D.A.G Inc./DIVA: Digital Art Studio Roppongi is a cutting-edge CG production company nestled in the heart of Tokyo. With about 20 years in the Japanese CG production industry, the company specialises in creating characters and background animations for the gaming industry and CG/VFX for film productions. Its vision to create its own content inspired the decision to build its own studio in 2021.
The studio features two separate spaces: one for motion capture and the other for virtual production with a green screen studio. The team discovered Reality Engine, a leading-edge real-time compositing platform, during their search for the right technology. The DAG team appreciated its customisation, integration with camera tracking, and keying capabilities. They ultimately chose the Reality ecosystem for its comprehensive toolkit that would enable them to create special worlds. Zero Density’s regional partner Reinphase handled the installation and training for the studio.
Horita Hiroki, Section Manager at DAG, explains, “The greatest appeal of Reality Engine is being able to check the completed image in real-time. And it’s possible to shoot videos for different production materials, even with a relatively simple setup. The colours of the floor and wall in our studio are slightly different, but this is not a problem for Reality Keyer. The colour variation can be compensated very easily. Complex configurations were never necessary.”
In their client work, DIVA Studios employs a streamlined process. They consult with the client, create a design sketch for approval, and the client chooses a virtual set from Unreal Engine Marketplace. DIVA customises this using Reality and conducts a test shoot. From initial consultation to shooting, the entire process typically takes only a week, significantly reducing the time required compared to using alternative game engines.
Nihommatsu Katsumi, Chief Operating Officer at DAG, said, “What struck me at the first demo was that the studio setup was very basic. Just a green sheet in a section of the office. Also, the lighting equipment was minimal, but the green was completely rendered, even in detailed sections such as the hair. This means that the potential would be even greater with a high-tech studio.”
DIVA Studios primarily shoots music videos and dream-like sequences for TV programmes. Artists perform against the green background, and the team creates and adds background graphics or customises resources from Unreal Engine Marketplace. They also shoot sequences combining a virtual background with props from an actual background image.
Nihommatsu Katsumi, Chief Operating Officer at DAG, said, “People may have experience with CG compositing in post-production, but most people have never seen real-time compositing with such detailed and high-quality keying, so they’re always impressed.”
DIVA Studios aims to promote the CG works of DAG and works produced at DIVA, introducing even more high-quality video productions. The company’s experience with Reality Engine has helped its realise its vision and elevate production capabilities.