Nathan Drake Calls L.A. Noire's Facial Capture Tech "Inhibitive"

Nathan Drake Calls L.A. Noire's Facial Capture Tech "Inhibitive"

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Naughty Dog and Nolan North play good cop/bad cop on Team Bondi's L.A. Noire

There are a hundred reasons reviewers have found to laud the massively popular Uncharted series, and Naughty Dog's uncanny ability to render beautiful visuals nears top of the list. On the other hand, its character models (especially from the shoulders up) have always seemed slightly weak in comparison to the hyper-realistic jungles, waters, and dunes of Nate's globetrotting adventures. Speaking at the Eurogamer Expo 2011, Nolan North, the voice of Drake, along with Richard Lemarchand, the award-winning game designer of Uncharted 3, dished on how their own methods compare to the industry's current top dog in facial capture: L.A. Noire.

"We've been working so hard on Uncharted 3 this summer that my game playing has sadly fallen away," Lemarchand began. "I did have some friends around and we looked at the first hour of L.A. Noire and I've got to say that I was really taken aback by that facial capture technology."

Soon, however, the conversation moved toward the less known disadvantages of using such a precision method. When asked if he would be interested in acting under the requirements of Team Bondi's method, North answered: "That would be incredibly inhibitive. I've talked to some of the actors who've done it. You literally, especially for L.A. Noire, can't move."

"And you also can't riff off the other actors," Lemarchand interjected.

Currently, Naughty Dog has handled Uncharted's character animations similarly to the way that most studios do, with the use of standard motion capture suits. It may not produce the same stunning graphical results as the way L.A. Noire handled things, but Lemarchand brings up a good point: At what cost is Team Bondi able to achieve it? Would Uncharted be as good if some of the natural snarky banter between Drake, Sully, and Elena didn't feel as real because of the conditions in which the actors read lines? North doesn't think so, and he should know. Aside from Uncharted, he's also done key voice-work in Shadow Complex, Arkham City, Dragon Age: Origins, and more.

"We've been relying on these brilliant animators," said North. "They've got it down to a science. And thank god, because the performance becomes much more organic. Much more real."

"Whenever we talk to people about the creative choices we've made - in terms of the way we handle story," Lemarchand then explained. "A game like Grand Theft Auto handles story quite differently to the way that Uncharted does..."

"Yes," North finished, "Nathan doesn't beat up hookers."

Thanks for clearing that up, Nolan.

Source: Eurogamer

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Nathan Drake also doesn't go bowling with his cousin.

Team Bondi's face capture tech will no doubt improve over time. It may keep actors pretty limited right now, but with some improvements I can see it following entire head movements in the future, not just face. These disadvantages are almost certainly the result of new technology being new, and won't be there forever.

P.S. Thanks

yeah, Bondi's capture was just creepy. I like the way Naughty dog does it. I don't need ultra realistic people. Just funny ones lol

Nathan Drake does kill guys for treasure though, which does make him kind of a dick.

I didn't think the facial animation was too shabby in Uncharted anyway, it's still leagues above most games.

Outright Villainy:
Nathan Drake does kill guys for treasure though, which does make him kind of a dick.

To be fair, they usually shoot first.

Covarr:
Nathan Drake also doesn't go bowling with his cousin.

Team Bondi's face capture tech will no doubt improve over time. It may keep actors pretty limited right now, but with some improvements I can see it following entire head movements in the future, not just face. These disadvantages are almost certainly the result of new technology being new, and won't be there forever.

Essentially this, in fact in the near future I wouldn't be surprised if they used a combination of mo cap and Team Bondi's facial recording thingy.

You have the actors move around and somehow, and that somehow is left up to people much smarter than I to decide, you record their faces as they move and recite their lines.
We're making great strides in this field so I can't really imagine that this sort of performance capture will take long to achieve.

Covarr:
Nathan Drake also doesn't go bowling with his cousin.

Almost nobody wants to with THAT cousin. *grumbles about 5 minutes*

Tech overall will get better, so likely they'll be able to extend this to not only just the actor's face, or just the head, but rather nearly the whole body, if not the whole body. Of course, that might work better if wearing specific clothing so that doesn't interfere with the animations through clothing making the body randomly change sizes or some other funny glitch!

Mike Kayatta:
and he should know. Aside from Uncharted, he's also done key voice-work in Shadow Complex, Arkham City, Dragon Age: Origins, and more.

Tut come on lets face it. Nolan North as voiced in every video game known to man... including video games before voice work was even possible.

Covarr:
Nathan Drake also doesn't go bowling with his cousin.

Team Bondi's face capture tech will no doubt improve over time. It may keep actors pretty limited right now, but with some improvements I can see it following entire head movements in the future, not just face. These disadvantages are almost certainly the result of new technology being new, and won't be there forever.

P.S. Thanks

Yeah, eventually it will work. But for now... Well; let's just say I've often gotten a good laugh out of Cole's body movements during some of the more intense interrogation sequences. He looks like a rapper fronting in a music video!

Sovvolf:

Mike Kayatta:
and he should know. Aside from Uncharted, he's also done key voice-work in Shadow Complex, Arkham City, Dragon Age: Origins, and more.

Tut come on lets face it. Nolan North as voiced in every video game known to man... including video games before voice work was even possible.

Little known fact: He's actually responsible for the sound effects in Pac-Man and Space Invaders! This whole thing about sound chips and MIDI? Lies! He sits in every machine making the sounds whilst you play! The man really is talented!

Guys, Nolan, really, Team Bondi is already bankrupt, you don't need to kick a dead horse.

The thing about Motion Capture is that the whole "Character Design" part in game creation will be nixxed.

Since everyone looks like their actor. And those who don't either have weird lip-syncing or badly fitting voices.

Who exactly does Nolan voice in Dragon Age? I don't recall hearing his voice, but it was a while ago when I played it. The "key-voice work" kinda makes me not want to ask this.

World's End:
Who exactly does Nolan voice in Dragon Age? I don't recall hearing his voice, but it was a while ago when I played it. The "key-voice work" kinda makes me not want to ask this.

according to imdb:

Nolan North ... Eirik / Ruck / Owain / Godwin / Seweryn / Adalbo / Tapster's Patron / Orzammar Guard / Dust Town Thug / Carta Thug (voice)

Outright Villainy:
Nathan Drake does kill guys for treasure though, which does make him kind of a dick.

I didn't think the facial animation was too shabby in Uncharted anyway, it's still leagues above most games.

I totally agree, but the flashlights installed beneath Elena's irises and her unmoving hair have got to go at some point.

This just reads as a heap of excuses to me for having character faces that look like ass. Rather than take it and try to improve upon it, they say that the technology is inferior.

A Gent of Villainous Intent:
The thing about Motion Capture is that the whole "Character Design" part in game creation will be nixxed.

Since everyone looks like their actor. And those who don't either have weird lip-syncing or badly fitting voices.

This is my main beef with the technology used. If I wanted to see a movie with real recognizable people, I would.

 

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