Cortana's voice actor Jen Taylor 'shed tears' during Halo Infinite's emotional moments

Master Chief and Cortana, standing side by side
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Halo Infinite brought an emotional end to Master Chief's current storyline last year, but it turns out it wasn't just fans who were moved by the game's narrative.  

In an exclusive interview with TechRadar Gaming, we spoke to several staff members at CounterPunch - a Virtuos Studio. For the unfamiliar, CounterPunch worked as a support studio alongside 343 Industries during Halo Infinite's development, stepping in to help on the game once motion capture and cinematic development were finished. 

Asking if CounterPunch had any development insights they could share, the team's animation supervisor Kyle Renteria shared a small tidbit about Jen Taylor, who is best known for portraying Cortana, The Weapon, and Dr. Halsey. 

Renteria explained how Halo Infinite's actors, including Taylor, put everything into their performances.

"Something fascinating to us that Halo fans may not be aware of is just how much the actors put into their roles. Jen Taylor, for example, would shed tears during some of the more emotional moments," said Renteria.

Lead animator Mason Gardner also shared that team wanted to ensure those powerful moments were portrayed effectively in-game. "We did our best to really try to capture their performances and translate them into the characters," said Gardner.

The Pilot, looking at a projection of Cortana

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Emotionally charged

Speaking further with Gardner and Renteria, we asked what technology CounterPunch used to convey The Pilot's convincing facial expressions, who is arguably one of the most emotive characters in the game. 

"The Pilot was one of our favorite characters to work on! He was such an expressive character. This gave us a good range of emotions to play with," said Gardner "Our company is highly skilled in FACS (Facial Acting Coding System) based facial animation and this core background competency allowed us to really understand the movement of the face."

"Since the rigging of the character used a FACS-based rigging system, we were able to create realistic movements and expressions that helped us gain realistic and believable performances," Renteria explained. 

The team shared some great insights into the technical process behind Halo Infinite's cinematics with TechRadar Gaming, so be sure to keep an eye out for further details. We'll be bringing you our full interview with CounterPunch soon.

Henry Stockdale

Henry is a freelance writer based in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. When he's not wandering in VR or burning through his RPG backlog, he's probably planning his next D&D session.

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