Square Enix’s worldwide technology director Julien Merceron has revealed that animation will play a huge role next-gen, and neglecting that would be a “huge mistake”. He mentioned something about an uncanny valley where there is a mismatch between good graphics and poor animation resulting in awkward graphics as a whole.
“Focusing on graphics only would be a huge mistake. You start to have super great graphics, characters look really good and you end up in the uncanny valley, but you don’t have animation at the same quality level,” he told GamesIndustry.
“Same thing with behavior and AI; it animates well and looks good, but it is making stupid decisions. It simply won’t be immersive,” he added.
He also gave some examples he thought was a good showcase for animation in the industry. He mentioned the importance of physics, rendering and animations and said developers should also attempt to upgrade these things and not solely concentrate on a single thing – graphics.
“Killzone 3 had great facial animations back in the day. There are great teams that, for this generation of consoles, have done good quality that could be considered good enough. The problem I am talking about is, as soon as we ramp up the quality on graphics, this level of quality on facial animations won’t be good enough,” he said.
“Some games succeed to be at the limit of the uncanny valley, but … the problem is that as rendering quality will go up, new problems will surface. The quality of the facial and body animations and the acting won’t be good enough. So that is why as you evolve, you have to upgrade your physics, rendering and animations.”
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