What was the computer used in 1996 to create 3DCG for FINAL FANTASY VII?

The Lunduke Journal of Technology , a tech blog, summarizes the computers used to create the 3DCG animations for the first FINAL FANTASY VII released in 1997.

The computers used to do 3D animation for Final Fantasy VII ... in 1996.

FINAL FANTASY VII is a game for PlayStation released in 1997 and has swept the world as the most famous RPG in the world. FINAL FANTASY VII is the first in the series to use images rendered with 3DCG animation instead of 2D pixel art.In Japan, more than 2 million units have been sold within 3 days of its release, and the cumulative number of units sold worldwide has reached 13.3 million units. Exceed.

FF7 The Dawn of an Endless Struggle-YouTube

FINAL FANTASY VII is the first time that the developer, Square , has adopted 3DCG animation in the game, but it has been tested before that.

Square first tested 3DCG under the title 'FINAL FANTASY SGI,' which was being developed as a demonstration version. This is a playable demonstration using the characters of 3DCG's FINAL FANTASY VI, which was unveiled at SIGGRAPH , the largest CG convention in the United States, held in August 1995. You can check the video of FINAL FANTASY SGI in the following movie.

[N64] Final Fantasy VI: The Interactive CG Game ~ SGI demo [WS] --YouTube

Game media Polygon interviewed Mr. Kazuyuki Hashimoto who was involved in the development as a CG supervisor of FINAL FANTASY SGI, and explained the reason why 'SGI' is included in the title of the demo version 'Create CG on SGI workstation' Because it was. '

Specifically, it seems that Square used SGI Onyx to create 3DCG. The SGI Onyx is a machine released in 1993, and the operating frequency of the microprocessor MIPS R4400 is 100 to 150 MHz for the early model and 200 to 250 MHz for the late model. The memory (RAM) uses a unique 200-pin SGI RAM module with variations of 16MB / 64MB / 256MB, which is not the industry standard, and the memory board has 32 memory module slots, so it can be used as a maximum of 8GB of RAM. It can be processed. Furthermore, it seems that the rack mount version can realize 16GB of RAM. Given that this was a PC spec in the mid-1990s, 'too impressive specs', The Lunduke Journal of Technology notes.

However, The Lunduke Journal of Technology points out that the real advantage of SGI Onyx is the 'Reality Engine 2' graphics system. SGI Onyx uses 12 Intel i860XP, which is a CPU with a completely different

RISC architecture than Intel's x86 chips. SGI used these 12 CPUs to calculate the geometry of Reality Engine 2.

Reality Engine, the predecessor of

Reality Engine 2 used in SGI Onyx, is SGI's 3D graphics hardware architecture and is also known as the terminal used for NINTENDO 64 game development.

SGI Onyx is equipped with a UNIX System V -based OS / IRIX with BSD extensions, and it is said that IRIX version 6.0 was used to create FINAL FANTASY SGI.

Below is a screenshot of IRIX version 5.3

The Lunduke Journal of Technology points out that the price of such SGI Onyx varies depending on the configuration, but it ranges from 100,000 to 250,000 dollars (about 12 million to 31 million yen).

And here is a picture of the development site of FINAL FANTASY VII.

If you look at the leftmost monitor screen in this photo, you can see that you are running version 6 of IRIX. I can't say for sure because SGI Onyx isn't in the picture, but it's likely that FINAL FANTASY VII used SGI Onyx for development as well as FINAL FANTASY SGI. of Technology points out.

The Lunduke Journal of Technology said it could be

SGI Onyx2, but in light of the development schedule for FINAL FANTASY VII and the fact that SGI Onyx2 was released in late 1996, the machine used was SGI Onyx. Is most likely. '

In addition, looking at the video projected in the middle of the monitors lined up at the development site, The Lunduke Journal of Technology pointed out that 'this is Genera.' Genera is a very impressive operating system developed by

Symbolics in the early 1980s. Genera is a fork of LISP developed at MIT. In 1982, a company called Symbolics Graphics Division was established to build 3D-focused graphics software on Genera. Genera is a graphic tool used to make many movies from the 1980s to the mid-1990s, such as ' Find Star Trek III Mr. Spock! ', ' Genius Academy ' and ' Free Willy '. That's why The Lunduke Journal of Technology said, 'It makes absolutely sense for Square's development team to use a workstation with Genera to develop and render the 3D used in FINAL FANTASY VII.' It is written.

Considering the development time of FINAL FANTASY VII, 'It is highly possible that we were using

Symbolics XL1201 with version 8.x of Genera,' said The Lunduke Journal of Technology.

Furthermore, the monitor that projected the startup screen of FINAL FANTASY VII next to it is running software for Genera called 'Frame Thrower'.

in Video,   Game, Posted by logu_ii