Epic Games Pushes Graphics Fidelity With Photorealistic Character Model

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lun471k

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I can definitely tell that when you have the power to run a game at Ultra, the gaming experience becomes way better (in my opinion) than at Very Low.

I played PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds at Ultra and now I'm stuck at very low because of foliage issues (early access game) and I miss playing at Ultra settings a lot. That kind of research is not only good for regular games, but if photorealistic VR comes sooner, the experience will be even more stunning.

I love when things are beautiful and detailed, especially since I spent money on hardware to play games with better graphics in the first place.
 

dstarr3

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Yeah, but a bad game is still a bad game, no matter how good it looks. I'll take a good ugly game over a bad pretty game any day of the week.
 

clonazepam

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The Surge might be the latest entry in this category. If you can't animate, write, voice, or program accurate hitboxes, only the suckers will fall for a "pretty" face.
 

Anoraki

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Game devs really need to lean closer to being dynamic rather than photorealistic. The game doesn't have to look like real life to look good. Dynamic blood flows, bone physics, and destruction is a must.
 

clonazepam

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You missed the most important part of dynamic. Dynamic light and shadows can be enough for stick figures to come to life.
 

RomeoReject

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You're treating it as though a game can either be pretty, or good. They're not mutually exclusive points. There is absolutely no downside to this, DStarr. If someone is aiming for a somewhat realistic-looking game, why not make it look as good as possible? There's few things more immersion-breaking than when your brain realizes it's looking at something fake (See: Mass Effect Andromeda).
 

Somasonic

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Photorealism isn't going to suit all games or be some holy grail that will make all games look good. Artistic style counts for a lot, and I'd rather see a lot of stylistically interesting games than fully realistic ones. Also I'm not sure I'm keen on photo-realistic violence and gore (but can handle it easily in the style of e.g. Doom).
 

kcarbotte

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From a technical standpoint, photorealism is still the holy grail of graphics fidelity. That's not to say that every game should use such technology.
 

Nicolii

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Just so you know, being able to render photo-realism in real-time is the holy grail. Not only because it enables you to be immersed into a world's atmosphere (Metro 2033) but because rendering highly stylistic worlds (like any of Pixar's movies) requires a rendering engine as robust and powerful as a photo-real one.

Pixar's rendering engine is basically a photo-real rendering engine just taken to extremes in color and proportions. Having an engine that can do things like that opens up the door to more styles, not close it.
 

dstarr3

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Just so you know, graphics don't do anything to improve the quality of a game. You want to talk immersion, I played Half-Life for the first time a few years ago, felt totally immersed. I just played Turok since it just came out on Steam, totally immersed in that, too. Immersion has nothing to do with photo-realism. It has everything to do with building a cohesive world of coherent systems using an engaging art style. And while "photo-realism" is an art style, it's only one art style, and possibly the least interesting one.
 

Nicolii

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Graphics can improve the quality of the game by improving the detail that the world expresses to you. Half life 2, with it's limited poly and texture budget struggles to tell you the same story in fine detail that Last of Us can express to you. I can concede that graphics isn't essential to pulling you into a game world, but it is complementary. So to say that graphics "don't do anything" to the game is simply not true.

Tell me that you can go through Metro 2033 on the lowest settings and be sucked into the atmosphere of that game as much as playing it on the highest settings. Yes you would still have the same gameplay and story, but that game isn't just about the gameplay and story, it's about the world around you and the small details expressed in the carefully placed lights and shadows the textures on the walls and floors, the grime on the character's skin. The texture on the surfaces tell a story that are lost on the lowest settings would leave an experience lesser than the highest quality.
 

Tech_TTT

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Game makers need to understand that many dont want realistic Graphics ... we want a GAME a TOY , and games Graphics should not be realistic. If I wanted to watch a movie I will go and watch a movie ..

When I game , I need something unrealistic ... little players , Funny players , aliens , Space ships , I dont want to see a true face to enjoy a game. use the GPU power wisely , dont waste it on stupid face ... put it on weather , real winds , and moving objects.
 

Nicolii

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If you want a game or a toy exclusively for gameplay than get a board game or a toy. Games are not just gameplay, games are not just toys, nor should they be treated as such, and thankfully by law in the US they are in the means as that they are art, not toys. The expectation for a game to be just a game that is essentially for all intents and purposes, a digital board game.
Board games express concepts by abstract means. A person being a boot, car, hat is still considered a person in the game of monopoly, that being a game in which having a human model would not add to the experience of the game. Video games by comparison can do the same, no doubting that but they are not just that.

You gave the example of Half-Life 2, try playing through HL2 with the same emotional connect as you did to Alex and dog if they were represented as a mere triangle. Now tell me that you would have the same experience if that were the case, where the world was represented in graphics capable on a PC from 92. There wouldn't be the same connection to the characters, to the world.

Games are not isolated in gameplay, they are an amalgamation of many expressions of art. We have narrative expressed through both written and spoken means. Sounds that enhance the locality of the world and inform the player of what is happening around them as well as enforce what a set of polygons are (metal sounds like metal, gravel like gravel, etc). We have music to evict an emotional response from the player. We have feedback of how some games have guns that "feel" good without any physical feedback what-so-ever. And we have graphics, granted graphics is a broad concept, but let us break it down.

One thing I will mention before I continue, is that you are falling into the trap of only seeing all games as 'games' and not art. Games/toys are for fun, art does not concede that concept nor does it have to have it, art's main purpose is to elicit emotion. Each facet of games can do this independently of each other (Story, sounds, music, pictures, gameplay) but games are a combination of gameplay plus story, sounds, music, and/or pictures. If you have never felt happy, sad, angry, irritated, bored, excited, enthusiastic, etc; whilst playing a game then games have failed, but I highly doubt that would be the case.

Now continuing on with graphics. You can break graphics down to two things; we have artistic direction and we have realism. Now both artistic direction and realism are not exclusive, they can exist extremely well together, and must exist mind you, for a game to make a cohesive realistic environment (Naughty Dog's The Last of Us), but you don't need realism either for a great art direction (Playdead's Inside).

Now both of these will eek an emotional response out of you, Naughty Dog's choice for a realistically orientated art direction immerses the player into the world as one that can exist and gives means for players to more easily to do so. Realistic graphics can give a sense of beauty and wonder of which we can relate real life experiences to, I'm sure we can all attribute the rising sun over the top of a lush field of foliage to a certain emotional response, just as a beaten down alley-was can do the same; this connection to real life helps the player immerse themselves into the world be it for beauty (Uncharted) or dread (The Last of Us).

A highly detailed environment can express more story than one with no detail, that story will again, elicit an emotional response, a cumbling ceiling with mold surrounding it and the insulation coming through tells a story, the more realistic that is the less effort the player has to interpret what those details are which in turn creates a more pleasant experience for the player again eliciting a certain emotional response.

Playdead wanted the world to emit misery and submission with it's muted colour palette with no expression individuality to any individual item in the world and anybody's faces taking the personality away from people, removing their humanity. Doing this in a realistic game would be extraordinarily eerie and make the player immensely uncomfortable as being humans, a distorted face (of lack thereof) will do that to us. But Playdead didn't want that, they wanted to remove the emotion of other people in there, making the player view other people more as objects than people.

But even still you are saying "graphics don't do anything to improve the quality of a game" and this game has pretty advanced graphical techniques in it. If that were the case, you should be able to play this game with plain colourless boxes and plain colourless environments to acheive the same end goal of enjoying the game in the same way, and to that I would say that you are simply wrong.

Going realistic doesn't remove the choices we can make artistically, if graphics don't matter to you then why do any visuals matter to you? If you want a story why not just read a book and never read comics or watch a movie. That is because the visuals of a comic add the the experience and inform you of things the writing doesn't, it also makes reading the environment and emotional state of the character pleasantly easy or irritatingly difficult, both can be intentional and both elicit an emotional response. To take that even further, films add sounds and music to those visuals, giving guns a satisfying 'pop' and explosions a rumble all add to the experience.

I will finish reminding you that games are an art, not a toy.

(I know that ended rather abruptly but I was getting hungry)

*Edited for readability
 

Nicolii

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I will add that calculation for weather, winds and moving objects (animation and physics) are all CPU bound. Yes physics can be GPU (PhysX), but doing so creates a horrible approximation in comparison to what CPUs can achieve.
 

Tech_TTT

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I never said calculation , I meant drawing them ... the more objects moving around the more GPU power you need to move them at good fps.

After you reach the whole world moving at good fps , like trees , rain , water , reflections , fog , grass , smoke , flowers , birds , wind and its impact on every particle , After that start wasting GPU power on realistic Character look ... no one would care to zoom in while playing. wasted polygons on people faces , that adds nothing ZERO to the game play.
 

JakeWearingKhakis

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I think that's the old Twinblast character model (before the chin revision?) from Paragon.

Paragon is a MOBA that uses insanely detailed character models that pull you into the game. I still spend a lot of time in the menus staring at the heroes. Beautiful game, fun as hell.
 

dstarr3

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Play Thomas Was Alone.
 

Rheotome

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Many years ago I predicted the eventual digital recreation of deceased Classic actors. We are almost there, I'd say. This will allow NEW movies of deceased actors to be created, and mixed and match with current stars. Let's see---James Dean with Amy Adams ??? Humphrey Bogart with Nicole Kidman ??. etc, etc.
 

Nicolii

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Without calculation on have static objects. I don't think you understand how "more objects moving around" effects computers.



I have, great game, but nowhere in there is an Alyx type helping you through smiling, gesturing, etc giving you a human connection. And nowhere in there can you have Ravenholm.
 

Tech_TTT

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Where did I say there is no calculation ? read again .

by the way , you contradict yourself , even static objects , the more you have the slower your fps will be ... so you have null argument here.

drawing them and filling the polygons ? and showing them move following the calculations is the card Job.

 

Nicolii

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You're not seeing the hurdle that your argument is constrained by. 3d real-time graphics are not isolated on the GPU, the CPU is the bottleneck, this is why DX12 and Vulkan are so necessary for the future of games and what they are capable of.

For a GPU to display something it must always pass through the CPU first. Even the 3d creation programs. For example, I use Modo, it handles 1 object (one object can contain any 3d shape separate from each other and any number of polygons) with huge polygon counts very well, however it's a program of which its performance is killed when I have a large amount of separate objects, even if each of those only contain 1 polygon; this is the same for any real-time graphic display engine.

This is because of draw calls, any time the GPU wants to display any 3d object (again, polygon groups don't have to connect to be the same object, [check of how foliage is a special component within game engines]) it must go through the CPU as a draw call. A draw call is not the same as an instance however so do not mistake it for one. An instance is getting the data of that 3d object (the polygons, textures, shader calculations) and storing it in RAM, once; this is way it is possible to have a field full of grass and not be using a stupendous amount of RAM.

It would be amazing if we didn't have the CPU bottle-necking what is possible, but this is the way the world is. In the mean time, the GPU can be put to better use.
 
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