Pre-production of a movie is always the most important part. It is the longest part
in the whole film-making process, even more than actually filming because there is
so much to organize. Otomo's manga was already cinematic in its pace and fluidity
which made this stage somewhat easier, but Otomo still had to draw out each
individual scene so the crew knew exactly what was going to be made. Very little
visual post-production is done to animation because it is a waste of effort and money
to create the cels that may get edited out. Therefore the storyboard has to be very
tight and precise.


Colour Storyboard 1Colour Storyboard 2Colour Storyboard 3

Colour Storyboard 4Colour Storyboard 5Colour Storyboard 6

Colour storyboards as preparation for the 'look' and 'feel' of the scene. From this the artists can understand the composition and colour palletes Otomo has in mind.



B/W Storyboard 1B/W Storyboard 2B/W Storyboard 3Street Sketch
Black and White sketches from the Akira script. Otomo drew all the initial
storyboard sketches himself to obtain, for himself,  the filmic quality and
desired pace of manga. The last is a layout drawing for a back-alley.

Kaneda- Bike wearKaneda & GogglesKaneda- Casual wearTetsuo- Casual wear

Tetsuo & GogglesTetsuo- Hospital gownTetsuo- Bike wearKay

(images taken from The Art of Akira vol1)

Character Model Sheets. These are made to show the final design of the
characters- by looks and colour codes. Essential in the preproduction, these
kind of drawings would act as reference to the animators/colourists.



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