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How 'Modern Warfare II' Became The Most Realistic 'Call Of Duty' Game | Movies

Unveiling the Evolution: How 'Modern Warfare II' Transformed the 'Call of Duty' Franchise into a Realistic Masterpiece | Movies

By HalintonePublished 10 months ago 9 min read

How 'Modern Warfare II' Became The Most Realistic 'Call Of Duty' Game | Movies

From Real-Life Wear to Digital Realism: The Intricate Process of Transforming a Destroyed Belt into a Convincingly Worn Prop in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, the Most Realistic Video Game Ever Made

set pieces and costumes like this direct Target

destroyed but they didn't stop with

objects they also stepped up their

performance capture Tech to create an

insanely true to life feel and

experience we took a look inside the

game's La Studio to find out how they

transport our world into theirs

and it all starts with a process called

photogrammetry or capturing high-res

photos of a person or object from every

possible angle then stitching these

photos together to form an incredibly

detailed 3D replica

it fires off all five cameras at once

the turntable will turn eight degrees

and it takes another shot because we're

capturing it from down below and up

above we get every angle of this part

which allows our photogrammetry software

to reconstruct this as a 3D model the

Modern Warfare team can then manipulate

this photorealistic 3D model in the

computer photogrammetry makes it easier

and quicker to enrich the world of the

game with new objects and characters

traditionally video game characters are

built digitally and that's exactly how

Call of Duty worked until 2015 when the

team began incorporating photogrammetry

now the team can build a character in

one week instead of six and the output

is a mesh very very dense with a lot of

details that can go through our

character artists and using this data to

build the game asset one of the most

time saving parts of this process is the

ability to scan costumes in all of their

glorious details

when building costumes in the computer a

good chunk of the time is spent painting

in wear and tear Call of Duty is a war

game after all nothing about the costume

should look pristine

photogrammetry instead of digitally

simulating each scuff chip and stain you

can create all of those details in the

physical world and scan them into the

game so this is our distressing station

this is where we take gear that we're

putting on characters in the game we

distrust it to look like it's been out

in the field for an extended period of

time because when you get something

brand new it really wouldn't scan well

it doesn't have any sense of realism

they use rotary tools to rip and fray

the costumes and Sanders to make the

fabric less starchy and rigid the fabric

tends to feel older if you sand it down

and to make the clothes feel like

they've been out in the desert for weeks

at a time we have bags of fake dirt you

can actually just kind of plop it down

right on the item this process only

looks haphazard story matters

we try to put it where we think if one

in the field where would a soldier kind

of lay on the ground where would the

most scratches occur where would the

most holes happen and where would the

most dirt accumulate when we distress

stuff we try to kind of tell the story

that story might involve stains or

bullet wounds we used to use things like

coffee and tea to stain things but those

ended up creating a bad smell over time

so now we use things like black ink

mixed with water we have fake Hollywood

blood here so if anything needs to look

like somebody's been injured in it we

have that including a fully costumed

actor into the photogrammetry Dome helps

the team capture other subtleties too

like how fabric hangs and sways on the


they also use this approach on props so

this is ghosts desert mask you may

recognize it from the opening of Modern

Warfare 2. it was actually created

practically and then we scanned it here

in this volume and the 3D Arts took over

and built it for the game many props get

scanned into the game through an

alternative approach called an erago rig

it's a new system that we implemented

recently it's just for props County

mostly it's like a step up from having a

bunch of cameras the system allows you

to have a single camera on the miniature

is on a rotating turntable and the

Machine will just move the camera around

for you so instead of figuring out where

you need to be in relation to your

subject you just do that on a software

so you can pre-arrange all your camera

needs or your camera positions and input

all your camera settings and then it

will just do the sequence for you this

is actually packable and transportable

you can take this to a prop house and

then scan hundreds of props a day here

Valerio is using the arago rig to scan

in one of the game's mini Miniatures

handcrafted models of set pieces weapons

and vehicles once scanned in these

models serve as the emblems for bad will

pass a system that rewards users for

playing the game and they aren't

designed to feel as strictly realistic

as other parts of Modern Warfare overall

we're shooting for for hyper realism we

want the game to be 100 realistic but

this is not necessarily in-game content

this is like displayed outside of the

game because of that distinction they

want the emblems and rewards to feel

bespoke handmade and collectible

qualities that handcrafted Miniatures

lend themselves to and it's easy to just

tell your artist I want this this is my

vision just go build it rather than try

to find it in the real world sculpting

it by hand allows you to retain some of

that natural feel natural detail like


the automated system provides a lot of

control over scanning these individual

objects into the game but scanning in

real world settings and environments

requires a more free-form approach

consisting of a handheld rig with a high

resolution Sony 7r4 camera Valeria is

demoing this approach on a miniature

here but normally this is what he'll use

out in the field a real-life settings

and set pieces that can't be placed on a

turntable or stuck inside the Dome we

rely on this high resolution cameras to

be able to pull detail from The Real

World I would say 80 of discounts they

do happen out in the real world so it

could be an urban environment and we

could be shooting a lot of ground a lot

of streets Street elements trash cans

curbs a lot of small detail that's going

to help really push the Fidelity the

quality of the game and then there are

natural textures we also do Foliage for

example a lot of rocks sandstone Granite

sand up in Northern California Coastal

scans for the Mexico setting of Modern

Warfare 2 the team spent a week doing

photogrammetry in the Mexican state of

Chihuahua including aerial

photogrammetry with drones to capture

expansive Landscapes with the goal of

upping the level of natural detail in

the game the teams got really deep into

for example researching in the real

world locations of what is the light

setting at that particular place in the

world right so if we're taking a map and

we say to ourselves like it's

geographically about here in the world

sending out teams to actually measure

like at this time of day this is the

Luminosity of the sun this is how the

light is bouncing around Etc but

photogrammetry has its limitations

especially when it comes to light

reflecting surfaces anything that's

reflective even say glassware cannot be

scanned that creates challenges for the

many vehicles in the game another

limitation of photogrammetry it only

works on static objects like rocks curbs

trash cans anything that moves like you

know tree canopy or even a person's hair

usually cannot be scanned really well so

water is something that cannot be

scanned even when we scan characters and

actors we don't really get the hair to

work too well with this technology

that's where they use computer

simulations to govern the physical

behavior of moving elements like hair or

water helping create the Amsterdam Canal

scene here but Amsterdam would be a

ghost town without lifelike characters

to populate it and to create dynamic

characters you can't just stick actors

inside the photogrammetry Dome as many

facial expressions as actors do in there

it's still a static process critic

imagery is one of many reality capture

techniques or methods the other method

the game relies on for its characters

performance capture this process differs

slightly from motion capture as it

records not just the motion of the body

but also the face fingers and voice we

capture the performance of the body we

have enmarket cameras to capture all the

subtle performance or the face and we

also capture audio so everything is

captured all together it's like

basically shooting a movie at the stage

but it's also different from filming a

movie in some key ways for one the

actor's expressions are captured via

facial cameras mounted to their heads

because some detail gets lost in this

facial capture process performing for

video games is a bit like performing on

stage where actors rely on slightly

exaggerated movements and expressions

and unlike movie video games are

interactive and players can fall run

climb and fight indefinitely that means

actors must record hundreds of exertion

sounds and other noises sometimes doing

dozens of takes on a grunt or sigh to

keep their characters from sounding

stale or robotic over hours of gameplay

finishing touches come in the sound

design where the team aims to transport

as much content as possible from The

Real World recording out in the field

and with real weaponry and props every

time you shoot a gun in the game and you

hear the brass eject and land on the

ground on the different Services whether

it be wood or concrete or the metal

surfaces we record all of that we do

absolutely every bit of recording we can

particularly when it comes to weapons

and vehicles on this last game we've

recorded all of our weapons tanks real

practice rounds from an RPG three

different helicopters anything we can to

make the game as authentic as possible

we're out there trying to capture sounds

for it it's all part of raising the

stakes and keeping them high to fully

immerse players in the game and make

their actions feel like they carry

weight when simulating something as

perilous as War

fact or fiction

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  • Jack Thompson6 months ago

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