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The Museum of Architectural Drawing in Berlin showcases the superb drawings of urban architecture made for a range of Japanese anime such as Ghost in the Shell.
The Museum of Architectural Drawing in Berlin presents a temporary exhibition curated by Stefan Riekeles and Nadejda Bartels showing original drawings from renowned Japanese animation films. From Akira (1988) to Ghost in the Shell (1995), Japanese anime has secured its place in international pop culture, attracting a growing public.
The show focuses on a selection of superb renderings of urban architecture made for the screen. In drawings for the films Patlabor (1989), Ghost in the Shell (1995) and Ghost in the Shell 2 – Innocence (2004), the megalopolis skyline is seen to be crushing in on what remains of traditional wooden housing. Industrial sites with endless labyrinths of cables and piping and utopian science-fiction constructions form backdrops for the dynamic film plots.
The exhibition presents works by Hiromasa Ogura (art director), Mamoru Oshii (director), Atsushi Takeuchi (layout) and Takashi Watabe (layout). These artists belong to a generation of illustrators who drew animation films almost only by hand. Although today computer graphics are additionally used across all areas of production, paper, pencil and brush remain their essential tools. Thanks to their artistic craftsmanship, the works are finished with an intricate attention to detail and high quality drafting.
The exhibited works demonstrate the four stages in the creative process of developing a background image: setting, image board, layout and background. The initial setting is a sketch of the scene, generally in pencil, defining the architecture, landscape and functionality of moving elements. Secondly, the art director defines the colour palette in an image board for the scene. Thirdly, the layout is a preliminary drawing with precise specifications of the position of objects and figures as well as reference to camera position and movement. Finally, based on the layout, the coloured background illustration is completed.