A PS4 Game's Quest To Create A Realistic Woman

A PS4 Game's Quest To Create A Realistic Woman

Hellblade, Ninja Theory's upcoming action game that explores mental illness, wants a protagonist that looks as believable as possible. This means two things, as far as the developers are concerned: nailing the protagonist's expressions so they look human, and giving the character a body with realistic proportions.

Two weeks ago, Ninja Theory detailed all the work that went into creating Senua's face. This required the usage of a special device that allowed the developers to capture even minute skin details:

A PS4 Game's Quest To Create A Realistic Woman

Hellblade also hired a company that specialises in high resolution 3D scanning. The actress depicting Senua had to make a ton of expressions, which the scanning equipment then captured. Yes, even the silly expressions. Humans make all sorts of faces!

A PS4 Game's Quest To Create A Realistic Woman

In addition to that, Ninja Theory also messed around with make-up a whole lot, to try to nail the look of the character's face paint:

A PS4 Game's Quest To Create A Realistic Woman

The result of this attention to detail are expressions that look pretty damn good, actually:

A PS4 Game's Quest To Create A Realistic Woman

You can watch Ninja Theory detail this process in the video below:

That's just the character's face, though. More recently, Ninja Theory took to YouTube to share what was involved in building the rest of the character's body. "Our intention has always been to make Senua feel like a real person, with the body of a fighter — and not someone that looks like a mannequin in a dress," Tameem Antoniades, chief creative on Hellblade, said in the video.

Hellblade's first crack at this goal wasn't successful, though, so Ninja Theory followed up their first attempt with straight-up body scanning. Ninja Theory used this equipment...

A PS4 Game's Quest To Create A Realistic Woman

...because it allowed them to accurately capture the way real flesh and muscle moves and contracts. Ninja Theory also made sure to model Senua after a personal trainer, who you can see above. The trainer, obviously, is pretty built — but that's Senua too, so it works.

The difference between a model built from scratch and the one based on an actual person is obvious, even at a glance:

A PS4 Game's Quest To Create A Realistic Woman

You can watch them talk about all of this in the video below:

"It's very common for video game characters to have quite unrealistic, stylised proportions. But we felt in this case that sticking to the original shape of a human body, an actual human body, we would reach a level of believability that we would otherwise not attain," Antoniades said.

It's fascinating to see all the work involved in making a character model in a game — and I say this knowing full well there's something kind of funny about there being any mystery at all to how a woman's actual body looks like. I just hope that, with all the effort expended in making sure Senua looks just right, they also make sure to write a good character, too!


    *Spits out cereal*

    What?! But the internet has told me time and time again that women don't look like THAT! They're meant to look medium-build and above!

    The great irony here, and I hesitate to even point it out, is that the scanned model is larger in the chest than the hand modelled version....

    Kudos though to NT for striving for realism; the difference does show overall how idealised a hand made model can be (same goes for both male and female models)

    Last edited 07/11/15 1:33 pm

      i think the model was flexing her arms, increasing pectorials. I think its 1/1

    I appreciate the ambition but I hope this doesn't turn out like the order. Just make sure the games good.

    Love the texture work on the face. More like facepaint and less like makup. Not sure if it matters but maving underwear with such elastic features is not so realistic

    Can't wait to not see it all and stare at the back of her head while playing the game.

    The original model was fine. Smaller tits, narrowerer hips and flatter stomach sure but you cant see that under all her clothing.

      That first model; the boobs sat so high on the torso and the lower stomach and the shape of the pubic bone more concave than you find on malnourished supermodels. The rest was more realistic

      Last edited 08/11/15 2:20 pm

    She looks fit and somewhat attractive... This goes against Tumblr/Feminist doctrine. Women are large round creatures with no chest or sexual characteristics that men are allowed to find attractive, and they have several bright unnatural colours in their hair at all times. Tumblr says so, so it must be true!

      Dont listen to the loudest; they are generally the most biased and the lesser of the informed.

    Judging by how well they did with the faces and expressions on Trip and Monkey, I think they'll get this one right, too. Trip also had a very natural (albeit, using a lean, attractive model) body, though one might argue that Monkey was a bit stylized.

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