The same technology that makes Uncharted 4's grass sway hypnotically in the breeze and get trampled underfoot will also be used to give Nathan Drake some impressive chest hair, Naughty Dog teased as part of a panel at the GNOMON School of Visual Effects, Games and Animation. There, technical artists Christophe Desse, Andrew Maximov and Neilan Naicker explained how efficient animation of grass and water have led to clever implementation of the same technology in other areas. Before we go any further, check out the tech in action below:
"So basically, the foliage tech you see there … I was like, 'Hey can we put it on a character? Let's animate hair that way.' And then we did that," Maximov said to the crowd of students. "The vehicle damage is working pretty much like the grass deformation, there's a lot of that. The chest hair is working exactly like the grass. It's all in synergy."
It's okay to giggle - students in attendance did too. That's when Naicker chimed in, reiterating the importance of next-gen chest hair. "I don't know if you guys have seen pictures of this, but Drake has animating chest hair that blows in the wind," Naicker said. Sadly, the trio of artists did not show off such a picture, but you can see how the same technology animating the grass above can be used in a number of ways, such as making a puddle ripple under Drake's feet:
As for the philosophy powering these decisions, Maximov explains: "Not knowing the limitations of something allow you to just come up with something so stupid and primitive that it will actually work." Take that lesson to heart, readers. Don't miss the trees for the forest, or in this case, the animated chest hair for the hunk of man it's attached to.
To see the whole panel, check out GNOMON's archived livestream. And if you want to skip right to the chest hair quote and decide for yourself if these guys are joking, skip to 49:12.
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