Rotoscoping in Prince of Persia

This afternoon I was reading about rotoscoping. Rotoscoping is a technique where an artist takes a filmed movie and animates a drawn (cartoon) character frame by frame. The end result is highly realistic. The technique was first used in 1915’s with an ink cartoon called Out of the Inkwell and has been used in many cartoons since.

But what about video games?

It turns out that Prince of Persia was the first computer game to use rotoscoping. That game brings back a lot of good memories to me, and probably everybody my age.

After a quick search I found this little gem of a video:
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The person in the video is David Mechner. He is the younger brother of Jordan Mechner, the creator of Prince of Persia.
Jordan used the clips shown above to rotoscope the movements of the main character in the game.

I had never realised why I loved Prince of Persia so much in my youth. But now I think it is probably because of rotoscopy! The animations are so realistic and life like, it has brought a whole new level of realism into video games.

Here is another video of Jordan, showing even more rotoscoping in Prince of Persia:
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And the icing on the cake, a video about rotoscoping in Mortal Kombat 1:
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