Home Gaming Uncharted 4 features a completely revamped facial animation system

Uncharted 4 features a completely revamped facial animation system

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Every console has always had that one game that has set the graphical benchmarks for the system in question. The Xbox 360 had Gears Of War, which was easily the finest looking piece of technology to feature creatine-blooded walking slabs of man-meat muscles to ever wield a gun. That had a chainsaw attached to it. For the PlayStation 3, Uncharted was always a stunner, pushing the console to the bleeding edge and paving the way for other Naughty Dog projects. Expect more of that visual quality then, when Uncharted 4 eventually arrives on the PlayStation 4.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End marks the first proper debut of a Naughty Dog game on the PlayStation 4 (Remasters don’t count in my book). So naturally, the studio wanted to create a game that looked as pretty as it possibly could with the current technology available.“We’ve completely revamped our facial animation systems. The previous Uncharted games, and in The Last Of Us, the characters all had about 90 to 100 ‘bones’ in their faces which we used to moved the meshes around,” writer Josh Scherr said to GamesTM, explaining how the Uncharted 4 characters had extra “bones” in their faces which made for more nuanced performances at any time in the game.

Think about that, about how detailed Joel and Ellie’s pained facial expressions were, how well the game captured the respective actors’ – Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson – seminal roles. All that was achieved on the old tech. Now, the faces have anywhere between 300 and 500 bones.

It’s not just about better visuals however, as Naughty Dog wants players to feel emotionally connected to the characters in the game. It’s about setting a scene and mood, rather than going for broke with visuals that aim to pierce the uncanny valley effect. Something which the PS4 can deliver on with its hardware.

“On older games, some of the animations might have been sampled at 10 or 15 frames per second to save memory. That would have just been interpolated by our code [to run at 30 in-game],” Scherr explained.

While that looked fine, we can now afford to record it at 30 frames per second so that the animation looks that much smoother.”

Uncharted 4 is out sometime in 2016, provided that it doesn’t suffer any more delays. And you can bet your buns that Sony is going to pull out all the stops on their primetime exclusive title.

Last Updated: May 13, 2015

31 Comments

  1. They had bones. In their faces. OK. I will stop now.

    Reply

  2. Dutch-Trevor Matrix

    May 13, 2015 at 14:10

    Oh and header win!

    Reply

    • SargonTheBatpandaOfTI5

      May 13, 2015 at 14:13

      Agreed!

      Reply

      • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

        May 13, 2015 at 14:15

        Uhhh… did I enter an alternate reality? Oh now I am just trolling I know! 🙂

        Reply

        • SargonTheBatpandaOfTI5

          May 13, 2015 at 14:33

          Hey man. I’m not above agreeing with anyone that makes a valid point. 🙂

          Reply

  3. SargonTheBatpandaOfTI5

    May 13, 2015 at 14:13

    Nathan Drake. PAH! I spit on you and your treasure hunter ilk!

    Reply

  4. Ranting Raptor

    May 13, 2015 at 14:14

    • Hammersteyn

      May 13, 2015 at 14:27

      hahahaha

      Reply

  5. Admiral Chief

    May 13, 2015 at 14:20

    • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

      May 13, 2015 at 14:21

      Me. On the loo. Following a visit to the Spur. Burger was quite good though…

      Reply

      • Lord Chaos

        May 13, 2015 at 14:24

        No garlic?

        Reply

        • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

          May 13, 2015 at 14:26

          I do not need garlic. Apparently if rumours in our house is to be believed, I fart like a cannon already.

          Reply

  6. Admiral Chief

    May 13, 2015 at 14:20

  7. Admiral Chief

    May 13, 2015 at 14:21

  8. Admiral Chief

    May 13, 2015 at 14:22

    51% DOWNLOADED BABY!

    Reply

  9. Hammersteyn

    May 13, 2015 at 14:25

    Rofl

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      May 13, 2015 at 14:27

      Hehehehe rally cars!

      Reply

  10. Skoobaz

    May 13, 2015 at 14:32

    More “bones” in a Ps4 exclusive. how witty!

    Reply

  11. Greylingad[CNFRMD]

    May 13, 2015 at 14:36

    Forgive me for this one, but, you would have quite a few more expressions if you had more bones in your face, especially up close…

    Reply

  12. Jonah Cash

    May 13, 2015 at 14:36

    This is the game that will save third person, linear, story driven games… Well if it is not this one then my main genre is dead.

    Reply

  13. Lord Chaos

    May 13, 2015 at 14:41

    Between 300 and 500 bones in the face alone? Fuck this, I’m calling Ellen Ripley

    Reply

    • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

      May 13, 2015 at 14:43

      What’s Ripley gonna do?

      Reply

      • Lord Chaos

        May 13, 2015 at 14:44

        Keep it occupied whilst I run away

        Reply

        • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

          May 13, 2015 at 14:48

          Tell you what: I’ll keep Ripley occupied whilst you and ‘it’ run away https://std3.ru/a6/09/1400531665-a6094c51401db220705165ac7e54ab4c.jpeg

          Reply

          • Gareth Runnalls

            May 14, 2015 at 11:37

            1: That aint Ripley, and 2: SW looks like an old wrinkly prune now. Let the above pic live on in your fantasies, because 300 to 500 face bones wont save Ripley now 🙂

          • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

            May 14, 2015 at 11:52

            Gareth: People have died for less… Be warned… XD

  14. Goal9

    May 13, 2015 at 15:10

    How about spending more time on making the game run at 60fps and less time on Drake’s dimples?

    Reply

  15. Gr8_Balls_o_KFM_Fire

    May 13, 2015 at 15:30

    But in Grim Fandango they only had one bone per face

    Reply

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