DEVELOPER DIARY | X360, PS3 Thursday, December 16, 2010 | 7:05 PM

Charmed by L.A. Noire's mocap

Charmed by L.A. Noire's mocap

In L.A. Noire's latest video, everyone witnessed the incredible quality of the facial animations. In this first Developer Diary, you will find out more about the facial motion capture techniques they used to achieve such realism and you will also see that they have chosen a very promising cast for the game. Impressive to say the least.

Dev Diary

All comments

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Commented on 2010-12-16 19:19:48
man, when i saw the high res version i was seriously blown away. in-game it isnt AS good since there is obviously less geometry in the faces, but still, looks awesome. now they just need to fix the eyes. the faces are moving uber realistically, but the characters look hollow due to lifeless eyes.
Commented on 2010-12-16 19:25:26
Sure the face animations look amazing but the character models look so crappy and plastic like that the result is awkward and even freakish...
Commented on 2010-12-16 19:38:14
Creepiest faces *ever*.

http://www.gamefatale.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/max_payne_face.jpg

Although with a plainly obvious predecessor. :D
Commented on 2010-12-16 19:38:42
yeah... the faces are so good that it works against everything else. Its like putting your head through one of those cardboard bodys at the seaside.

Wondering why they've still not shown any gameplay yet..
Commented on 2010-12-16 19:41:42 In reply to bleachedsmiles
Posted by bleachedsmiles
Wondering why they've still not shown any gameplay yet..
They don't want to scare off the GTA shooting crowd.
Commented on 2010-12-16 19:45:02
Makes you wonder why they didn't use much of the same tech for their bodies and outfits
Commented on 2010-12-16 19:52:49
HOLY CRAP, I mean holy crap! seriously that was stunning!
Commented on 2010-12-16 20:25:36
This is how games should be progressing. Applying new ideas to current models that gives gamers new and different experiences. Not making the same games but substituting the control.
Commented on 2010-12-16 20:30:33 In reply to bleachedsmiles
Posted by bleachedsmiles
Its like putting your head through one of those cardboard bodys at the seaside.
hahah, perfect analogy
Commented on 2010-12-16 20:42:32
Seriously impressive. And come on people, the hardware is 5 years old for crying out loud. Some of you guys sound like whinny little children. Geez, talk about focusing on the negative. I'll take this a thousand times, looks incredible, IMO...
Commented on 2010-12-16 20:47:16
Disturbingly real.

The realism could be used in very bad ways, think about it.
Commented on 2010-12-16 20:49:07
That's pretty incredible. For all the people that are criticizing it, it's just the beginning. Everything is refined with time, and better techniques and more care will be involved in the future. If it wasn't for things like this, innovations and change would never happen, and we wouldn't enjoy all the unique changes that constantly come to this industry.
What I want to know is, are these going to run in realtime and at what framerate? Because those faces contain a LOT of geometry, and that's evident by the depth shown in the lips and chin expressions, etc. Well, I don't know much about this game but I'm really hoping it doesn't end up being some boring scene to scene adventure game. I want control. I want real time interactions.
Commented on 2010-12-16 20:51:00
Oddly this reminds me of a game called Sewer Shark from the 90s.
Commented on 2010-12-16 20:57:52 In reply to spacemanjupiter
Posted by spacemanjupiter
Oddly this reminds me of a game called Sewer Shark from the 90s.
But that was live-action, this isn't.
Commented on 2010-12-16 21:03:18 In reply to spacemanjupiter
Posted by spacemanjupiter
That's pretty incredible. For all the people that are criticizing it, it's just the beginning. Everything is refined with time, and better techniques and more care will be involved in the future. If it wasn't for things like this, innovations and change would never happen, and we wouldn't enjoy all the unique changes that constantly come to this industry.
What I want to know is, are these going to run in realtime and at what framerate? Because those faces contain a LOT of geometry, and that's evident by the depth shown in the lips and chin expressions, etc. Well, I don't know much about this game but I'm really hoping it doesn't end up being some boring scene to scene adventure game. I want control. I want real time interactions.
i dont see why it wouldnt be real-time. yes there is a lot of geometry in the faces, but there isnt much anywhere else. it was the same with heavenly sword. faces where incredibly high poly in comparrison to their almost PS2 level bodies.

i do hope most if not all devs use this technique for games next gen. that way the environment and bodies will match the quality of the faces
Commented on 2010-12-16 21:06:11
See, it's this type of tech that makes me wish for a new generation of consoles along with the tesselation demos of city scapes nvidia have been showing off.
GPU's have finally got such a rich new feature set that it would be a jump in capability much as last gen to current gen was.

Sure it's somewhat "creepy" but it's the first real advancement in facial animation for games in a long time and some more traditional animation looks creepy / cumbersome anyway. This captures so many nuances of the actors perfomance, very like the facial capturing in avatar did.
Commented on 2010-12-16 22:09:59
This makes me want the game oh so badly! This is shaping up great!

@Tomarru: could you point me towards some of those nvidia videos?
Commented on 2010-12-16 22:38:54 In reply to Frozpot
Posted by Frozpot
Seriously impressive. And come on people, the hardware is 5 years old for crying out loud. Some of you guys sound like whinny little children. Geez, talk about focusing on the negative. I'll take this a thousand times, looks incredible, IMO...
It's not a case of nitpicking. It DOES look awesome..theres no getting around that. But theres also no getting around that it also shows up their bodys and how they hold themselves, whilst their faces are so animated and life like their bodys are looking the 5yr old hardware.

It's like GT5 - awesome looking cars instantly show up the tracks short comings of 2D backgrounds and popup.

The limitations of the 5yr tech are becoming as obvious as the great examples of things to come
Commented on 2010-12-16 23:55:14
Impressive stuff.
But they could just not digitize and use real 3D video and be done with it. After all they are still making the actors to act everything. :) Maybe the actors would stick out like a sore thumb from the surroundings, but they would look even better.

This piece of news has a clever title, because that is Leo (Brian Krause) from Charmed. Also there was Walter (John Noble) from Fringe at the beginning.
Commented on 2010-12-17 00:05:30
Very impressive, but all i see (and this is very unfortunate) is the walls of the uncanny valley closing in on me. It does look rather creepy.
Commented on 2010-12-17 00:08:28
Going to put it all:

Heavy Rain has to a somewhat degree better face models in terms of being realistic, more details and unique faces. here it's like they use the same texture work in all faces and all lack the finner details (scars, pores, facial hair) in close ups.
Now, L.A. Noire DESTROYS heavy rain and any game elsewhere in facial animation and movement. Who really cares if your face is superior in still shots, if it's uncanny valley every single played second because of the fish mouths and akward face poses. The game mannequin suspension of disbelief is instantly broken.

I guess the lesser visual quality in L.A. Noire is a technicality of the tech they use to paint/model their faces, I just don't any other reason to why they can't have more human detail instead of baby smooth faces to all of them.
Commented on 2010-12-17 01:24:27
STUNNING!!
Commented on 2010-12-17 02:42:55
Looks stunning! Can't really see where all the criticism is coming from. The bodies and backgrounds don't look THAT bad. It kind of reminds me of the commercials on tv that use the digitized actors, or the movie Scanner Darkly. I think it gives the game a really unique graphic style.

It would be nice if they had the tech to scan the actor's faces with all different poses, record specific dialog, and then be able to create whatever lines and emotions they want. Otherwise, we are still tied to the little dialog that is captured during the mo-cap sessions. I am hoping this kind of technology exists by the next generation of consoles, and leads to some TRULY open, dynamic, and unique gameplay. For the time being, this looks to be a really well done, linear story game.
Commented on 2010-12-17 04:54:05
Hot damn. That facial animation is scarily good - best we've ever seen.
Commented on 2010-12-17 06:02:24
Nice, it only took 6+ years for a developer to make a considerable move into improving facial animations since Half Life 2.
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