Originally posted on 20 January 2016
Source: page 66-67

Destiny of a Dragon

Character CG intensifying the realism - analysis of the white-hot battle scenes

The characters' bodies, facial expressions and white-hot battle scenes are constructed so that you feel as though you can almost hear their hearts beating. How were they created? Learn the secrets of character CG and battle creation.

Detailed expressions are key to the cutscenes

Giving the characters their shape through modelling, managing their appearance by creating textures, setting their movements, applying various effects... Through several stages of production, the captivating character CG is created. At the time of development, the primary software in use is XSI. It is 3D CG software that allows both the creation of characters and configuration of their movements.

The characters' expressions are key to the CG used in cutscenes. Simply matching the movements of their mouths up with their lines will not convey the character's feelings to the player. Giving their expressions realism by making them frown or narrow their eyes is essential. Since Ryu ga Gotoku uses prescoring and records the voices before creating the video, they create the characters' expressions along with the lines as performed by the voice actors. Kiryu's anger and hatred, joy and sadness... Expressions to match the emotions as performed by the voice actors are configured on computers. This incredibly delicate job is what first breathes life into the characters.

For the single emotion of anger, his expression varies from scene to scene. A silent anger, or all-out rage... These are all created with fine detail on the computer.

Stuntmen's performances support the heated battles

70% of the battle scenes are captured from the performances of stuntmen. Movements impossible for a human being to perform are hand-made.

The highlight of the fight scenes is its showy actions. The complex moves Kiryu performs during battle scenes are created using a process called motion capture. A stuntman acts out a fight, and this is parsed by a computer, allowing the realism of an actual person's movement to be reproduced.

When the weapon changes, so does the way it is held and movement, causing the required amount of motion capture to swell. Capture for one game takes about two months.

In order to recreate Kiryu's superhuman moves, sometimes stuntmen are suspended in midair on wires. The area looks like the filming location for an action film. In RGG4 there are now four protagonists, increasing the variation in heat actions and revelation moves. Since each of their ways of moving and holding weapons is different, the stuntmen matched their performance up to each individual character.

Note the superhuman strength of RGG4's Saejima. Simply holding up a light object gives no sense of force, so they were recorded actually lifting heavy objects.
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