Back in the 1920s, a gentleman named Robert Spence flew a biplane over Los Angeles and photographed the city from above, using a 46-pound camera. Now, nearly 90 years later, his images have inspired a new generation of entertainment.
Team Bondi, the Australian development team which worked on Rockstar Games’ new blockbuster L.A. Noire, spent countless hours poring over the photographs Spence took early last century, getting an idea of traffic patterns and public transportation routes as well as building locations and conditions.
Simon Wood, production designer at Team Bondi describes the pictures as a “magical find, as they’re the equivalent of satellite photography”.
By using this imagery as a base, the developers were able to piece together the most accurate version of Los Angeles in the 1940s that has ever been created.
All eyes have been on Rockstar’s ambitious MotionScan technology, the full-face motion capture and the Uncanny Valley characters blurring the lines between gaming and film. The attention to detail didn’t stop there, however – so next time you’re cruising through post-war L.A., take a moment to admire the architecture, the finer points, the way everything fits together just like it should.
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