Siren 2 Maniacs - The Unique Methods that Breathe Life into the Characters
The characters of Siren 2 have a unique feel to them that can't be fully explained by the simple term "photo-realistic". This is what is created by the special creation methods employed in the first game as well. During normal game creation, the characters are made by building fictional people on a computer screen, but the characters who appear in Siren and Siren 2 were made based upon actual actors.
01 - These are the kinds of images produced by taking pictures with cameras from eight different angles. By complementing this with the information obtained during this period, they can create images of characters that look right from every direction.
02 - An image of photography being performed using multiple cameras.
03 - Each type of costume is kept on hand at the shooting location.
The basics are standing the actor, actually in costume, surrounded by cameras from eight directions. The photographic data obtained this way is pasted onto a blank 3D model based on the actor's proportions, creating the character. The facial expressions are captured separately from the full-body textures, allowing them to carefully sample their movements and create a multitude of expressions, such as being twisted with fear or smiling. In any case, despite being a video game Siren 2's development was a large-scale process, involving auditions, rehearsals and shooting. Just like when filming a movie or TV show, they also required a vast array of costumes and props.
04 - They also captured the movements of inhuman things.
05 - For the Shibito and those who turn to Yamibito, naturally, careful makeup is applied.
06 - A picture showing a brief respite in between busy shooting periods.
To be frank, this kind of method takes a long time. In a sense it frees them from the video game merit of being able to create everything (using computer programmes) from zero, but there's a reason why the staff are so insistent upon this method: they assertively try to include into the game the unexpected effects created by feeding the movements and expressions of professional actors to a CG model. Also, having the performance done by a real human being can sometimes give personality to the characters that even the developers hadn't thought of, so occasionally there were changes required to be made to finer parts of the story to go along with it. Perhaps the characters of Siren 2 are the first to be given flesh and blood by collaboration between the actors playing them and the development staff.
Here, we will give you a backstage peek that shows you what it was like during shooting. At the very top is an image of a Shibito, in full Shibito makeup, waiting for his turn. He is human, of course, so drinking coffee means he has a wafer in the other hand. In the middle is the lunch menu for one of the shooting days. Shibito and Yamibito alike ate these as they worked. At the bottom is Ichiko Yagura, something about her seeming strange, as she is the Simulacrum that gave birth to Otoshigo... Oh, no, it's just Erina Moribayashi messing about during a break in shooting.
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