC: Yusuke Nagata Key Grip: Takuya Watanabe DIT: Takeshi Yamaguchi Lighting Director: Hiroki Nishigaya Best boy Electrician: Wataru Ide Production Designer: Etsuko Akiba SFX: Toshi Stunt Coordinator: Tatsuro Koike Casting: Mitsuyo Ishigaki
About AOI Pro.
Founded in 1963, AOI Pro. is one of Asia’s top film productions whose business centers on commercial film production. In addition to nearly 1,000 commercial film related productions every year, AOI Pro. has been working on feature films and dramas in recent years. AOI Pro. has a global business department in Tokyo which consists of bilingual staff members who work closely with the SE Asian network of production teams.
About TREE Digital Studio
TREE Digital Studio Inc. is a creative studio, consisting of Post Production, Visual effects, shooting divisions and film studios. By concentrating the technology, knowledge, and human resources that each company has cultivated for many years into one company, we will escalate the field of content production, which will expand progressively due to the growth of digital technology. This will allow us to provide high-quality services and content that would exceed customer demands.
Founded in 1964, Hibino offers products and services in the Audio-Visual field under the concept, “The SOUND & VISUAL SPECIALISTS.” The company is a video and audio service pioneer, leading the industry since the dawn of concerts and events in Japan. With a focus on big concerts, Hibino supports a wide range of markets including exhibitions, corporate events, and sports competitions with their large-scale video equipment, maintained in a scope that is foremost in the world, and their operation technology backed by many years of experience. In the COVID-19 pandemic, they offer services implementing new visual experiences distinctive of online methods making full use of extended reality (XR) technology. The virtual production location Hibino VFX Studio, which evolved XR technology, opened in July 2021 and provides in-camera VFX technology for all types of video production.
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