Friday, November 7, 2014

Inserting Actors into Video Games

I recently posted about the improving technology video games have been using to transport the player's face into the game, as with NBA 2K15. Probably an even more exciting development in recent years is the alarming accuracy with which video games are using real life actors. Graphics are getting so good nowadays that we can accurately put an actor's face and performance into a game and have it look realistic using motion capture. The most recent and probably best example of this is Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's use of Kevin Spacey during it's campaign. This is the first time I believe a real life actor has played a main character in an action video game where they played the character the same way they would in a movie. This is definitely the first time graphics have been good enough to translate their facial performance this accurately, and Kevin Spacey seems to have taken his role more seriously because of that. Here's a spoiler-free trailer:

Another recent example of this was in last year's Battlefield 4. This example was much less high-profile than Call of Duty's but it featured one of my favorite actors, Michael Kenneth Williams. This one was almost cooler for me because he played one of the player's squad-mates through the campaign, as opposed to Kevin Spacey's mostly cut-scene role. Here's some scenes with Michael Kenneth Williams in Battlefield 4:

This stuff excites me. I can definitely see a future where using the likeness of real life actors as characters becomes a common thing in video games like Call of Duty and Battlefield. These two examples are only the beginning. 

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