LucasFilm wasn’t content to use motion-capture for LucasArts’ now-cancelled game, Star Wars 1313. Instead, the “House That Star Wars Built” went ahead and created the tech necessary to mo-cap actors in real time (video below, via The Loop). Pile a bunch of folks wearing “ping pong suits” into a soundstage, have them act out a scene, and end up with a finished cutscene rendered entirely using the game’s engine.
It might not seem like a tremendous feat, given how accustomed we are to seeing polished, cinematic cutscenes in video games, but motion capture is a time-consuming process, and the time differential between an actor’s performance and a finished scene doesn’t allow for much flexibility in terms of fine-tuning a performance. Real-time mo-cap, on the other hand, is essentially the same as shooting on film, only replace the traditional shooting format here with texture-wrapped polygons.
Note that the video below is labeled as a Star Wars 1313 “concept” video, so it’s not necessarily a reflection of what would have been in-game content. Not that any of that matters now, what with LucasArts being shut down and Electronic Arts holding the franchise license. Here’s hoping this tech makes its way into the hands of an EA developer, so we can enjoy the benefits of this new process in Star Wars games to come.