scene from anime series LUPIN ZERO with Lupin doing a magic trick with a cup and a die

DaVinci Resolve Studio Used to Edit Animation Series LUPIN ZERO

Blackmagic Design announced today that DaVinci Resolve Studio editing, color grading, visual effects (VFX) and audio post production software was used in the post production of anime series “LUPIN ZERO.” By utilizing DaVinci Resolve Studio for tasks such as creating video storyboards from storyboard data, and adjusting the colors and textures of the animation, the production team achieved greater efficiency in their work.

“LUPIN ZERO” is an anime series exclusively streamed on DMM TV. It is based on the manga and anime series “Lupin the Third” and depicts the protagonist Lupin’s childhood. The “Lupin the Third” anime series began airing in 1971 and has since expanded into TV specials, theatrical releases, spinoffs, and more, maintaining long term series development. “LUPIN ZERO”” is produced by Telecom Animation Film, which has been involved in many “Lupin the Third” series.

“This work serves as a prequel to ‘Lupin the Third Part One’, so instead of emphasizing the current digital style, we focused on the texture and ambiance of the 1960s era. The production workflow remains consistent with recent anime productions, utilizing Blender for layout and animation when making the storyboard to serve as a guide for the artwork,” said Miwa Yanagida, an editor and compositor for Telecom Animation Film. She edited the entire “LUPIN ZERO” series using DaVinci Resolve Studio.

Yanagida created video storyboards in addition to editing the main content for the series. “The storyboard includes the duration of each cut, so I edited the storyboard images according to the guide. By actually creating a video from the storyboard, we can quickly confirm the overall picture at an early stage. I created video storyboard so that the director and other crew can review it anytime. If there are camera movements such as pans, I also added simple motions in DaVinci Resolve,” she explained.

“Once the animation and backgrounds are completed, we received the clips of each composite cut, where the shots are combined through compositing. Then I replaced the timeline of the video storyboard with these segments and edited them accordingly. Since adjustments to dialogue and timing were necessary, I sometimes edited by removing frames or extending still image depending on the cut,” Yanagida added.

Furthermore, there were requests from the director to slightly enhance the quality, so adjustments were made in DaVinci Resolve Studio. “For example, there’s a scene where characters engage in a psychological battle atop a tower. While it’s not an action packed or flashy scene, the request was to add some subtle shadows. I achieved this by adding shadows to the stone walls and foreground using the color page to create a sense of depth. I also added shadows in other scenes,” said Yanagida. “Adjustments, such as adding shadows to the background and adjusting saturation, were made to ensure the characters didn’t get lost on the screen. Thanks to DaVinci Resolve’s easy tracking feature, these adjustments were made quickly.”

“In addition, there are scenes where I added light sources and haze. It was convenient that I didn’t need to create caches or proxy media for this work, and everything operated smoothly in real time,” Yanagida noted.

“In typical anime editing workflows, the final check will be performed in post production to make sure the signals and colors meet the delivery standard. If you want to make some adjustments like I did in post production, it can be time consuming. And sending cuts back to the compositing company for corrections can be quite daunting. However, in this project, I was able to handle such final fine tuning adjustments in DaVinci Resolve as well. Rendering was also very fast, allowing me to export to delivery formats quickly, and it was well received because I could address various issues during the editing process,” Yanagida concluded.

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