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Activision shows off animation and art direction for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Above: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Image Credit: Activision

Activision released a new video today on the tech and artistry behind the making of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, which debuts on Nov. 4. The next-generation console and PC game will have an advanced, realistic look and feel that is intended to immerse players in a futuristic world.

Call of Duty comes out every year, and 2014’s edition is set in 2054, when soldiers employ high-tech weapons and exoskeletons that enable them to jump to the top of buildings. And every year, the development teams try to outdo themselves so that the audience — which is measured in the billions in terms of money spent — keeps on coming back. This year’s tech for the next-generation machines uses a new performance capture technology.

Sledgehammer Games animation director Christopher Stone said that the motion capture that his studio — which had more than three years to work on this year’s installment — is so advanced that it can capture the movement’s of every muscle on an actor’s face. They can map the facial expression of actors like Kevin Spacey to the animated faces of game characters in a more realistic way than ever before. The exoskeletons have individual moving sections, giving a more lifelike movement as they are layered on top of the actors’ bodies underneath.

“The tech that we are adding and the time we are devoting to these moments, and the moment to moment action, is really going to allow the player to feel a part of the game,” Stone said. “It’s not an experience that you are used to from Call of Duty. It’s going to blow people away.”

The art style is supposed to be “legitimately military,” with technology that is grounded in the real world but looks futuristic and fun, said Joe Salud art director at Sledgehammer, speaking in the video. The animated human faces are also going to be confused with real video of human faces, Salud said.

“We did whatever it took to make the game look as photorealistic as possible,” Salud said.

Here’s the video below.


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