We took a look at the basics behind LA Noire's advanced facial animation system in a fairly in-depth tech report, sighting a combination of motion capturing and 3D scanning as the process behind the incredibly accurate facial reproduction seen in the game. However, we now bring you a video demonstrating the baseline process of how the initial character facial animation model is created.
The video doesn’t cover the additional work required in preparing these highly detailed and impressively animated models for rendering on the current-gen consoles now massively outdated GPU’s, but instead shows the work done before things like downgrading the art assets and creating the normal maps take place.
As you can see the combination of traditional motion capture and advanced 360 degree 3D motion scanning yields incredible results. The technology on display here could easily be used in digitally re-creating actors for completely CGI-based movies, with obviously far more grunt being available to produce even more detailed and accurate character modelling, especially since all rendering is done off-line rather than in real-time.
To see such tech being used effectively, and indeed highly impressively in a videogame – even with the obvious compromises made in getting the tech to work to a high standard – represents not only some serious investment from Rockstar, but also their commitment in attempting to creating a thoroughly believable, and entirely engrossing experience.