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View Full Version : L.A.Noire :: Video Feature


PaulHellard
05-20-2011, 02:47 PM
Hey there,

Gathering as many visual assets as we could through Rockstar and Team Bondi, this is a quick visual taster of the work done on this insane performance rich game, released today.

http://features.cgsociety.org//images/plugs/feature/lanoire_plug.jpg (http://features.cgsociety.org/story.php?story_id=6241)

ManuelM
05-20-2011, 02:59 PM
ok - what happened to that impressive facial anim? it's mostly gone from the article's clips...

japetus
05-20-2011, 03:36 PM
ok - what happened to that impressive facial anim? it's mostly gone from the article's clips...

You serious? I was getting goosebumps just watching those videos! The facial animation is amazing!

leigh
05-20-2011, 06:00 PM
I picked this up this morning on my way into work, and it's been sitting on my desk taunting me all day. Thirty more minutes and then I can head home to play :-D

pooby
05-20-2011, 06:17 PM
The facial animation is amazing!

Just to be pedantic, Its not 'animation' as such.. its pretty much a direct capture of the actors moving face in 3d along with video based textures to match.
Just pointing it out so no-one is tempted to directly compare this to Benjamin Button, or Clu from Tron, or Avatar or any other Rig based animation. It would be like comparing a painting to a photograph.

BigPixolin
05-20-2011, 07:00 PM
Yeah I suppose it is amazing when putting it into the context of other games and a Rockstar game at that. But overall that facial "animation" is stiff, lifeless, and zombie like. I hope it is just the videos that make it seem slightly out of sync at times also.

shadowpriest
05-20-2011, 07:17 PM
Might be a good game, but personally I'm sick of seeing it already. While watching my Battlestar Galactica on Hulu, it's the only commercial I see - over and over and over and over.....

The game just came out and I'm already sick of it, lol

japetus
05-20-2011, 07:35 PM
Just to be pedantic, Its not 'animation' as such.. its pretty much a direct capture of the actors moving face in 3d along with video based textures to match.
Just pointing it out so no-one is tempted to directly compare this to Benjamin Button, or Clu from Tron, or Avatar or any other Rig based animation. It would be like comparing a painting to a photograph.

Well I know it's facial capture, sorry, it was early in the morning. :)

leigh
05-20-2011, 07:50 PM
Just to be pedantic, Its not 'animation' as such...

If I may be even more of a pedant, it technically is. A dictionary would define animation as being in possession of movement, or seeming to be alive. It does not necessarily denote a technique as such, and even so, it's still technically animated, just not by hand.

I do feel that people get a little too hung up on techniques around here. Enjoy the work for what it is, not how it was made.

pooby
05-20-2011, 07:57 PM
In that case, live action films are animation too. They all share the same thing of appearing to make a living character from a series of frames
Personally I'm more interested in how it was made than the game, as I'm involved in setting up a similar system.

BigPixolin
05-20-2011, 08:31 PM
Yes, the result in the tech demos are much more impressive than what translates to the game models. I am also interested in the technology.

japetus
05-20-2011, 09:55 PM
Yes, the result in the tech demos are much more impressive than what translates to the game models. I am also interested in the technology.

I guess some people will never be impressed, these characters seem more alive to me than some digital characters that were in recent movies. I don't play a lot of games anymore but this had me wanting more.

DDS
05-20-2011, 10:24 PM
I guess some people will never be impressed, these characters seem more alive to me than some digital characters that were in recent movies. I don't play a lot of games anymore but this had me wanting more.

yeah not to say, for a game specially, this is awesome animation in general. Many times better than what was top of the game before. Everything else just brings it down in technical terms though. Been playing it today, most environments look low resolution, all shaders look the same, etc.. It's just they decided to turn priorities upside down in terms of graphics and call it "style".

However, it still looks great.

Per-Anders
05-20-2011, 11:27 PM
yeah not to say, for a game specially, this is awesome animation in general. Many times better than what was top of the game before. Everything else just brings it down in technical terms though. Been playing it today, most environments look low resolution, all shaders look the same, etc.. It's just they decided to turn priorities upside down in terms of graphics and call it "style".

However, it still looks great.
I think that's a limitation of using LA as the location, it's just incredibly nondescript. There's no more detail to really add than is already there.

I hope that future games in the series (if they have a series) will focus on more interesting locales that have more identifiable topology and landmarks for navigation other than endless grey boxes bunker/warehouse architecture, San Francisco, Paris, New York, London, Rome etc.

It would probably also help if they had street signs or some notification of what street you're on, even the main map doesn't name most of the streets and as they all look the same you spend more time looking at the mini-map to see which direction to go than looking at the road.

The environment/map issues aside though the game is pretty damn awesome in the couple of missions I've had time to play. Well worth picking up. The facial capture animation is great and I hope they pursue the technology and work on the shoulders and hands next.

leigh
05-20-2011, 11:40 PM
It would probably also help if they had street signs or some notification of what street you're on, even the main map doesn't name most of the streets and as they all look the same you spend more time looking at the mini-map to see which direction to go than looking at the road.


This is a gripe for me too. Although you can ask your partner for directions; but I still think it's a bit silly that they don't have a GPS style route marker.

curbsidebandit
05-21-2011, 01:15 AM
I've been playing this game so far and really enjoying it. I hope more games start using the facial tech that is in this game.

_vine_
05-21-2011, 03:46 AM
I ordered it late, so I have to wait until Monday.

I'm curious how the face animation compares to EA's Universal Capture (UCap) tech from Tiger Woods 2007 and Need For Speed. Face capture at the time took tons of data per actor and filled up the discs pretty quickly. I guess that is why the PS3 disc is almost full and the X360 version is 3 discs.

UCap died out at EA because it was hard to get the talent in the studio to record or modify animations. Also, the canned animations were un-editable by hand due to the nature of the data (the blendshapes/joint positions each have unique color, normal, and vertex color info bundled per shape). Also, Redwood Shores was the only location that had the machines, so the talent had to fly to CA which wasn't always ideal (especially for golfers playing worldwide).

With such a large cast of scanned actors I'm curious at how much just the talent costs were for the game and if the break even point will be higher than most games. LA Noire is getting great reviews so far, so it would be a shame for that to be an impediment to making this a successful series.

The only thing that kinda worried me about buying it so early is that I know a "director's cut" version will come out in a year with every single piece of DLC bundled together. It's crazy how every major retailer seems to have their own case. Hopefully, they do something like Red Dead Redemption and put out an addon disc with all of the DLC.

BColbourn
05-21-2011, 04:28 AM
I've been playing this game so far and really enjoying it. I hope more games start using the facial tech that is in this game.

i heard the technique is incredibly expensive, so it might be a bit before it starts showing up in other stuff

ManuelM
05-21-2011, 06:08 AM
You serious? I was getting goosebumps just watching those videos! The facial animation is amazing!

I just mentioned it because in the very first videos that were floating around the facial anim/mapping/whatever was really mind-blowing, whereas I personally find that throughout all videos linked in that article it looks very off and not that impressive anymore.
Maybe I'm having playback problems with the vids or something else...
I'm not much of a gamer anyways (except TF2) so I'm not the best person to compare the quality of the face anim to other current game titles.
I'm glad you guys are enjoying the game, though.

SheepFactory
05-21-2011, 07:58 AM
This article is more like advertisement for the game than a making of. I am pretty disappointed with it. Those videos were available on gametrailers weeks ago. I would have liked to read up on the face tech they used rather than watch a bunch of trailers for the game.

Per-Anders
05-21-2011, 09:07 AM
This article is more like advertisement for the game than a making of. I am pretty disappointed with it. Those videos were available on gametrailers weeks ago. I would have liked to read up on the face tech they used rather than watch a bunch of trailers for the game.
Yeah it's incredibly thin, it does say that:
Not a great deal of information came from Rockstar, undoubtedly because they were so busy making the product. This page is a massive dump of visuals sent thru, so we could all get a face full. Dive in. The crime is delicious.
However I'd sooner they'd have waited for more content than this, I mean the sentences are mere footnotes that leave you with more questions than the Cole Phelps. e.g.
There are most definitely the most expressive, vibrantly readable faces ever seen in a game. This, in fact, is how the game is played.
...that's where the sentence ends, there's no more. I mean as a reader you might want to know a little more of exactly how is this the way the game is played?

Then there's the way the article ends on the half finished
In February 2011, Take 2 Interactive announced that L.A. Noire had been selected to be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival, the first video game to be recognized by the festival.
Seriously, no follow through on that? I mean "And?", it leads to all sorts of questions, How was it received? Is there some backstory? Maybe about who and why they decided to attempt that and how they managed this considering it's a film festival (and how would I Joe Bloggs go about doing the same thing?).

I mean the game is all kinds of awesome but I'd much rather wait for a well researched article or interview that gives you something new.

ThE_JacO
05-22-2011, 01:17 AM
i heard the technique is incredibly expensive, so it might be a bit before it starts showing up in other stuff
It isn't that expensive, but it's limited in angles and lighting, so it's only effective in a heavily cinematic game such as this. Don't expect it, especially on consoles, to be used for free-camera in-game characters anytime soon, it has its restrictions.
It's also not the only one of its kind, although it's the only one that can claim to have made it to a final product insofar.

Not a great deal of information came from Rockstar, undoubtedly because they were so busy making the product. This page is a massive dump of visuals sent thru, so we could all get a face full. Dive in. The crime is delicious.
Rockstar produced in the end and published, they weren't that busy making the product, Team Bondi here in Sydney was ;)

japetus
05-22-2011, 01:32 AM
This article is more like advertisement for the game than a making of. I am pretty disappointed with it. Those videos were available on gametrailers weeks ago. I would have liked to read up on the face tech they used rather than watch a bunch of trailers for the game.

I agree, will be cool to read a more indepth article soon I hope.

I'm not much of a gamer anyways (except TF2) so I'm not the best person to compare the quality of the face anim to other current game titles.
Same with me. TF2 and some Starcraft 2 is about all I have time for nowadays.

thekapow
05-22-2011, 05:37 AM
In that case, live action films are animation too. They all share the same thing of appearing to make a living character from a series of frames
Personally I'm more interested in how it was made than the game, as I'm involved in setting up a similar system.

Yes that is very true, it has been used many years before the computer, its an old term that "the instructor animates the actors". it just means "give life to", and it is latin, so not something invented in our time ;).

veljko-lemonade
05-22-2011, 11:52 AM
If I may be even more of a pedant, it technically is. A dictionary would define animation as being in possession of movement, or seeming to be alive. It does not necessarily denote a technique as such, and even so, it's still technically animated, just not by hand.

I do feel that people get a little too hung up on techniques around here. Enjoy the work for what it is, not how it was made.

i think we all know what the guy ment...
just like motion capture would not be "animation"..although it fits your description of being in possession of movement...

personally, i thought they look like puppets- somehow i can not feel the thought which provokes the movement of the character- but still a fine job for a video game!

Intervain
05-22-2011, 10:08 PM
This article is more like advertisement for the game than a making of. I am pretty disappointed with it. Those videos were available on gametrailers weeks ago. I would have liked to read up on the face tech they used rather than watch a bunch of trailers for the game.

That's exactly what I've been thinking... :curious:

Laa-Yosh
05-23-2011, 12:20 PM
If I may be even more of a pedant, it technically is. A dictionary would define animation as being in possession of movement, or seeming to be alive. It does not necessarily denote a technique as such, and even so, it's still technically animated, just not by hand.


What he's trying to say is that this approach has some very important limitations compared to any other technique. The point is that usually you have the animation and the deformation systems existing separately.

But this tech works by storing a unique set of textures for every frame of the performance and simply loading it from disc during playback - so there's no way to alter any aspect after the recording. The ultimate brute force approach, if you want.
Hair and make-up and reflections on the eyes can not be changed, not even eye directions because there's no eye geometry either. This is why sometimes the characters appear to be staring into nothing even when the other person they talk to is right in front of them, or why the face and body animation are totally out of sync at times.
Of course it also means that you can't transfer performance to a different character or use non-humanoid or stylized characters, have to do some serious casting and spend more time on the recording sessions, and so on.

So in many ways this is a step backwards, in the direction of the old "interactive CD-ROM" games, instead of ahead to more lifelike and dynamic characters that can actually interact with the player. But of course this doesn't mean that the game can't be fun.

collings
05-24-2011, 01:16 AM
+1 agreed with Tamas, I'm not a fan that technique is so limited. But the game seems cool tho :)

BigPixolin
05-26-2011, 03:38 PM
I think it is the way the facial poses slide unnaturally under the skin and the texture doesn't change at all that is making it look so strange to me.

muckymouse
06-03-2011, 06:21 PM
I'm a little surprised that there are so many complaints here about the quality of the facial animation.

This is a video game and as such is bound by the limits of current real-time graphics. With this in mind the facial animation looks better than any 3d based video game ever and yet people still complain about it's quality? Welcome to real-time graphics people. They don't look photo real yet.

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