Hellblade 2 has some incredibly detailed faces in it, as proven by a new video that shows off its Unreal Engine 5-driven graphics.
Will digital humans ever escape the oft-discussed Uncanny Valley? Looking at a new video for Ninja Theory’s upcoming Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, and it’s beginning to look like the creation of convincing, photo-real people that don’t give us all the creeps might be possible after all.
The clip emerged at State of Unreal, a showcase put on by Epic Games at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco.
It shows how Ninja Theory has used a combination of performance capture, Epic’s patented person-maker tech, Metahuman, and Unreal Engine 5 to create one of the most detailed, expressive digital faces we’ve ever seen. Check it out:
It’s tempting to spend a few sentences gushing over the striking level of detail in everything from the pores in the character’s skin and the tiny veins in the whites of her eyes. But what’s most significant is how the simulation of things like muscle and skin mean that an actor’s performance can now be captured with almost – and we stress almost – 1:1 fidelity.
Instead of watching a performance through a haze of low polygon counts and iffy textures, it’s more like looking through a window. In storytelling terms, that can only be a good thing.
What’s also noteworthy is how new Epic’s latest wave of development tools still are. MetaHuman Creator was first announced in early 2021, and is a cloud-based bit of software that allows you to create detailed human character models via a simple, slider-based interface. The models can then be downloaded, fully rigged, and imported into Unreal Engine or a 3D animation package.
The possibilities of this tech, not to mention the other innovations introduced by Unreal Engine 5, are only going to become more obvious as the current generation unwinds.
Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II is currently scheduled for release in 2023 for PC and Xbox Series X.