INORI/prayer the new face mapping work by Nobumichi ASAI

annamaria monteverdi/ agosto 6, 2017/ NEWS

This project was born when Nobumichi Asai (WOW) approached collaborators TOKYO, the dancing duo AyaBambi, and the Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory at the University of Tokyo.
This project began when songs were created about ‘life,’. Creative and technical director Asai (WOW) and CG director Shingo Abe (WOW) completed visual production and programming based on inspiration they obtained from the songs. Aya Sato added the choreography, and TOKYO completed the project by making it into a video.


‘Radioactive’ is the inspiration that Asai felt from music. ‘Radioactive’ wields destructive power, and from that brings ‘death’, ‘suffering’, and ‘sadness”’. And then, the ‘opportunity’ to overcome those things. Accompanied by the overwhelming performance of AyaBambi, a visual synchronization of black tears, skulls, faces being severed, Noh Masks of agony and
the Heart Sutra have sublimated into a single piece of work.
The face mapping system made it possible to follow intense performances, which was impossible until now, thanks to the use of the state of the art 1000 fps projector DynaFlash※1 and ultra high speed sensing. The initial dilemma of speeding up the tracking to the detriment of performance latitude was resolved by the WOW team, Professor Watanabe, and Tomoaki Teshima (EXVISION), who trimmed several milliseconds during a trial and error period that lasted approximately three months, enabling the completion of this system※2. The projected image looks like it is integrated into part of the skin, and the expressions on a subject’s face, when it is distorted or transformed, are exponentially enhanced.

*1: Jointly developed by the Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory at the University of Tokyo and Tokyo Electron Device, and commercialized by Tokyo Electron Device.
*2: Dynamic projection mapping technology, developed by the Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory at the University of Tokyo, was used for hand tracking and projection mapping. Face mapping technology, developed by WOW Inc., was used for facial tracking.

 

vimeo.com/210565827

This project is achieved as collaborative work between AYABAMBI, Ishikawa Watanabe Lab,TOKYO, responding the call for collaboration by Nobumichi Asai (WOW).

Staff

Nobumichi Asai [Creative Director | Technical Director – WOW]
Shingo Abe [CG Director – WOW]
Atsushi Yoshimura [Programmer – WOW]
Ayaka Motoyoshi [Assistant Producer – WOW]

Eiji Tanigawa [Director | Editor – TOKYO]
Senzo Ueno [Director of Photography – TOKYO]
Toshiyuki Takei / Shinya Masuda [Producer – TOKYO]
Minami Chiwaki / Yuma Yoshimura / Kohei Takayama [Production Manager – TOKYO]
Suzuko Ohgaki [Making Director – TOKYO]

Aya Sato [Choreographer]
AyaBambi [Cast]
Oi-chan[Management]

Shootings

Tomorio Takahashi [Gaffer]
Hisashi Morikawa / Mie Inaba / Akihiko Imai [Light Assistant]
Takashi Ideguchi [Camera 1st Assistant]
Shibuya Hiromi / Fujii Ryosuke [Camera 2nd Assistant]
Setsu Fukushima / Ryosuke Taniguchi [Music – Ongakushitsu Inc.]
Yosuke Nagao [Music Composer]

Yasuo Fukuda [Colorist]
Ryota Abe [Online Editor]
Mizuki Kawano [Mixer – TAIYO KIKAKU co.,ltd]

Special Thanks

Yoshihiro Watanabe [Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory,University of Tokyo]
Masatoshi Ishikawa [Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory,University of Tokyo]
Tomoaki Teshima [Exvision]

TOKYO ELECTRON DEVICE LIMITED
Takeshi Yuasa / Kiwamu Sumino / Hiroshi Watase /Toru Yamashita
Atsuko Kushima / Tomoaki Kiguchi

nobumichiasai.com

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First, the soundtrack was composed according along the theme “Life”. Nobumichi Asai and Shingo Abe was inspired by the music and then made face mapping work. Aya Sato designed choreography. TOKYO completed the project by making the video work.

The music brought Asai the image of “the radioactive.” The destructive force of the radioactive could cause “death,” “suffering,” and “sorrow.” And “prayers” could overcome them. These subjects infuse AYABAMBI’s powerful performance. Their performance crushes and conquer black tears, skulls and the Heart Sutra. We built up the concept during the production and Abe designed animation for face mapping.

There was a big challenge in technical aspects. We realized the new mapping system that allows us to follow intense performances by using the latest 1,000 fps projector, DynaFlash(*1) and a super speed sensor. It is very new and it had not been done before. Projected images become part of their skin and they transform their faces.

At the beginning of our development, there was an issue, AYABAMBI would loose freedom of performances if we accelerated the tracking speed. Asai, Yoshimura (WOW), Lecturer Watanabe and Teshima (EXVISION) explored how we could keep the tracking speed securing the freedom of performances, taking three months of trial and error to reduce a few milliseconds. And we finally developed this system(*2).

*1 “DynaFlash” is developed jointly by Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory, the University of Tokyo and is commercialized by Tokyo Electron Device Limited.

*2 For tracking hands, we use the dynamic projection mapping technology developed by Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory, the University of Tokyo. For tracking faces, we use the face mapping technology developed by the visual design studio, WOW inc.