I avoid running stuff straight from Boing Boing, since I figure you’ve already seen it (just like I used to avoid running stuff from Slashdot, before I got tired of wading through the junk and stopped following them myself). But I’ll make an exception for this one, since it’s so cool:
One of the most impressive things about Avatar, for me at least, was Zoe Saldana’s acting. And maybe the technology of live rendering on a PS3 doesn’t allow for quite the same level of realism for Valorie Curry’s Kara, but it’s a powerful performance.
AMPAS sure better figure out how to start bestowing some acting Oscars on actors whose bodies aren’t actually visible on-screen. Acting has always been about making the unreal believable, and whether it’s John Hurt as The Elephant Man or Andy Serkis as a chimpanzee, it doesn’t matter whether you see their actual skin as long as the performance works. Motion capture clearly has reached the point where that can happen.
From Martin Robinson’s article at Eurogamer.net (Introducing Quantic Dreams’ Kara):
“In the past I was the main actor,” says [Quantic Dream CEO David] Cage. “In Fahrenheit I was Lucas Kane – I did the motion capture myself, but I’m not a very good actor. In Heavy Rain the quality in what we were trying made that impossible. We needed real actors, because we needed people with talent because the technology’s reached the point where you can tell if someone’s an actor and someone’s not an actor.
“In Heavy Rain that was definitely the case. In Kara, you can’t imagine the same scene having the same impact as someone who’s not a talented actor. Technology becomes more precise and detailed and gives you more subtleties, so you need talent now. I’m not talking about getting a name in your game – I’m talking about getting talent in your game to improve the experience and get emotion in your game.”
I didn’t realize at first why this scene looked so familiar, but Robinson’s article pointed out the obvious connection to Chris Cunningham’s video for the coolest woman on the planet:
Oh, and speaking of cool young women, and Avatar, I’d be remiss if I didn’t pass on this clip, called to my attention by yet another extremely cool young woman (and depicting still yet another):
Update: Since Nickelodeon has seen fit to yank the Korra video, I’ll make it up to you with this: David Cage of Quantic Dreams talking about the making of the Kara demo: