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Prerendered backgrounds from the 90s

I've always been curious to see the process behind making prerendered backgrounds for game like The Longest Journey, Classic Resident Evil, and the 32-bit era Final Fantasy games. For instance, were they hand drawn first and then built in 3D using the drawings as references? Anyone have a link to a "Making of" feature? 


  • Can't really say anything useful about how the art for the original games was created, but be sure to check out AC's 2.5D tutorial, which explains in detail how this style can be done with the tools at hand:

  • Oh no I was hoping to see the actual design process. For example, in Final Fantasy IX artbook there are lots of detailed drawings of the backgrounds. This makes me wonder if the backgrounds in FFIX were hand drawn and then colored in via Photoshop.

    I asked Ragnar Tornquist about the method used in TLJ and he said the backgrounds were modeled in 3d , rendered , and then edited in PS.

    Would love to see documentry in images / or video on how the scenes are designed and set up. Not necessarily how they are set up in the engine , just the actual design process.
  • If I remember correctly, there are some bits you might find interesting in the videos about the remastering of Grim Fandango:

  • edited January 2017
  • thank you so much for the links!
  • edited January 2017
    You're welcome ;) Eh,from time to time I get back to the roots,just because of inspiration...
  • Hi, sorry for gravedigging this post, but I have something that I hope you find interesting at least about this... And since FFIX is one of my favorite games I couldn't help myself to share some information. The concept art was rather detailed because all the environments were 3D modeled, textured, lit and then rendered as still images for the game backgrounds. The rendered images were probably retouched/reworked as a final matte painting in Photoshop. The 3D backgrounds were also rendered and used for the game's pre-rendered cinematics. That's how the backgrounds of these games, like Resident Evil...PS One's at least) were made. Here is a compilation of various higher quality renders of the original backgrounds before they were compressed to be stored on the PS One discs.
    Hope you find this a bit more insightful. Cheers!

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