What you’re about to see is machinema – computer animation created entirely within a game engine. We happened across this video of this short subject created by the same people who created the Playstation 3 game “Hard Rain” in 2010.
David Cage of video game developer Quantic Dream, wrote and directed the 2010 thriller PS3 game “Hard Rain”. At the Game Developer’s Conference last week in San Francisco he unveiled a new way to simultaneously capture and digitize an actor’s performance — including voice, face and body.
In the footage, which Cage said could be entirely run on a PlayStation 3, actress Valorie Curry portrays an android named Kara who gains self-awareness as she’s being assembled by a squad of robotic arms. The virtual Kara emotively speaks in English, French and German, as well as sings in Japanese, as she converses with an operator who is heard but never seen.
“Project Kara” is a demo, not Quantic Dream’s next project. He said the new technology from the French studio could be used for full performance capture, a technique where all aspects of a portrayal are recorded at once, rather than the common practice of separately capturing them. Unlike the methods used to capture actors’ performances in “Avatar,” the performance capture technology developed by Quantic Dream uses about 90 sensors placed on an actor’s face instead of a small camera mounted on a boom in front of the actor’s face. It’s also faster, less expensive and requires quiet because the audio and movement are captured together.
We wanted to do what Avatar did by having one full performance where we capture everything at the same time. And we wanted to demonstrate these new performance capture techniques and the new engine before going into production, so we developed a short showcase that would allow us to test these ideas and technologies. This is how “Kara” was created.
“Kara” is not our next game. It’s not the character, it’s not the world, it’s not the story. …We do things in a very strange way here, things that have nothing to do with the games we make. But I think that’s a part of the DNA of the studio, and hopefully something that people like about us – they never know what they’re going to get!
Everything changes now. Game technology is blending with that of motion pictures, becoming something new. The results are nothing short of breathtaking. See if you agree.
– 30 –