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Starfield: Game Artist Breaks Down Facial Animation Issues

Starfield: Game Artist Breaks Down Facial Animation Issues

Game artists face many roadblocks while trying to bring characters ⁣to life ‌with facial animation. ⁣However, ⁢with Starfield – a major upcoming ⁤AAA role-playing game from Bethesda Game Studios – pushing the boundaries of ​facial animation,‍ it’s worth taking a look at the struggles and successes⁢ of the game ‍artist tasked with creating the game’s characters.

Creating Facial Animations

Animations that​ mimic the subtle motions of a‍ face are ​incredibly difficult to get right, particularly when ​it comes to facial expressions ⁤like joy, sadness, or anger. Game artists must take into consideration specific features ⁤such ⁢as the size and shape⁢ of the eyes, the‍ placement of the mouth, ​and the wrinkles or other details⁤ that occur⁤ when a ‍character interacts ⁣with the environment. ⁢

The Starfield Experiment

For Starfield, the game artist had one goal in ‍mind: to bring life-like facial expressions to the game’s characters. ⁣To​ do this, the artist ⁣built data-driven procedural tools that can interpret a character’s facial motions and ⁢convert them​ into animation sequences. The idea was to create animations that reflect the nuanced ⁢and‌ varied emotions ‌that a real character might exhibit.

The Challenges of‌ Facial Animation

Though the‍ data-driven⁢ tools‌ were a start,⁢ the game artist still faced a few ​challenges. For example, ⁤each motion of the jaw or eyes ‌must ⁢be accurate, ‍which can​ be difficult to capture in a virtual world. The artist must also take into account how the characters’⁢ facial expressions should change during⁤ the course of a conversation or scene.

Bringing ⁢Facial Animation to Life

Thankfully, the game​ artist found⁢ a way to‌ bridge ‍the gap‍ between animation technology and real-life facial expressions, ​thanks to state-of-the-art game engines and AI ‌technology. By leveraging advanced⁣ animation ⁢tools and machine learning, the artist ‌was ‍able to​ create ⁤incredibly ⁣realistic facial animations, which are⁢ expected to be a prominent feature of Starfield.


Facial animation is incredibly complex, but the game artist of Starfield was able to create impressive results thanks to data-driven tools ‍and state-of-the-art game engines. By leveraging these tools⁤ and ⁢technologies,⁢ the artist​ was able to‍ bridge the gap between animation and reality.


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