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kin
12th May 2009, 04:58
Thief 1 and 2 had motion capture and this was something that added realism, do you believe it is possible for the new game? Do you think it is necessary?

Warcus
12th May 2009, 11:20
Motion Capturing was great for Thief 1 and 2! I hope this method for animation returns in part 4. It looks simply more realistic (of course).
The NPCs / monsters did not move that pretty in Thief 3.

fayfuya
15th Jun 2009, 12:46
If Motion Capture is the same thing like in Mirror's Edge then excellent! but i've seen it also in Thief 3 i think...nVm

Hypevosa
15th Jun 2009, 13:05
I think if they deal with animation then there needs to be motion capture .

xDarknessFallsx
15th Jun 2009, 16:13
Incredibly necessary. I vividly remember watching in awe at the realistic movements of the guards in T2 as I watched from afar and zoomed in with Garrett's eye. On top of everything else that was great about T2, this was just one more thing that impressed me at the time. Now it's more of the gaming 'norm' and it would add to the quality of the Thief adventure, so not mo-capping would be silly and a detriment to the game.

jtr7
15th Jun 2009, 17:23
Motion capture is a must!

TDS took some motion capture data and heavily tweaked it, but the human animations were usually NOT motion capture.

The duo that recorded the motion capture data for Thief 1 & 2 and System Shock 2 did good work for little ol' LGS/Irrational, and I couldn't believe it when I saw a game with a bigger budget fail on that count. I would love a "cameo" from Jonathon Conant. A little tribute and payback for his work in those games.

jermi
15th Jun 2009, 19:58
Motion capture is unlikely, but one can always hope. My hat off if they go for it. My ... uhm ... pants off if the motion captured guards are able to run, turn and swing the sword at the same time.

Or, if this is to be a TRU total conversion, it's going to be motion captured in-engine cutscenes, and "gamey" animation during gameplay.

Myth
15th Jun 2009, 20:26
Why would it be unlikely? It certainly doesn't cost that much to implement? Asking, not giving an opinion, as i don't rightfully know.

jtr7
15th Jun 2009, 21:12
Motion capture should be standard for any company that is making games with simulated humans. And EM should build up their own library of movements to keep continuity between sequels. TMA expanded on the TDP/Gold set, for instance. Always expanding and growing. In-house would save them money if they even just used the techniques available to LGS. Very simple, yet quite obvious it was a human being under those polygons. Jonathon Conant's in New York these days, so he's not too far away, heh heh (I'm half-joking about getting him, but I think it would be geeky-cool).

IDNeon
16th Jun 2009, 06:25
Artistic expression is now more important than graphic innovation. Every game out there is trying to be more graphic, more real. Let Thief return to its roots, it should have the cut-scene motion capture of the originals, with the music it was by far a great way to suck an individual into the game through their imagination.

Making things too realistic kills that.

The developers would be wise to just admit that and pursue it wisely.

jtr7
16th Jun 2009, 06:44
The motion capture AI in-game and the silhouetted actors against the green-screen would be a real boost to the unique style Thief needs.

LGS's humble movie "stage":
http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/5562/audiovideoproductionstuwg6.png

jermi
16th Jun 2009, 19:56
Why would it be unlikely? It certainly doesn't cost that much to implement?No, after all it was done way back in TDP with a very modest budget. But that was possible only because the system was so simple. A system that would meet the expectations of today would get really complicated really fast.

It's not at all impossible of course, but why bother if you already have a working system that doesn't even require any motion capture data, and looks pretty much like every other game on the market, thus meeting expectations.

K^2
16th Jun 2009, 20:34
The more advanced systems, ones that can combine animations, still base their data on motion capture. Even Euphoria uses motion capture as a starting point. Failure to implement motion capture is failure to meet expectations.

Nothke
16th Jun 2009, 23:45
The motion capture AI in-game and the silhouetted actors against the green-screen would be a real boost to the unique style Thief needs.

LGS's humble movie "stage":
http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/5562/audiovideoproductionstuwg6.png

wooooooow! so that is how they did those cutscenes with "realistic robes", I was always wondering is it live action or hand drawn (although it looked unlikely)...

jtr7
17th Jun 2009, 00:15
Each frame was rotoscoped or painted over, but the shapes were real (except for details they adjusted, including adding shapes or images of Garrett's tools in the actors' hands).

This shows how the CoSaS team did the final movie for Gathering at the Inn:
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://cosas.ttlg.com/screens/santa-s.jpg&imgrefurl=http://cosas.ttlg.com/news.asp&usg=__QhrgCOLm-UbEcGluMy7YJ7KiHEo=&h=120&w=200&sz=4&hl=en&start=4&sig2=qmkxOhPTF3W8ertscAuc9Q&tbnid=rAubgIeYnBAtAM:&tbnh=62&tbnw=104&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dsite:cosas.ttlg.com%2Bsaturnine%2Bgati%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff&ei=yzQ4SqeHLorwswPfgqD-Bg

jermi
17th Jun 2009, 18:47
They used both live action and drawn silhouettes.

On Euphoria:

Previously, animation data had to be manually created (through key-framing) or recorded (through motion capture). This is often expensive and laborious, and results in static, non-interactive data. euphoria is instead based on a full simulation of a 3D character ...

jtr7
17th Jun 2009, 18:55
Sometimes the figure is on the matte painting, and it's manipulated, or it's a composite layer. Most silhouetted characters in the foreground are live action, and are usually distinguishable.



As to the topic, there is some confusion about motion-capture. The movies don't use it at all, but the AIs in-game do. Live-action is separate from motion-capture, but they both use real people.

K^2
18th Jun 2009, 06:00
On Euphoria:

Previously, animation data had to be manually created (through key-framing) or recorded (through motion capture). This is often expensive and laborious, and results in static, non-interactive data. euphoria is instead based on a full simulation of a 3D character ...
You are misreading this quote. Euphoria has limited AI. It can't figure out how a character should walk based on simply being given a skeleton for it. You are expecting miracles from the program if you think that.

Instead, Euphoria takes a base animation, one that is derived an old fashioned method - either by key framing by hand or by motion capture. However, instead of simply setting the skeleton into the pose interpolated from key frames, it instead figures out how much force to apply to get what is essentially a ragdoll to follow the animation as closely as possible. How closely it can follow the simulation depends on a lot of parameters. And, of course, other forces, such as these resulting from collisions, will affect the simulation.

There is some AI, of course. For example, balance is checked. If a character is loosing balance, it will attempt to correct for it, even grab onto things. That is done by AI. But it still tries to follow a particular animation for the particular character, and motion capture is still the best way to obtain that.

DiegoFloor
19th Jun 2009, 07:00
It all depends on the team/budget, I think. I'm not familiar with the costs of each technique, but realistic animation is possible without mocap!

jtr7
19th Jun 2009, 07:49
Haven't seen it yet. Every time an animator even tweaks the mo-cap, it stands out, even if it's subtle enough to just seem odd somehow. And it takes much longer to make it look realistic by hand, without loading in pre-made data, and I just don't trust anybody to do it right. An animator capable of that should get into movies. I've seen impressive hand-animated work, but it took a long time to polish it, and there were still artifacts that jumped out.

I swear, someone needs to start an animation school that completely denies the existence of cartoon-based cheats to convey emotion and types of movement--the need to oversell it, to fake gravity with exaggeration, to over-dramatize, to go for a comic book cover art poses.

K^2
19th Jun 2009, 09:41
If they can't afford to pay for mo-cap studio, they should at least rotoscope the important animations. It's essentially the same process, so results are just as good, only it is done by hand, so it takes a while to get through. But really, motion capture isn't as expensive as it used to be. I don't think there is any reason not to do it.

jtr7
19th Jun 2009, 09:47
If it wasn't a hot commodity, it would be cool if they could scan in real people's faces, too, just for the realism in variety, but not to say the game stars this or that person. If things really work out for EM, it would behoove them to either have their own little mo-cap room, or a good relationship with a reliable company. It doesn't take much unless the set-up has been made overly complicated since the early days of LGS.

Espion
19th Jun 2009, 10:21
Anyone remember that cat in the first level of TDS? As I recall the animation was horrific.

Anyways, these days most companies buy mo-cap data from a third party that provides such things. Bigger publishers are able to have animation done specifically for their games and I don't see that being beyond Eidos's means. Lots of basic stuff is already available though.

Also, mo-cap data is pretty much always tweaked before it goes into the game. For specific gameplay reasons, for style reasons and also because raw mo-cap data is a mess of keyframes that usually always spaz out.

I'm aware of a well animated game that didn't use mo-cap but I can't for the life of me remember which title it was. It was basically a conversation that went along the lines of :

Me: Wow, nice animation. Mo-capped huh?
Artist: Nope, that was all done by hand.
Me: *Mind blown*

As jtr7 says though, it takes a lot longer to build from scratch.

I'd love to see some more forrays into IK animations based on the AI "knowing" how to move... Not in Thief 4, but I think it's an interesting concept that, once it works, will be absolutely fantastic to watch.

K^2
19th Jun 2009, 12:32
Anyone remember that cat in the first level of TDS? As I recall the animation was horrific.
I was working on reverse engineering IW and TDS file formats at the time, and somebody from a big development company that shall remain nameless has asked me to export that cat into a friendly format Guys there couldn't believe that something with so many vertices and bones can look so bad. I don't remember the counts anymore, but it was a lot for such a simple model.

jermi
19th Jun 2009, 15:05
Me: Wow, nice animation. Mo-capped huh?
Artist: Nope, that was all done by hand.
Me: *Mind blown*Probably the first Splinter Cell. Which is a good example by the way. Excellent animation, pretty much as good as it gets. But clearly not motion captured.