It seems Remedy Entertainment (Max Payne, Alan Wake) is just as blown away as the rest of us by the startlingly lifelike facial animation that Team Bondi and Rockstar Games are implementing in L.A. Noire. Edge recently toured Remedy’s HQ in Finland and it was during this visit that Remedy CEO Matias Myllyrinne stated that L.A. Noire has “set a bar” for facial animation, later tweeting that it’s “the benchmark for emotional characters today.” Remedy apparently sees this as a challenge, because they’ve promised to raise that bar even higher with their next project.
Using technology created by lead animator John Root (who has previously held the same position at id and Epic Games), Remedy is able to use motion capture as the basis for producing scans of actors which are accurate to 0.5 millimetres. These scans include 64 facial poses, which Root claims can then be used to recreate every possible human expression. From there, animators are free to edit facial expressions in real time, without needing to rely solely on the actor’s performance for the animation. This isn’t all Remedy has up its sleeve, however – the studio also plans to implement colour mapping, technology that will simulate subdermal blood flow and adjust the colour of digital skin as it folds with each facial expression.
Did you get all that? Great. It sounds exceedingly impressive and everything, but there’s still one question left to ask Remedy: do you think you can top this?