One of the most hyped features of Rockstar’s upcoming film noir thriller L.A. Noire is Team Bondi’s use of Motion Scan, a rigging of 32 HD cameras that capture enough nuances of actor performance to be scanned directly into the game as part of each character model. Count Quantic Dream founder David Cage un-impressed. While the developer acknowledges the phenomenal work involved in the project in a recent CVG interview, Cage views Motion Scan tech in general as an “interesting dead end.”
“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,” argued Cage, “We are doing that now [at Quantic], and our next games will be shot with performance capture. We see a huge difference between shooting the face and body separately and shooting everything at the same time. Suddenly you’ve got a real sense of acting that is consistent.”
“[Those using MotionScan] will never be able to do that. The other thing is that 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. When you have actors in real time you like to to re-target the eyes to make sure they look at each other.” Cage continued.
The Heavy Rain-maker concluded, “It’s a list of important problems that cannot be solved with their technology. I think L.A Noire looks good – honestly, it does – but I don’t think they’ll go much further than where they are. With the technology we use, we can improve; there is a lot of room for improvement and we hope to show very soon where we are now. We’ve made significant progress since Heavy Rain and will continue to make progress until we reach the stage of Avatar. That is probably three, four five years from now.”
Agree or disagree with Cage, E-Gs? Or is Motion Scan technology not your first reason for L.A. Noire hype? Tell us below!