Behind the Scenes in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City’s “The Lab” (Part 1: Animation)

Posted on December 18 2012, 11:37am | Author: R* Y | Filed Under: Rockstar, Games

Here’s a special treat from the archives. Nearly ten years ago, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was honored by London’s Design Museum as an annual design award nominee recognizing the ‘biggest contribution to design in 2002’ alongside such other newfangled technology as Apple’s iPod. Part of the award festivities included a special installation at the museum for which we produced an exclusive set of interactive kiosks to give visitors a glimpse of how Vice City was created – specifically focused on the game’s Animation, Sound, and City Design architecture. In honor of Vice City's 10th anniversary and release for Android and iOS, we’ve dug up the original files from this digital display not seen since the original museum exhibition and for the first time are publishing the entire three-part series online – starting with today’s Animation chapter seen above. Enjoy rare footage and sketches including:

  • “Motion Capture”- a rare video showing a cutscene between Kent Paul and Tommy Vercetti going from motion-capture through to 3D model wireframe to finished product.
  • “Sketch Book” - a progression of original character sketches through to final models and now-iconic illustrations of such folks as Lance Vance, Avery Carrington, Ken Rosenberg and more. 
  • “Tommy Moves”- a set of clips showing the genesis of Tommy’s animations whether jumping into a Comet sports car, dive kicking a biker off his chopper or running with a chainsaw...

Embed code is provided below for anyone who’d like to re-post – and be on the lookout for Parts Two and Three quite soon.



  • jhoedepietroon January 23 2016, 5:15pmReplyFlag
    Rocktar GTA V dlc story mode in vice city and liberty city
    I love your games and you Rockstar
    • TokeTokin231on November 23 2013, 6:25pmReplyFlag
      If there was an actual physical book I could buy of these sketches like how there was for GTA 4 collectors edition, I would in a heartbeat!! Good stuff R*
      • lightnight08on December 27 2012, 8:41pmReplyFlag
        It's been so cool to play this game once again. It is still in my top 10 favorite all time games!
        • Jacken_liveon December 25 2012, 3:09amReplyFlag
          Thanks for sharing these! I with I'll be able to have some lithograph or poster dedicated to VC anniversary. I only have poster map that came with game but it's not the same. Can you make at least super limited edition of vc lithographs? I love the ones that came with GTA 3 anniversary. Probably would buy them all if I had a bigger house:)
          • Best_Player573on December 24 2012, 7:10amReplyFlag
            GTA Vice City PC Top game player Winer;s Name list
          • Brian-Johnsonon December 21 2012, 2:52pmReplyFlag
            Rockstar, I love you guys man, everytime a new GTA game or non-GTA game releases i get an itch in my heart. I love you guys and Happy Holidays.
            • R* Yon December 21 2012, 7:06pmReplyFlag
              @Brian-Johnson We appreciate the love. Same to you, your family, friends and all of our fans.
            • lionskateron July 15 2015, 10:52amReplyFlag
              @ rockstar the orignal face of tommy is Inappropriate
          • WhoisDreon December 21 2012, 2:42pmReplyFlag
            i got it thank u!
            • pariah87on December 20 2012, 9:33pmReplyFlag
              Can't wait for part 3! I love this kind of stuff
              • R* Yon December 21 2012, 7:07pmReplyFlag
                @pariah87 That's not too far off. Part 3 will cover City Design.
            • GTA_Italiaon December 20 2012, 5:09pmReplyFlag
              I think that's normal Rockstar doesn't say nothing about GTA V... They said it's a big project, so it takes time to create it and I perfectly understand if they say soon and isn't so... I can wait all the time of universe and I agree with R* for "we want informations 100% true". I think so...
              • naties51on December 20 2012, 4:14pmReplyFlag
                Wow this was cool to see, I have always wondered how R* develops their games behind the scenes without giving away too many secrets of course. Motion capture was my favorite part.
                • SSG_WARRIORon December 20 2012, 2:19amReplyFlag
                  Wow R* in "Bike K.O." Tommy's move, that was a dragon kick!
                  • SSG_WARRIORon December 20 2012, 2:14amReplyFlag
                    That is what i call REAL TALENTED GAME DEVELOPERS, R* this are amazing artworks and thanks for sharing!
                    • R* Kon December 20 2012, 6:11amReplyFlag
                      @SSG_WARRIOR Cheers for the vote of confidence. Look out for parts 2 and 3 quite soon.
                  • Markasbuttonon December 19 2012, 9:36pmReplyFlag
                    thats the coolest thing ,makes me want to be a game designer
                    • ADHDBENon December 19 2012, 4:42pmReplyFlag
                      When will the exclusive content be available ? And what will it be ?
                      • R* Aon December 20 2012, 1:01pmReplyFlag
                        @ADHDBEN Not sure what you mean. The Flash interactive piece above was originally and exclusively produced for the London Design Museum, above we've published it for you all to enjoy. Parts 2 and 3 are coming soon. Hit us at if you have any further questions for us. Thank you.
                    • WhoisDreon December 19 2012, 1:13pmReplyFlag
                      Rockstar will you be uploading these on youtube? i can't play em.
                      • R* Yon December 19 2012, 4:21pmReplyFlag
                        @WhoisDre Some fans have already made them available on YouTube, but you should be able to view this while on a desktop or laptop computer, or on some select mobile devices that support Flash. Let us know if you need any help.
                    • sublime90on December 19 2012, 11:42amReplyFlag
                      this is great i love seeing early concept art and basically any behind the scenes information. very much looking forward to more.
                      • mseveron December 19 2012, 11:21amReplyFlag
                        heyyy R*, u r making us forget the THE GIANT GTA V by posting this old GTA VC animation;
                        what about GTA V. what about it's new art work. what is the meaning of the word 'VERY SOON'
                        • R* Aon December 20 2012, 1:02pmReplyFlag
                          @msever Please be patient and stop trolling. Thank you.
                      • Bruciesautoson December 19 2012, 11:07amReplyFlag
                        Tommy looks like Tony Montana :P
                        • GM-Shenmueon December 19 2012, 9:15amReplyFlag
                          Great stuff vice city is my favorite gta i would like to see more behind the scenes stuff
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