The best thing about the live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell is the film’s visual aesthetic. It presents a near-future that’s hyper-saturated with holograms, cybernetic body modification, and slick user interfaces. Some of the creators involved are showing how all that came to be.
In a reel posted to Vimeo, designer Ash Thorp catalogues some of the work he did to help create Ghost in the Shell’s particular look. An accompanying post on Thorp’s website goes more in-depth, showing how the movie’s solid holograms effects came to life and more:
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.
Concept artist Maciej Kuciara, who worked with Thorp, has also been sharing some of his contributions to the film on Twitter.
This work went into the final version of the film and presents a big departure from earlier conceptualization done by Monika Bielskyte, where the fictional world looked more sprawling and brightly-lit. Despite the shifts and its other flaws, Ghost in the Shell looks good at the very least.