"There's nowhere to hide," says Sydney-based Oliver Bao about MotionScan, the advanced animation technology he built. "Reality can be cruel." Developed for Rockstar's L.A. Noire video game, released in May, MotionScan consists of 32 NASA-quality cameras, $24,000 worth of lighting equipment, and a healthy set of servers to process and store the output. The result is more-lifelike digital faces -- crucial for a game in which players have to determine who's lying -- produced far faster than traditional animation. (Bao says his team shot more than 2,000 pages of script in 82 days.) Early response has been exuberant from not just gamers but also the film community: L.A. Noire was the first video game to be featured at the Tribeca Film Festival.
The MotionScan system uses 32 NASA-quality cameras to create lifelike faces, as shown in this slideshow.
Depth Analysis’ MotionScan studio where 32 2M Pixel cameras capture the actor’s close-up performance at every angle
Images and captions courtesy of Depth Analysis
Oliver Bao, Depth Analysis’ Head of R&D who pioneered the MotionScan technology with company founder and L.A. Noire creator, Brendan McNamara
Before - John Noble (Leland Monroe) gets his close up in the Depth Analysis studio
After – John Noble (Leland Monrol) is faithfully recreated with MotionScan, every mannerism, imperfection and nuance of his performance is captured for the game
Actor John Noble (Lord of the Rings trilogy, Fringe) portrays Leland Monroe, a real estate magnate in the game
Images courtesy of Rockstar Games
Trailers for the video game L.A. Noire.
Q: Which song is guaranteed to amp up your creative spirit?
A: My current favorite is My Boy Builds Coffins by Florence and the Machine; it reminds me that we're all equal in death, but it's what we do with our lives that makes the difference. Under Pressure by Queen & David Bowie is another good one that still gets me after all these years. Life may seem crazy but there are people out there worse off than me, so it's time harden up and get on with it.
"Foam nunchaku helps with clearing my head, loosening up my arms and shoulders, and increasing my concentration and adrenaline level."