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Injustice 2

Injustice 2’s Facial Animation Is So Good It’s Uncanny

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Article excerpted from Kotaku.com – Injustice 2’s Facial Animation Is So Good It’s Uncanny

Authored by Mike Fahey

Injustice 2’s story mode features a strong script voiced by top voice talent, but the real stunner is the way the in-game faces move when acting out the dialogue. Can you make out what Harley Quinn is saying in the animated GIF above? Hint: she’s talking about Gorilla Grodd.

Each new snippet of video shown during Injustice 2’s relentless media barrage leading up to today’s launch was accompanied by people arguing over the character’s faces. Some loved the more realistic look the sequel was going for. Others found it off-putting or weird. Comparing shots of Injustice: Gods Among Us Harley Quinn . . .

. . . to Harleen from Injustice 2 . . .

. . . I can see where some might be worried about the new direction. I was a little concerned myself, but those concerns quickly faded as I played, replaced with a deep admiration for what the animators accomplished.

Here’s a scene between Batman, Robin (Damien Wayne) and Wonder Woman from early on in story mode.

See Robin’s smirk? The hint of sadness and concern in Wonder Woman’s eyes? It’s not just animation, it’s acting.

And these aren’t just the cutscenes, either. Though the lighting changes between scripted scene and battle can be a little jarring, the same facial animations present in the cinematics carry over to gameplay. Check out this clip of Catwoman, taken from the customization screen.

Just as bad animation can severely cripple a video game’s ability to tell a compelling story, good animation draws the viewer into the narrative, adding emotion and nuance. Injustice 2 has very, very good animation.

Now about that hair . . .

Faceware Brings DC Heroes and Villains to Life in Injustice 2

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NetherRealm Studios’ Injustice 2, the action-packed sequel to 2013’s Injustice: Gods Among Us, releases today.

The game is already earning accolades for its top notch facial animation, created with Faceware’s award-winning facial motion capture hardware and software solutions including the Faceware ProHD Headcam System and Analyzer 3.0 and Retargeter 5.0 software.

As gaming industry media outlet Kokatu’s Senior Editor notes:

Just as bad animation can severely cripple a video game’s ability to tell a compelling story, good animation draws the viewer into the narrative, adding emotion and nuance. Injustice 2 has very, very good animation.

Using Faceware’s hardware and software solutions, NetherRealm Studios was able to quickly capture high quality facial motion capture data on set and use the resulting data in Analyzer 3.0 and Retargeter 5.0 to create the vaunted facial animation for Injustice 2.

VP of Business Development Peter Busch explains:

Our facial recognition technology is able to capture a great deal of nuances from the brows, to the eyes, nose, cheeks, and mouth by tracking textures and features, rather limiting the quality of the data by tracking points of the face, in order to create highly detailed output. This enables our software to handle anything from stylized to photo-real characters. Together with other features like timecode support, capture, trimming, pose libraries, and a technological core drawing from over 10,000 minutes of facial performance data and users in almost 50 countries, Analyzer and Retargeter are the most powerful tools available for facial animation. Our decades of facial motion capture technology research and experience has created a streamlined and flexible workflow – one that enables teams to scale and create high-quality, high-volume animation, all while staying within budget and maximizing artists’ creative control.

For more information, visit: https://www.injustice.com/