Friday, October 23

ND Devs: No animator could reproduce what we've been able to do

What Naughty Dog has accomplished with Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is truly revolutionary. There's no need to beat a dead horse because it has been said so many times before. But there's one aspect of Uncharted 2 that stands out more than any other, and it's the game's cutting edge visuals.

It is arguably the best looking title to grace any console, and to accomplish such a task, it took the lead programmers years of tweaking, changing, manipulating the system, and now, they've managed to master the cell processor. So much so that the devs don't think any other animator could do what they did in Uncharted 2.

Speaking in a video interview with Digital Foundry, one of the lead programmers explained the situation.

"You don't have to have an animator animate every single possible combination of the player putting away his weapon while jumping, or running and shooting, or all these different things," the programmer said.

"Really no animator could animate enough animations to produce the same look that we've been able to do by mixing and matching, by layering animations on top of each other, by blending between animations even of different layers. And that really give the players a lot more control over what he wants to do that's not limited by our animators," he concluded.

A spectacular game don't get made but by much effort and extremely hard work. It also takes a passionate team, and folks who love what they do to accomplish what Naughty Dog has. And by the look of things, gamers are rewarding them with stellar sales. Pick up Uncharted 2 now.

10/23/09 Ernice Gilbert


  1. Indeed, what the Naughty Dogs have done graphically speaking is breathtaking.

  2. As an animator, I can tell you that "layering and mixing" animation is simply the way its done. Especially if you are using mo-cap, which ND does.
    So in essenece, their tools allow them to do this step of the animation on-the-fly, rather than within an animator's software. The animator is still doing all the work, its simply now more streamlined.
    Lame quote and even lamer article.

  3. Man, I envy the people without a PS3, they can just walk into a store & pick up Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves together with a slim...the joy they must have in the wweks to come.
    Me, I'm just waiting for Uncharted 3. The multiplayer is addictive, but it's the singleplayer story that's so great about this series. Ah well, here begin the months of dreaming about pyramids, Aztecs and the Orient...what will they think of next?

  4. @ the animator below:

    The difference between blending animation by hand and on-the-fly is 1) the quality of animation is higher 2) the range of animations is far better 3) the cost of development and subsequent modification is significantly less.

    Blending animation by hand is good for certain situations where you want to emphasize or exaggerate but 99% of the time, where you want consistent quality and smooth animation, on-the-fly blending is the way to go.

    You can still get a job in movies so don't be so bitter.

  5. Coming soon, a bigger and better website just for you:

  6. If any development company can say that it's the Naughty Dogs. Excellent game.

  7. I believe that gabe newell and other praysed developers need to learn humbly by Naughty Dog how to develop on a true next-gen platform.instead bashing ps3 and eating microsoft's food.

  8. Title quote doesn't match actual quote. My college professor got sued and had to pay a large fine for misquoting.

    If you took out the "ND Devs:" part of your title, you'd be in the clear. If you quoted correctly, you'd be in the clear. Be careful with those headlines...

  9. This is the most overrated game of our time! I've played to the 4th stage of Uncharted 2 in about an hour, unless this game gets better quickly, I wonder wtf is everyone talking about.

    Collision detection isn't good at all, at least through 4 stages.

    The Stealth portion is also weak. For those that have played Splinter Cell:Chaos Theory know you cant stealth kill/knock out someone & leave the body in the light & not be detected, garbage.

    Graphics looks as good as the best games out, what I believe everyone is referring to is the cut-scene graphics that you dont play. Through the game that graphics are very good but absolutely nothing earth shattering.

    U2 has no choice but to look great, through 4 stages, U2 may be the most linear game I've ever played & that's since 1976.

    I should finish the game by next weekend, I like to take my time through a game.

  10. Misleading title. This is what we call in journalism false information. Shame on you for doing it.

  11. When you've just made the game of the year and one of the biggest games of all time i think it's OK to feel a little proud of yourself. Well done, Naughty Dog!

  12. Wow @ the idiot anonymous who calls it one of the most overrated games of our time.

    No problem with collision detection.

    You can't actually leave a body in plain sight - I choked someone prematurely in one of the later chapters and because the body didn't fall behind cover, I was discovered. That's not to say the AI is flawless - I exploited it blatantly at the start of chapter 4, but this isn't a stealth game. Stealth requires skill, and is very useful in later stages where you can make it easy for yourself by getting to a great position and taking out snipers or rocketeers before the main battle begins.

    Anyway, levels 4 and 3 are a throwback to the old Uncharted. You get to see how much better the jungle environments look. And yes, people are referring to the actual gameplay graphics - the lighting, textures and animation. Forget earth; it's universe-shattering. There is no equal on consoles, and Crysis is ok but its art style is garbage.

    UC2 is 11/10.

  13. "This is the most overrated game of our time!"

    Spoken like a true Xbot who can't afford a real console. Too bad. Is your RROD'ed 360 back from the shop yet?

  14. RE5 HAS BETTER ANIMATIONS THAN UNFARTED 2 "the most overrated games of our time" !!!!


  15. so tragic to see ppl nag about quality titles like that. grumpy nitpicking galore.

    U2 has some of the best "wow" moments ive seen in a game so far.

    I can add the fact that ive been playing games since pong released.

  16. no way RE5 has better animations than Uncharted 2

    RE5 is very stiff, remember the animation to jump out of a window? it was the same they used on RE4, all robotic and inhuman

    still pictures of RE5 might be comparable to Uncharted 2 quality but when the games are in motion you have to be blind to not see how Uncharted 2 is vastly superior in every way