Sony’s God of War series has been well-loved since the release of the original in 2005. This new installment has changed the cinematography from being a “god’s eye view” to an up close and personal camera view. The change in camera style lead to a need for a different type of motion capture.
With the new camera angles, having a more natural appearing fighting style was essential for immersion. The new motion capture allowed animators more natural movement in Kratos’ fighting style. Eric Jacobus explains what it took to get those shots.
Jacobus was found on YouTube after a member of the God of War 4 animators team found his other videos. He works as a stuntman and has dozens of videos where he acts out the fighting styles of different characters. One of the more popular series is his Tekken IRL series, where he recreates the move lists of characters like Geese Howard, Hwoarang, Miguel Rojo, and of course, Jin.
Jacobus is sure to add a different style to each character. He talks about this when he talks about creating a style for Kratos:
I would describe Kratos’ fighting style as one that’s very direct, straightforward, and never stopping. He’s the God of War. You’d never retreat as the God of War. You’re always going to move forward.
It’s always exciting to see mo-cap turned into a game. The idea that a person in a spotted or striped bodysuit with a silly head camera can be turned into a well-loved game character is amazing. Jacobus looks like he is swinging a Nerf axe at intense speeds and yet in-game, the attacks are intense and graphic. The animation semi-sorcery is a sight to behold.
It isn’t sorcery though, just patience and skill. Motion capture only seems easy. The little dots are tracked by multiple cameras. The information from those dots is read by the computer and makes a 3D model. Animators then take that 3D map and make enhancements, add texture and movement to those models. Then, it’s dropped into the scene.
Let us know if you have played the game! What did you think? Do you think you could handle attacking as Kratos, God of War?