My Neighbor Totoro’s Mei in 3D

My Neighbor Totoro's Mei reimagined as a CGI model!

No, this isn’t another rumor regarding Studio Ghibli’s beloved My Neighbor Totoro. Rather, as reported by RocketNews24, a fan of the film has created 3D renderings of protagonist Mei. The images are from the site ZBrushCentral and were posted by the user d8Ds. The rendering was done in response to a challenge issued by CGTalk, the forum for CGSociety. The challenge was to not only create a rendering of a character, actor, or animal, but to provide fifteen different expressions for that rendering.

References for the model.
References for the model.

The above image contains stills of Mei from the film that were referenced in the project. Below are the final results of the 3D rendering.

Final result of a 3-D rendered Mei.
Final result of a 3D rendered Mei.
Fifteen different expressions.
Fifteen different expressions, each one labeled.

There have been a number of challenges and contests on both CGTalk and ZBrushCentral involving renders of anime characters. While the images of Mei still try to retain her distinct Ghibli-esque design, other artists go for a more real-world feel. Below are just a few fan works that can be found by perusing the forums.

Goku (by Bruno Camara) and Master Roshi (by Carlos Vidal). Found on ZBrushCentral.
Goku (by Bruno Camara) and Master Roshi (by Carlos Vidal) from Dragonball. Found on ZBrushCentral.
Tauros Aldebaran (by KelvinL) and Aries Mu (by Rosko) from Saint Seiya. Found on ZBrushCentral.
Tauros Aldebaran (by KelvinL) and Aries Mu (by Rosko) from Saint Seiya. Found on ZBrushCentral.


What do you think of Mei’s transformation into the realm of 3D? Does she still retain the charm of her original 2-D counterpart? Any thoughts on anime being rendered into 3D in general? With CGI animation dominating here in the US, it may not be too long until more anime works are exclusively created using CGI. Let us know what you think in the comment section below!


Sources: RocketNews24, CGTalk, d8Ds’ Original Post, Dragonball Challenge, Anime Contest feat. Naruto, Saint Seiya, Bleach, and Kill La Kill, and Masters of Anime Challenge.

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About the Author

Cindy Caraturo

Continual student of the Japanese language and valiant attempter at novel (and article!) writing. Enjoys when it's softly raining outside and is an avid drinker of quali-tea. Also thinks she is amusing. Take that for what you will. (⌒▽⌒)

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