Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 – Animation feature
We quit horsing around and check out the new animations in Black Ops 2.
This article originally appeared as part of our Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 preview – read the entire article here.
At our studio tour of Treyarch for the exclusive reveal of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Adam Rosas, Animation Lead, took us under his wing to give us a demo of how the studio improved upon its character animations for Black Ops 2. The team employed what’s known as a ‘full performance capture’, in which actors are fitted with special suits and up to 84 light-sensitive spheres are fixed onto their limbs and facial features to capture precise movements and expressions. In order to see just how far they could go with the characters, the team decided to first use a female actor to capture their first few shots.
Rosas explained that women tend to emote differently than men, so it was much more challenging trying to map the female actor’s expressions with the character model. But after a little bit of tweaking and the addition of just four minor bones, the animated character was able to produce a near-exact lip sync with the actor’s voice, and her facial expressions and body language was fluid and right on cue. This was then used as a starting point for the other characters in the game, so the animations that we saw in the game were some of the best yet in the franchise.
Since the trailer’s debut, one thing that has got people talking is the quick scene involving horses jumping over a wall. Rosas chuckles and said that even the horse was motion captured to give it the most authentic look, and to make sure that its movements in the game were as natural as possible. He did recount some rather hair-raising episodes involving the horse during motion capture, but the horse was never uncomfortable or injured during the process, and the end result can be plainly seen in the trailer.
Stay tuned for more coverage on Black Ops 2 as we get it!