September 13, 2012

Street Fighter X Tekken Artbook - Nina-centric artwork and commentary

Kazuma Teshigawara Street Fighter Tekken
UDON Entertainment just recently released the English version of the Japanese artbook Street Fighter X Tekken Artworks. I've been waiting for this ever since I flipped through the Japanese one, realizing that there is commentary by the creators on almost every single picture. I'd feel really bad asking a Japanese friend to translate a whole book for me, so I was extremely relieved to hear that the wonderful people at UDON were working on an official translation. It took some time for it to come out, but what we got in the end was absolutely worth the long wait. It's 191 pages packed with character and production artwork, rough sketches, costume designs and creator commentary. There are interviews with Polygon Pictures, Akiman, Dimps and Namco Bandai's own Yoshinari Mizushima (Tekken's Visual Design Supervisor) and  Kenji Kimura (Art Director of Tekken X Street Fighter!!!). The artworks are gorgeous, as is the book; top-quality paper, detail-rich print, subtly embossed high-grade cover, effective easy-on-the-eyes layouts; it's everything an artbook should be.
Lots of pictures after the jump...

SFxTK Art Artbook Nina
Japanese Collector's Edition Package Art by Kazuma Teshigawara @ Polygon Pictures. "I couldn't include every single character, and narrowing down my choices was the hardest part. [...] Since the regular edition's package art was about conflict between Street Fighter and Tekken, I wanted the teams to be intermingled for the collector's edition."

SFxTK Art Artbook Scan
SFxTK Guide Book Art Cover
"Street Fighter X Tekken Master Guide" Cover Art by Endo Uichiro @ Capcom's development team. "At first, I had each character partnered up with a character from the other team, but I changed my mind just prior to the final draft. [...] I had only just started using Photoshop CS5's image rotation feature, and I was so excited by it that I remember spinning this piece around gratuitously while working on it."

Street Fighter Tekken Artworks
SFxTK Kazuma Teshigawara Art
Nina Williams Character Visual by Kazuma Teshigawara @ Polygon Pictures. "Since Kazuya was making a frontal assault on the Street Fighter world, I wanted Nina to be taking advantage of that opportunity by flanking the enemy while they were distracted by Kazuya's bold antics. I drew this piece pretty early on, so we hadn't yet established the flow of transferring the 3D models into the illustrating process. That meant I had to spend a lot of time struggling with the complex costume design and the camouflage pattern. I was starting to worry about deadlines while working on this piece, so when it was approved, it gave me a real sense of hope with regard to all of the other character illustrations."

Character CG Model Tekken
SFxTK Production Art Artbook
Tekken Team: "Nina is the woman who led the way for female characters early on in the Tekken series. We wanted to give her an aloof kind of coldness, something akin to Kazuya's character. She hasn't had an easy life, having been constantly locked in deathmatches with her younger sister Anna and put into a cold sleep for 19 years, but Nina is a cool beauty who doesn't let it show that she does indeed carry the weight of a heavy fate upon her shoulders."

Nina CG Render SFxTK Tekken
Tekken Nina CG Movie Model
Tekken Street Fighter CG Art
Tekken Street Fighter CGI Model
"Nina appears in SFxTK with the outfit she wore in Tekken 6. Her cool, sharp gaze was carefully incorporated into her SFxTK model."

Nina Tekken Costume Street Fighter
Nina Rolento Alternate Costume
Artwork Costume SFxTK Tekken
Nina Williams Outfits SFxTK
Nina Tekken Customization Outfits
"Nina's potential costume ideas included things like a futuristic bodysuit as well as something that makes her look like a Shadaloo operative."

Dimps: "While trying to achieve a balance with her partner Kazuya, we once again took our efforts too far and had to tweak Nina a bit in order to make her milder. She was one of the first characters we worked on, so she took more time than the others to fit into 'Street Fighter Proportions'."

SFxTK Nina Williams CG Movie
Tekken Nina SFxTK CGI Movie
Ryu SFxTK CG Render
Tekken SFxTK Ryu Nina
Street Fighter X Tekken Trailer Episode 1. "Ryu and Ken, Kazuya and Nina; these are the official main character tag teams for this game. Episode 1 of the trailer depicts an action-intensive battle that showcases the exciting chaos of a four-person fight, which of course is the main draw of a tag team fighting game. This episode also makes plentiful use of the water effect, which is the official visual theme of SFxTK."

Toshio Ohashi @ Polygon Pictures: "The sumi ink for Street Fighter IV was all drawn by hand, but the pattern of the water used in this game was first calculated in a physics simulator."

SFxT Artbook Artwork Art
Character Select Idea.

Tekken Street Fighter Production Artwork Artbook
Kazuma Teshigawara Polygon Pictures
Street Fighter X Tekken Prologue: Kazuya & Nina. "When playing in Arcade Mode using an official tag team, the player is treated to a unique story specific to those characters. [...] Each rough sketch is displayed next to the equivalent final image, [...]."

Kazuma Teshigawara @ Polygon Pictures: "We adjusted the art style a bit for each official tag team. We thought it would look good to have each prologue look like an independant piece from an art collection of numerous artists."

Tekken SFxTK CG EndingTekken Kazuya CGI Movie SFxTK
Tekken Nina Williams SFxTekken CG
Nina Tekken CGI Render FMV
Nina Williams Kazuya Mishima CG
SFxTK Pandora Box CG
SFxTK CGI Ending Cinematic
Street Fighter X Tekken Ending: Kazuya & Nina. Toshio Ohashi @ Polygon Pictures: "I would say that this ending is the most 'cinematic' of all the endings. It's got a serious atmosphere, a dramatic turn of events, and plenty of suspense. Both Kazuya and Nina are pretty deep characters, so they played off of one another like two of Hollywood's A-list stars."

UDON Entertainment Corporation is a publisher of original comic books, graphic novels, and art books. UDON’s best-known projects are those based on popular video game franchises such as Street Fighter, Okami, Mega Man, Darksiders, Valkyria Chronicles and more. The publisher’s ever-growing library also includes English editions of several Japanese manga titles, the anthology art book series Apple, and the Manga for Kids line for children ages 7-12.. This is their website and this is their twitter.

POLYGON PICTURES Inc. is a Japanese 3DCG anime studio. They have animated a wide variety of content for such renowned names as Shiseido and Production I.G. and have worked on videogame titles such as Onimusha 2, Dead or Alive 4, Resident Evil 5, Street Fighter IV and Street Fighter X Tekken. Click the following links for their website and their twitter.

Dimps is a Japan based video game development studio with offices in Osaka and Tokyo. Employing a staff of 218 people, it is known for developing such games as the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai trilogy and various Sonic titles, as well as co-developing Street Fighter IV, Super Street Fighter IV and Street Fighter X Tekken. Here you can visit their website.

Kazuma Teshigawara works at Polygon Pictures and handled the character illustrations as Street Fighter X Tekken's Chief Designer. He holds this position since Street Fighter IV. Amongst other titles he has also worked on KOF: Maximum Impact Regulation A, Dead or Alive 4 and Dead or Alive Xtreme 2.

Toshio Ohashi is a Technical/Animation/CG Director at Polygon Pictures and was the Art Director for Street Fighter IV and Super Street Fighter IV and "flexed his artistic muscles for Street Fighter X Tekken as well". Besides Street Fighter he has worked on Marvel VS Capcom 3, Dead or Alive 4, Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad/Bikini Zombie Slayers, Onimusha 2 and Resident Evil 5, among others.


  1. Hearing the anonymous 'Tekken Team' member speak so fondly of Nina makes my jaded heart brighten a little. I know the devs don't really dislike her, despite what I might sometimes say, but actual, real admissions of fondness and favour for our girl are rarely seen. If there's one thing that Street Fighter does better than Tekken (and it IS just this one thing), it's keeping things balanced publicity-wise between the old guard and the newbies. Like, they've done a great job pushing Juri Han as an important power-player since her debut, but it's never been to the detriment of Chun-Li and Cammy, who remain the undisputed queens of their series. By comparison, Nina unfairly gets sidelined all too often in favour of (excuse me whilst I spit this name with the venom it deserves) Lili or some other vacuous jailbait that'll replace her when her 15 minutes in the spotlight are up. Nina deserves better - heck, everyone from T1 and T2 who's not a Mishima should have a higher profile than they do now. But Nina especially, because.

    Also, and I don't mean to single the guy out and call him terrible, but I really never liked Kazuma Teshigawara's key art for the SFxTK roster, and Nina's piece is a good example of why. Look at those proportions! I get what he was trying to do with the lead arm and thigh being more prominent, but he's gone so far with it they look like they've been inflated with a bike pump - they're around 3 times larger than their partnering limbs! Even Rob Liefeld would balk at this crap!

    1. Your posts never fail to crack me up. That Lili remark! haha lol. You should really be co authoring this blog. Once I hit 25.000 clicks a month I'll make you an offer you won't be able to refuse :-)
      That's a perfect summary of the one thing I absolutely adore the Street Fighter franchise for. I can't shake off the feeling that Namco tends to forget just how recognizable the name/face Nina Williams is, even among people who don't play fighting games. But maybe it's just me being voracious. I mean, she gets to shine in the spotlight more often than 90 percent of the cast. But then again, there's always that odd one case too many when Namco just seem to have completely forgotten about Nina.
      As for Teshigawara, despite some extremely stylized proportions I really love all his artworks and I'm quite fond of that wide-angle lens style he used, but you're not the first to point out the off looking proportions in Nina's piece.