A Look at the Possible Future of 3D Graphics: How More Real Than Real Can You Get?


Posts: 55   +46
I knew a programmer that use to tell me that the more complex something is the higher chance of it breaking. We can see this play out with Cyberpunk. It is taking almost 2 to 3 years of software patching and hardware upgrades to make it enjoyable.
The graphics will inevitably get better by default with time and become more efficient to run.
As far as cheating in games, this was around a decade ago and unfortunately will always be there.
Notice as rasterization becomes more efficient and easier to run Nvidia is pushing for RT and doubling down on it every generation. This is to make a new demand for it's hardware. It will take a few more generations or at least a decade to run rt games with trailer like graphics.
For some the ultra realism is an escape from reality to an alternative reality to trigger a euphoric response. Games with better gameplay than visuals trigger a similar response in terms of rewards when winning or solving complex problems and puzzles. Imo when the two come together with great gameplay and great visuals we have perfect harmony. That perfect harmony can be addicting to some/many who chase this feeling whether it be with superior gaming or visuals. In conclusion the visual quality of games will eventually plateau into ultra realism and as many agree shouldn't be a priority focal point and gameplay like you said is more important because by default graphics will eventually get better and better.

That's why I prefer developers like idSoftware, who say "it will release when its done, and its done when its done"


Posts: 302   +152
Gameplay is everything. Stunning visuals are the candy floss.

And more importantly stunning visuals start to fade the longer you play. I remember seeing the rolling and turbulent river a player sees as they are running down the first path in Skyrim. I had to stop and just marvel at how pretty (yes I said pretty) it was. And while not perfect when compared to today's standard the visuals in Skyrim were still pretty impressive overall. For the first few hours of game play that is. Afterwards it was secondary to the game play.

This happens with every game I've ever played. Once the "gee whiz" factor wears off, no matter how impressive I simple stop noticing. If video games were made of static images it might be different, but they're not and when you're actually playing a game you don't have the time to marvel at how great the visuals are.


Posts: 1,297   +950
Great article! Really enjoyed reading it.

The 'Barber Shop' render, taking nearly 10mins on a 2080 to render, is a sobering reminder though of just how far away we are from movie quality CGI in real time at high resolutions for games on PC GPUs. Even if we're only talking about 30fps, never mind 60 or 120.

With all the up-scaling trickery now being developed, We're still going to need RT performance hundreds / thousands of times faster than the current best.

I can't see that happening without serious amounts of extra hardware on the GPUs themselves, Dedicated multiple RT rendering cores like modern CPUs, seems like the only realistic way to do it.

..and that's just to render the current state of the art in movie CGI, which itself is getting ever more complex & realistic each year.

I looked at the high-res - image Barber shop - doesn't look real - the walls , the room itself lacks texture - ie featureless walls etc - this may have been a choice to show of everything else though


Posts: 744   +2,303
I looked at the high-res - image Barber shop - doesn't look real - the walls , the room itself lacks texture - ie featureless walls etc - this may have been a choice to show of everything else though

I was really referring to Pixar animation type CGI, which that render was using, rather than photo realistic.


Posts: 1,297   +950
I was really referring to Pixar animation type CGI, which that render was using, rather than photo realistic.
fair enough - given the rendering times of Pixar on serious dedicated hardware.
Human brains fill in gaps anyway - so the room is always a room - but for novel , alien created worlds - great graphics will be more impactful
Or biomes, time periods we are not knowledgeable on .

I have done a lot of travelling - the sounds and smells are just so more primary to our senses . However the quality of the light is paramount - that is why many nature photos are a celebration of the light . Take many winning photos - dull the light , the contrast , highlights, refection's, refractions, halos , edging etc and they look ordinary .

Smells and Sounds will most likely trigger old memories .
Maybe a lighting effect will trigger Deja Vu


Posts: 18   +1
Apart from textures and polygon count games are primitive as they were 20 years ago. The physics are so outdated that I have stopped enjoy gaming long time ago. Fps shooters are the worst...games like Soldier of Fortune or Red Faction were revolutionary at the time. What do we have today? You throw an grenade in any game and there is no single damage to the concrete etc.
Graphics are fine in todays games....the physics need to catch up to be more realistic!
I'm no developer but I have a basic understanding of game dev and why you don't see certain things in modern games.

While you are correct, unfortunately this is one of the major hardware limitations of modern games that we have yet to catch up on. Fully dynamic destruction of complex polygons with complex collision physics is still a pipe dream. We would need a massive increase in CPU power in order to make that reality happen.

Until then no developer is going to spend years and spend a fortune to translate that level of interactivity into something that could fit in a modern game through extensive smoke and mirrors because it's simply too much work for every little return. If we had hardware that could churn out these complex calculations in a matter of less than a second then we'd have already been there.


Posts: 817   +802
The question should be: How real does it need be?

I would rather a good game then what's cranked out


Posts: 230   +161
Well, this world we call "real" is not really real. So, there's your indicator how real something can be. Anything can be real, if it's the only thing you know of, if it's the only thing you saw from the day you were born till the day you die.

Marco Mint

Posts: 15   +35
I always liked the graphical upgrades but never thought they were the most essential thing.
The one problem I have had with gaming for quite a while, has been character interaction. Elder Scrolls Oblivion was my real wake up moment with this, as I expected more. Remember the prison cell at the start and the guard threatening to come in and knock hell out of you, if you didnt stop punching the door? It never happened and he just kept repeating the same old script, over and over again. I remember thinking "oh well, maybe it will improve in future".
Having great immersion in a game is so much more than having more realisic graphics. Yeah, they're very nice, but this is 2022 and I'm sure I saw more intelligent character interaction in 1980's text based adventure games.


Posts: 1,376   +1,169
Realism isn't the end all be all. It's more about the expression of creativity with increasing complexity. Adding realistic lighting to that is icing. Not the cake.