Uncharted 4 was the first time facial capture was used at Naughty Dog

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End was a major breakthrough for Naughty Dog and represented a lot of firsts for the studio's tech.

@DeekeTweak
Published Mon, May 10 2021 5:34 PM CDT   |   Updated Mon, Jun 7 2021 4:03 AM CDT

Naughty Dog celebrates Uncharted 4'ths fifth anniversary with an interesting retrospective on the game's development.

Uncharted 4 was the first time facial capture was used at Naughty Dog 443 | TweakTown.com

Uncharted 4 was a major breakthrough for Naughty Dog. The team optimized its internal games engine specifically for the PlayStation 4 and pushed the platform's capabilities to new highs (Naughty Dog did this once again with The Last of Us Part II in 2020). One of the biggest new frontiers Naughty Dog crossed was motion capture.

As confirmed in a recent 5-year retrospective post, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End was the first time Naughty Dog used facial capture for its in-game mocap. At the time of writing, Sony's Visual Arts and Services Group is advancing AI-driven motion capture for PS5 using Sony's internal machine learning tech.

"It was the first project that we used facial capture, so that was a transition for our team because we were used to hand-keying everything. Now, we had not only full-body data where we had to learn how to use a new rig and a new system, we had to figure out how to make it look really good," said Marianne Hayden, Story Animator at Naughty Dog and Cinematics Animator for Uncharted 4.

Naughty Dog also revealed that over 37 million people have played Uncharted 4 in the last 5 years.

So what's next for Naughty Dog? No one knows for sure. It could be a new Uncharted, a new Last of Us, or a brand new IP. Whatever it is, Naughty Dog won't tackle a new project unless its developers actually want to work on it.

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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