Watch the Eyes, See Them Lie in L.A. Noire

Illustration for article titled Watch the Eyes, See Them Lie in L.A. Noire

The art of lying is the most fascinating thing.

Some people do it well, others are just plain bad. But it's rare that someone trained to detect an untruth can be completely fooled. That's because no matter how good a liar a person is, they almost always have a tell of some sort.

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That's what has me so excited about the potential of Rockstar's upcoming crime game L.A. Noire. Thanks to some slick technology and some, hopefully, solid acting, Rockstar seems on the precipice of delivering the sort of game that will allow you to read the game's characters.

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That means people like me, people who read way too much crime fiction, watch way too much crime television and movies, won't be able to rely on crime noire tropes and their extensive knowledge of crime cliche to pick apart a story and figure out who the criminal is.

Instead, we'll have to do what real detectives do: Find the clues, interview the suspects and try to see who is and who isn't lying.

That sounds like an absurd statement, but it's also the realized promise of interactive fiction. It could mean interaction that can shape the experience. Image a game that doesn't just spill out canned graphics and animation when hit a programmed trigger. A game that not only has a variety of reactions, but the technology to deliver those nuanced differences.

Sure, I don't know if that's exactly the direction Rockstar will be taking with their game. But looking at this video, it appears they could. The technology they are using allows them to capture every little detail of an actors face as they go through the part. That means the nervous facial ticks, the double eye blinks, the dry lips, all of that could in theory come across.

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DISCUSSION

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Damien Fate

Amazing. I keep getting blown away by what I see in these trailers.

However... one thing that does bother me, now that I have seen the body motion capture is done separately from the facial capture, I can see that it doesn't quite sync up as well.

I know, that's a really fickle point, but it looks a bit like replacement heads hovering over the body a little, or the face is sliding around somewhat.

Still, it's amazing, can't wait to play it!