Forza Horizon 3 Developer Discusses Photogrammetry, The New Technique They Used To Make The Game Look Realistic
Plus, a summer spent obsessively trying to record Australian skies.
Forza Horizon 3 looks incredible- it is actually surprising just how good Playground Games have managed to make the game look on an Xbox One. But it turns out that all of this owes itself to the dedication and hard work by the team, as well as some new techniques and technologies that they adapted during the development of the game.
“[Playground Games’ studio members] drove the roads, filming in HD everywhere they went, and they stopped to photograph everything we’d need to build the game: road surfaces, buildings, fences, trees, rocks, everything. We use a cutting-edge technique called ‘photogrammetry’, which allows us to turn hi-def photos of objects into game-ready 3D models, and that’s how the rocks and tree trunks, among other things, look so realistic in our game,” Ralph Fulton of Playground Games told Redbull.
Fulton also discussed the one thing about the game that has received a lot of appreciation- which is just how great and beautiful the skies in the game look. This, again, owes itself to the sheer extents and obsessiveness exhibited by Playground in trying to recreate Australian skies in the game.
“We also created an entirely new technique for capturing authentic Australian skies, using a custom-built 12K HDR camera rig, and we camped for the entire summer in a field capturing everything the sky did during that time. These images were brought back to the studio and fed through a custom process that streams the data into our system, producing the most dynamic, evolving skyscapes ever seen in a game.
“We have video screens in our studio which, throughout development, constantly played the videos we recorded driving all over Australia. That way, even the members of the team who weren’t able to visit Australia felt completely immersed in the world we were building,” Fulton said.
Forza Horizon 3 is going to launch on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs later this year.