How Far Are We From Photorealistic Graphics? 10 Years? Maybe
Technology has advanced a lot in the short span of 10 years. We now have 10 series GPUs from Nvidia that are cheaper than the Titan X but will outperform it never the less. We have the budget king AMD RX 480 that gives you great performance for the money. But the question is where are we in terms of photorealistic graphics?
Sure the cutscenes in games are way better than what they once were and we have beautiful realistic games like The Witcher 3 and GTA V but let’s be honest as realistic as they are they are nowhere near photorealistic graphics.
“You know, we’re getting to the point now where we can render photo-realistic static scenes without humans with static lighting.”
How far away are we from photorealistic graphics? Well according to this CEO 40 TFLOPS might get us there. We know that the upcoming Project Scorpio from Microsoft is capable of 6 TFLOPS.
Then this means that in 10 years time we will be able to achieve 40 TFLOPS and we will be able to have photorealistic graphics? Things are more complicated than that but it is a possibility.
Tim Sweeney says that they can render photorealistic graphics in stills where there are no humans. This is done by light manipulation in still scenes. But you can’t really make a whole game based on stills. For a game to be truly immersive you need the gameplay to be in photorealistic graphics as well.
“Today’s hardware can do that, so part of that problem is solved. Getting to the point of photo-realistic dynamic environments, especially with very advanced shading models like wet scenes, or reflective scenes, or anisotropic paint, though…maybe forty Teraflops is the level where we can achieve all of that.”
So people are hard at working trying to give us games that provide photorealistic gameplay. We might be able to see this come into action in 10 years time. All this is proof that it is possible to achieve such a level of detailed graphics not only in cutscenes but in actual gameplay as well.
In such a time where photorealistic graphics are available, games will look like movies do today. With VR, I imagine games will be as real as life itself. Now that is something to look forward to.