UPDATE: Tameem Antoniades has sent SPOnG a clarification on this story, which you can read in full (with audio of the event) right here. Thanks Tameem. Ninja Theory co-founder Tameem Antoniades has faith in the motion capture and animation techniques used for its upcoming adventure title Enslaved. So much so, that in the inevitable comparison to Uncharted 2, the developer opined that the animation in Naughty Dog's blockbuster "overdoes itself."
The comments came from a BAFTA presentation last night focusing on the development processes used by Ninja Theory and, specifically, behind Enslaved
. Antoniades spoke of the marriage of top-quality music artists, scriptwriters and motion capture technologies used to try and make a truly cinematic experience in its post-apocalyptic title.
Some of that process involved some motion capture tech from a PhD scientist to read almost every nuance in an actor's face, along with the acting talent of Andy Serkis and the constant advice being given by Alex Garland (28 Days Later
) in terms of cinematic setups for gameplay. Voice was recorded along with the motion capture for most of the production.
"[In comparison,] in Uncharted 2
[Naughty Dog] captured voice in a booth, then did motion capture to the voices. After that, they hand-animated the faces to match that. So you have three different people working on a single performance, which I don't think is the right way to do it if you want to create a believable [character]," Antoniades explained.
"I'm actually amazed at how good their scenes are, considering they've done it that way. I don't think that it's true to the performance of an actor." When asked if he felt the animation in Uncharted 2
is a bit overdone during gameplay, the developer added, "Yeah. I mean, [generally] they can be overdone, and that's why you've got to try and nail it in style tests."
"Basically, we use motion capture for the performance drama and hand animation for movement in game. It seems to work well. But that happens in movies as well - it's fine that the animation is overdone in places."