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Final Fantasy not-so-final?

Rumour of a sequel to the soon-to-be-released CG animated movie

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

With Final Fantasy : The Spirits Within about to arrive in cinemas across America, animation director Andy Jones has dropped a hint that there may be more movies coming out of Square in future. "There's plans for things", he told when asked if he would be working on a sequel. "Right now I'm currently attached to a project at Square. I can tell you that. I can't tell you what it is. Similar genre, animation. Along the same lines."

Expect characters in the sequel to look more like the guy on the right than Aki Ross (far left)

Meanwhile he confessed that one of the hardest tasks for his team of animators on Spirits Within was styling the hair of leading lady Dr Aki Ross, making her almost as awkward as a real big budget actress. "The hair was difficult to render. Sometimes I would ask Roy Sato, who's our lead animator for Aki, I would ask him to maybe have Aki put the hair behind her ear and that obviously was very difficult. He'd have these controls to grab strands of hair that would grab maybe 50 strands at a time and he'd animate those to go behind her ear."

Given that there are literally hundreds of thousands of hairs on her head, moving them fifty at a time is obviously going to take some time, so luckily most of the animations were generated automatically by their vast array of computers. "Most of the time we had a system that was set up that was like the cloth simulation system that would basically, once her head movement was done and everything, we'd click a button and it would calculate how the hair relates to the gravity, relates to the friction on her head. There's a lot of equations."

Now you know why the film cost an estimated $137m to produce...

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