Hello, PS Blog readers. My name is Koji Nakanishi and I’m the director of Resident Evil 7 biohazard. With the Gold Edition and free “Not a Hero” DLC just around the corner, I thought I’d share some insights into how we approached designing series mainstay Chris Redfield for his appearance in Resident Evil 7.
1. Scanning a model, and using an expert military adviser to perfect Redfield’s outfit
With the advancement towards the PlayStation 4 console, we had an incredible amount of power at our disposal, and that also raised the bar for the kind of quality people would expect from the game. In order to achieve that kind of photorealistic quality while respecting Chris’ character, we decided to use a technique known as photogrammetry. This is a process where a real person is scanned as the basis for the character model.
We started out by auditioning for models who had the look we wanted for Chris. For the process of auditioning a model, it was obviously important that his face look like Chris, but I also wanted someone who had a wild, tough look. He also needed to have a military bearing while wearing the outfit for the scan, as the way he holds himself is an important part of Chris.
Once we found the right person, we dressed them for the part in real military uniform. We’d previously used military gear as reference material or as the basis for texture assets, but it was the first time we’d ever actually shot footage of a real person wearing it, so we wanted to make sure we got it right. We actually hired an expert military adviser to help us out with the selection of uniform pieces and how to make them look right for the shoot.
2. Adjusting the model’s face to make it look like Chris
Chris’s face is based on the photogrammetry scans, but it isn’t used exactly as-is. Our designers made some adjustments to his facial details to ensure they were brought into line with what we envisage the characteristics of Chris to be.
3. Making sure the outfit fitted the story’s plot points
For his body, there are also details which help identify Chris and what kind of character he is at this point in the timeline. For example, his uniform is missing the kind of patches or medals you might normally see to indicate rank or unit.
Combined with the black colour, it gives the impression that he works for a mysterious organisation with access to cutting-edge technology such as the visor-like gas mask he wears.
Even the design of the gun and protective gear Chris uses have been given a slightly near-future edge to them.
4. The most realistic Chris Redfield yet
The Chris model we were able to create using this process is incredibly realistic with almost 40,000 polygons and over 250 joints in his face alone. Combined with the tools available to us in our proprietary new RE Engine, what we were able to do in terms of quality was light years ahead of anything we could have done with the previous hardware generations.
Thanks for reading, and if you haven’t already played the game, I hope you take the chance to check out Resident Evil 7 biohazard Gold Edition this holiday season!