Kojima Productions Is Experimenting With Live-Action Lighting Techniques For Death Stranding 2

Death Stranding 2 is coming, but it might not be here for a while. Teased mercilessly in the lead-up to The Game Awards last year, the reveal trailer offered a confusing look at the world of Death Stranding following the events of the first game. We saw baby Lou, old Sam, and much more of Fragile than anyone expected. Hideo Kojima has confirmed that Fragile will play a "significant role" in the upcoming sequel, while newcomers Elle Fanning and Shioli Kutsuna have yet to have their roles revealed.

But even though we don't know who she'll be playing, we know that Kutsuna is still heavily involved in the making of Death Stranding 2. In a series of tweets posted earlier today, Kutsuna stars in a sequence of images that Kojima explained are part of "live-action lighting" experiments.

"Since our staff have only experienced lighting within a CG environment, we had a lighting director demonstrate the basics of live-action lighting in order to familiarize them with this technique," wrote Kojima. "From here, we can use this as reference to think about how we can reproduce the same picture on a real-time game engine."

But why is Kutsuna the center of these lighting tests? According to Kojima, who made the same point in his most recent Brain Structure podcast episode, it's "difficult to properly express" Asian skin tone and hair color.

"The look of Shioli in 'DS2' is a challenge for us," Kojima added. "We will be using new techniques that were not used in the previous game, but we must first go back to the basics of visuals and start experimenting."

Experimenting involves various poses, multiple angles, and quite a few different lighting scenarios that vary in brightness, color, and contrast. Kutsuna’s Armani outfits might also provide us with a clue about her character in Death Stranding 2.

Death Stranding 2 doesn’t have a release date, but speculation has it arriving sometime in 2024.

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