Alejandro Bielsa, character technical artist on Fable at Playground Games, has developed a mod for The Last of Us Part II that swaps Ellie’s face with that of actress Bella Ramsey’s, who is playing the character in HBO Max’s soon-to-be-released TV adaptation of Naughty Dog’s game. According to a video (with major spoilers) shared through the Speclizer channel, the work looks pretty convincing, although there are some problems, such as lip deformations, as indicated by Bielsa. The mod was developed in collaboration with @smasher248.
“To explain a little bit what’s going on in here, we were able to modify the “neutral” shape of Ellie’s face to a sculpt I did of Bella’s likeness, but we can’t modify the different expressions she makes, so that’s why Ellie’s likeness seeps through when she’s emoting,” Bielsa explained in a pinned post.
“It also leads to some weird deformations around her lips that we can do nothing about, at least for now. It works the best when her performance is a bit more nuanced and close to her neutral pose, or when she’s angry or screaming as it disguises the issues around the model’s lips. Personally, I feel like it is a bit of shame that some expressions don’t hold up together as much, but when it works she looks amazing (see: 0:32, 1:15, 1:20, 1:23, 1:43, 1:56, 2:19, 2:24, 3:24, 3:32, etc.).”
The Last of Us will premiere on HBO and HBO Max on Sunday, January 15, 2022, at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. Ramsey is best known for her role as Lyanna Mormont in Game of Thrones, while Pedro Pascal, whose recent projects include a new season of The Mandalorian, stars as Joel Miller.