While Team Bondi's L.A. Noire is garnering plenty of attention for its innovative MotionScan face-reading technology, one well-respected designer says MotionScan has its limitations.
Talking to CVG , Quantic Dream boss David Cage predicts that photo-realistic graphics will be possible within the next 6 years, and new facial capture techniques – like the one L.A. Noire uses – isn't capable of long-term greatness. Right now, Cage says his team "is already employing new technology to capture fully body performance in unannounced games." In contrast, the MotionScan technology, which requires actors to re-record scenes while only their head is being filmed by 32 HD cameras, is only an "interesting solution to a problem for now."
"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.
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. You can't imagine how related what you say with your face is to what your body does.
[Those using MotionScan] will never be able to do that."
Cage goes on to talk about other restrictions MotionScan faces, like not being able to have real-time lighting, and limitations on the shaders they can use. Well, if there's one guy who knows how to create human emotion and drama in a video game that is highly believable, it's Cage. And he admits that L.A. Noire "looks good," but in terms of the future, he has different opinions.