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Bringing Lara Croft to life: The tech and art of it

"When you’re putting together a well-known character like Lara, you have to be aware of every aspect that goes into making her," says Rise of the Tomb Raider senior character artist Kam Yu.
"When you’re putting together a well-known character like Lara, you have to be aware of every aspect that goes into making her."

- Rise of the Tomb Raider senior character artist Kam Yu

For this fall's Rise of the Tomb Raider, Crystal Dynamics is putting tremendous effort into creating the face of Lara Croft, and a new Polygon feature dives into the ins-and-outs of that bleeding-edge triple-A art pipeline.

"To make a believable character you need a good concept, the right model, shaders, animation, performance. It’s a complete package," says Crystal Dynamics' senior character artist Kam Yu.

The company captured the performance of actor Camilla Luddington, but blending her expression's with Lara's brought forth an unexpected challenge, says studio CTO Gary Snethen: "Things were almost too real. We had to bring her back, to make her a video game character again and give her that iconic look. She started taking on too many human qualities. It kind of took away from her character."

The full interview goes into much more depth on the process of making a believable Lara. Rise of the Tomb Raider is out on on the Xbox One and Xbox 360 this fall. 

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