• Feb. 18, 2019

FFTCG Illustration Showcase Interview #4: Roberto Ferrari

The FINAL FANTASY TRADING CARD GAME is a tabletop trading card game enjoyed by players all around the world, featuring characters and monsters from the FINAL FANTASY series. Some cards are decorated with familiar art, and others with FFTCG-original illustrations!

We’ll be showcasing these original illustrations along with artist interviews. Some of the art will even be available as wallpaper from the FF Portal App!

Interview with Roberto Ferrari, Plus Original Illustrations

We talked to Roberto Ferrari, an artist from SQEX who provided illustrations of characters from FINAL FANTASY TYPE-0.

Roberto Ferrari
Character designer for FF titles such as FINAL FANTASY TYPE-0, FINAL FANTASY XV, DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY, and FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE, and others such as THE LAST REMNANT, SONG SUMMONER: The Unsung Heroes, and Rampage Land Rankers.

―You’ve provided some wonderful FINAL FANTASY TYPE-0 [hereafter TYPE-0] illustrations for FFTCG. Can you tell us about your role in the development of the game?
Ferrari: I was in charge of the characters related to the Vermillion Bird. As for how it was decided, a few of us designers were asked to come up with ideas of designs for all four nations: the Vermillion Bird [Dominion of Rubrum], the White Tiger [Militesi Empire], the Azure Dragon [Kingdom of Concordia], and the Black Tortoise [Lorican Alliance]. The creative producer and character designer, Mr. Nomura, and the art director, Mr. Naora, then looked over our work and assigned us nations based on our submissions. That’s how I was put in charge of the Vermillion Bird. Once I got started, I used my original design as a base and incorporated the great ideas of the other designers to complete my pieces. So while I was in charge of a nation, I wasn’t alone in the design. I merged all of our ideas to bring them to life. Likewise, my ideas were also incorporated into the designs of other nations’ characters.

―So the designs of the nations’ characters were a collaborative effort. What was your workflow in designing each character?
Ferrari: Each character came with a simple description, such as “selfish,“ so I started from there. My personal work style is to create several very different rough images and take them to the client, in this case, Mr. Nomura and Mr. Naora. With hair color for example, I’d draw a character with both black hair and blond hair. By having them choose what’s closest to what they have in mind, I can then decide on which direction to go. With Kurasame, I submitted him with long hair and short hair, and the one with shorter hair was closer to the image they had. The relationship between a designer and client is much like that of an actor and director. The actor/designer fully comprehends the intent behind the director/client’s ideas as they build a creation together.

―What was the concept of these illustrations?
I tried to keep them relatively close to the original TYPE-0 design. At the time, I matched my style to Mr. Nomura’s design of the main characters, so they’re very different from the three-dimensional FFXV characters. I’m very fixated on shapes, so as long as the shape is good, I don’t feel adding lines is necessary. Drawing lines upon lines lets the viewer use their imagination, which allows for more room for interpretation. That has its own appeal, but I focus on using fewer lines with my drawings to depict a single idea with a single interpretation. I get rid of whatever is unnecessary in my head, and I construct the lines so that they work when they’re in motion. For me, that final state devoid of anything unnecessary is beautiful. When creating designs for FFXV, the concept was “lots of detail,” so that had a certain taste, but I’d like to continue to draw illustrations with polished lines like you see here.

―What did you focus on when drawing Arecia, Kurasame, Emina, Kazusa, and Caetuna?
I wanted to depict memorable scenes from TYPE-0, and I drew these while contemplating which scenes those were. I also wanted to convey the personalities of each character.

Mother (Arecia) is a great character. She doesn’t care what others think, and she’ll do what she sets out to do, even if it means hurting those around her. It was my idea to make purple her statement color. The detail I definitely wanted to incorporate at the time was green highlights in her hair, and I feel the purple contrasts it well. Her character is a leader and mentor, so I drew her as if she were watching over everyone.

Kurasame is a coolheaded, no-nonsense character, but he’s also passionate and has a strong sense of justice. I’ve conveyed in his gaze the fire he holds within.

Emina is an older sister-type character who’s difficult to read. Her voluptuous physique is due to requests from the male members of the dev team. She’s not the most honest character, so I’ve drawn her with a mysterious, scheming look.

Caetuna is an ethereal character. She lives in a world of her own, and no one knows what’s going on inside her head. This illustration depicts her summoning Alexander, as most recall this scene when they think of her.

Kazusa is a researcher with a dash of “mad scientist,” even though at the beginning, he was just a good-looking guy. [laughs] Throughout the design process, his eyes changed the most. They became mysterious and a little suspicious, as they are in this illustration.

―Have you had many opportunities to draw these characters after the game’s release?
I hadn’t, so I was grateful for this FFTCG request. The characters’ original designs have been used in materials like the Ultimania [Japanese strategy guide], but there’s never been a close-up of their faces. I’ve been wanting people to get a better look at the details, so I was glad for this opportunity.

―Who’s your favorite character from TYPE-0?
Ferrari: Kurasame. They made him look amazing in the modeling process. It made me realize that the characters really improve with everything that follows. Though I did the character design, what followed was the modeling, the voice, and in-game motions before the character was complete. My part in character creation is about a few dozen percent. Kurasame is my favorite character after all the finishing touches.

―Did you struggle with anything during the request?
Not really, but it did take a little while to shake off my current habits and remember the style I’d originally used.

―Are there any other characters or FF titles you’d like to illustrate?
All of the characters I’ve designed! They’re like my children, so instead of having others illustrate them, I’d really like to do it myself. From TYPE-0, Quon and Mutsuki, and also Qun’mi, l’Cie of the White Tiger, as she’s also a favorite of my designs.

―We look forward to seeing more of your illustrations! Thank you for your time!

FFTCG Illustration Showcase Interview #1: Toshitaka Matsuda
FFTCG Illustration Showcase Interview #2: Ryoma Ito
FFTCG Illustration Showcase Interview #3: Toshiyuki Itahana

Original Artwork Wallpaper: Kurasame

Roberto Ferrari’s original illustration of Kurasame is now a wallpaper!

Wallpaper: Original Illustration "Kurasame"
Valid Until: 4.30.2019 (GMT)

Download the wallpaper on the FF PORTAL APP!

Download the FINAL FANTASY Portal App here!

What is FFTCG?

FFTCG is a one-on-one tactical card game featuring FINAL FANTASY characters and summons. Not only is there fun in collecting cards featuring familiar faces, the main draw of the game is the simplicity of the rules combined with the complexity of the gameplay. The art drawn for the game by famed illustrators is also a popular aspect of FFTCG!

Find the store nearest you carrying FFTCG using our store locator!

Play the FFTCG tutorial:

Read the interview with the FFTCG producer here!