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L.A. Noire's Gag Reel Bridges the Uncanny Valley

| 4 Feb 2013 07:51

You don't have to be a detective to find the humor in these motion-captured outtakes.

Back in 2011, Team Bondi's L.A. Noire turned heads with its dialogue-driven gameplay and, more notably, its cutting edge face-scanning technology. As impressive as the end result was, the process did revolve around human actors, and actors make mistakes. The interesting bit is that the motion capture software recorded all those slip-ups, and the in-game models mimicked them. Ladies and gentlemen, we're looking at the first fully-organic blooper reel in a video game.

Depth Analysis, the company that provided the game's facial animation technology, has released a gag reel on their site to show off "the level of performance and humanity captured by the MotionScan process." The video certainly delivers on that claim - watching a digital character sneeze is more than a little surreal.

In an ordinary live-action production, these bloopers wouldn't be much to laugh at - there's the typical assortment of botched lines and inappropriate chuckles. What's truly bizarre is how much of the life behind these goof-ups is captured by the animated characters. When a suspect screws up her line, the detectives share a laugh at her mistake. An opening remark gets flubbed, and the characters actually walk off the in-game set so they can do another take. The interactions between the character models may still fall within the uncanny valley, but we're at least on the uphill slope.

Source: Depth Analysis

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