Intimate Emotions By Naughty Dog
Naughty Dog has done it again, people. Although game graphics continue to improve, depicting intimacy in a human has still been a barrier for many developers. More often than not, when things get steamy, it tends to miss emotions and look very static. But in the new trailer for The Last of Us Part II, Naughty Dog delivered a master class in intimate interaction and animation. The most amazing thing was how much attention the studio put into the smallest elements. Watch the 11 minute gameplay trailer below!
New Gameplay Trailer Analysis
In the early moments of the new trailer, take a look at Ellie’s facial expressions. Notice the way her eyebrows raise and lower, bites her lips, how small strands of her hair sway with no forced flow. It’s even more captivating for the ways she isn’t sculpted perfectly; her face is slightly dirty with a light perspiration forming, and her hair is slightly matted and frizzy, just like anyone’s hair would be in a crowded area with people dancing.
Look deep at how each character looks at each other; it’s almost as if there’s a real human being acting out these scenes in a movie, not just pixels. Then, when Ellie and the woman (Dana) kiss, look at the way Ellie’s lips pucker hesitantly and then lock with the other woman. The shock is present, then followed with the craning of their necks and a full kiss ensues.
Fans of the series are revving at what a remarkable thing Naughty Dog has done to capture something so astounding. These minor details are easy to miss at first glance because they are so natural to us in real life; they look the way people are suppose to look in these moments – awkward and slightly excited for what’s to come. Many games are still trying to figure out how to make these emotions happen within pixels, but when it happens the player creates an instant connection to the character.
Behind The Scenes
Turns out, making a scene this good required a ton of work. During E3, Director of the game, Neil Druckmann, explained that the studio could only shoot eight people at a single time. This particular kiss scene was shot over the span of 8 days. To capture Ellie’s deep expressions, Druckmann said that Naughty Dog developed more advanced facial capture. Check out the video panel below from E3 to learn more about the behind the scenes!