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The Last of Us: The Making of a Cinematic

Arne Meyer's Avatar + Posted by Arne Meyer on Aug 15, 2012 // Community Strategist, Naughty Dog

Yesterday at Gamescom in Germany Troy Baker, the voice of Joel, and Ashley Johnson, the voice of Ellie, took the stage with moderator Arne Meyer, Community Strategist at Naughty Dog, to talk about the cinematic process, the performances, and the creative ideas at play in The Last of Us. Before the presentation began, our game’s directors had a few words to say about the project.


In order to make everything Bruce and Neil discuss in the video a reality, the performances of Troy, Ashley, and every actor involved play a crucial role. Performance capture is a long, time-intensive process. It involves tight mocap suits, long hours, a ton of writing and often some fortuitous ad-lib. We called attention to these performances — one of the first steps to the game’s cinematic process — at our panel during San Diego Comic Con. At Gamescom, we went deeper into the process, and now you can watch the raw mocap for the cinematic that introduced Bill, played by W. Earl Brown.


High tech cameras record the tracking markers on the mocap suits to capture these performances. Raw mocap data is taken to our team, cleaned up, and then the next step in the cinematic process takes place.


Six steps in about a minute. Making game cinematics looks pretty easy, right? What you’ve seen is a time lapse showing over two years of planning, writing, performance, scripting, animation, lighting, and artistry. Then apply more tweaking, more adjusting, and more fine-tuning. And then some more before it ever goes out the door.


That’s where we ended up. One cinematic in the can. But there’s much more work to be done, and we can’t wait to share it with you.

//Add Your Own

25 Comments

1

+ Bcrazyman on August 15th, 2012 at 9:13 am said:

hey i like what you guys did at E3! and what you guys are saying about this game is really awsome cant wait for this! hey when is this game coming out? any price for the game and also any demos coming also? need to know thanks!


2

+ Kchow23 on August 15th, 2012 at 9:17 am said:

What else can be said? I hope there is more extensive Behind the Scenes videos in the Last of Us… its great to watch genius at work.


3

+ xZEEZO on August 15th, 2012 at 9:21 am said:

i am 100% sure that i will love the campaign but will we get any Multiplayer details soon ??

love what you people are doing at naughty dog simply amazing if this does not get game of the year the world is just not right.


4

+ Bcrazyman on August 15th, 2012 at 9:23 am said:

hey also any word on a beta? this game the way you did the game play is really awsome and i like the way you guys played the game out in the shoot you did really awsome im really a fan of your games! cant wait keep it up you guys are really doing a kick ass job! keep it up! im hook! also any word for us ps+ members on getting a sneak game play of the game? let me know please! this is real awsome you guys are really good at acting for this game! i really love what you game do for this game!


5

+ Bcrazyman on August 15th, 2012 at 9:26 am said:

also any word on a free t-shirt? please i really like the shirts you guys are wearing im really a ture gamer for your game naughty dog! im really hook on your guys games!


6

+ Bcrazyman on August 15th, 2012 at 9:29 am said:

hey great job! any word for us about this release? thanks!


7

+ Hitokiri_03 on August 15th, 2012 at 9:38 am said:

I really missed this kind of content (behind the scenes stuff) in U3, I hope that The Last of Us has It.


8

+ phzzt on August 15th, 2012 at 9:46 am said:

I love seeing the development videos you guys put together. Keep up the great work!


9

+ MarinoBrea on August 15th, 2012 at 10:07 am said:

Wow those guys are pros,acting like that is certainly harder than it looks!


10

+ SolduNuts on August 15th, 2012 at 10:18 am said:

The wait for this game is almost to much to bare. This game looks to leap frog the great Uncharted series with even better cut scenes and a more serious story. Again cannot wait for this gem to release. Keep the info coming to the blog and keep up all the great work you guys do. The whole industry looks up to you Naughty Dog, make them proud.

Sold.


11

+ SolduNuts on August 15th, 2012 at 10:20 am said:

Quick question. So many talented teams look up to your high achievements that you hit with the Uncharted series. I was wondering what development teams do you guys look up to or have high praises for?

Sold.


12

+ Tap88out on August 15th, 2012 at 10:21 am said:

this has got to be the game of the year hands down


13

+ PrinceofXIII on August 15th, 2012 at 10:30 am said:

oh yes please more of this content in the final game.

and please put gallery mode like the first 2 uncharted games(3 doesn’t have it)


14

+ kingkranz on August 15th, 2012 at 10:38 am said:

Looks awesome! Keep up the good work ND! Can’t wait to play this!


15

+ LordRaoh on August 15th, 2012 at 10:46 am said:

Awesome stuff, I love the making of the cinematic video as well, i hope there will be more of that shown or included on the blu ray.

But more importantly, where can I get one of those cool “The Last Of Us” T-Shirts?

I want one for dress down fridays at the office, weekend wear and a few for the gym.

:)


16

+ D-Squad3 on August 15th, 2012 at 1:16 pm said:

I want footage of Ashley Johnson almost getting in a fight with another person.


17

+ ABNVOX on August 15th, 2012 at 1:41 pm said:

this game looks so sick. i cant wait for it.


18

+ luvtoseek on August 15th, 2012 at 7:03 pm said:

Love the setting. Love the actors. Love the brutal visual action & judging from ND’s Uncharted series, it’ll have a fantastic script. Now let’s talk about that Collector’s Edition!


19

+ oo7PorscheMGS on August 15th, 2012 at 7:05 pm said:

I watched those videos with my eyes half closed…. and skipped through them as well lol. Don’t want to ruin this game for myself, I hope you guys don’t show too much of it!!! Example: UNCHARTED 3!!! ALL of the BIG scenes in that game were SPOILED in the trailers leading up to the release. Especially with a company that focuses so much on story/character as Naughty Dog does, you’d think you guys would want to keep some important stuff under wraps! Just writing this so you guys might consider it! Surprises are nice to have in a game….. especially one like this…..


20

+ Draco416 on August 15th, 2012 at 7:35 pm said:

@3 Are you serious? It’s an artistic game; There isn’t going to be any multiplayer.


21

+ Willaid on August 15th, 2012 at 9:42 pm said:

That was awesome i love it when they show the actors doing the work in the MoCap suits it’s really interesting and fun to watch i can not wait to play this game.


22

+ Avalanche on August 15th, 2012 at 11:59 pm said:

hey! thats the girl from “Growing Pains” :-)


23

+ KeefRiffards on August 16th, 2012 at 3:23 am said:

@20, Ummm, sorry to burst your bubble, but Naughty Dog has confirmed a multiplayer aspect of TLOU. No details have been let out yet, but apparently it WILL be there. If they handle it well, it can be a great contributor to a games story and world. Unfortunately, many devs just tack it on to the game. I have faith though! Great videos guys!


24

+ SeanScythe on August 16th, 2012 at 8:24 am said:

I hate to point this out but when Bill gets hit with the pipe by Ellie it looks like his left are gets hit, but he grabs his right arm in pain. Not sure if I just didn’t see it right but that’s how it looked. Still day 1 buy for me I love ND games!


25

+ Undrey on August 17th, 2012 at 5:49 am said:

@20 Multiplayer is confirmed.
Artistic?


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