PS3 Tech Demo - Kara - How to Make an Android
Heavy Rain creators blew everyone away at this years Game Developers Conference with a tech-demo they have been working on called "Kara". If you haven't seen it yet, watch it here:
I don't think this could have come at a better time, with there being lots of online speculation on release dates for a Playstation 4 (PS4). This just goes to show that what Sony are saying about the PS3 not yet being maxed out is absolutely true.
The video is rendered in real-time on a PS3 using Quantic Dream's new rendering engine. It is nothing short of stunning. Who would have thought a few years ago that a games console in peoples homes would be capable of such realistic CGI.
David Cage (writer and director) from Quantic Dream has said that this video is purely a tech showcase and will not be the basis of a game. Hopefully we can see a game soon using this technology though, especially as another of their demo's called The Casting was used as a stepping stone to Heavy Rain.
Best of all the 7 minute featurette tells a story with quite an emotional feel. It's not just a demonstration of technical excellence but also of how computer generated imagery can be used to tell an emotive story - successfully. It isn't cold and expressionless like so many other real-time cut scenes or even pre-rendered sequences. It has feeling and envokes a response from the viewer.
Quanic Dreams have used their new innovative motion capture technology to grab full body motion, facial movements and voice recording all at once. Previously, most motion capture involved recording the whole body actions using one method and the facial animation and voice at a different time using another method. The movie Avatar took it a step further by captured the actors body movement using broad angle cameras and smaller cameras strapped to rigid frames on their heads to grab facial expressions. Quantic Dream's new technology does away with the invasive head cams and can grab all of the subtle facial muscle movements using the same room cameras which capture their body motion too. Stick the whole thing in a sound stage and you can record the whole performance including audio in one shot. For this they have a setup with 65 cameras surrounding the actors.
For a better visual explanation watch this 'Making-Of' video:
Over 100 actresses were auditioned for the role of Kara. They picked the amazing Valorie Curry in the end who did an incredible job.
'Kara' was actually created last year using v.1 of their own brand new
PS3 engine. Apparently it now has 50% more features so future games should
be visually very special and an even bigger leap forward. I can't wait.