A new developer diary for Sucker Punch's Infamous: Second Son shows how motion capture is evolving for the PlayStation 4, detailing the "emotion capture" process for creating the game's protagonist, Delsin Rowe.
In the video posted above, seasoned voice actor Troy Baker, who recently lent his pipes to Joel in The Last of Us and Booker DeWitt in BioShock Infinite, uses the studio's new facial capture process to animate Delsin. Sucker Punch's technology takes detailed 3D scans of motion capture actors in order to "learn" their "surface physiology" and train the software to learn their movements.
"The overall result is a very natural, organic feel directly tied to the anatomy and performance of the actor instead of something that's feels very mechanical, linear, repetitive, or just plain unsettling," wrote Second Son technical director Spencer Alexander. "With the assistance of Digital Domain's cutting edge motion capture studio, we were provided a high level of expertise and animation polish that helped see our tech all the way to the finish."
As for the choice to cast Baker as Delsin, Alexander wrote that Baker has been able to bring the "restless potential" Sucker Punch sought for the character. In tandem with the company's new technology, this has enabled them to build a strong character and capture his every tick and twitch.
"With our new facial technology, we can truly capture the nuance he brings to the character," Alexander wrote. "It can be as small as an eye twitch, but that little bit of motion can make the moment come alive in ways you never expected. The actors bring a lot to the table; it's exciting to finally have a method for bringing those performances directly to the player."
Check out the video above for a closer look at the motion capture process for Infamous: Second Son, which will launch exclusively for PS4.