Square Enix Tech Director: PS4, Xbox One Will Take Time for Hugely Improved Animations
Julien Merceron also says that deeper AI will be a key toward graphical realism in years to come.
Speaking to GamesIndustry International, Square Enix worldwide technology director Julien Merceron talked about the amount of time it’s going to take before we see a game that escapes the “uncanny valley” and gives us photo-realistic graphics and animation.
“I still believe it’s going to be a long journey before we can sit together and you can show me a game that has nailed it. It’s our duty to make progress on this front in this generation.”
Merceron also explained how it will be some time before we see a very big leap in visuals and animation with the PS4 and Xbox One. “If improved graphics aren’t combined with better animation, all these games are going to dive into the uncanny valley. So it’s possible around the launch timeframe that we won’t actually see huge improvements in graphics because the developers still have to sort out how they will approach animation. That generally takes more time than upgrading your rendering engine.
“That’s the thing with the uncanny valley – you have to think not only about emotions and facial movements, but at some point we need to have deeper AI.
“I think the human eye is capable of seeing a lot of subtleties…Static characters will look good very soon, animated non-interactive characters a bit later, and fully interactive characters could take time, especially for some types of games. That’s the thing with the uncanny valley – you have to think not only about emotions and facial movements, but at some point we need to have deeper AI. We need to be able to interact with the characters and then there’s a new dimension of complexity.”