Regardless of the controversy that has hounded the game on certain forums, Witcher 3 is widely regarded to be the best looking game coming out this year, at least in terms of pure graphical splendor. With the hair, skin, and even facial blemishes of the characters coming through which such clarity, it looks like developer CD Projekt Red might have successfully traversed the uncanny valley.
The above video is a behind the scenes look into the Nvidia-led technology behind the game and while short, it shows off a few high-res bits of gameplay and facial textures that look mighty impressive. Especially the bear who wicks water off of himself while his fur sways.
Accompanying the video is an interview at Gamespot that again focuses on the under-the-hood engine tech used in the upcoming CRPG. The first 2/3rds is a retread of things we already know, but the final third of the interview provides some insight into how they made a game look so good with today’s technology:
- How did you do the facial animations? It’s a game that has lots of dialogue-heavy cut-scenes, but you have lots of unique characters and facial animations.
We couldn’t use motion capture because the game is just too big. We have thousands of lines of dialogue, and we translated them into several languages. So that was just impossible. We could have done motion capture for the English facial lip syncing and then just added subtitles, but we didn’t want to do that. We created the lip animations from scratch for the characters. But the system was very flexible; it would take three to four days to create a completely new face that has the same motion capability as any other character.
There’s no difference between the main characters, secondary characters, and crowd characters. They all represent the same quality. It needed tweaks for the 3D software engine to make it work, but it worked well overall.
The Witcher 3 is due this upcoming May 19th, and it’s minimum required GPU is either an Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 or an AMD GPU Radeon HD 7870, which means it’s gut check time for people like myself who haven’t upgraded our video card in a couple years.