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article imageReview: Playstation 3 movie 'Kara' gaining serious attention

By Abigail Prendergast     Mar 13, 2012 in Entertainment
Quantic Dream, the creators of the video game hit, "Heavy Rain," have created a phenomenal cinematic masterpiece that is rendered entirely in real time. This gem demonstrates the true power of the Playstation 3's technological capabilities.
From Quantic Dream, the developer behind Heavy Rain, comes a highly impressive real-time graphical presentation called Kara. According to NeoSeeker, this awe-inspiring cinematic short shows the true power of Sony's Playstation 3.
Utilizing an in-house studio engine, Quantic Dream was able to create the android Kara, among other characters, reports Geek Tyrant. What makes Kara particularly impressive is that it is not pre-rendered; in other words, every last polygon in the film is rendered as it is viewed, known more widely as being rendered in real time.
Since the days of the original Playstation, real-time rendering went from merely being capable of displaying characters with minimal polygon counts to pushing the envelope in incredible, jaw-dropping graphics.
Usually, films made with computer generated imagery, or CGI, are rendered ahead of time, allowing the polygons to be converted into NURBS, which allow them to be soft and flexible.
Real time rendering, however, does not allow this feature, and as such the polygons remain hard and rigid. Real time game engines also have a limit (albeit a very high one) as to how many polygons can be rendered in a scene unlike pre-rendering.
The Playstation 3's ability to perform is not the only element in play here: "[Kara is] also the result of a new approach to motion capture at Quantic Dreams," said CEO and founder David Cage regarding the project. "[She is] an investment in the more sophisticated techniques that have become the norm in Hollywood's CG industry as the studio moves across to using full-performance capture."
Cage explained the process of this newer form of MoCap further on Geek Tyrant:
"What we call full-performance capture is shooting the body, the voice and face at the same time. Most studios right now in the game industry use what we call split performance, which means you shoot the face and voice on one side and then you use the body, and not in one take
"It works okay - there have been some great games made using this process, and Heavy Rain was done this way. But we felt that if we wanted more emotion, and more performance from the actor we needed to have everything from the same take, and we needed to shoot everything at the same time.
"So we invested a lot in our motion capture studio. Heavy Rain was shot with 28 cameras, and we've upgraded the studio to 65 cameras. Now we can shoot several actors - their body and their face - at the same time. It's not a small change, but at the same time this is how Avatar and Tintin were shot, and it's how the CG industry works because they know how much you gain from shooting face, voice and body at the same time."
Kara's voice is given to her by Twilight actress, Valorie Curry.
Ever the piece of eye candy in itself,
Kara is just the tip of the iceberg of many more technological graphic achievements to come in over time. Astounding and remarkable, it will be nothing short of a true jump into the future to witness unfold.
More about Playstation 3, Kara, real time rendering, game engine
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