Falling In

Why do we, as a tech-consuming public, enjoy and play video games in the capacity that we do? The appeal is something a little deeper than the simple fact that they are a fun diversion, an enjoyable hobby. With video games, like very few other media in this modern age, you are literally a part of the story. You are able to act out the events of the narrative in real-time, and are able to have an effect on the outcome of the story in which you are a character. As well, you are able to do things in video games that are the stuff of dreams in the real world. You can slay dragons, fight off an offending alien horde, even create life from the single-celled organism through space-faring civilization. Indeed, the only limitations to how far you can go with games should be (at least in theory) the imaginations of the programmers.

For years now, video game developers have been able to render and develop photo-real environments, everything from cars to buildings to infrastructure and everything in-between. As well, human movement as well as response to environmental stimuli can be accurately rendered. However, the performance capture of facial expressions has been lagging, as it has never really been an integral aspect of gameplay. Until now, that is. Rockstar Games has, with the upcoming title LA Noire, developed a technique known as MotionScan. This process utilizes 32 strategically-placed cameras that surround an actor in order to accurately capture genuine facial expression. An overview of this technology, as well as its in-game applications, can be found here.

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About Jim Happer

A code friendly place! View all posts by Jim Happer

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