“Hellblade. Senua’s sacrifice” is a new game currently being produced and developed by Ninja Theory.
Studios like Epic Game, 3Lateral and Cubic Motion are also contributing to it. The main topic of this conference was about creating a believable character based on reference information from a real person.
Melina Juergens – the reference actress – opened the conference with a little performance.
We saw that Senua – Hellblade’s protagonist – not only looked like Melina but was literally animated by her in real time.
It was a really impressive show. Senua perfectly matched Melina’s body movements as well as her most subtle facial expressions.
But how was it done?
First at all, I should say that all the techniques were developed by a team of 16 people on a small budget. They scanned Melina to have a CG model that perfectly matched her body and built the capture systeme to film her acting and moving for the cinematics.
Next, the team recreated the actress’s face in 3D. For this, they made a helmet with stereo and mono cameras.
They placed tracking points on Melina’s face and used live tracking to reproduce it on the CG model. Photos of her skin, eyes and eyebrows were used to reproduce a realistic and believable shading.
And with the real rendering in Unreal Engine 4, Melina, wearing the helmet and a motion capture costume, was able to animate her character right in front of us.
To see this interesting experience and to know more details of the creation process, I highly recommend you watch this making-of video.