During a livestream on Twitch, Naughty Dog Lead Animator Eric Baldwin talked about the use of performance capture for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.
According to Baldwin, moving to keyframe animation for faces to performance capture doesn’t make the job easier, but it just allows the team to improve the quality overall.
The team does a lot of cleanup work on the captured animations, and at times that changes the performance. Similarily to body motion capture, performance capture gives a great baseline, allowing the team to focus all their efforts on “just making the animations sing.”
The first demonstration of that is in the teaser trailer with Drake walking up on the river bank. They spend as much time as they did before, but the quality is much “that much better.”
Writer Josh Scherr also mentioned that the animation team is “really taking it to the next level.”