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Uncharted 4 Characters are Mutants with 500 Facial Bones

Naughty Dog has revealed that Uncharted 4 character animations contain around 500 facial bones

The average human typically has fourteen bones in their face, so to hear that Uncharted 4’s characters have over 500 bones mean one thing. They’re mutants, either that or Naughty Dog is harnessing the power of the PlayStation 4 to push development and graphics much further than before. Personally I’d prefer to go with the former. Mutants.

Speaking with GamesTM Josh Scherr and and lead designer Ricky Cambier said that thanks to the PlayStation 4’s power, they’ve managed to create much more detailed and flexible facial animations, allowing for the user experience more realism from the character such as Nate grimacing with effort as he climbs.

Scherr explained this in more detail:

“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. 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.”

This increased level of fidelity found in the upcoming game will of course allow players to empathise more with the characters as they see them physically struggle with activities and pain with facial expressions. This, according to Naughty Dog isn’t just a technical marvel, it’s something much more immersive than that. It seems the developer is more interested in setting moods than creating something photorealistic, but with the power of the PlayStation 4 they can do that, and more.

“We still do all the same sort of things we did with our previous games. But now, we can just have more of it. For example, 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]. While that looked fine, we can now afford to record it at 30 frames per second so that the animation looks that much smoother.

The article dives further into the development of the game, so head on over to GamesTM for a much more detailed explanation of the process.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is set to launch in the first half of 2016 following a delay. We’re also expecting to see a lot more of the game at E3 2015.

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