"Fahrenheit" Seeks New Audience By Merging Episodic Drama And Gameplay.
IBC, Amsterdam, September 14th, 2001 - Vicon Motion Systems, the leading developer of professional motion capture systems, announced today that Paris-based interactive entertainment developers Quantic Dream are ready to release the world's first real-time 3D game entirely animated using optical motion capture.
The first production to be completed using Quantic Dream's in-house MCAM-equipped Vicon 8 system, "Fahrenheit" breaks new ground in many ways. Targeted at mainstream gamers, but also seeking a mass audience new to interactive entertainment, "Fahrenheit" is a video game with the format of a TV series. Released in monthly episodes beginning in Q3 2001, the paranormal thriller set in Manhattan aims to set a new standard in merging visual storytelling and interactivity.
"We approached the project from a cinematic perspective, shaping the drama as if we were making a movie," said David Cage, Quantic Dream's CEO. "We want to enrol a new audience by offering something entirely beyond what people normally expect of a computer game. To achieve this, we have given special attention to the quality of the acting, storytelling and directing. We really wanted to create virtual actors, moving naturally, interacting with the sets in various and complex ways, acting like a real actor would."
Quantic Dream's track record of trailblazing entertainment innovation includes "Nomad Soul"', the bestselling game for PC and Dreamcast, which featured motion-captured performances from David Bowie and specially-composed music by the artist. Woven into the game as a character, Bowie and his band also played a virtual concert as part of the game scenario. For "Fahrenheit", Quantic Dream's 40-strong project team introduced new techniques for integrating motion captured animation within the real time 3D environment, and created a new style of interface for managing interactivity and a new conceptual framework for interactive storytelling.
In development for 18 months, "'Fahrenheit" features over 600 animations captured with the in-house Vicon system, amounting to more than sixty minutes of linear animation in the game, and a cast of over 20 characters.
"Vicon 8 with MCAM has given us the artistic control we need to be able to develop a new level of production quality," Cage concluded. "And because we are producing a new episode each month, the accuracy and robustness of the Vicon system has been a vital ingredient in the success of the project."
Vicon's MCam is the most accurate camera for optical motion capture available. The camera captures over three times the resolution of existing camera technology used in motion capture at 1,000,000 pixels, it is simply the highest resolution and fastest of any motion capture camera available today. MCam technology offers users huge increases in performance while capturing the subtleties of human and non-human motion. The system captures the nuances of facial and full body motion with unequalled accuracy and provides real world production capability for single or multiple subject performances. Up to 24 cameras can be supported by a single Vicon 8i datastation. The cameras are fully integrated with the robust Vicon 8i system, allowing more continuous and accurate data than any other optical motion capture solution.
Vicon 8i is the most advanced optical motion capture system available and allows actors to move freely, unrestricted by wires, awkward suits or large body markers. The system can capture multiple actors simultaneously, and with the recently introduced million-pixel resolution MCams, motion data is recorded at near perfect accuracy. Vicon 8 is the same professional motion capture solution that has been used in the production of leading game and feature film projects including, "Gladiator"', "Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace"', "The Mummy", "The Patriot", "Titanic"', and many others.
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