Graphics 'indistinguishable from reality' in 10 years - Star Wars dev

Industrial Light & Magic visual effects supervisor Kim Libreri predicts graphics will advance to new levels over span of the coming decade.

By the time 2022 rolls around, graphics will have advanced to a point at which they are "indistinguishable from reality," claims Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) visual effects supervisor Kim Libreri. ILM is working with LucasArts on the upcoming third-person shooter Star Wars 1313, and in a new video interview with CVG (embedded below) Libreri said it will one day be nigh impossible to spot the differences between real-time rendering and live action.

Graphics will advance substantially in the next decade, Libreri says.

"It's an interesting time because with modern computer graphics hardware, the way it's going, it's gonna be pretty hard to tell the difference between something that is interactive and rendered in real time, and something that was done for an animated TV show, or even a live-action thing," Libreri said.

Libreri further explained that at present, real-time rendered graphics are able to match the quality of animated movies from seven or eight years ago. And in another decade, they will be "indistinguishable from reality."

Libreri has been involved with computer graphics for a long time. Prior to attaining his current position at LucasArts, he served as vice president at visual effects and animation studio Digital Domain. Libreri is also credited as a visual effects supervisor for movies like Super 8 and The Matrix.

If graphics do become on par with reality in the next decade, 2K boss Christoph Hartmann will have gotten his wish. Last week, the executive called for photo-realism in games, saying such advanced capabilities are needed to help designers tackle emotions like love and sadness.

Star Wars 1313 is a collaborative project across the Lucasfilm organization, which includes LucasArts, ILM, Lucasfilm Animation Ltd., and Skywalker Sound. In the game, players travel deep beneath the surface of city-world Coruscant to uncover the truth surrounding a criminal conspiracy.

No release date or platforms for Star Wars 1313 have been announced.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

0 comments
gp3tron
gp3tron

Oh Man, Lucasarts, They cancel the Battlefront games, no Xwing Reboot, No Republic Commando 2, no Empire at War 2, no Episode 1: Racer: Reboot, meanwhile, Chris Roberts is bringing Star Citizen, a Wing Commander Spiritual Succesor, Sony just brought out Planetside 2, Piranha games with Mechwarrior Online are reviving the franchise, Crytek are working on Warface, a scifi shooter, Strike Suit Zero just came out... so, no hint seen here, Lucasarts? really? way to go guys...

nomee_lover
nomee_lover

i want to see next COD MW look like movie Black hawk Dawn :)

 

bloody-hell
bloody-hell

So we will have a whole bunch of boring Gears of War-ish Mass Effect 3 clones soon, filled with quick-time-events in fully linear levels that look like real life ... wake me up when you started making advancements in gameplay, leveldesign, AI, animation, physics, sound modding tools and all those other important areas that a game consists of.

 

So far Star Wars 1313 looks like Mass Effect with Star Wars skins, the classical "hit the enemy with your lightsaber until its healthbar reaches zero" system, tons of cutscenes, quick-time-events and a fully linear "cinematic experience", there may be a market for that but I'll skip it - Might as well just watch a playthrough of it on YouTube if it's just a collection of cutscenes with the occasional "press X to win" thrown in.

 

Enjoy your multi million dollar production, I'll be over here watching it not even breaking even the production cost while playing games with replay value and modding capabilities.

so_hai
so_hai

I don't even understand what he means. That graphics will be real-life quality? So what? It's the physical properties of real life that make it realistic, not the graphics. Try programming how a feather floats in a gentle breeze that is indistinguishable from reality. You'd need more CPU than what's available.

Homeless-_-
Homeless-_-

Well hopefully they never get to that stage, I like my games to be different then reality, it's already too easy to get lost in pixels, this would only make it worse.

wescraven
wescraven

In ten years graphics will be incredible,but I doubt they will be that incredible looking. I am guess in twenty years maybe.

Apastron
Apastron

Ten years ago they said that graphics would be indistinguishable from reality in ten years.

portalzero
portalzero

Games that dont look like ARMA are much better looking.

portalzero
portalzero

It will be very  boring games still like cartoon graphics hate games like ARMA.

DeViLzzz
DeViLzzz

I don't want games looking like real life.  It is bad enough I have to deal with real life most of the time so please don't ruin gaming.

2x4b96123
2x4b96123

Yeah, and they said this 10 years ago about the PS2, lol.If anything, crossing the uncanny valley will take longer than reaching it I think. So we'll see more surreal games that take beautiful imagery and artistic licence, or exaggerated takes on realism far more than we'll see any serious attempts at recreating anything truly lifelike outside of say, racing sims - for quite a while.And no, Battlefield 3 isn't an example of a 'realistic' visual style. It's an exaggerated style with loads of camera and film effects in there for more stylish visuals than an attempt to recreate what is seen by the naked eye. It looks 'authentic', but not real.

flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

"Libreri further explained that at present, real-time rendered graphics are able to match the quality of animated movies from seven or eight years ago."

Libreri's full of shit.

famekiller
famekiller

I'm not sure about everyone else, but I'm not looking for love in my games. If i want love I'll buy a Mills & Boone novel.  I just want to shoot shit and laugh.

xiayan
xiayan

I love hearing about these stories every 5 years =)

NervoZa
NervoZa

How about a new and exciting way of controlling your character?

Am I the only one who thinks that stepping into the shoes of lets say...Gordon Freeman...would be amazing even if the graphics werent lifelike? 

Rifqi_Hb
Rifqi_Hb

and in another 10 years we'll probably control games with our minds and for another 10 years we'll probably get inside the games

Sturmfuehrer_
Sturmfuehrer_

Hopefully, Battlefield 8 will be so realistic and intense that people will pee their pants and drop into a fetal position under their desk when the bullets start whirling past their virtual heads!

eternal_blade3
eternal_blade3

You'll forgive me if I remain skeptical. I'm sure graphics will be amazing come another decade, but indistinguishable from reality? I am doubtful.

BrassBullet
BrassBullet

They said that 10 years ago too.  The reality is that the PS4 and neXtbox aren't going to have better graphics than current tech demos available for PC hardware  (since the hardware will be the same) and those tech demos aren't indistingushable from reality.  If the last 10 years is any indication, PS4 and neXtbox will still be mainstream consoles in 2022.

Exploding8
Exploding8

"Last week, the executive called for photo-realism in games, saying such advanced capabilities are needed to help designers tackle emotions like love and sadness."Clearly this guy never played Shadow of the Colossus, To The Moon, Journey, Spec Ops: The Line, Persona, 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors, Etc...Its totally possible to make games that convey strong emotions without photo-realistic graphics when you're willing to take a fucking risk for once -.- I mean we can't make a human-like character that believably looks sad or happy etc. yet, where you can just look at their face and see how they're feeling, but you don't NEED that to have a good story or good characters that people can become attached to... 

lee1823
lee1823

i appreciate good graphics as much as the next man.... but i like my games to look like, well..... games.

syler4815162342
syler4815162342

Yea that would be amazing! but we should remember that Graphic is not everything, a good A.I needed in video games too.

Rosbjerg
Rosbjerg

As most people say, better graphics does not equate better quality games - but one of the reason why story quality has gone down hill is because developers have focused more and more on the graphical aspect of games.

 

So, at the present, we are at the crescendo and when we reach the graphical plateau, well then obviously there isn't a way to go up any further and the focus will automatically shift towards something else, hyperrealism perhaps, but I think story and gameplay will come back into focus.. Therefore I fully support this rush and hope we get there sooner.

jamyskis
jamyskis

If photorealism is the ultimate goal, why do we still have hand-drawn animation and stylised Pixar-style 3D animation in film?

 

Libreri may well be right - he is not stating anything mindblowingly insightful here - but the question is, will gamers care about these graphics in ten years time if scriptwriting has the quality of a poor B-movie and the story could just as easily been experienced as a linear narrative such as a film?

0kensai0
0kensai0

it may look real, but will it "feel" realsignificant portion of the highly emotive game experiences till rely on lower graphics stylised games (with some exceptions of course). Most of the AAA high production games are fairly generic and lack any real emotional connection with players 

botswanky
botswanky

Better graphics don't equal better games... so who cares. 

PodXCOM
PodXCOM

 @bloody-hell  Yes, they will be "making advancements in gameplay, level-design, AI, animation, physics, sound modding tools and all those other important areas that a game consists of."  But they *need* the power first.

 

Games will be more like Red Faction Guerrilla, From Dust,  Spore, Terraria, Castle Story, Mount and Blade: Warband, Endless Space etc. But only if we give them the hardware to do so. Why, even Epic is working on Fortnight for the next-gen.

 

So stop your complaining, geez! Why all this pessimistic doom and gloom?

mr_majed
mr_majed

 @so_hai if there is no graphical development, there will be no new CPU/ VGA selling.. That's their game to take your money!

PodXCOM
PodXCOM

 @Homeless-_-  What do you mean? Don't you want games to be bigger and better?

 

And who ever said "it's going to be as boring as reality", huh? Just look at the videos below!

PodXCOM
PodXCOM

 @Apastron  Where did they say that? I think they said PS3 games would look like Toy story, notindistinguishable from reality.

PodXCOM
PodXCOM

 @DeViLzzz  You act as if all games will play like the Sim or something.  You have no imagination.

LesserAngel
LesserAngel

 @lee1823 Agreed, I prefer games with unique art-styles over games that try to go the hyper-realistic route. (Borderlands, for example.)

Rosbjerg
Rosbjerg

TLDR: To iterate, when you can no longer compete with your competitors graphics, then you have to compete with his overall quality.

LastPRmarine
LastPRmarine

 @jamyskis you're giving bad video game writing too much credit to be calling it poor B- movie quality.....its much closer to a Sci-Fi channel knock-off TV movie quality

guily6669
guily6669

 @jamyskis Yep it's true. If we carefully analyse movies, most of them that even use super advanced 3D with supercomputers full of performance AND MOST STILL LOOK DULL.

 

Then a game it's not just a character or something like that that is made in full real time 3D. It's the whole game, so the performance of nowadays gaming PC's aren't even close to be able to draw a full scale REAL LIFE ATOM 3D design with animations.

 

But one thing is for sure, Physics, sounds, effects and other things are also constantly being updated. But of course physics are lot harder, and really need some crazy scientists behind them...

PodXCOM
PodXCOM

  @jamyskis  "If photorealism is the ultimate goal, why do we still have hand-drawn animation and stylised Pixar-style 3D animation in film?"

 

Oh, you mean the Pixar animation for kids and two-year-olds?

 

" will gamers care about these graphics in ten years time if scriptwriting has the quality of a poor B-movie and the story could just as easily been experienced as a linear narrative such as a film?"

 

Why did you say that? As if 'photorealism = poor B-movie scriptwriting'. How do you know if it's going to be bad? How do you know if it's not going to be like Call of Cthulhu, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Matrix, Dark Knight Rises, District 9 or The End of Evangelion?

 

Maximus_Fett
Maximus_Fett

 @botswanky I agree wholeheartedly. It's always "nice" to have better graphics but, really, games like Baldur's Gate trump the vast majority of games in terms of gameplay, which is the most important aspect of any game.

DeViLzzz
DeViLzzz

 @PodXCOM You obviously didn't understand what I was saying.  When I go into a game I want it to feel fake and by making games look like real life well it may end up annoying me instead of making the experience more fun.  Yes I can see situations where I may want better graphics but not sure I want it to look totally "real" for all gaming.

Hodge996
Hodge996

 @LesserAngel  @lee1823 What they're talking about is the capability for photo realism, what the developers choose to do with it is still up to them.   I think there's space for all styles and better capabilities just mean that all styles will look even better.  My concern is how much more time and budget will have to be spent on creating these new amazing graphics and what effect that will have on gameplay, scripting etc....

Hodge996
Hodge996

 @Rosbjerg I hear your point (and agree!) but no matter what they say, we are WAY off that point.  My concern is that when we get there, and even before, the time and money that has to go into creating a game with graphics that good will be huge!  This will again put the strain on other areas - gameplay and scripting etc.  Imagine something like a recent Zelda game.... now imagine how much longer and more expensive that would have been to develop with photo-realistic graphics. It would be awesome, but they would have to sell so many more copies to recoup the costs, so they may water down the game to appeal to the mass market and....well, that's happening already.

Wow, that was really pessimistic!  Still hope you're right and I'm wrong though!

Hodge996
Hodge996

 @PodXCOM @jamyskis  "Pixar animation for kids and two-year-olds"  Firstly, 2 year olds ARE kids.  Secondly, they are not purely aimed at kids; the people who think that are usually teenagers who are desperate to appear cool and mature...I'm pretty sure jamyskis just meant that improvements in graphic capability is all well and good but  it means nothing without good plot/gameplay etc.  The fact is, shiny graphics sell more games than great plot or involving gameplay ever will so with a set budget, most developers are going to be forced down the "make it look great" route and most of the budget will go toward that rather than scriptwriters etc.  There will always be some that do get the balance spot on but let's be honest, genuine classic films are few and far between too - just look at how disparate your list is.

 

 @jamyskis - while I agree with your general point your opening comment is a bit off the mark.  "If photorealism is the ultimate goal, why do we still have hand-drawn animation and stylised Pixar-style 3D animation in film?"

It's the capability of photo realism that the industry is striving toward, though artistic style will always call for alternatives.  Animation and stylised 3D animation will always be around, but still massively in the minority.

jamyskis
jamyskis

 @PodXCOM Because there's little interest now in good scriptwriting even without the graphics. There are a few isolated good examples of writing in gaming, but they're few and far between, and while the pursuit of better and better graphics is all that developers and publishers can think about, that's the way it will remain.

 

As for your brushstroke comment on Pixar films, well, it does make me question your maturity. I do wonder if you've had the chance to sit down as a family with kids and watch some of these films.

 

It's this kind of attitude that breeds games like Call of Duty.

PodXCOM
PodXCOM

 @DeViLzzz  I still don't understand. Most sci-fi and fantasy movie are in real life. Do you have a problem with Tron, LOTR,  or Star Wars?

 

Or what about the videos I posted above? Do you have a problem with games looking like that?

PodXCOM
PodXCOM

 @Hodge996  "...I'm pretty sure jamyskis just meant that improvements in graphic capability is all well and good but  it means nothing without good plot/gameplay etc"

 

I see your point. But good plot/gameplay is always on the developers' shoulder.

 

" There will always be some that do get the balance spot on but let's be honest, genuine classic films are few and far between too - just look at how disparate your list is."

 

Sci-fi is expensive, so finding a good Sci-fi movie, with good story and cool action is hard to come by. But there are lots of books out there with great stories; just look at The Jesus Incident:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jesus_Incident

 

 

PodXCOM
PodXCOM

 @jamyskis   "As for your brushstroke comment on Pixar films, well, it does make me question your maturity. I do wonder if you've had the chance to sit down as a family with kids and watch some of these films. It's this kind of attitude that breeds games like Call of Duty.  "

 

I've seen them, and I find it very sad is that for the the past 15 years, and budgets at $200,000,000, Pixar and DreamWorks have never even thought of once making a deep, serious and realistic movie, like Ghost In The Shell. Their heads would explode from the sheer thought of it.

 

I don't want that to happen to games, ever. There is so much we can do with photorealism, and we are never going to see that if we go for a Pixar-style look.