Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s Weapon Animations Made By Hand

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has taken a departure from the sci-fi adventures of the last few games in the franchise to be more realistic. Developer Infinity Ward is so committed to the idea of making Call of Duty: Modern Warfare realistic that they decided against motion-capturing weapons for use with in-game animations.

This was revealed by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare animation director Mark Grigsby. He said that Infinity Ward’s animators actually went in and animated all the weapon animations in the game, such as reloads, by hand. This requires insane amounts of dedication. Granted that in the past, this was how a lot of games were made, but at that time, graphics were not refined enough that even minor mistakes would be amplified.

In the Game Informer video, Grigsby says that they adopted the “purest” approach to the process, using hand key animation instead of the easier and more prevalent method of the motion capture process.

The team wants to reload animations to work a certain way in Modern Warfare. Grigsby explained they had to represent the best possible experience of handling these weapons, i.e., animations have to be performed with confidence and heft. However, this hasn’t made the animations completely boring. They have slightly changed some of the animations for a bit flair, bu they remain rooted in reality.

The veteran animator also touched on one of Modern Warfare’s features: the ability to reload without leaving ADS, something he was surprised nobody tried to do before.

Mark Grigsby helped develop Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. He also worked on Modern Warfare 2, but he wasn’t proud of that work. He then left Activision for Respawn Entertainment in 2010 and started working on the Titanfall games.

He came back in 2017 to Activision and his coming back was one of the chief clues that a Modern Warfare sequel or remake was in the works. Though technically, neither of these rumors proved to be true, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare can be thought of as both a spiritual successor and a soft reboot of the Modern Warfare series.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s Alpha is currently live on the PlayStation 4, with the PlayStation 4 beta set for right when the Alpha ends. It has been getting rave reviews and it might just be the comeback that the Call of Duty series needs.

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