Hideo Kojima Calls LA Noire Face Tech a Game Changer

Logan Westbrook

Transform, Roll Out, Etc
Feb 21, 2008
17,672
0
0
Hideo Kojima Calls LA Noire Face Tech a Game Changer


Videogames faces will become more important than every before, says the Metal Gear Solid creator.

Hideo Kojima is a big fan of the MotionScan facial animation technology that Team Bondi used in LA Noire, and while he doesn't plan to use it in Metal Gear Solid: Rising, he thinks that it will change the way that developers make adventure games forever.

MotionScan uses 32 cameras to capture facial expressions from every angle. According to its creator, Depth Analysis, it also represents an easier and cheaper solution for developers wanting to animate character's faces.


Speaking at the Gamelab Conference in Barcelona, he said that he hadn't actually had a chance to play LA Noire yet - it hasn't come out in Japan - but had had the opportunity to visit the studio where the motion capture was taking place, and was very interested in it for the future. "The technology is absolutely fantastic," he said. "Facial expressions - that affect the outcome of the game - I think that's a huge element that from now on will change the direction of adventure games."

Even though he won't be licensing it in the near future, it's not hard to see how the Metal Gear Solid series could really benefit from the MotionScan technology. Kojima is famous - some might even say notorious - for including very long cinematic cut scenes in his games, and MotionScan would not only help improve those scenes, but might even go some way to making them a little more interactive. It's not hard to see how it might be useful outside the cut scenes either, not when you consider how much the MGS series revolves around conspiracy, betrayal and trust. The Master Miller reveal in the original Metal Gear Solid, for example, would have even more punch if the player had been able to see Liquid Snake sneering smugly at him or her over the codec.

There's obviously plenty of potential in the technology outside the Metal Gear Solid series, and even outside of the adventure game genre. Just making NPCs feel a little bit more real would be a great start. Of course, hiring actors to play your characters adds extra development costs, costs that not every studio is going to want to incur, or be able to afford.

Source: Edge [http://www.next-gen.biz/news/kojima-la-noire-tech-will-change-direction-adventure-games]


Permalink
 

Jezzascmezza

New member
Aug 18, 2009
2,500
0
0
That'd be awesome if we started seeing those realistic faces in a few more games...
They really added a lot to my personal experience with LA Noire.
 

Formica Archonis

Anonymous Source
Nov 13, 2009
2,312
0
0
And now I have this image in my head of Snake sloooooooooowly going crosseyed over the expanse of a particularly long cutscene.
 

Kiefer13

Wizzard
Jul 31, 2008
1,548
0
0
I haven't played LA Noire either since it isn't out on PC yet. From what I have seen though, it would be great to see that kind of realism in the characters in other games too.

Also, as soon as I read the headline I knew you were going to use that picture of him on the duck. It really never gets old.
 

Slanzinger

New member
Nov 19, 2009
89
0
0
The face tech is indeed a game changer.
Now just fix the body animations and we're good to go. But as it stands LA Noire is so deep into the Uncanny Valley that it's coughing up magma (for me at least; YMMV I suppose). Please don't go for the subtleties if you can't get all of the larger animations and bodily proportions right, otherwise you end up with an incredibly creepy pastiche of things.
 

Scizophrenic Llama

Is in space!
Dec 5, 2007
1,147
0
0
It'd be neat to see a Kojima game use the face tech, as they'd have pretty good body animations as well. Especially with that new engine they are working on.
 

Adzma

New member
Sep 20, 2009
1,287
0
0
It'd sure make dubbing and localization a massive pain in the ass!
 

imPacT31

New member
Mar 19, 2008
142
0
0
Slanzinger said:
The face tech is indeed a game changer.
Now just fix the body animations and we're good to go. But as it stands LA Noire is so deep into the Uncanny Valley that it's coughing up magma (for me at least; YMMV I suppose). Please don't go for the subtleties if you can't get all of the larger animations and bodily proportions right, otherwise you end up with an incredibly creepy pastiche of things.
I haven't actually played L.A. Noir, so take this with mountainous heaps of salt, but this was always a problem for me with the footage I'd seen. Something about the characters' faces just looked horribly wrong.
 

Hungry Donner

Henchman
Mar 19, 2009
1,369
0
0
I think the tech will take some time to become common, I suspect it's quite expensive to run and integrate into the game, and it must require much longer voice acting sessions. In a game with lots of NPCs this would be exorbitant and probably difficult to justify if it isn't central to the gameplay - as it is with LA Noir.

However in games wither fewer NPCs, or ones that rely more on cut scenes, I could see this showing up.
 

Slanzinger

New member
Nov 19, 2009
89
0
0
imPacT31 said:
I haven't actually played L.A. Noir, so take this with mountainous heaps of salt, but this was always a problem for me with the footage I'd seen. Something about the characters' faces just looked horribly wrong.
Personally I'm just going by footage from other sources too, but the thing is that the faces themselves are fine. It's just that the combinations of the faces and such unrealistic bodies was rather unsettling for me.
The picture at the top of this article sort of sums it up in my opinion: http://thepunchlineismachismo.com/archives/730
 

Casual Shinji

Should've gone before we left.
Legacy
Jul 18, 2009
19,455
4,259
118
Sure, it's a "game changer" if you want to scan in real live faces in your game, but most game faces are designed so what use would this tech be for Snake, Kratos and Nathan Drake?
 

teebeeohh

New member
Jun 17, 2009
2,896
0
0
...
i don't wanna know what this man will do with that kind of technology, he does make good games but he is also kinda creepy, i would not invite him into my house.
also why does snake repeat the last word everyone says in his presence? is he just brain dead or is there a subtle anti-war message?
 

health-bar

New member
Nov 13, 2009
221
0
0
teebeeohh said:
...
i don't wanna know what this man will do with that kind of technology, he does make good games but he is also kinda creepy, i would not invite him into my house.
also why does snake repeat the last word everyone says in his presence? is he just brain dead or is there a subtle anti-war message?
you don't know?
if you take the first letter to every thirteenth word snake repeats they spell out a secret message. The message is, of course coded, but one hacker claimed the first few words of the MGS4 secret message described some geographical location, but he was never heard from again after that transmission.
 

Woodsey

New member
Aug 9, 2009
14,553
0
0
Maybe its different when you play it, but the faces always looked pretty crap to me. The animation is good (obviously), but it doesn't allow for the body to be filmed at the same time and the textures were abysmal.
 

The Wykydtron

"Emotions are very important!"
Sep 23, 2010
5,458
0
0
Slanzinger said:
The face tech is indeed a game changer.
Now just fix the body animations and we're good to go. But as it stands LA Noire is so deep into the Uncanny Valley that it's coughing up magma (for me at least; YMMV I suppose). Please don't go for the subtleties if you can't get all of the larger animations and bodily proportions right, otherwise you end up with an incredibly creepy pastiche of things.
I never got any of the complaints about LA:N's body animation. YMMV indeed, although maybe i was to focused on everyones cool hats to notice the apparently weird body animations.

OT: The tech will only be a game changer if the cost to integrate it into your game isn't skyhigh. No devs are gonna dedicate half the budget to facial animations (well thats my wild assumption of the week anyway)
 

-Dragmire-

King over my mind
Mar 29, 2011
2,821
0
0
He doesn't seem that interested in gameplay aspects in his games. Why doesn't he just make a film and get it out of his system?
 

XMark

New member
Jan 25, 2010
1,408
0
0
One thing I know is that after LA Noire I can suddenly see how stiff and rigid the facial animations are in every other game I play. I think that LA Noire has raised everyone's standards for facial animation forever.
 

teebeeohh

New member
Jun 17, 2009
2,896
0
0
health-bar said:
teebeeohh said:
...
i don't wanna know what this man will do with that kind of technology, he does make good games but he is also kinda creepy, i would not invite him into my house.
also why does snake repeat the last word everyone says in his presence? is he just brain dead or is there a subtle anti-war message?
you don't know?
if you take the first letter to every thirteenth word snake repeats they spell out a secret message. The message is, of course coded, but one hacker claimed the first few words of the MGS4 secret message described some geographical location, but he was never heard from again after that transmission.
transmission?

wow now i have to add something in order to avoid getting a warning.
Kojima: nobody likes raiden, just bring back grey fox for rising and have him brainwashed at the end so he thinks he is raiden.