Thursday, October 13, 2016

3D Animation on the Big Screen (Vs. the Little Screen)

A video game technical designer answers the question: How far ahead are movies compared to video games in terms of graphics?.

... Nearly every graphics innovation that has been developed for games was first developed in support of filmmaking many years prior. The reason for this is, well, film doesn’t have to render in real-time and video games do. You can spend an entire day rendering out just a shot for a film, and then when it’s rendered and composited it’s done and you never need to render it again. Therefore, film can pull out as many stops as it likes...

If you’re looking for an exact number of years that film is ahead of games by, it’s very hard to say, because somewhere behind closed doors there’s film technology that you and I don’t know about. But to give you an idea, the technologies I list ... were definitely available at least ten years ago and have yet to be reliably or commonly integrated into games.

It’s a pretty safe bet that Disney’s fur rendering system for Zootopia is probably going to be out of reach for game developers for a very, very long time. ...

On the other hand, the sophistication of lighting, surfacing and animation in standard-issue video games continues to get better and better. So there is a trickle down effect.


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