How the team behind ‘Far Cry 6’ ended a game in lockdown

In March 2020, Game makers have just finished “Primo Moments” at Ubisoft’s Toronto studio Far cry 6The scene Breaking badThe villains are Giancarlo Esposito and CocoaThe young dreamer Anthony Gonzalez when the Covid-1 became very real very quickly. The U.S.-Canada border was about to close and the team was anxious to gather the necessary footage of the American actors before they could return home safely and quickly.

The first-person shooter game relies on the performances of A-list actors, Esposito and Gonzalez, who played Anton and Diego Castillo, a president-dictator, and his son Yar, “a tropical paradise frozen in time.” Esposito and Gonzalez came out of Canada just before the first lockdown, but Ubisoft was still in a dilemma. The game was scheduled for release Less than a year away, And the whole opening scene – arguably the most important sequence in the whole game – has not yet been shot. The game was already five years in the making and there was a lot to find out.

Only a few Ubisoft employees were allowed to return to the office the following Monday to collect the footage they had just captured, and it was annoying to see the studio empty with a 12,000-square-foot soundstage. “It looked like a scene of crime or zombie apocalypse,” said Naveed Khawari. Far cry 6Its narrative director. Everyone hurried to get out and put coffee on their desk. Khawari and his team knew they had to get to the Edit Assessors, but the big question was how they were going to finish the rest of the game during the epidemic.

No free passes

Video game motion-capture requires precision and lots of time and patience. After all, the length of filming and dialogue in a game can be equal to five or six seasons of a TV show. It also demands the cooperation of large teams working closely. So how do you translate it during an epidemic?

At first, the team came up with an idea that relied on 15- to 20-year-old motion-capture techniques, where elements such as facial expressions were only fairly animated. But they quickly scrapped that plan. “We just knew it wouldn’t work,” said Grant Harvey, the game’s cinematics director, otherwise known as the set’s director. “It’s a Triple-A game coming out in 2021 and that’s the way to look at it. People are not going to give us passes. So we started digging into how to shoot. ”

By June, lockdowns had risen to the point where the production team could allow up to 10 people on set, although there are numerous health and safety protocols. But when you’re working with 30 to 50 pre-epidemic numbers on set, including the camera crew, director, animator and actor, some Was To provide. The production team decided that the best option was to start shooting with four actors together. But of course many scenes – ranging from a crumbling smuggler’s boat to a bloody street protest – were called for by more than four actors. Also, some actors were now stranded in the state or in various cities in Canada and could not travel. So how can the team remove it?

Making remote work a reality

The massive performance capture studio at Ubisoft Toronto was usually full of cameras and engineers, but during the epidemic, only one actor and one cameraperson could work at a time.

Photo: Ubisoft

Anything that can probably be done from home should be. Those who didn’t need the set watched it from a distance through 10 different video streams. Performance-Capture Director Tony Lomonako’s statistics show that this is a change that has worked for team members, at a stage where he hopes that even after the epidemic ends, people will continue to work from home, including quality assurance (QA) engineers. Take part long ago. “It was great because you can actually have people who don’t get into shooting now get involved now,” he says.

Audio director Eduardo Weissman said many audio recordings could be made from home as long as the actors were well-equipped, trained and supported throughout the process. In modern video games, there are both narrative-driven lines and AI-driven dialogues that emerge in the gameplay. About this Cry away, Say you have a soldier or NPC (nonplayer character), saying “reloading!” Or “Running for cover!” – These parts are easy to record because they are not synced with a specific picture or face animation and all actors have to contribute to it. Once the company creates an internal tool to record people remotely via an encrypted internet connection, it proves to be a smart solution.

Even in remote audio sessions, the directional dynamics did not change. During the recording, the actors – working from Canada or the US – will appear in a video meeting together with the directors, receiving feedback, “Now you’re on fire. Aaaaaaah! Now you fire more! Aaaaaaah!”

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