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Old 11-Nov-2010, 19:09   #51
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Even if the graphics, in general, aren't the best around, but the facial animation is amazing. Considering the way they're advertising the game, where you interview people and have to read their face for clues about whether they're lying, hiding something, uncomfortable with questioning or whatever, it looks like they might actually deliver! That's something new, and something I can get excited about.
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Old 11-Nov-2010, 19:12   #52
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Yes, it's one of those rare 'next-gen' techs that could be defining a gameplay, rather than just looking pretty.
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Old 11-Nov-2010, 19:16   #53
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Old 11-Nov-2010, 19:18   #54
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the main character looks like this actor
http://thepreppyprincess.files.wordp...s2_517x307.jpg

lol i was going to post Jacques Chirac for this pic.
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Old 11-Nov-2010, 19:27   #55
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Is this confirmed to be facial capture then?
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Old 11-Nov-2010, 19:36   #56
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http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20...ut-spring-2011

Full motion capture. And yeah the idea behind how they're using it sounds great.
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Old 11-Nov-2010, 19:39   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shifty Geezer View Post
Yes, it's one of those rare 'next-gen' techs that could be defining a gameplay, rather than just looking pretty.
I imagine we're at a point where there are so many good ideas, regarding tech and graphics, that coming up with new complex tech will start demanding that others things we've become used to will have to be left out. As long as it defines the gameplay, as you've said, I'm cool with that. I'd rather lose some eye candy and gain some new tech that opens new gameplay opportunities.
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Old 11-Nov-2010, 20:42   #58
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Originally Posted by xatnys View Post
Is this confirmed to be facial capture then?
"Facial capture" is a very loose tem, there could be dozens or even hundreds of very different technologies that we could call like that.

They're supposedly using their own method that involves light stages, high res digital cameras and lots of custom software to reconstruct geometry and textures.
www.debevec.org is a good start if you're interested...
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Old 11-Nov-2010, 20:44   #59
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That's actually not motion capture. They're capturing geometry and textures, probably continuously, so it's far more than that.

Motion capture would only record the positions of certain points on a face, although you could argue that capturing the geometry is just sampling a LOT of markers, but I'd like to keep the two approaches separate
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Old 11-Nov-2010, 20:49   #60
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So more like 3D motion scanning, with some interpolation system (delta animation?) to get final data structures that'll fit into these consoles and on a DVD.
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Old 11-Nov-2010, 20:59   #61
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Originally Posted by Shifty Geezer View Post
The lip syncing is superb! Best real-time virtual acting I've ever seen by a long chalk. Do we know if this is hard-baked from the English capture, or can they use alternative soundtracks and match up to those?
Looking at the research on the Debevec site, I can't really decide - maybe it is a flexible facial rig that can be animated manually... but it's just too perfectly synced and so much is baked into the animated textures that I can't really decide. It'd take a huge effort to combine phonemes and emotional expressions. Also note how the eye reflections are completely static because they're also baked into the textures!

After a bit of digesting it, I think the way it works is to use two layers of deformation:
- the first is relatively standard image based mocap, using markers drawn on the actor's face, recorded together with the audio, to drive the lip sync and the expressions on the base polygonal model
- the second is to animate (blend between various versions of) the color + normal maps that have a few dozen pre-sets for expressions and phonemes to add finer things like wrinkles and such; these have been recorded in the "training" phase of the capture session, using stereo photography and the light stage and are driven by certain poses of the geometry or the marker based mocap
Also, normal maps are probably 1/4 resolution, which is why we don't see any skin pore detail. The only thing they really need to change the color map for is the blinking, but they need new normals for a lot of the expressions and have to blend the maps together when various expressions and phonemes are combined together. That probably takes a lot of processing, hence the simple lighting and shading.


So it is very unlikely that they could just use a sound file and have automatic lip sync. But they don't have to record the entire performance in full detail, only a set of predetermined expressions and then use "standard" mocap for the actual performance.


Quote:
As for the rest, my first impression was that they were going for a stylised look.
I'd say it's more about lacking the hw resources to use more than one light... The animated faces have to take up an insane amount of memory! One of the reasons that such tech wasn't really used before is that it comes with a lot of compromises.
Actually I wouldn't be surprised if the game would have to enter into "conversation" mode from normal gameplay and maybe even load for a while.
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Old 11-Nov-2010, 21:06   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shifty Geezer View Post
So more like 3D motion scanning, with some interpolation system (delta animation?) to get final data structures that'll fit into these consoles and on a DVD.
Check these:
http://gl.ict.usc.edu/Research/PDM/
http://gl.ict.usc.edu/Research/ma08/
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Old 11-Nov-2010, 21:16   #63
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you guys are right, facial animation is the best I have seen in a game so far...but unfortunately...the rest is not, which kind of is a jarring difference?!?
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Old 11-Nov-2010, 21:17   #64
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Also, it really is what they've been talking about here:
http://forum.beyond3d.com/showthread.php?t=56574
Notice how I've been very sceptical but it really did turn out to be a lot better then I expected.

It has been scaled down from the original research to fit the realtime resources. The other problem is that you need real living actors for every single role, you need to capture every second of all the facial animation for the entire game, and it takes a lot of processing and expensive equipment. You can't even change facial hair, age, or make-up as it's all recorded with the performance.

The good news is that even today's PC hardware should be able to significantly scale up the results for even better looking digital humans. Higher resolution textures with more detail, better skin shading, better lighting... they could probably also record the reflectance data for each actor's face and use some kind of HDR image based lighting to re-light it for any environment, using the same existing equipment and effort. Now that Rockstar has this system in place, they'll have a huge lead on everyone else on the new generation of consoles.

Is this game coming for X360 by the way? I seriously doubt that they could fit all this data onto a single DVD...
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Old 11-Nov-2010, 21:19   #65
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Also, just so you know, this is all very, very different from how stuff like Avatar's or Tron Legacy's CG characters are made, and it can't be used for any fantasy creatures that couldn't be created with make-up and prosthetics. So a game like Mass Effect 4 is probably not going to be able to use the tech
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Old 18-Nov-2010, 17:42   #66
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http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/113/1135354p2.html

New preview. Wow I'm loving the sound of this game. I just hope in the course of trying to make it accessible it doesn't become too easy to solve cases and such.
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Old 18-Nov-2010, 18:45   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilB View Post
http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/113/1135354p2.html

New preview. Wow I'm loving the sound of this game. I just hope in the course of trying to make it accessible it doesn't become too easy to solve cases and such.
I'm getting pretty excited about this game. My only concern, like yours, is that the investigation will be too easy, either because they lead you to the clues, give you too many hints, or make it too easy to read a person and tell if they're lying or telling the truth.
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Old 19-Nov-2010, 02:53   #68
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The very best thing about Rockstar is the way they don't worry needlessly about pushing the graphics envelope. Surely, sometimes the texture mismatches and shadow weirdnesses could be improved upon, but they deliver* the gameplay goods time and again. I'd prefer they keep the emphasis on those LoD formulae and seamless loading and keep my draw distance as high as possible. Yes, the lighting often seems like a hodgepodge of ideas,are and the characters rather cartoony even when they have high res textures (which is especially jarring at first). However, their approach to using what they've got is industry-leading IMO. Sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice, and keep the draw distance high and the camera angles interesting and the character acting phenomenal...

...bear in mind I hold the opinions of Laa-Yosh and some others around here, on graphical details, in the highest regard. But I think as a gameplayer you have to rejoice that GTA 3 looked so bland, for example, and GTA 4 so mismatched, and this looks very similar in that regard. Sure, maybe with a few more coders thrown at it, perhaps the lighting would look coherent,or maybe they'd wind up cutting corners somewhere else, or become obsessed with the graphics holy grail, and the game would just be pretty and suck. So, sure, you can certainly complain; their games always look like could have done better, but nobody really does it -- better looking, better playing games, that is.

*big exception has to be gta IV launch for PC. wtf happened to QA!?
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Old 19-Nov-2010, 04:49   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poopypoo View Post
The very best thing about Rockstar is the way they don't worry needlessly about pushing the graphics envelope. Surely, sometimes the texture mismatches and shadow weirdnesses could be improved upon, but they deliver* the gameplay goods time and again. I'd prefer they keep the emphasis on those LoD formulae and seamless loading and keep my draw distance as high as possible. Yes, the lighting often seems like a hodgepodge of ideas,are and the characters rather cartoony even when they have high res textures (which is especially jarring at first). However, their approach to using what they've got is industry-leading IMO. Sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice, and keep the draw distance high and the camera angles interesting and the character acting phenomenal...
This game is only being published by Rockstar, it's being developed by Team Bondi and is using an proprietary engine. Supposedly it features realtime GI.
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Old 19-Nov-2010, 05:14   #70
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This game is only being published by Rockstar, it's being developed by Team Bondi and is using an proprietary engine. Supposedly it features realtime GI.
omg whoops! Somehow I missed Rockstar becoming a publisher o_O;;

...and here I thought the characters bore some resemblance to GTA 4 characters, but obviously that's just my brain seeing what it wants to see! ^^;;

thx for the clarification.
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Old 19-Nov-2010, 05:58   #71
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Quote:
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This game is only being published by Rockstar, it's being developed by Team Bondi and is using an proprietary engine. Supposedly it features realtime GI.
Never heard of them but it seems the founder is from The Getaway group.

Quote:
Team Bondi was founded by Brendan McNamara, the former Director of Development for Sony Computer Entertainment’s Team Soho Studio in London and the writer and director of The Getaway which has gone on to sell over 4 million units on the PlayStation®2 console.
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Old 22-Nov-2010, 02:10   #72
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Honestly, I would take this amazing new facial technology of awesome facial textures because the only thing that puts me off a game more than horrible looking bushes is poor lip-syncing. Hopefully this pushes other developers to make a more "cinematic" experience in terms of how characters look and talk.
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Old 22-Nov-2010, 09:59   #73
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Not every game can utilize this technology (you need a real actor, complete with hair and make-up, for every single role, so fantasy and SF creatures are already out) and besides, it's pretty damn expensive, there's only one studio to do the recording anyway and it's located in Australia as far as I know.

Enslaved is said to have some nice facial animation too, by the way.
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Old 22-Nov-2010, 16:06   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kancerkid View Post
Honestly, I would take this amazing new facial technology of awesome facial textures because the only thing that puts me off a game more than horrible looking bushes is poor lip-syncing. Hopefully this pushes other developers to make a more "cinematic" experience in terms of how characters look and talk.
While it's not bad, I don't think it looks very good yet either. But it's definitely a promising technology that I'm sure will gain ground over time and as the tech improves.
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Old 01-Dec-2010, 10:59   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laa-Yosh View Post
Not every game can utilize this technology (you need a real actor, complete with hair and make-up, for every single role, so fantasy and SF creatures are already out) and besides, it's pretty damn expensive, there's only one studio to do the recording anyway and it's located in Australia as far as I know.

Enslaved is said to have some nice facial animation too, by the way.
They don't have to use it for every character just like there's differences between poly counts for main characters, enemies, NPCs you can talk to and just background extras in most games. They could animate an alien in a traditional way in pre-rendered CG and then take results from that and put them through the animation streaming system.
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