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Heavy Rain creator calls Team Bondi's MotionScan tech 'an interesting dead end'


Heavy Rain, a 2010 Playstation 3 exclusive gritty film noir adventure game which relied heavily on quicktime events, was promoted as pushing the boundaries for virtual actors in video games. Heavy Rain boasted a high level of performance realism, with full motion body capture, facial capture, as well as the likeness of the actor performing those actions, far beyond what had been previously accomplished in games. Those boundaries are set to be surpassed with the upcoming release of Team Bondi's detective thriller, L.A Noire.

In an interview with Computer and Video Games, Quantic Dream's founder CEO and creator of Heavy Rain, David Cage, had some interesting words to say about L.A Noire and the technology behind it, describing some of the main limits of MotionScan, the facial scanning tech developed in Sydney by Team Bondi sister company, Depth Analysis. From the interview...

(Cage) "What to say about L.A Noire? I think it's an interesting solution to a problem for now. But it's also an interesting dead end. That's exactly what I feel. Their technique is incredibly expensive and they will never be able to shoot body and face at the same time...

...they can't have real time lighting. Their technique means they can't have lighting the way I think we should do it. Basically, they take pictures; they take scans several times per frame. They also have limitations on the shaders they use, they can't re-target the eyes because they eyes are captured."

Not to be outdone by MotionScan tech, Cage reveals that Quantic Dream's own capture solution shoots both the actor's body and face at the same time and has plenty of room to improve. It's capable of reaching the photo-realistic level of capture performance of 2009 movie blockbuster, Avatar, within four or five years, he explains.