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Capcom: 3D character models “much easier to animate”

Thursday, 29th September 2011 01:35 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Capcom’s Seth Killian has talked up the benefits of 3D character models over traditional 2D sprites, citing increased audience and expedited development.

“I definitely think it’s been a benefit in so far as it’s pretty eye candy that helps draw in a new audience,” the online and strategic marketing director told EGM.

“What was so exciting about those 2D fighters was the level of detail and the little animations and things like that. It was all really beautifully done.

“I think if you look at the Capcom 3D games, you’ll still find that level of care, detail, and precision—and I think that’s ultimately what people react to more than a 3D model versus a 2D sprite.”

Killian said Capcom has the knowhow to give 3D models the kind of attentive love normally seen in 2D sprites, but also benefits from the ease of creation character models enables.

“It’s much easier to animate a new super or ultra combo. If you have a character model, you can have them go through all of those new motions; you trace out the new moves, and have the model follow them without having to draw every frame,” he said.

“Back in the 2D sprite days, we had to cheat sometimes. It’s like, okay, if this guy’s on fire, everybody’s going to have the same flaming body, and we’re going to reuse the animation. Or Guile’s spinning overhead kick will just be the same frames as his low-forward kick flipped upside down. You had to cheat a lot, and they did a great job at it, but you had things like that.

“We don’t have to cheat anymore, so I think it’s given us a lot more flexibility, yet I think the care and precision you saw historically in Capcom 2D fighting games is still there with the 3D models. It’s just a 3D model versus a 2D sprite, which is how I think we’ve not had to lose any of that audience.”

Noting his enjoyment of competing 2D fighters like King of Fighters and BlazBlue, Killian added that other development teams should give 3D models a chance.

The full interview has an interesting discussion on “the dark ages” of fighters, competing titles, how the Internet has changed the competitive scene, and the loaded question of Poison’s backstory. Click through the link above for the whole thing.

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