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.

Conclusion
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.

 

Bibliography

Ninja Theory (n.d.) Hellblade: Diary 21 – Making a Virtual Human | Real-Time Performance Capture [Online video]. Available from: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmrXK4fNOEo > [Accessed 30/09/2016].

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

 

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