A YouTuber is using camera techniques to reveal what some of the biggest games could look like as animated miniature worlds. Take Flurdeh’s recent video showcasing Red Dead Redemption 2 (below). What was once Rockstar Games’ visually detailed Western game now looks like a sprawling tabletop with small models of old towns and trains, with townspeople waddling around as if in stop-motion animation.
Kevin ‘Flurdeh’ Hensen tells me the idea for the video series came back in 2015 when he discovered tilt-shift photography on a website, featuring real buildings, cars and toy-like people. The technique involves using camera movements that change the orientation or position of the lens relative to the image sensor. Although tilt-shift photography appealed to Hansen, it was not very accessible.
“A real tilt-and-shift lens was too expensive for me, but around the same time I got into virtual photography in-game, so I tried to simulate it with screenshots,” he told me. “They didn’t look good at first, so I spent time trying different techniques over the years. Eventually I started making videos, and when it came to trying again, I was like ‘why not try it as a video instead?’
Hansen then created tilt-shift videos of Cyberpunk 2077, Skyrim, and more, allowing him to distill the formula down to polished art while adding more flourishes. Some of the healthiest parts of YouTuber videos are low frame rate shots that make video game characters look like stop motion animation characters.
For Hansen, however, some of the most valuable tools are mods. The YouTuber explains that he has to move the camera freely without time being interrupted, which is not always possible with the basic photo modes.
“Most of the camera mods I use are from Francois Bouma,” he says. “There are a lot more very skilled modders making these camera mods, but he’s created so many of them, and without him most of my videos wouldn’t have existed.”
Hansen also has other types of videos you can check out. The “The Beauty Of” series is more about appreciating the video game landscape for what it is. If you want to know more about Hansen’s work, you can find his YouTube channel at the link.
Image credit: YouTube / Flurdeh