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Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Race for Real-Time Photorealism

Having built a simple client-server FPS game including a simple rendering infrastructure and even simpler netcode from scratch as a brain exercise, I'm always amazed at what the real experts in the field can do.

A most fascinating article in the March 2010 issue of American Scientist covers aspects of rendering for realistic scene generation. My feeling is we are less than a decade away from games that can render environments indistinguishable from a movie. The rendering of humans, or other familiar living things, may be a bit further down the road: We are so programmed to incredibly subtle visual triggers, while it is currently posssible to render a human that is indistinguishable from reality, the illusion collapses once movement, speech, or other interaction occurs.

A fascinating read, available at the time of this post at: http://sigmaxi.org/4Lane/QMag/AMS_Mar_2010.pdf

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