How to create the world by Final Fantasy Art Director

  • Topic: Art Direction and Concept Art of ‘Final Fantasy’

  • Lecturer: ISAM Amino Kayo / Freelance Art Director

  • Presentation: Career / Art

  • Lecture time: 2022.11.17 (Thu) 16:00 ~ 16:50

  • Lecture Summary: ISAM Amino Kayo has served as an art director of the Final Fantasy series.
    In this session, his representative work ‘Final Fantasy’ series is a major case study, which conveyed a sincere story about art directions and concept arts.

■ Final Fantasy, based on reality
In 1999, ISAM Kamikaze, who joined Square Enix, started with Final Fantasy 10 BG Art, and was in charge of the concept art of Final Fantasy in Final Fantasy 12. Until he left Square Enix in 2017, he played as a core developer of Japan Series, including Final Fantasy 12 Severance Wings, Final Fantasy 13, Final Fantasy 13-2, Lightning Returns Final Fantasy 13, and Final Fantasy 15.

The lecture was also made by introducing the development process of the core artwork that he participated in.

Final Fantasy is tied up in the same series, but there are no directors and writers in each work, and there are no common worldviews or atmosphere. In response to each new work, the director and the artist needed efforts to visually express what they wanted. Director SAMU Mu began this work with local exploration and investigation. In fact, I arranged and found the area that matches the worldview of the game.

Final Fantasy 12 investigated the local situation by visiting Turkey and Yemen, where various cultures coexist, including Europe. The medieval street, the European-style village, which can be found in the game Final Fantasy, is made by expanding and covering the field of view with this kind of local preliminary exploration.

Final Fantasy 13, on the other hand, is a work to draw the world of the world. Simply think of it as a culture to refer to as much as it draws a world that does not exist. Nevertheless, the appearance of the terrain and the nature is bound to exist in the realm that can be made by referring to the reality. The United States, which maintains the terrain and ancient regions created 200 million years ago, was a great reference material. I went around the United States for two weeks and scored for two weeks, and six to seven team members, including designers and planners, covered locals.

■ Concept Art Final Fantasy 12, 13, 15

The concept art of Final Fantasy 12 was also based on the experience of traveling around the world. Of course, the world in the game is far from real building. Instead, if you open each building, you can find today’s culture everywhere. Final Fantasy 12 is made by mixing buildings such as medieval Europe, Arab countries, India, and modern skyscrapers.

In the silhouette of the building, modern sensibility can be found in detail, and in detail, you can find models in the Middle East. In particular, the image of the above photographs is the key concept art that is the core concept art.

Director Samuel also shared the development process of concept art with the characters in the game, Fran and Valeria. In fact, there is a separate protagonist of Final Fantasy 12, but he also said that the concept art centered on it was produced. In particular, the concept art, one of the basis of the game, was consumed for about a month.

Cocoon, the sky city of Final Fantasy 13, was created with reference to the concept work of industrial designer Luigi Poland who played in the 1950s and 60s. Poland prefers streamlined design, and his unique work was enough to catch the eye of director ISAM. In addition, a real worldview was built around the design that emphasized this streamlined type.

In addition to the morphological part of the curve, not just a straight line, the streamline feels like a living life is alive. In other words, it depicts the form of another creature of human beings in the space that looks like a creature. In addition, the beauty of the body curve was also aimed at formative beauty through eroticism that overlaps in the city.

However, it was not easy to implement a streamlined design in the game released by PlayStation 3. However, because of the conviction of the design, it pushed it, and in fact, a unique future world based on curves could be realized. This work was also based on the actual game production, which took another month to color and color.

The concept art of 15, the Final Fantasy work, which was the last involved director of ISAM, aimed to realize the real game world. Concept arts are depicted to feel simple and strong power while enhancing the cold feel of communist countries such as Russia and Eastern Europe.

In particular, overseas dramas such as Walking Dead, such as Walking Dead, have become a driving force for art production. Walking Dead is a kind of fantasy world that depicts zombies and human confrontation. But the world obviously depicts a realistic and actually exists similar to the world we live in.

It is a world that cannot be in art production, but the goal is to build a fantasy that seems to be in reality. In fact, Final Fantasy 15 has a road from the initiative to the road, and there are signs or road signals, making them feel similar to the world we live in. The color also reduced the number to monotone, adding to reality.

■ New era and game developer

Until independence, he participated only in game development, but he continued his work experience since he became a freelancer. The start was to draw a picture of the Titokuji Temple in Kyoto. It was a long history of Daitokuji, which was built in 1315, so the director of the director was more doubtful that he was commissioned by himself.


I met a monk of the temple with a 100% rejection. At that time, the monk kneeled and asked.

‘It is not a modern man, not a past person to draw a new picture in 500 years in the temple. At the top of modern culture, there are people who make cartoons, make animations, and produce games. So the new picture of the temple should be taken by such a person. ‘

The director of this will eventually accept this work. However, it was not easy for him to paint with his hands while working with Photoshop. Analog paintings were all learning oil painting, but the painting on the sliding door was on the paper.

Without experience, he originally expected two and a half months, but the actual work was not easy. If you were digital, you could make 10 by copying/pasting by drawing one pillar, but the picture on the paper had to draw all the 10 paintings. Unlike the digital, which is the end of the spot, it was possible to combine each color one by one and mix dozens of minutes to make only one color.

Eventually, I wanted to eat at the temple and started with how to use the ingredients. It took me a year and a half that I could finish in about two months. It also paid the cost of purchasing gold leaf and special brushes. When I lived in the temple, there was a rumor that he was a game company in Tokyo and that he didn’t like it.

There was also a realization of the fact that one mistake could not be reversed, with tremendous tensions, which led to the high build of the work and the unintentional result. I also learned that the difference between works taken with film cameras that can be modified and not can be checked is also from such an irreversible tension.

■ New start and the essence of game artists
I also participated for the first time in animation, and I participated as a concept artist of Hosoda Mamore and the concept artist of freckles. He usually can’t say that all of his work is good, but he recalled that this work is a great work.

His work was a symbolic character and a big whale used like a background. In particular, the work is rarely found in the Green Concept Art and the final design as an example, because the only one concept art was decided as a real work.

Director ISAM, who usually draws the worldview and background, said that he was commissioned for the first time in this work. I participated exactly for other tasks, but many producers were having a hard time catching the design. As a result of the request for work, the artist’s request for work came into fits with the artist and director’s concept.

However, it is rare that the work progresses to the universal thousand. Normally, they are worried, and they are only confirmed by presenting multiple work.

Unlike the whale, the dragon’s castle did not get the answer ‘This is!’ Eventually, I understood the settings of the work deeply and presented a picture of a picture. Based on this, the details were added to the work.

The difference in work in the game and the game is prominent in the background. There is a level design in the game. Even in a simple picture, the entrance, the exit, and the interaction are made here, and the level design is unconsciously designed and applied to the work.

Animation does not require that element. The important thing is the continuity of God, and the presence of the starting point and the ending point is not important. Even if the previous cut feels completely different from the work, it will be the result of the completion if you don’t feel rejected in the continuous video. Such logic has been quite shocking for director SAMU Mu, who has been a game developer for a long time.

Efforts were made to create a unique painting style in the work. He also commented that the background made of CG made the character stand out, and a challenge was made to use white lines that give three-dimensional effect instead of a cartoon-like black.

■ The essence of a new start and game artist
Meanwhile, director ISAM is planning to plan an untitled original plan. He tried to challenge his manga with his acquaintances for six months after no work, and said he prepared a huge amount of stories and plots in the worldview for series comics. The recommendation of CG animation is also said to be concerned about how to solve it. In addition, the concept art for the work was also released on site.

Concept after the lecture is completed

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