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Hitman: Absolution video heads to performance-capture studio

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

In the latest Hitman: Absolution behind-the-scenes video, the game's developers at IO Interactive discuss the work they put into Absolution's cutscenes.

IO put its cast of A-list Hollywood actors — including Powers Boothe, Shannyn Sossamon, and Vivica Fox — in full performance-capture gear. That includes a skin-tight motion-capture "monkey suit," as Boothe puts it, and a head camera to pick up subtle facial expressions. The studio's animators then layered the story's characters over those performances, adding cinematic camera pans and angles to create film-like cutscenes.

Frederik Budolph-Larsen, an animator at IO Interactive, says, "This is just a natural evolution in games — to lean on what we've learned from cinema."

Hitman: Absolution launches on Nov. 20 on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Check out our most recent preview of its Contracts mode, and then play it yourself at New York Comic Con this weekend.

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