Stunning graphics technology: This looks real, but it is really Unreal.

Written by David Shapton

Epic GamesUnreal Engine 4

This is a nice-looking video. It's an important one as well. 

Have a look at this video. It's a natural-looking scene, with the camera tracking slowly across a rocky beach. You can see the blue sky reflected everywhere and there's an almost infinite number of surfaces and textures.

From another angle, you can see the water rippling gently. It's almost like being there. It looks real.

But it's not real. It's computer generated. There must have been a lot of work put into this. Either that or some of the objects and textures must have been procedurally generated (made with an algorithm as opposed to manually by an artist).

You probably wouldn't be surprised to hear that each frame in this video took several minutes to render, such is the level of detail and realism.

But you probably would be surprised to hear that this was actually rendered (ie played out) in real time!

A games engine expert called Koola put this together in Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4. Unreal has always been the place to go for the best-looking games graphics. But this surpasses anything we've seen so far from a games engine.

All very impressive, but, strictly, so what? After all, we all know that games engines and computers in general are getting faster, and the results are getting better.

Well, this could be more significant than you'd think on the surface, because if Virtual Reality takes off, which is more likely now than ever, then there's going to be a massive demand for content like this. Not just detailed screenfuls of graphics, but totally immersive environments. This is what computer games engines do well. It's their raison d'être.

This, then, could be the start of the convergence of VR movies and computer games technology. In a sense, they need each other.

Thanks to for drawing our attention to this.

Tags: VR & AR


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