L.A Noire Facial Animation Technology

In my previous article, I mentioned L.A Noire, un upcoming crime game, and also it’s groundbreaking new facial expression animation technology. This is what I will be covering in this article.

Rockstar are probably one of the best at creating realistic open world environments. In Grand Theft Auto, the created a realistic modern day city. In Red Dead, they took us back to a realistic western world. And in L.A Noire, they will transport us to L.A, 1940. Only with the addition of incredibly life-like faces and expressions.

This addition is essential to L.A Noire, a crime game where you play as “WWII hero and aspiring detective Cole Phelps.” You will be asked to solve many crimes, chase many criminals, and interview many suspects. This is where the facial expression technology comes in. You will have to closely watch as the suspect talks to you, and decide whether or not they appear to be lying. Your decision will affect the entire investigation.

They use special optical cameras, so instead of animating the game on its own they film actors saying the lines and acting out the game, using multiple cameras, then combine the 2D footage with 3D footage  to create the effect below. That, of course, is an extremely simple way of putting it, and there are a lot more steps involved.

Watch the video below, which includes clips from the game. It really does look amazing.


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