The technology used to make L.A Noire will soon be able to create in-game action that rivals TV and cinema in the realism stakes.
That's the opinion of the game's creator, Team Bondi - which has revealed the jaw-dropping future direction it believes DepthAnalysis' MotionScan will take.
MotionScan currently requires in-game actors to re-record scenes whilst just their head is filmed by 32 HD cameras from various angles, which has resulted in the subtle in-game facial movements that play into L.A Noire's interrogation sequences.
However, according to both Team Bondi and DepthAnalysis, the tech will evolve to capture full body acting in one shot, and eliminate other limitations pointed out by the likes of Quantic Dream's David Cage.
"MotionScan embodies the future on a few levels," Team Bondi boss Brendan McNamara told respected UK industry publication Develop. "Firstly, when this technology can capture full body performances, the level of realism will be hard to differentiate between game, film and television. That will make the gameplay experience pretty seamless from exposition to action.
"Secondly, for film makers it will mean they can create whole scenes from capture data on the desktop the way they currently edit films. They will be able to adjust the action, move characters, change cameras and relight the scene until their heart's content. Overall, for filmmakers that's pretty exciting. And for games creators, it means we can compete with films and TV on a pure storytelling and performance level, along with leveraging all of the other interactive strengths that will pave the way for more exciting games."
In a fascinating feature, DepthAnalysis R&D head Oliver Bao said that full body mocap will result in a "different ballgame" for MotionScan - and that even in its current guise QA testers playing L.A Noire are becoming unusually attached to the game's characters.
"We have had people saying 'I don't like this character, he's a snob. You should replace him with this actor because I think he'd do a better job," he commented. "People are treating it like TV. They are getting so much more into it, I've had people come up and say 'Why'd you replace that guy, he was doing such a good job', and you have to explain about script changes or actor's availability. People become so attached to their favourite characters that its no longer like playing a video game to them."
McNamara added that Team Bondi and DepthAnalysis were working in tandem to "contunally make MotionScan better" and that it was "still very early days" for the technology.
"We want to be able to use shaders more cleverly, take a look at subsurface scattering and also computer generated hair too, which we see a lot of our film customers are working with," he added. "We are also looking at retargeting so that you could take an actor's performance from MotionScan and apply it to various non-human characters. We are already doing initial research for full body capture in costume for phase two - it's exciting times for Depth Analysis and MotionScan for sure."
Check out a video of the tech below, and let us know what you think in the comments underneath. L.A Noire is due for release on 360 and PS3 in May.