Reflection ♯1: Hellblade: Diary 21 – Making a Virtual Human | Real-time performance capture

Ninja Theory (Cambridge, England), an independent video game developer company, is doing a video blog about the development of one of their games, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. The interesting thing about this videogame is the cutting-edge technology they are using thanks to the collaboration of the Unreal Engine developers of Epic games, 3Lateral (facial technology), Cubic Motion (life facial system), Ikinema and Xsens.

I have chosen the diary 21 because it was the one that explain more about the technologies used to make a realistic and real-time animated character which is very interesting to me as are technologies I would like to use in the future. I think they may become the future of  videogame’s industry.

The combination of several technologies developed by the involved companies like motion capture, 3D scanning and realistic lightning allowed Ninja Theory to create a very realistic character that can be rigged in real-time graphics emulating facial expressions and realistic skin with wrinkles, blood flow, peach fuzz and surface scattering. This technology may cross the uncanny valley allowing playing photorealistic characters that move and look like real people.

This source not only give me an idea of the latest technologies used on videogames but also give me an approach of the methodology and workflow used to achieve this type of realism. Moreover, I wanted to investigate further on motion capture and this video gave me a start point to look how it works and the possibilities it has.
I think that this technology not only will have an impact on videogames industry but also on others industries like films, allowing real actors to participate as characters in videogames acting the same way as they do in films or using this technology in 3D animated films. In my opinion one of the biggest problems of using 3d effects and characters in films is that they stand out too much compared to the real characters and environment used giving an odd fake sensation. One example that I find have this problem is Warcraft (Duncan Jones, 2016), the film based on the homonymous videogame have this problem as it has 3D characters among real actors. Therefore, with this technique could be viable to use this kind of effects and characters to do the film completely in 3D maintaining the realism and avoiding this obvious difference between real and virtual.

Finally, the Ninja Theory’s video blog looks very interesting and worthwhile take a look along all the process to get an idea of  the steps in a game development, the technology used and the problems and solutions taken through it.



Ninja Theory (n.d.) Hellblade: Diary 21 – Making a Virtual Human | Real-Time Performance Capture [Online video]. Available from: < > [Accessed 30/09/2016].

Ninja Theory Ltd | Ninja Theory Ltd, Independent Games Developer in Cambridge UK (n.d.) [Online]. Available from: < > [Accessed 30/09/2016].



“Red Chases Blue” First steps

As our first assignment we’ve been requested to do a free project around the topic red chases blue”, we’ll have 2 weeks to accomplish this project.

It has been a bit complicated for me to figure out a project around this topic due to the huge possibilities it brings. As I was unable to reach any initial idea with wich I could start to work I have first started researching about the title.

I have looked for the meanings of the colours given, to which concepts they are related, for that matter I have looked in this page (Link) where I found the psychological meaning of Red and Blue:

Red: For red I have found that it’s a color that sends us different meanings. They are divided in positive and negative. As I wanted to create to different sides, hero and villains, I’ve decided that the red would be the villain. Therefore, I’ve concentrated my attention on the negative one.
Red transmits lust, irritation, anger, revenge, agitation… and is related to blood and war. Usually it is related with evil.

Blue: I wanted that blue was the colour of our hero because it transmits peace and is in some cases related with the good.
I found that blue give us a sensation of trust, responsibility, loyalty, peace, tranquility… it is also related with friendship and the will to help others. It is persistent and determined to succeed in whichever endeavour it pursues, it sounds like the perfect color to create a hero around.



Thinking in the meanings, I have decided to create a background with two factions, one red and one blue, where  the red would be warlords and conquerors that only look for power and the domain other civilizations no matter what. Whilst, the blue would be like peaceful monks who have reach a great power throw the comprehension and coexistence with nature and other races.

As I definitely wanted at this point to do something related with orient because of the monks and also, I have linked the blue colour with the Djinns, that appears in Aladdin’s Disney film, I came with the idea that the hero will be a free Air Djinn (I thought that could have similar powers as the Air bender main character) whose girlfriend has been caught by this conquering race, and now is trapped inside a lamp. Therefore, the mission on the game would be to rescue the hero girlfriend and escape from the enemy territory avoiding the attempts of the red faction to recover his girlfriend’s lamp and capture the hero in another one.

In all this process I have had in mind different references such as Aladdin, Airbender, Zelda, Trine (because I’m thinking in having a similar type of  lateral camera and maybe puzzles), Mario bros. and Prince of Persia.


Thoughts and work

I am not still quite sure if the game would be a runner, a platform or other type of lateral game, I am still thinking on which of those types could fit better with this type of idea.

By the moment I have done a bit of work on the concept of both characters, the Djinn (blue) and the Red race (a mix of demon and pig) without looking any references so I can see what I can bring by myself without spoil my imagination with others work.  The next step will be looking for references to improve or rework these ideas.


These are preliminary sketches and I’m sure I will improve them in the future ;D

(Sorry for the bad quality of the images but, it is all I could do with only an iphone and photoshop :P)



Empowered By Color (n.d.) Color Psychology Will Empower Your Life [Online]. Empowered By Color. Available from: < > [Accessed 06/10/2016].

Empowered By Color (n.d.) Color Psychology Will Empower Your Life [Online]. Empowered By Color. Available from: < > [Accessed 06/10/2016].

The beginning of the journey

Greetings good people! I am Jose Vivas Regne. I’m starting this blog as part of the Master course in Game Art and Design that I’m doing at the University of Hertfordshire.

In this blog I’ll be updating all the work process I’ll be doing in each one of my assignments: The concepting process and the developing of ideas, my decisions and thoughts, my research and experimentation,… As well as my reactions to others works that I’ll come across during this time in the fields of game and art.

Please, be my guests and follow me in this exciting and wonderful learning journey where, I hope, you will enjoy as much as I expect to do 😉