During a presentation at GDC 2012, Heavy Rain developer Quantic Dream revealed their new engine, an engine set to redefine motion capture technology, and it’s built to run on the PlayStation 3. Below studio founder David Cage talks about how the new engine gives his team the ability to use 65 cameras during the motion capture process. In comparison, Heavy Rain’s engine allowed for the use of 28 cameras.
“So we invested a lot in our motion capture studio. Heavy Rain was shot with 28 cameras, and we’ve upgraded the studio to 65 cameras. Cage told Eurogamer. “Now we can shoot several actors – their body and their face – at the same time. It’s not a small change, but at the same time this is how Avatar and Tintin were shot, and it’s how the CG industry works because they know how much you gain from shooting face, voice and body at the same time.”
Below you will find the first demonstration of the new engine in action along with some quotes from studio founder David Cage [via PlayStation Blog]. This technology will be used to power Quantic Dream’s next PlayStation 3 title. The demo is called “Kara”, and while you watch, keep in mind the footage presented is running in real-time on a PlayStation 3 and is a year old.
After Heavy Rain, we wanted to push the envelope in terms of quality, starting with the visuals. We wanted to improve many things — things that were not possible with the Heavy Rain engine. So we had to develop a new engine from scratch.
We also wanted to improve the quality of the acting. With Heavy Rain, we did what many games do — split performances, recording a voice on one side and a body animation on the other, putting everything together and crossing your fingers that you get a consistent performance. It worked okay for Heavy Rain, but you lose a lot of a performance by splitting into two and rebuilding it artificially.
We wanted to do what Avatar did by having one full performance where we capture everything at the same time. And we wanted to demonstrate these new performance capture techniques and the new engine before going into production, so we developed a short showcase that would allow us to test these ideas and technologies. This is how “Kara” was created.
“Kara” is not our next game. It’s not the character, it’s not the world, it’s not the story. …We do things in a very strange way here, things that have nothing to do with the games we make. But I think that’s a part of the DNA of the studio, and hopefully something that people like about us – they never know what they’re going to get!