One photo perfectly captures the absurd technology used to turn real people into video game characters

Norman Reedus in

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Norman Reedus in “Death Stranding,” an upcoming PlayStation game.
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Kojima Productions

In “Death Stranding,” an upcoming PlayStation game from legendary game creator Hideo Kojima, Norman Reedus is the main character.

Not a facsimile of Reedus, or an approximation – it’s a near-perfect re-creation of Reedus, tattoos and all.

death stranding

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Screenshot/YouTube

Though plenty of games feature motion capture technology, Reedus was captured by Kojima and his team at Kojima Productions using some very intense setups.

One example of such a setup was revealed during a panel Business Insider attended featuring Kojima and Reedus at the Tribeca Film Festival last week in New York City.

Behold:

Whoa.

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Whoa.
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Ben Gilbert/Business Insider

That is a lot of cameras!

“We were scanning his body, hands, tattoos, face. Just doing that took two days,” Kojima said at the panel through a translator.

Reedus also did more standard motion capture for the game – wearing a leotard covered in tiny balls that are tracked by cameras, thus allowing a computer to map his movement to an in-game avatar – but the most fascinating stuff he did for the game is a greater detail of depth than just motion capture.

Norman Reedus / Hideo Kojima / Geoff Keighley / Tribeca Film Festival 2019

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Ben Gilbert/Business Insider

Unfortunately for us, there’s no way to play as Norman Reedus in “Death Stranding” just yet, as the game isn’t available – it’s still in production and has no release date just yet.

It’s also not clear exactly what type of game it will be when it does arrive. Kojima described it as an open-world action game, and offered few details beyond that. What we know for sure is that it’s an extremely pretty game:

death stranding

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YouTube/PlayStation

When “Death Stranding” does arrive, it’ll head exclusively to Sony’s PlayStation (it’s expected to be available on both the PlayStation 4 and Sony’s next-generation PlayStation console).

For now, you can get a lengthy look at the game in this trailer from June 2018: