It's not every day you see three motion capture actors tied together for performance capture of one massive creature. Naughty Dog's production and talent coordinator has given us a glimpse at such a feat. If you haven't completed The Last of Us Part 2, there are minor story spoilers for the game just below.
In a tweet posted yesterday, Naughty Dog's Becky Dodd revealed that for the gigantic Rat King creature featured in the latter half of the game, they actually tied together three motion capture actors for the process. I'll be honest, I thought this disgusting creature would have been entirely animated without any motion capture for the actual game, considering its gigantic size and various limbs.
If you've played The Last of Us Part 2 and gone toe-to-toe with the Rat King as Abby, you'll know all about the boss. Staggering around the underground section of a hospital in downtown Seattle, the Rat King has been locked away since the very start of the pandemic 24 years ago, left to fester and repeatedly mutate into its horrific final form.
I actually wrote about the fight with the Rat King as one of the scariest moments in Naughty Dog's sequel. It's an absolutely terrifying, adrenaline-pumping fight, considering you can barely see where you're going and you've got this gigantic monstrosity lumbering after you, just one swipe away from ripping Abby in half.
It's weird to look at the Rat King in reflection and realize it was actually three actors tied to each other. I'd love to know what the motion capture process was like for the section of the fight where one of the creatures on the Rat King actually becomes detached from the host, tearing itself free from its fleshy nest to run after Abby.
Still, it's incredible to get a peek behind the curtain in the development process of The Last of Us Part 2. Just yesterday, one animator at Naughty Dog revealed that the studio actually motion captured horses for the sequel, and not only that, but they worked in collaboration with Sucker Punch for motion capturing Ghost of Tsushima's horses.