Uncharted 4 Characters Have ‘500 Bones’ In Their Faces


I kind of love it when technical jargon gets put up against normal vocabulary. The juxtaposition can create some really out there mental imagery.

Like this example for instance. Uncharted 4 writer Josh Scherr recently talked to GamesTM about how much better the facial expressions in Naughty Dog’s newest game would be compared to their previous titles. He explained this by using the term ‘bones’ which add different points of articulation, conjuring up images of shoving bones into a person’s face to get more expressions. I mean, it’s likely you would, but they would probably just be ‘pain’ and ‘why is this happening?’

While talking to the outlet, Scherr said:

We’ve completely revamped our facial animation systems. The previous Uncharted games, and in The Last Of Us, the characters all had about 90 to 100 ‘bones’ in their faces which we used to move the meshes around.

Think about that, about how detailed Joel and Ellie’s pained facial expressions were, how well the game captured the respective actors’ – Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson – seminal roles. All that was achieved on the old tech. Now, the faces have anywhere between 300 and 500 bones.

All joking aside, that could be really quite something. That extra fidelity in facial expression could be huge for character animations. At the same time, at what point does the increase become imperceptible? It’s not like I was sitting around during The Last of Us thinking, “I wish these guys were emoting 3 to 5 times harder.”

Hopefully we will see these ‘bones’ in action at E3.