Fort Solis director, James Tindale, was joined by Julia Brown (World on Fire) and Roger Clark (Red Dead Redemption II’s Arthur Morgan) in a panel discussing the behind the scenes motion capture process. Alanah Pearce (Cyberpunk 2077, God Of War) hosted the discussion, while a recording of Troy Baker (The Last of Us‘ Joel) introduced the session.
Both Julia and Roger shared their experiences acting for Fort Solis, and both perspectives were intriguing. Julia Brown is new to video game acting, and we all know Roger Clark is a seasoned veteran. Julia continued to explain some differences between acting for a video game (via motion/performance capture) and TV/movies, such as the potential to capture scenes in several camera angles for the former. Performance capture also allows for more flexibility in reshooting.
It was my first day in the Volume, and James said to me. You know, we can capture this from everywhere we want…It was just that feeling of having to always be on and perform whilst in the volume, but I think the adrenaline of that meant that we (even) got stronger takes.-Julia Brown
Acting in a video game is a little different from TV…one of the biggest reasons is when you sit down and watch a movie…you see the main character, it takes a while to warm up to them…But when you play in a video game, you are that person..You are the character.-Roger Clark
In “p-cap” (performance capture), the theoretical stage is called the Volume. Within the Volume, sensors can pick up an actors’ movements via those ping-pong balls all over their body suit. If you were to step out of this range, the sensors no longer can pick up movement, and the visual feedback can look glitchy.
It’s common in p-cap to have actors make repetitive movements, like walking in circles in order to capture their gait. This way, the video game character walks just like the actor, and ultimately, makes things more realistic. Action sequences are prime candidates for p-cap, and Julia and Roger would voice record separately. A key to success is to watch their facial expressions while delivering the lines.
The panel continued sharing their experiences specific to Fort Solis, and then they presented the audience a brief story trailer. Fort Solis is a sci-fi thiller set on Mars where you play as an engineer named Jack (Roger Clark) responding to a distress signal. Both Tindale and the actors expressed how intense and frightening the story becomes…without spoiling the plot.
This panel shed light on a process not many people know about, and even Julia Brown mentioned it was hard to research prior to her role due to strict NDAs in the industry. I know I’m walking away more appreciative of the process, and I’m looking forward to seeing her, Roger Clark, and Troy Baker in Fort Solis, which releases some time in Q3 2023.
Want to know more about Fort Solis? Check out the trailer below:
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Source: Dear Villagers, PAX East 2023