Sexy women and men in hats

What’s so great about the 1947? Most of the world was still in tatters after the war and the mood of the nation barely surpassed glum. Thank god for the attractive folk to raise spirits. Professional costume designer Wendy Cork was brought on board L.A. Noire‘s development schedule to take care of the multitude of extras in the game as well as the principle wardrobe. “It was such a glamorous period for clothes… Sexy women and men in hats,” said Cork though her jubilations were stifled slightly by the sheer amount of them “It was a cast of bloody hundreds! The costume needs just kept growing and growing as the cases grew more elaborate and interwoven, but it really makes all the difference having all these different characters in the game world.” Any gamer who dabbles in the open-world genre knows how jarring to the experience a repetitive NPC roster can be. Even more so when they’re repeating the same animations. If Wendy Cork and Team Bondi have been able to eradicate any hint of this in L.A. Noire, they’re work will be greatly appreciated!

Left: Starting from original sketches done in vintage style, and a collection of fabric swatches; Middle: Erika Heynatz as Elsa Lichtman, meticulously styled for the original photo shoot; Right: The finished product - Elsa in-game

See all the notes on the game’s costume design after the break.

Costume Design

“It was such a glamorous period for clothes… Sexy women and men in hats.”

In the early days of prep, Team Bondi hired professional film and TV Costume Designer, Wendy Cork to design the principal wardrobe and start to piece together additional reference material that Wood and the team would later use for designing the remaining cast.

Says Wood: “It was a cast of bloody hundreds! The costume needs just kept growing and growing as the cases grew more elaborate and interwoven, but it really makes all the difference having all these different characters in the game world.”

The principal costumes by Ms. Cork and her team were scanned by Team Bondi in full body 3D scanners, giving them incredibly high resolution models to simulate the texture and fabric in detail. While some costumes were able to be sourced locally in Sydney (including some wardrobe previously used in Peter Jackson’s “King Kong” remake), the bulk were sourced in L.A. “We got them from the biggest costume house in the business, Western Costume in LA. They’ve dressed ‘Gone with the Wind’, ‘The Godfather’, ‘L.A. Confidential’, ‘Chinatown’. Pretty much every film you’ve ever seen. If you spread out their costume warehouse end to end, it would run for 12 miles.”

Bondi scanned and photographed a massive variety of clothes so they could have 3D models to shader swap and merge together to dress all of L.A. “If you think about all the people you’d expect to see in just one bar: patrons, barmen, waitresses – and then times that by over 140 locations – and then on top of that figure all the pedestrians walking around the city – the costume need is very high and the character team have really created some wonderful and diverse outfits to suit them with.”

From original concept sketches done in a vintage style faithful to the period, to the gathering of reference fabrics, to the styling of wardrobe for each character in every scene, to detailed photo shoots, through to their digital recreation in the game – everyone you meet in the game is dressed in a style true to their character and completely authentic to the period.

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One thought on “Sexy women and men in hats

  1. Pingback: Props to the designer « Back For Two Seconds

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