L.A. Noire blooper reel highlights superb facial animation

Games are resembling movies more and more these days. The graphics are becoming more lifelike, and so are the animation systems governing the characters. I guess it was only a matter of time before we saw a genuine blooper reel from a blockbuster release. A video filled with flubbed lines from L.A. Noire is making the rounds at gaming sites, and it’s pretty entertaining. Warning: the dialog includes a few choice words that aren’t safe for work.

The bloopers come from sessions conducted by motion-capture firm Depth Analysis, and they show off just how well the voice actors’ facial expressions were mapped to their in-game avatars. The expressions look very natural, making the characters seem more real without resorting to higher graphical detail. Given how much our brains are wired to react to facial cues, I’m not surprised.

This isn’t new tech, of course. L.A. Noire came out almost two years ago and started on consoles. The blooper reel is somewhat dated, too; it seems to have been posted online as early as three months ago, albeit at a lower resolution than the 720p clip embedded above. Even at 240p, the facial expressions still impress. It’s amazing what smooth, natural motion can do for a scene. Thanks to Rock, Paper, Shotgun for the tip.

Comments closed
    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    2:52 he didn’t cover his mouth.

    I assume the motion capture only works on their face and not the rest of their body, so that was all added to the faces to make the blooper reel. Funny none the less, definitely awesome stuff… Almost too good when you compare it to the rest of their bodies though, which don’t have the same level of fluidity. It’s like strapping at human face to a mannequin. I think Valve was right when they decided not to use motion capture (although they haven’t really done any titles to apply that to since they talked about that).

    • UberGerbil
    • 8 years ago

    The body language — and especially the hands — creeped me out much more than the facial expressions. There just isn’t enough vertices or articulation in the hands. The faces are fine.

    • Sam125
    • 8 years ago

    He didn’t cover his mouth when he sneezed! lol

    Fun game overall and very well done. I think the people complaining about this falling within the uncanny valley aren’t quite right, as the facial motions are extremely accurate and natural. There’s really no creep factor to the animation here.

    Anyway, I had to force myself to finish the game toward the end though only because I wanted to see how the story ended. Plus from what I can gather, the day in the life of a cop is [b<]really[/b<] boring.

    • spuppy
    • 8 years ago

    Makes me want to finally check the game out… I always see it on sale for $5 or less… hell I probably own it already!

    • d0g_p00p
    • 8 years ago

    Great game. That being said I had no idea that this was real time rendering of the actors faces. I was pretty amazed at the in game facial graphics and I know they put in a lot of work to make it as realistic as possible. Again however I did not know it was rendered in real time. Makes sense why it looked so good.

    • bthylafh
    • 8 years ago

    It feels like this should be in the uncanny valley, but it just doesn’t bother me.

    Amazing work on the animations & modeling.

      • lilbuddhaman
      • 8 years ago

      Agreed, this is on the gaining side of the uncanny valley, whereas most games are on the dipping side. Slightly higher resolution textures and tweaking of the technique and it’ll be “perfect”.

        • Firestarter
        • 8 years ago

        higher resolution definitely would help, I just started the game (bought it on a sale) and it’s pretty bland

    • jessterman21
    • 8 years ago

    OMG, the sneeze and “Are you some kind of spy?” line was amazing.

    • dashbarron
    • 8 years ago

    While the gameplay and mechanics seemed interesting enough (and were for the first hour), I’ve gotten increasingly bored with it and haven’t been able to finish it. The game feels too…linear?

    1) You’re suppose to have freedom to investigate and accuse, but get knocked down when making bad calls. And in the end you’re still not sure where you went wrong or why. It’s first intriguing, overall ambiguous and finally infuriating.

    2) For all the side-quests to keep you entertained between the main quests as you explore the city, there’s little variety. They’ve dwindled the nature of the crimes to just a few, and your only recourse is to usually shoot the perp. There’s never a chance you can interrogate or do follow-up detective work–of any kind–on any of these missions, making rather hallow and pointless.

    3) The game purportedly has hundreds of cars to discover and drive. But when ti comes down to it, it seems like the 4 or 5 models were used with minimal graphical tweaks. Worse is the fact there are only about 4 different mechanical variants to the cars. A low grade GM might have the same speed as a high end Lincoln.

      • sweatshopking
      • 8 years ago


      • DancinJack
      • 8 years ago

      This is exactly how I feel about this game. I thought it was really cool at first. Just gets boring far too quickly.

    • Machupo
    • 8 years ago

    Time to go get a drink at the Black Sun

    • tanker27
    • 8 years ago

    Superb? Thats uncanny valley stuff…..and it starting to creep me out.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 8 years ago

      The eyebrow thing in particular creeped me out. I still think this is amazing.

        • bthylafh
        • 8 years ago

        The tongue flicking in and out rapidly was the really strange thing.

          • BIF
          • 8 years ago

          Yeah, but we all do it!

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