Naughty Dog Animation Lead: “We Run Out of Time and Animator and Programmer Resources Before We Run Out of Memory”

Animation is often a less known discipline within game development, partly because of its complexity, and partly because most tend to look at less subtle elements of the scene like models and textures. With its cinematic approach to game design, Naughty Dog is definitely a rand of excellence in animation, and it’s at the forefront of development on the next generation of consoles.

That’s why the studio’s Lead Character Animator Jeremy Yates is one of the men best positioned to tell us if we’re finally getting close to having games in which every animation is unique given today’s hardware resources. Turns out, we’re not even close, and the limiting factor isn’t hardware anymore, as he revealed in an interview on the French blog Parlons Jeux Vidéo

The future of realistic interactive animation in games really depends on how the budget grows. It takes a lot of talented people to generate all the content needed. After what we accomplished on the PS3 and now the PS4, I would say we usually run out of time and animator and programmer resources before we run out of memory. We build on the knowledge we have and are able to create things more and more efficiently. We are also constantly creating animation tools to help us reduce time. We may be able to have 12 hours of unique animation someday, but that will be a long time from now !

With today’s focus on hardware power, it’s hard to discount the human element, and the fact that each animation, even when created with motion capture, requires hours of refining and polishing in order to fit in a game.

That said, considering today’s level of excellence, especially at Naughty Dog, it’s definitely not hard to believe that human resources and time will run out much before the hardware does.

Join the Discussion

  • truthtellerdealwithit

    Naughty Gods

    • Agustin Freyre

      Sounds like a porno

      • truthtellerdealwithit


        • Tyler

          Dat Profile Pic xD

      • Shunan Soap Xu

        Naughty America

        • zhacob

          Nobody does it better.

  • MinaBoss

    While other Devs complain about Hardware being outdated years ago or limited which blinds them, Naughty Dog sees Master Piece potentials.

    • Negi Springfield

      They are masters indeed , Can`t wait to see more of Uncharted 4.

    • Kamille

      they were indeed the first ones to really tap into the PS3’s potential when most devs were saying it was a waste of everyone’s time to put any effort into optimizing the SPE’s.

      • bardock5151

        To be fair those developers and publishers were not really tied to the success or failure of the platform and were well within their rites to avoid losing money, their budgets aren’t limitless.

  • dranzer1

    Where is the PSN DDos attack article?

    • Negi Springfield

      Stupid hackers always ruining everything.

      • dranzer1

        Well, .-.

      • GameDev345

        Except they aren’t hackers, DDos attacking is piling up a network traffic, and PSN and SOE have dealt with most of it in some hours

        • Negi Springfield

          I see , First time knowing about this.

        • Kumomeme

          some people even saying that DDos are not hacking
          well they certainly had point there
          beside even kids can learn how to ddos…

      • Alter

        Sometimes, i don’t even consider them as hackers, just psycho teens.

        • Kumomeme

          i just consider them as bunch of lack attention retard who think they was very clever(actually very dumb)

    • Big Boss

      What are you talking about

    • truthtellerdealwithit

      You only want the article up so you can troll, twat

    • GameDev345

      Very irrelevant to this article and lets not also forget about Derp DDos Xbox Live down, so I would keep that trolling to yourself

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      We don’t give press attention to script kiddies when there are actual gaming news to report about.

      • Aquadysseus

        So the reason my PSN has been messed up today was down to that? I thought my PS4 was about to break so that’s a relief, I guess.

      • gσ∂-єує

        Goddamn I was hoping for coverage

      • Durka Durka

        damage controling for sony, if this happened on another platform it will be here.

    • Jonathan George Anaya

      Sony tried to Dodge all the Bad Press about Security FAILURES with a Fluff article hahhaha

      • superkarma

        Showing your ignorance once again. If you had bothered to check the source for this article, you’d see it was posted about a week ago.

        By the way, XBL had some security FAILURES as well today. The almighty XBL isn’t as immune as you fanboys would love to believe. What a shame.

  • Tawhid08-blue

    am i the only one who thinks that naughty dogs games have the best animations ?

    • Kamille

      maybe a few years ago but now everyone’s investing in mocap and tools for animation.

    • TallSilhouette

      One of the only other groups on the same level is Ubisoft.

      • Kumomeme

        i dont think ubisoft games had great animation,their previous games like assasin creed and others full of repetitive animation which is reused over and over again..for example assasin creed..i notice some character like guards had similiar animation as main character the assasin itself..and those animation and stunt even carried ever over few dog might be the same
        well that was their previous game..not sure of other game,but im very looking foward to unity and divisions…

    • Kumomeme

      ready at down’s order 1886 looks awesome too

  • RealityCheck2013

    GOD this game will look AMAZING 😛 + Have AMAZING Gameplay as ALL past ND Games have had 😛 😛 😛

  • I simply love Naughty Dog.

  • Vious

    having about 256MB last gen to having 4 – 4.5GB this gen…I mean it’s kind of hard to say you’ll run out of memory when you have about 18x the amount you had to work with before.

    • Kumomeme

      from beggining i may sound enough…but now it seems not…even devs also said that they quickly never get enough of memory resource…so even if sony put 16gb on ps4 it may run up quickly too
      if you see gdc presentation on various games like infamous you can see how fast memory are being filled up

      • Durian

        That’s just lazy programing, plus once the OS is more refined it will free up even more memory for game use.

        Initial memory footprint for the PS3 was 120MB but that was cut to 96MB and then to just 50MB. Compare that to the Xbox 360s 32Mb and Microsoft’s history with operating systems. Just goes to show how much of a difference all of that makes.

        Optimisations are what makes or breaks software, not hardware.

  • Natan Cifuentes

    On a side note dualshockers, can u try and fix ur main page for iPhone. It’s really buggy. Unless its just me, then I’ll shut up.

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      It’s not just you. Believe me or not, Someone VERY high up at Sony complained about it at Gamescom. I was just slightly embarrassed 😛

      Our webmaster is working on it.

      • pablocr7

        So, someone really important at sony likes your site, thats nice.

        • Durka Durka

          obviosuly why you think this site is called dualshockers and get all the sony news?

      • Durka Durka

        sony ties confirmed!!!

      • Thank you Coach @giuseppenelva:disqus sometime I check it from my iPad Air.

  • MetalSpartan

    Oh man I can’t wait for Uncharted 4 and Halo 5!

  • Jeff Maxwell

    The only real way to have unlimited amount of unique animation at the moe is if its procedurally generated I reckon. Just need to have the procedurally generated content at the same level of fidelity

    • Jecht_Sin

      You are very welcome to write down the needed algorithms.. Then once you are a billionaire don’t forget your internet buddies!! ^_^

  • Spoonyrogdrumps
  • Durka Durka

    obviously games graphics wise have become too complicated you need more time an bigger team to deliver a big jump on next gen consoles

  • Rower

    People be like I lost my xboner!

  • Russell Gorall

    Isn’t this the same company that thought the PS4 didn’t have an OS and they were filling up 8GB of memory.

  • d0x360

    I’ve always been glad naughty dog has pushed for animation quality and while I haven’t generally been a fan of their games other than last of us I can still appreciate the passion they put into every single one of their projects.

    Animation is critical to a great looking game. You can skimp in areas but if you have solid animation it can make a world of difference. By today’s standards its nothing special but the first modern game to really blow my mind was splinter cell. They did some pretty impressive stuff back in the day and ever since then I’ve been a fan of animation and the tech that drives it

  • PrinceHeir


  • Jamal


  • Fersay Ferrera

    I am waiting for the las of us 2. Can you imagine??

  • Failz

    Funny this was a launch game on the XB1.

    • superkarma

      It sure was. Just a shame it barely got any sales and is sitting at a metacritic score of 60. Then again, that’s what generally happens to games with lackluster gameplay.

      But hey, at least you get to brag about graphics from a 3rd party developer…who couldn’t even afford to pay their employees.

      • Kumomeme

        funny surely this game can run better on ps4(not mention high end pc)
        didnt you know they even downgraded few things like poly and other stuff to make it barely running on 900p

        • Failz

          Funny UC4 will run better on PC.

          • superkarma

            How can it run better on PC…if it’s never coming out on PC? Use your brain, troll.

          • Failz

            Lol woah are you serious? Basic peasant thinking as usual.

      • Failz

        Nice try going off topic peasant. The UC4 screenshot is nothing new since RYSE looks nearly as good and is a launch title.
        Look at Knack, it sits on a metascore at 54 lol and the sad truth is that game was made by Sony.

        • Durian

          Hey dumdum, he was defending the game so way to be a stupid prepubescent fanboy…

          Get both systems, tell mummy and daddy.

          • Failz

            Hey sweetheart my PC is worth more then all three of your childish toys. Deal with it.

          • Durian


            Unless you also have a PC with a GTX 780 ti, Core I7 4770 and 16 GB of ram as well as an Xbone, PS4 and Wii U I very much doubt that.

            Yes, my E’penis is pretty damn big…. I work for a living, you know, earn money.

          • Failz

            I dont need baby toys to do my gaming. Have fun paying for all those subscriptions. Once a peasant always a peasant.

          • Durian

            Cool Story, bro.

            I don’t think you even own a gaming computer because if you did you’d know there are no subscriptions involved. Just a silly Xbox fanboy with nothing better to do hehe.

            Online is free on PC…’re basically mad bro 🙁

          • Failz

            Thanks for showing your PC intelligence. PC have subscriptions guess you never heard of World of Warcraft and EvE online etc. Nice job, now go back to playing downgraded games on your console games.

          • Durian

            Lol both are free, you really are mad bro…..

            Poor people make me feel sorry for them.

          • They Call Me Senpai

            Cool story, bro.

        • Orichalon Hades

          sheesh, stop upvoting your self, your desperation for attention can even be smelled over my monitor.
          I swear, its the smell of Mountain Dew and Doritos.

        • superkarma

          Going off topic? You’re in a Naughty Dog article posting an image of Ryse…lol. Now you’re talking about Knack. I’m sorry that my post upset you so much 🙁

          • Failz

            Lol clearly you have nothing else to argue the fact that the pic of Ryse looks as good as the pic of UC4, so you bring up gameplay? Lol this article is about visuals not gameplay hense the title. Now Knack was made by big inhouse sony devs where as Lococycle is a low budget game made by a poor team. See the differences?
            Good luck with school because you need it.

      • Durian

        Microsoft funded ryse and forced them to make it into a full blown game after it was originally pitched as a Kinect only title.

        That had nothing to do with their profits, the game sucked and it deserved the sales it got for that reason alone.

    • justpassingthrough

      This guy is clearly is a internett troll heck his profile picture should have at least tipped you off.

      troll successful and it only took one picture-.-

      that said, good graphics and bad gameplay does not make a good game

  • orangpelupa

    and Ubisoft can use this Naughty Dog interview to justify the decision to not include female haracter in ACU. It take time and resource to do animation.

    • Orichalon Hades

      seriously though, Gamedev need to ignore the SJW that screams for stuff that they have no idea about.

      Making an unique model + skeleton + texture + animation is hard work AND cost money

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