Rupert Sanders' Ghost in the Shell isn't exactly electrifying the worldwide box office, but its visual achievements are shockingly superior to anything I've witnessed on screen this year.
Whatever your opinions of the whitewashing scandal or its adaptation of the revered anime source material are, you can't say this isn't one gorgeous sci-fi film with more eye-popping effects, both digital and practical, than you can possibly absorb in a single sitting.
Ash Thorp, one of the lead designers and concept artists on the Paramount project, just released a new showreel of his amazing work on the live-action cyber-thriller, with sequences and images representing a multi-year compilation of his art created for Ghost in the Shell, including everything from animation tests to final assets implemented in the film.
Here's how Thorp described the process of creating the solid holograms seen prominently in the fantastic film:
Early on in the film’s development, I met with Rupert to discuss some of the creative direction. He expressed his desire to paint the city with neon lights in a new form that he coined as “Solograms,” which are solid holograms. It is something in the realm of a particle system of light that can be moved and augmented in Z space. I loved the idea and instantly got to work building out concepts and ideas. Below you will see a mix of various style frames, concepts, and final production assets that made it into the film. These concepts then went into post production where Chris Bjerre and I animated and created an asset library for Rupert to paint his city with.
Conceptual artist Maciej Kuciara was a part of Thorp's design team and shared these ultra-cool images of a Gynoid head and suitcase gun to represent some of his creations on Ghost in the Shell: