BioShock Infinite?s animation director discusses Elizabeth?s visual evolution
Posted by aosot on March 21st, 2013
The saga of BioShock Infinite’s journey from the studio to our hard Buy AION Kinah drives could fill a fair-sized codex, but one of the most visible transformations from the game’s initial concepts took place with co-protagonist Elizabeth. Irrational has talked previously about her complicated scripting and her personal motivations that were shaped by Ken Levine’s personal experiences—and even that she was nearly nearly cut from the game altogether—and now Eurogamer, after a chat with Irrational Animation Director Shawn Robertson, has revealed the rationale behind Elizabeth’s stylized, “hyper-realistic” appearance in the finished game.
Robertson’s goal was to create a character whose expressions and body language could easily be detected at a distance, emphasizing Elizabeth’s importance to the player as they traverse Columbia and elude her former captors. Earlier Elizabeths used motion capture and normal proportions for facial features, but that changed to hand-keyed animations and a slightly exaggerated look after testers started losing notice of her in the midst of Infinite’s other eye-grabbing features.
“Hand-key really simplifies the process and lets us push her expressions just a little beyond what would maybe be comfortable for a normal human being, ” Robertson says. “It also lets us iterate at that moment when we’re animating, not three months ago when the mo-cap was shot, so we can roll with the punches on any changes or ideas that have come up for that scene as we’re working on it. ”
He continues: “The first Elizabeth we tried to do that pushed us towards hand-key was the Gibson girl we showed you, and she had a completely normal-looking face. Even in that early model, she wouldn’t have made it as a star character—she wasn’t attractive enough, there were problems—but even there, we could really see that in a game where you’re moving around so much with a companion you want to elicit an emotional connection to, you really need to be able to see what she’s thinking at all times. ”
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