Real-Time Movie-Quality CGI for Games?

Evan Newton writes on h+ magazine:

There aren’t very many games today that, graphically, give one goose bumps. While movies like James Cameron’s Avatar or Peter Jackson‘s Lord of the Rings have graphical effects that appear absolutely real, many wonder if games will ever achieve that level of detail.

Now get ready for Project Offset. This little-known development team, owned by Intel, is building a game engine that may make you believe that the richness of reality in the virtual world is not so far away.

Videos posted on their website show a variety of graphics engine experiments. You will find video footage that ranges from the detailed facial expressions of an ogre to a meteor shower blasting through ancient stone pillars.

Compared to contemporary movie CG, Offset’s footage doesn’t look all that impressive at first. But considering that these animated graphics were rendered in real time by a dynamic game engine, unlike animated frames that undergo lengthy rendering processes in a motion picture, the short clips are jaw-dropping…

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7 Comments on "Real-Time Movie-Quality CGI for Games?"

  1. looks like an intro to an amiga 500 game to me.

  2. The point is that none of that is pre-rendered. That's particles, HDR lighting, dynamic collisions, atmospherics, and soft shadow self shading all calculated in-game, on-the-fly. If you know anything about 3D, you know that for gaming this is like the holy grail. Stuff that was reserved for the high-quality cinematics sequences in between game play. Once these methods are refined into an actual fully realized final product, the play you experience DURING the game is going to get frightfully real.

    • I am just wondering how much they are going to charge for licensing. I am sure it is going to be outrageous, and only the big companies will be able to afford it. And those guys always put out the same game over and over with a different title and different characters. I hope they have a “garage game” license available when they release the engine.

    • maybe it's impressive in a technical sense but “movie-quality” in the original article is a bit of a stretch.

      • Yeah, well you have to keep in mind that for all intents and purposes, this is a test case from a small division within Intel that's basically experimenting and doing so in combination with Intel's new processors. So you've got an intersection of technologies here that when it does broaden out to the larger market is likely to produce fantastic results. But it's not the same as a full production studio with a staff of hundreds of 3D artists trying to create a single game vision.

        As the article points out, Intel's Project Offset aren't the only ones trying to improve real-time graphics, but I think this research group has an inherent advantage in that it can automatically work with not only to most advanced chipset, but also things like Intel's SATA drives to improve data transfer speeds not just in terms of software, but hardware as well.

        Who knows? They might have something here.

  3. Yeah, little more than some viral marketing. Nothing really groundbreaking to look at. My PS3 look as good as that.

  4. Yeah, little more than some viral marketing. Nothing really groundbreaking to look at. My PS3 look as good as that.

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