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Thread: 'Games can't get much more real looking', or can they?

  1. #1
    Expert daydreamer SkylineObsession's Avatar
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    Question 'Games can't get much more real looking', or can they?

    Just a random thought i had when watching a vid of GT Sport cars drive through real locations in Scapes mode on YouTube just now (since we pretty much can't play the bloody thing with the servers down...).

    I honestly think it'll be possible to create an engine (for PS5/PS6/Xbox equivalents) that can develop real photos taken in 3D (taken while driving slowly in a moving vehicle with heaps of cameras pointed at all sorts of angles) into a 3D polygonal 'world' that you can then drive etc around in a videogame.

    So basically you are driving a virtual car (or maybe that can be realphotoised and polygonated too?) on a videogame polygonned track composed of real photos, not graphics.

    Would require damn powerful engines/consoles etc probably (for a racing game) and some things will likely have to be fixed up that the cameras couldn't quite get accurate, but it could maybe save a lot of time creation wise? But eat a lot of room file size wise.

    I mean, we have these point and click type games etc that are very realistic looking, so anything is possible.

    Thoughts? Do you kinda see where i'm coming from? Nothing really seems to be off the table anymore, think back to 20 years ago and the things we thought were impossible back then are reality now (like games looking better than the FMV clips etc).

  2. #2
    Dead Brand Ambassador dodint's Avatar
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    Not sure if it's a analogous, but flight sims have been overlaying satellite imagery on top of detailed topography data for a while to create photo realistic terrain.

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    Recreational Gynecologist MR2 Fan's Avatar
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    Well, I mean it sounds like doing 2 things which are already done pretty often in video games, scanning 3D objects and capturing the actual textures/colors for texture mapping.

    Otherwise games sometimes use a 360 degree cloud map for backgrounds where they just wrap around an existing cloud panorama
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  4. #4
    Junior Potato
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    Skyline, what youíre talking about is photogrammetry, which is used extensively by DICE in the Battlefield/Battlefront games. It produces tremendous results.

    However it has to be cleaned up by hand, otherwise itís a janky mess. I couldnít begin to imagine the difficulty of building entire worlds if someone drove around Google Street View style and let a computer figure it out all by itself. We are heading that way, and machine learning algorithms are probably already being developed that can map out entire road networks in 3D, but itís not up to the standard required by a racing sim.

    At the moment the gold standard is having laser scanned locations coupled with high quality photography to create game environments. Plenty of human input is involved, and they look great in VR.

  5. #5
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    All I can think is, "I thought this same thing when Skyrim came out." It's really rare that I see a screenshot where I truly can't tell if it's real or rendered. I think we're still a good 10-20 years out before we get to true photorealism. In the meantime, there's this pesky uncanny valley we're close to. Racing sims are easier to pull off than anything involving people, so I'm not shocked we're a lot closer on that front. For racing sims, I think we're at that point where the secondary stuff is the issue. Forza 7 looks brilliant, right up until it shows you crossing the line in slow-mo in the rain and those weird snowflake rain spray things go slowly rotating through the air.

  6. #6
    Recreational Gynecologist MR2 Fan's Avatar
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    In some ways we're close. Humans will always be the most difficult thing.

    The Unreal 4 engine is mind-blowingly good though, as long as the console/PC game has the power to render it at full power:

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  7. #7
    Senior Member animalica's Avatar
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    How could graphics get ever more realistic than this?



    Or facial animations?



    Or games that were like movies with amazing graphics like in SPR?


  8. #8
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    Trouble is the closer we get to photo realism the more things stand out that aren't quite right. We're also getting close to the limit of how far existing silicon transistor processes can be shrunk, which is what gives us more powerful systems. Still, I never cease to be amazed with what they can drag out of the current consoles. I think if the next round of consoles are based on 7nm technology utilising the latest and greatest from AMD/Nvidia/Intel we'll be in for something truly spectacular, especially given the fact there won't be any higher resolutions to chase (taking 4K as todays baseline given the Pro/1X).

  9. #9
    Recreational Gynecologist MR2 Fan's Avatar
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    somewhat related, discusses laser-scanned tracks:


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