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L.A. Noire: Reference Photography Jackpot

Back in the 1920's a man called Robert Spence decided to lean out of a bi-plane over L.A. and take what would be, over 80 years later, used as reference photography for the game of the moment; L.A. Noire. Spence's photos, currently under the care of the UCLA Department of Geography, were used by Australian developers Team Bondi to create the authentic City of Angels circa 1940. It's easy to just jump on Google Earth and get the outline of a modern city like L.A. but satellite photography misses on one point; lack of perspective.

"During the roaring twenties," writes Air and Space, "Los Angeles bigshots hired Robert Earl Spence to take aerial photographs of their homes, paying $10 a picture."

These photographs were a goldmine for Rockstar - accurately depicting a booming City of Angels in it's prime; the road usage, traffic patterns, construction practices and many other factors that aren't accurately preserved elsewhere.

Head on over to the L.A. Noire discussion thread and let us know what you think of the game. The general consensus leans strongly towards 'awesome'. What do you guys think about the value of reference photography like this?


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