The silicon shortage continues to affect industries worldwide, impacting a wide range of companies that rely on technology as a part of their business. Visual Flight, the new studio behind the Crunchyroll original anime EX-ARM, is the latest to report running into challenges as certain components continue to prove difficult to find.
Visual Flight claims that due to being unable to acquire new video cards for their computer workstations, the graphical quality of EX-ARM has suffered tremendously. With staff forced to perform final renders on outdated hardware, visual fidelity has had to be reduced significantly in order to render animations in time in order to meet weekly deadlines.
“Our original goal with EX-ARM was to create a realistic world that would be able to really immerse the viewer,” stated series director Yoshikatsu Kimura. “But as we started working, we soon began to realize that on our current hardware it just wasn’t going to be possible. We had to keep removing details until we were left with something that could be finalized and edited in time.”
The reduction in detail left much of the animation looking similar to that of a PS2 game. In order to try to cover up some of the lower quality 3D models, staff added layers of stock fog and smoke effects to many of the scenes. In some instances, the workstations would lag if more than one 3D character model was on-screen at the same time, so minor characters would often be substituted with 2D animation in order to keep production going.
The results have not been well received with the series being largely panned for its poor animation quality. EX-ARM currently sits as one of the lowest rated shows of the season as it nears its final episode.
Studio Visual Flight hinted that it may look into improving the visuals for the Blu-ray release if they are able to find new video cards in stock, although it is more likely that EX-ARM will receive a cheaper DVD release as no one would be able to tell the difference anyway.