Black Friday Is Almost Here!
The Inventory team is rounding up deals you don’t want to miss, now through Cyber Monday. Click here to browse!

Another World Creator Shares Toy Car Footage He Used To Make Video Game Art

Illustration for article titled iAnother World/i Creator Shares Toy Car Footage He Used To Make Video Game Art
Screenshot: Digital Lounge

Over the weekend, game designer Éric Chahi shared footage of him playing with a toy car that was used to make one of the cutscenes in 90s scifi adventure game Another World come to life. It’s a cool look at what goes on behind the scenes of classic game animation.

Advertisement

1991’s Another World holds up remarkably well, thanks in part to its use of rotoscoping. The term refers to the practice of taking recorded footage and animating on top of it in order to make it look more realistic.(Think of the 80s cult classic Fire and Ice or early Mortal Kombat.) Chahi used rotoscoping to record toy models and transform them into carefully animated scenes that form the basis of Another World’s narrative.

Gif: Eric Chahi (Twitter)
Advertisement

Chahi’s tweet was a gif from a longer gif previously released by Last of Us 2 animator Jonathan Cooper, showing Chahi’s use of rotoscoping in more detail.

Another World is about a young scientist trying to find out how life on the planet started, only to have his experiment transport him to a strange alien world full of dangerous monsters and a fascist social order. There are almost no words in the game, and what little storytelling exists is almost entirely conveyed through these minimalist and eerily life-like cinematics. It’s amazing how Chahi was able to produce them using real footage that, in its original form, was unremarkable.

If you want to learn more, Cooper writes that he interviewed Chahi about rotoscoping in his book GAME ANIM: Video Game Animation Explained.

Kotaku staff writer. You can reach him at ethan.gach@kotaku.com

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

It’s awesome to see this footage after all these years. Just to clarify, though, Mortal Kombat isn’t really an example of rotoscoping, it’s more an example of digitisation, where actors are filmed and the footage is converted to sprites.

Rotoscoping is painting over the footage, rather than simply importing it. Had Midway drawn over Mortal Kombat’s characters so they looked hand-drawn rather than still looking like the actual actors, that would have been rotoscoping.