i am not going to keep eva posting in this thread, i have saved that for the eva thread
also, i had it in my head that akihiko yoshida did the character designs for this but he didn't. maybe it was the ffxiv crew being involved and some of the illustrations i saw early on having a bit of his vibe that gave me the idea and i just never learnt more to dispel it
I went to a local bookstore and picked up a copy of this month's issue of CGWORLD, a magazine dedicated to detailing the 3D artistic processes used by industry professionals. This month's issue was on FFXVI, so I had to pick it up - and I found something interesting, and it implies something I have suspected for a while (as have others)
Over the years, people have wondered what races certain FF characters are intended to be based on. Obviously, FF is a fantasy series, so they don't have to be any one race in particular, but getting that out of the way...Characters like Yuffie and Sazh are unambiguous, but with other characters - like Cloud, Lightning, Sephiroth, Aerith, and so on - it's not as clear. A lot of assumptions are made because people project their own cultures onto characters, though perception seems to have changed over the years. The western fantasy influence of FF implies certain characters are white (as well as certain naming conventions), though many characters like Tidus and Tifa have clearly Asian features. The thing that particularly stuck out to me about Cloud in FFVII Remake is that he has an almost raceless appearance, with features that span both eastern and western cultures, and I wondered if this was intentional.
That sets the stage for this! This is the section in CGWORLD that details how the team made Clive's head sculpt. There are people on this site - hell, there are people in this thread - with much better Japanese comprehension skills than me, but from what I gathered in the text, they followed this process: When considering what made a face realistic, they first made a collection of 3D scans of staff from Square Enix's office, making sure to get a sample range consisting of multiple nationalities. Then, they morphed features of the faces together until they had a "base." They then used that to sculpt Clive's likeness. This seems to imply that the team is specifically trying to make characters that seem like a bridge between the east and the west, possibly because they're aware FF is a global franchise at this point.
It's also possible I'm looking too far into this, but I found the process to be interesting, nonetheless. The whole feature goes into some interesting detail in the tech that went into making the game, so perhaps I can post a bit more if the opportunity presents itself.
Been checking out the new outfits. While I was at it, I decided to mop up those last few Chronoliths I hadn't done yet. Only thing left for the platinum is maxing out every ability and finishing FF mode. I wonder if I should wait though, they might still update the performance mode and such.