Go Behind-the-Scenes of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy with a Look into Performance Capture

By MARIKA HASHIMOTO March 16, 2022

In Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, between the vivid gameplay and thrilling cutscenes, perhaps the most captivating parts are the realistic interactions between all the characters.

We see how Peter Quill AKA Star-Lord can talk your ear off (Rocket might be a close second), Gamora reluctantly admits to fondness for the group (which lines up with Drax's Katathian definition of love), and Groot delivers his famous line full of meaning each time.

So how do you bring the full scale of action and drama to life in every scene?

The answer: Performance Capture! (And some really, really good actors.)

Darryl Purdy, the Cinematics & Animation Director of Eidos-Montréal, describes what went on behind animating 680 pages of cinematics script. Clocking in at roughly 5 hours 45 minutes of scripted action, "It was a lot of days in this room, that's for sure," he laughed. Using performance capture, the process involved not only recording the actor's voices, but also the minute details of facial expressions, hand gestures and body movement. Actors performed their scenes simultaneously to preserve the natural rhythm and cadence of the dialogue.

Gathering together the stellar cast for Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy was no small task, but Purdy glowingly describes how each actor brought something special to their role. "Although we're telling our own unique story, in our own kind of unique universe, we don't want to disregard the long history of the Marvel comics, or even the MCU. So what we tried to do is walk that fine edge, where we found actors that reminded you—or maybe felt comfortable—but also had something very unique, and had their own take on these characters."

Players will find both fresh and familiar qualities in the cast of the Guardians of the Galaxy, which include Jon McLaren ("Peter Quill AKA Star-Lord"), Kimberly-Sue Murray ("Gamora"), Alex Weiner ("Rocket"), Jason Cavalier ("Drax the Destroyer") and Robert Montcalm ("Groot"). Purdy also praised the performance of 21-year-old Nikki Gold, who portrayed Romane Denis, a crucial character who also happens to be 13-years-old. "She nailed the performance. She could play 13, but she had the gravitas of someone who had lived a little longer. So she also could bring that weight to the emotional scenes."

Purdy also details the remarkable nuances of non-verbal acting, and how physicality was an important part of the performance capture recording. "When we're casting characters, one thing we do have to take into consideration is their physicality." As an example, he explains, "For Drax, we did really need somebody who understood physical presence, of being able to kind of intimidate." Cavalier, who played the role of Drax, was also a stunt man, so at certain times in the script, Purdy relied on his ability to interpret things from a purely physical standpoint. "Now, watching the scenes, I can't imagine anyone else as Drax."

Watch the rest of the video to see the making of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, and play the game now for the full cinematic experience!

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is an award winning single-player story-driven action-adventure game, set in an original Guardians universe. For the most up-to-date information about Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, tune in to Marvel.com and follow Marvel Games on Twitter for the latest announcements!

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