The great crime of photorealism: it’s been written about for a long time, but new tools are bringing the idea of indistinguishable virtual environments from reality closer. The latest proof: a highly realistic Unreal Engine 5 demo.
More than 1 million views in a short time: the network celebrates the train station
The increase in graphic quality in recent decades is impressive, but the main goal of many developers in the industry has been formulated for as long as possible: photorealism. Epic founder Tim Sweeney had made a similar prediction in 2015: It would only be ten more years before the goal of indistinguishable virtual reality becomes a reality. 2025 is getting closer and this time the promise could actually be delivered – at least to some extent.
Means of creating these deceptively real environments are increasingly sophisticated tools becoming available to more and more people. Plus, the power needed to generate and display the results is in more and more hands – at a fraction of the cost. Evidence of this development: the 3D artist Lorenzo Drago gives a Video on the web for great excitement and millions of views, showing what Unreal Engine 5 is capable of. With the system used, consisting of RTX 2080 and Ryzen 7 3700x, the project was completed in about a month from design to rendering.
As the artist on the project page describes, with the demo he had set himself the goal of getting as close as possible to photorealism using the engine. The video is loosely based on a real train station in Toyama, Japan, and at many times it even seems very close to reality. He says he only created a few detailed textures and alphas of images, but the rest of the textures were “made from scratch in Painter,” plus custom materials in Unreal. Drago was then able to simulate the impression of the hand-held camera movement through the scene with real-time VR tracking, which later also allows for the movement of the flashlight. The environment runs in Unreal Engine 5, lit with Epic’s Lumens lighting system.
Not real time yet
The well-known drawback remains for anyone hoping to experience such display quality in games too soon. This is emphatically not a real-time calculated scene, but a “high-resolution display (about 7 frames per second)” according to Drago. However, the artist emphasizes: Real-time execution is possible even with an acceptable 30-50 FPS at 1440p, but only with a significantly reduced image quality.
I’m a communication enthusiast and junior editor-reporter at Research Snipers, I have completed a degree in Mass Communication but am very enthusiastic about new technology, games, and mobile devices. I have the main interest in Technology and games.