Hervé Dupont, managing director of Fortiche, says AI can't get into character as it's not emotional - yet Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: Visitors to the inaugural Sharjah Animation Conference on Thursday were treated to some real-life stories behind the success of one of Netflix’s most popular animated action-adventure television series in recent times.

Addressing a full house during a masterclass session, held on the side-lines of the 14th edition of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF 2023) at Expo Centre Sharjah, Hervé Dupont, the Managing Director of Fortiche, the producers of ‘Arcane: League of Legends’ series, shared insights into the creative process behind the hit animated series first released in November 2021 while also taking questions from the audience.

AI not emotional - yet

When asked if he was worried about how artificial intelligence (AI) is taking over creative processes, the Frenchman said: “I am not really concerned because I believe that Arcane cannot be reproduced with AI. And that’s because there are some people with sensitivity that choose where you put the camera, what story you want to tell, and what emotions you want to talk about. I am not sure AI can make these choices yet”.

“You know movies are a reflection of the director’s and the scriptwriter’s vision. And if you don’t have the vision I am not sure if your end product will stand out. Maybe once AI develops that vision and true personality, then maybe yes but for the moment, no,” he added, further quelling the ‘AI vs Humans debate’.

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‘Never seen before’

Dupont also decoded the innovative stylistic choices that were made to bring this unique work to life, and the challenges that the team faced in bringing the project to fruition.

“We had challenges right from the start when we spent a lot of time asking ourselves whether we were doing the right thing. It was a slow but steady process and, in the end, we made Arcane a truly never-seen-before project. You can’t really compare Arcane.”

What’s the story?

Created by Christian Linke and Alex Yee and produced by the French animation studio Fortiche under the supervision of Riot Games, Arcane primarily focuses on sisters Vi and Jinx, the two central characters of the series. DuPont’s presentation also touched on the evolution of such characters.

“Developing the characters took a really long time because it involved several stages – from running them past designers to making sure that they had all the important elements. All this while developing the storyboard, script and finishing everything in CGI,” explained DuPont.

The series was announced at the League of Legends 10th anniversary celebration in 2019, and first released in November 2021. Following the conclusion of the first season, Riot Games and Netflix announced that a second season was in production.