Studio Spotlight: Production I.G


The next of the titans of anime production that merits a look is Production I.G. First I feel a foreword is necessary.  These short spotlights are really only intended to place a bit of focus on where your favorite shows are coming from and remind you to think in terms of different studios.  I’m sure a lot of you do, but there are readers that probably don’t.

The montage images I put together should cover all of the major titles that the particular animation studio worked on. This does not include works that they only assisted in the painting or animation. It should paint a complete picture of what they have done and what they are about.  It was more practical and pleasing to the eye to not label them. I feel these titles are big enough that an average reader should recognize them. If you are unclear about any just drop a  comment.

The end result should be a convenient reference of the pillars of modern anime production. This won’t include all of the most popular titles, but it will cover the greatest producers of anime.  This does not have very obsqure info , the history of any group or my in depth analysis of how they view anime production. I just ripped the facts from Wiki and the thumbnails form ANN.   I hope you will find something of use in this collection of studios.


Back to the subject at hand. Production I. G. was founded as “IG Tatsunoko Limited” in 1987.  The letters I and G derive from the names of the founders Mitsuhisa Ishikawa and popular character designer Takayuki Goto. Among Production I.G’s earliest most notable works was the feature length adaptation of the Patlabor story, created by HEADGEAR.

As you can see above, they have worked with CLAMP on xxxholic and Tsubasa Chronicle OAVs. The legendary director, Mamoru Oshii, makes the studio his base of opporations. Time and time again they have collaborated with Masumune Shirow; from Ghost in the Shell to Real Drive.

They have also assisted with animation on projects such as Evangelion, FLCL, Comedy and Mind game.

Production I.G is clearly one of the forerunners of digital animation techniques. While not exclusive in their usage of computer technology, they are given praise for their digital advances in composing, effects, and color grading. Ghost in the Shell marked the first overlay of computer generated visuals onto a hand drawn background.  Production I.G. have not gone wrong since. You do not see the botched CG mechas and effects as you do with other studios such as Sunrise.

With the advance of digital compositing, discrete layers could be edited in groups, and lighting effects could be applied to the entire frame, or to each layer selectively. This helped the production of  Princess Mononoke by creating a depth of field previously unseen in an animated feature. In Blood: The Last Vampire, this also helped create an active background supporting the foreground characters.

Digital colorgrading allows for multiple layers to be edited at once, and was used in Blood: The Last Vampire to build a very specific unified color palette. Within the limited color palette, specific colors were enhanced to draw the attention of the viewer in a way difficult to paint in the cel.

The benifits of fine tuning the digital production of a show can be seen most recently in Eden of the East. The active backgrounds, lighting and textures of the city in the first episode really stand out in a TV production.

One Response

  1. Production I.G.’s use of CG is truly praiseworthy. I remember watching Le Chevalier d’Eon and being blown away by their rendition of the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles — and I’ve seen the same level of high-grade work in all the other series they’ve done that I’ve come across.

    Seeing as they also do the cutscenes for the Tales series, which I admit to being a huge fan of, you could say I love this studio as well. ^-^;;

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