EVANGELION PROVISIONAL UNIT-05 exists on the assumption of the use of CGI.

Interviewer

Now, let's talk about the new Evangelion "EVANGELION PROVISIONAL UNIT-05," which is one of the main attractions of "Ha".

Tsurumaki

Although it had been decided from the beginning of the project that a new EVA would appear, it would be troublesome if Gendo possessed it.

So I think the idea was to bring it out where he would not be involved.

Interviewer

The shape is also very different, and it is no longer on two legs.

Tsurumaki

I remember that it was planned like "Getter 3" and "Gun Tank" from the beginning. Yamashita (Ikuo) wanted to use a shape other than caterpillars, and I think that ultimately the shape became slimmer.

Interviewer

"EVANGELION PROVISIONAL UNIT-05" was created entirely in CGI, wasn't it?

Tsurumaki

The reason we picked up wheels is because the design was based on the assumption of the use of CGI.

For "Ha," we had talked about the possibility of using CGI for Evangelions and creating battle situations, so I think it was also a way to put this into practice.

For "Jo," we limited the use of CGI to scenes where it was easy to try it out.

The scene where the building grows out of the ground and the deformation scene of the 6th angel. It is rather more appropriate to use CGI to draw these scenes.

We chose CGI because "this way of using CGI would not cause any problems."

The only place where CGI Evangelion's whole body appears would be in the monitor.

Interviewer

The EVA simulator image with armatures in it, you mean?

Right. We used it in a very limited way, and even if it looked like CGI, there was no problem because it was CGI in the film. That is how we used it. 

From the production side, even if it is difficult in terms of drawing, I concentrate on what CGI would be good at. For example, things like hard objects moving slowly, or increasing the number of objects by copying and pasting. 

We used CGI in areas where we were confident that CGI would work well. 

On the other hand, we decided that it would be difficult to use CGI in a scene where the action of Evangelion Unit-01 would be the highlight of the scene. 

But from that time on, Anno had a desire to eventually use CGI more actively. 

That said, it would be risky to make a humanoid EVA walk, so we decided to use wheels for EVANGELION PROVISIONAL UNIT-05. 

The rather small space they are fighting in, in a mine shaft, is the setting for the use of CGI.

If it were done with drawings, it would become a background animation, which would be troublesome. 

In the cold open, it's clearly a mecha to combat and situation for the use of CGI.

Interviewer

How did you plan the battle scene in the cold open?

Tsurumaki

That changed two or three times.

At first, the image was more like a trolley moving on rails.

There was no way for it to move, so we didn't want to make it take such drastic action.

But when it came to the wheels, I thought, "Now that it's a car, maybe it should look like a "Initial D"-like vehicle," so I added actions like drifting and load shifting.

I kept telling the CGI staff that "load shifting is important, so when the car turns, the load is on the outside, but you have to tilt your upper body to the opposite side to keep the car balanced."

Interviewer

It certainly looks like it.

In the cold open, the third angel is also done with CGI, so the idea of having a battle between CGIs is pretty bold.

Tsurumaki

I thought it would be more interesting to make the angel move in a twisting motion.

I think this is one of the scenes where the use of CGI is appropriate, because it would be costly if done with drawings.

Interviewer

It is also interesting that the angel has tiny little legs.

Tsurumaki

It was Anno's idea to have it constantly moving.

It doesn't work so well in the running scene, but when it flutters and moves in the scene where it floats in the air, it is cute (laughs). 

In "Jo," the direction was to improve the quality of the three angels from the TV series and have them appear, but in "Ha," the third angel in the battle scene at the cold open is the first angel to appear, and his personality is established rather clearly even on first viewing. 

So I thought it became a scene that was typical of "Ha".

Interviewer

The CGI for the cold open was done by Orange (Animation production company), which was also highly acclaimed in "Jo", wasn't it?

Tsurumaki

Yes, it was.

The quality level of their CGI work was high, and they would have finished a series of cuts that would have been acceptable from the beginning if we were working on the TV series.

However, when Anno checked them, there were many retakes, which was very hard for the CGI staff.

There were very few cuts that were completely wrong, and they were all very subtle corrections.

For example, "make it a little slower to return to the stance after punching," or "I don't like the angle of the punch, so fix it a little closer to the camera."

Interviewer

Many people are surprised when I tell them that EVANGELION PROVISIONAL UNIT-05 is done with CGI.

Tsurumaki

If you want to do CGI robot action, there is no other choice but to ask Orange.

For complicated parts of the action, they used various techniques and know-how, such as breaking up the modeling, removing joints, enlarging parts only in the front, and so on.

They are good because they use all their creativity and know-how to create an animated robot action.

They are one of the few CGI studios that understand the animators' sense.

As a result, not only in the cold open but also in the middle of "Ha," we decided to replace Evangelion with CGI more and more, so I feel that "Ha" has moved our original plan forward at once.