There has been a tendency, especially within big Triple A rated games, to
make 3D Animation more realistic. With advancements in physics engines
coupled with Motion Capture are now the go to tool in the industry for
making realistic & believable human behaviour in games. However, it was a
long process to get to the stage we are at now, now being the “Next-Gen”
stage. There are still some problems or “Limitations” that still occur with the
use of Motion Capture systems.
For the most part Motion Capture has the ability to capture actual movement,
through use of body actors and body suits, very well. However, there are just a
few disadvantages that come with that. Whilst having realistic motion is always
a bonus, its now made it even harder to use in games, as games at their very
nature are not meant to be real.
The article above states that it is tricky to combine & adapt to certain situations.
Such as environmental factors, questions about how does realistic action fit
within computer generated worlds need to be raised. Major games that use this
are games such as GTA 5, WATCH DOGS & ASSASINS CREED. What these
all have in common is that the realistic motion works because of the very
realistic environments, be it modern day or historic are all man made, thus fitting
and working well with Motion capture. However, what if the world the game was
set in was not contemporary or even Earth. How would they transfer over then?
According to the wikipedia entry above, movements that do not follow the natural
law of physics cannot be captured in Motion capture technology. This provides
problems for when a captured sequence needs to have added to It, an un-natural
From my own personal experience I have seen what appears to be a clear switch
between natural & un-natural movement, this it illustrated by the link posted below.
The clip features an ability you can perform in the game Assassins Creed :
Revelations, a movement called a hook and run, where you can use Enzio's
hidden blade to hook over an opponent to escape. Watch the jarring action
between the natural running motion, captured with Motion Capture, and the un-
natural Hook and run, which was created using animation you can clearly see a
(motion at 1.44 of video)
More interactive means less interactive
The magazine article above raises some other issues with MotionThe magazine article above raises some other issues with Motion
Capture technology in relation to the the game Half Life 3. The Half LifeCapture technology in relation to the the game Half Life 3. The Half Life
series is meant to give players the freedom of controlling the direction ofseries is meant to give players the freedom of controlling the direction of
the plot and storyline. Whilst you will all meet at the same ending,the plot and storyline. Whilst you will all meet at the same ending,
decisions taken by players may affect the progression of the story of thedecisions taken by players may affect the progression of the story of the
game. That makes us part of the problem in that making the gameplaygame. That makes us part of the problem in that making the gameplay
based on motion captured actors, instead of using animation to createbased on motion captured actors, instead of using animation to create
the different possibilities in which the player can control a character,the different possibilities in which the player can control a character,
motion capture means you are simply limited to that was captured inmotion capture means you are simply limited to that was captured in
Motion Capture process. This makes for an extremely ambitious game.Motion Capture process. This makes for an extremely ambitious game.
Despite the challenges listed in the previous section,body motion capture has
made far more significant strides than facial motion capture.
The resolution and detail required to create accurate expressions & facial
features are far greater than those needed for body motion capture.
In the article above it states, “The real challenge according to Mick Morris, MD
of mo-cap service provider AudioMotion, however, is a matter staring the
industry in the face. The human face is, of course, the most expressive part of
our body, and at the very centre of almost any performance. Captured
incorrectly, it can let an entire game down, and it is still tough for mo-cap
solutions to grasp the essence of.”
As you will see in the youtube link above, the character animators for the big
Triple A game 'The Last of Us',developed by Naughty Dog studios, use the
facial expressions, performed by the body actors, as a guide but not as the
piece they edit. They create the facial features from scratch.
The animators said they get to create far greater detail by adding features
and expression manually frame by frame.
So like with anything, it has its drawbacks. However, Motion Capture is by
far the way forward for animation in video games.