12 March, 2009

Artificial Intelligence in Video Games: Torsten Reil & Force Unleashed

This week in my animation classes, we talked about the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and its impact on computer animation video games and feature film. We started first by viewing this lecture by Torsten Reil (Natural Motion), who presented his findings from Oxford University on the use of AI in characters. The interesting part, is that this was recorded in 2003 and when you watch the lecture, you'll learn about the "evolution" process, which is a series of algorithms that enables the computer to learn. In this case, it helps it to react to stimuli resulting in natural animation that is generated on the fly, and that looks different every time. In the lecture, Torsten mentioned that the technology was now being used for video games and for digital stunt doubles in feature film. Below is a great example of how these clips can be blended with MOCAP data to create engaging and exciting footage. The company that produced this is called Euphoria.

So, since this the 2003 Torsten lecture, we decided to do some research to see where the technology was used and surprisingly, many of us have seen examples of these on TV and in video games, the best examples we found was its use in the video game "Force Unleashed" (Lucas Arts 2008). The clips below show how these technologies were used in the actual gameplay and also, how the environment is affected. The results are simply amazing. Keep an eye out for more of this type of animation in the next title that you buy.  

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