During the first leg in Square Enix’s planned lecture tours, Yusuke Naora sat down at SMU Guildhall to talk all things Final Fantasy art and his history with the series. Chief among them was an inside look into the development of Final Fantasy XV and the concept process involved in creating works for the Crown City of Insomnia, located in the modern kingdom of Lucis.
With regards to Final Fantasy XV the artists had to deal with physically based rendering, in addition to work on setting the boundaries of reality. The Imperial Palace, which we’ve seen since the original Versus XIII trailers, was modeled after the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building located in Shinjuku. Because it’s a palace they added in traffic circles for cars near the entrance but added a red carpet for ceremonies.
Because of the realistic world, the artists started collaborating with the CG team to find the right lighting. Naora even painted over real pictures of Tokyo to get this feeling.
Joining the art team alongside Naora include Isamu Kamikokuryou (FFX, XII, XIII), Tomohiro Hasegawa (FFVIII, IX, KH), and Yuki Matsuzawa (FFXIII). The game has three different art directors in total.
Tomohiro Hasegawa is in charge of art direction for enemies. He sculpted a model of the behemoth, which was aided by staff feedback before being scanned into the 3D workspace. A similar process was used for Leviathan where Hasegawa purchased real fish, dissected them and looked at how light and surface reflection worked on things like the scales.