Photo-Realistic Video Game Landscapes Seem More Real Than Ever

Let’s start things off with a beautiful piece of footage that will have you mesmerized. It’s amazing how even the simplest of sceneries can seem profound when shot aesthetically and while we’re sure you’re impressed, there probably wasn’t anything extraordinary about the settings itself. But, if the Unreal Engine logo at the end of the video confused you, allow us to throw some light.

Nothing you saw in that video was real! It was all done with computer graphics.  The entire video was the result of a landscape generation that artists like Rense de Boer have mastered, and if you have been wondering how the 3D landscape seemed so real and with the best in clarity too, it was the magic of the Unreal Engine 4 at work.


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All this has come together after the advances and experiments made in the art form, and of course the photography equivalent of maybe the best in science – photogrammetry.  While photogrammetry was essential used to decipher the distances between objects simply through the use of a photograph, this form has now evolved into a lot more as far as artistic visuals are concerned.

Here’s how Andrew Hamilton, a Lead Environment Artist at DICE puts it

“Photogrammetry is essentially the technique of processing still images to produce a high resolution 3D mesh. There are a number approaches to this, but they all involve taking photos of a subject in real-life and running it through photogrammetry software.”

Star Wars Battlefront is an excellent example of how exciting the world of photogrammetry can get and the EA team has gone all out to put this technology to good use. Clearly, the visits to locations from Iceland to the California redwood forests have borne some of the most impressive shots you can imagine!

As for Rense’s work, it only tells us how magical even a single artist’s work can get, without the need for an entire studio having to jump in on the process.

The stuff that technology and art can do when they come together in an artist’s mind is magical.


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