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Graphical Fidelity I Expect This Gen


That is my thread on ResetEra created april of 2020 before next gen consoles released. It has input from actual devs etc in the industry. Insomniac, Microsoft, Digital Foundry, DICE, Moon Studios etc.



I still consider TLOU II to be the one of the best looking games EVER made overall, counting animation, sound, graphics etc. This thread is to discuss future graphics and to show the best from the industry.
 
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AmorousBiscuit

Gold Member
I think in truth, we're reaching a critical point where diminishing returns are real. I'd rather see strides made to make further improvements to AI, a push for better implementations of RT (maybe a solution where it isn't quite as intensive for GPU's which is likely not a realistic request) and better world interaction.

Also, thanks but no thanks for the Era link lol
 

SlimySnake

Member
I used to think RDR2 was the best looking game last gen but then I replayed TLOU2 recently, and man some of Ellie's levels look better than anything ive seen this gen. These are gameplay shots.


 

Closer

Member
I used to think RDR2 was the best looking game last gen but then I replayed TLOU2 recently, and man some of Ellie's levels look better than anything ive seen this gen. These are gameplay shots.



When u have time, money and a damn good art direction, this is what u get. Ideally, I want more cartoony stuff but I don't mind realism as much as I say I don't like it. I just want it to be coherent, and TLoU2 is a prime exemple of me salivating over realism. Same for the original Hellblade.
 

Lethal01

Member
Praise for games like TLOU2, God of War and RDR2 were exactly what made me hungry for next gen since the lighting in them still stood out as jarringly fake outside of a few sections that the engine can handle well. Nvidia announced their raytracing accelerators at just the right time to give me hope that next gen will be better.

I"m super excited to see games on the level of the UE5 demos and such.

That said I think we are a world away from the examples you used in your OP which are offline rendered with 100x the time and power being used for every single frame..

this


vs



This isn't something that takes a machine that's 10x more powerful than a PS4, we would be lucky to do it on one that's 10x strong than a 3090 I think you underestimate the vast gulf between the two but If you really think the visual difference between them isn't that big I can't disagree with something that subjective. But this may be a case where something you see as a slight improvement like getting hair like that could take atleast an extra PS5 worth of power.

Hopefully, in 4 years I get a game that lets me ecstatically admit I'm wrong, but I feel like it will be a repeat of TLOU2 where everyone says it looks like real life while I'm waiting for next gen.

Luckily there are always stylized games that don't have the issue of aiming for realism and failing, I'll take play BoTW2 in 8k on an emulator over TLOU2 anyday.
 
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kyliethicc

Member
I used to think RDR2 was the best looking game last gen but then I replayed TLOU2 recently, and man some of Ellie's levels look better than anything ive seen this gen. These are gameplay shots.



I am playing TLOU2 right now and it already feels dated. the graphics arent as arresting as they used to be, and even the gameplay feels a bit stale.

lol
 
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Tschumi

Member
I ain't gonna lie. Your username and era link is confronting. But I don't care.

Honestly ... I think the best looking games on the coming generation for NeoGAF will have to pass the Digital Foundry Test, because everyone here has totally adopted DF's method of pixel counting and box ticking. So it'll be games with Native 4k, locked 60FPS, comprehensive RT and innovative asset streaming.

I certainly think the best looking game will be on PS5 because of the way it will be able to efficiently process more complex renderings than XSX, provided the developers work within its framework.

I don't think we will see the best looking games until someone comes up with a workaround/refinement for RT that significantly reduces its heavy load. I wonder if someone is going to come up with a system whereby just a handful of rays are drawn and AI completes the projections cast by those rays.
 
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SlimySnake

Member
That was actually six months ago, and I was playing Abby's shitty chapters. I posted screenshots of my playthrough in that very thread.






Playing through Ellie's chapters after the 60 fps patch, and they look stunning. I think Abby's chapters were the ones that ND had to throw out and redo because they focus tested so bad. Especially Day 2. Day 3 in the island with Abby looks great. But again, the Santa Barbara level looks rough. The game is very schizo.
 

DonF

Member
If this gen looks like tlou II @ 60 fps and no loading times, im good. ps4-xb1 gen looked fucking awesome, more awesome considering the hardware.
i believe that dimishing returns is true talking about poly count, but lightning, particularly ray tracing and fog, adds a whole other level of realism.
Hope devs can also use the tools to make their work easier, improving output.
 

Lethal01

Member
I do not think there is going to big upgrade. The only way possible if devs target no more than 1440P for PS5, SX. Having said that gfx quality is pretty good these days and I think the focus is more on performance.
Luckily a few AAA devs are already willing to make the trade

It has input from actual devs etc in the industry. Insomniac, Microsoft, Digital Foundry, DICE, Moon Studios etc.

The first few pages seem to have a lot of devs looking at your expectations and saying they are super unrealistic, and you just saying that "the jump from ps4 to ps5 should be enough power imo".

Here's what I'm expecting this Gen.


maybe if we are lucky we can get this with slightly better character rendering and good raytraced reflections.
 
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kyliethicc

Member
That was actually six months ago, and I was playing Abby's shitty chapters. I posted screenshots of my playthrough in that very thread.






Playing through Ellie's chapters after the 60 fps patch, and they look stunning. I think Abby's chapters were the ones that ND had to throw out and redo because they focus tested so bad. Especially Day 2. Day 3 in the island with Abby looks great. But again, the Santa Barbara level looks rough. The game is very schizo.


 
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SlimySnake

Member
Luckily a few AAA devs are already willing to make the trade



The first few pages seem to have a lot of devs looking at your expectations and saying they are super unrealistic, and you just saying that "the jump from ps4 to ps5 should be enough power imo".

Here's what I'm expecting this Gen.


maybe if we are lucky we can get this with slightly better character rendering.
That's easily doable at 1440p 30 fps. The problem is that devs like Insomniac and Playground Games have been targeting native 4k 30 fps (40 fps in the case of ratchet) and leaving a lot of performance on the table. Literally more than half of the GPU is wasted on rendering pixels instead of other effects that make the game look as good as Avatar.

This gif below runs at 1080p 60 fps on a GTX 970. yes, it's one scene. Yes there is no game logic but this is whats possible next gen if devs leave last gen behind.

 
Luckily a few AAA devs are already willing to make the trade



The first few pages seem to have a lot of devs looking at your expectations and saying they are super unrealistic, and you just saying that "the jump from ps4 to ps5 should be enough power imo".

Here's what I'm expecting this Gen.


maybe if we are lucky we can get this with slightly better character rendering and good raytraced reflections.
"The first few pages" :messenger_neutral::messenger_grinning_sweat: Yeah read more kid.
 
If this gen looks like tlou II @ 60 fps and no loading times, im good. ps4-xb1 gen looked fucking awesome, more awesome considering the hardware.
i believe that dimishing returns is true talking about poly count, but lightning, particularly ray tracing and fog, adds a whole other level of realism.
Hope devs can also use the tools to make their work easier, improving output.
Problem is the new consoles have very weak ray tracing capabilities. There is no tensor cores to accelerate RT. We're starved for memory bandwith and don't have DLSS. I think enough games have come out now to show that the next gen consoles are not very next gen. We're always having to choose between a good framerate and good graphics. Metro Exodus came out as the first console game with RT global illumination and while a great achievement, is not on the level of that game on a high end PC. The ray tracing is of a much worse quality. Control Ultimate edition could only get RT reflections at 30 fps and they had to lower settings to reach that. It also has severe input lag. Control is one of the best showpiece for ray tracing on PC and the consoles utterly failed in that game in comparison.

I hope that maybe the Series X can have some breakthroughs at least with RT due to their having machine learning on Series X. I own a ps5 btw so I'm not biased against it. It's a fine console for the price. I'm just disappointed at seeing all the compromises We're already having to make.

I do think some unreal 5 games are going to be a leap on graphics quality but it will be at 1440p/30 fps as we know based on the unreal 5 demo. That's what they'll be aiming for. For example, Forbidden West looks amazing in trailers but that is at 30 fps. Nobody thinks about how much less impressive it will look at 60 fps. God of War Ragnarok may only look as good as the trailer at 30 fps too. I don't think there is some secret sauce hidden power here. Cross gen games and next gen upgrades are already taking these consoles.
 

kikkis

Member
Problem is the new consoles have very weak ray tracing capabilities. There is no tensor cores to accelerate RT. We're starved for memory bandwith and don't have DLSS. I think enough games have come out now to show that the next gen consoles are not very next gen. We're always having to choose between a good framerate and good graphics. Metro Exodus came out as the first console game with RT global illumination and while a great achievement, is not on the level of that game on a high end PC. The ray tracing is of a much worse quality. Control Ultimate edition could only get RT reflections at 30 fps and they had to lower settings to reach that. It also has severe input lag. Control is one of the best showpiece for ray tracing on PC and the consoles utterly failed in that game in comparison.

I hope that maybe the Series X can have some breakthroughs at least with RT due to their having machine learning on Series X. I own a ps5 btw so I'm not biased against it. It's a fine console for the price. I'm just disappointed at seeing all the compromises We're already having to make.

I do think some unreal 5 games are going to be a leap on graphics quality but it will be at 1440p/30 fps as we know based on the unreal 5 demo. That's what they'll be aiming for. For example, Forbidden West looks amazing in trailers but that is at 30 fps. Nobody thinks about how much less impressive it will look at 60 fps. God of War Ragnarok may only look as good as the trailer at 30 fps too. I don't think there is some secret sauce hidden power here. Cross gen games and next gen upgrades are already taking these consoles.
I doubt RT will be important in either console or PC space to drastically improve visual quality. Ue5 spends lions share of its rendering on dynamic GI which isn't really necessary for most games, so ue5 with nanite at 60 fps should be fine.
 

SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
Developers that focus only on graphics usually makes games that age really bad.
Plus, it results in compromises such as a very static world, in which almost nothing reacts to the player's actions.

Photorealism is a lost battle.
You can make humans look good, but then there's the issue of having to animate the character realistically too, which is practically impossible when you have to take into account player input and the character's reaction to whatever is going on at the game world.
 

Lethal01

Member
"The first few pages" :messenger_neutral::messenger_grinning_sweat: Yeah read more kid.
I already read through the whole thing, over the course of the last two years or so.

I definitely remember a ton of you going "PS5 is 5x the TFLOP so it SHOULD do (insert arbitrary thing you want regardless of how much more power it actually takes to do)"

The question remains, do you still actually expect some close to the quality of that show that was probably rendered over days on many 3090s worth of power? Do you have a new concrete example of the max we will see this gen?
Or do you think you have seen something rendered in realtime that you consider to be of that quality.?

I respect that you don't hold back on your dreams, live free kiddo. Don't listen to old men like me.

 
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Developers that focus only on graphics usually makes games that age really bad.
Plus, it results in compromises such as a very static world, in which almost nothing reacts to the player's actions.

Photorealism is a lost battle.
You can make humans look good, but then there's the issue of having to animate the character realistically too, which is practically impossible when you have to take into account player input and the character's reaction to whatever is going on at the game world.
TLOU II has the best animations I've ever seen.
 

SlimySnake

Member
Problem is the new consoles have very weak ray tracing capabilities. There is no tensor cores to accelerate RT. We're starved for memory bandwith and don't have DLSS. I think enough games have come out now to show that the next gen consoles are not very next gen. We're always having to choose between a good framerate and good graphics. Metro Exodus came out as the first console game with RT global illumination and while a great achievement, is not on the level of that game on a high end PC. The ray tracing is of a much worse quality. Control Ultimate edition could only get RT reflections at 30 fps and they had to lower settings to reach that. It also has severe input lag. Control is one of the best showpiece for ray tracing on PC and the consoles utterly failed in that game in comparison.
RT is fine. The reason why Metro struggles is because Metro devs are trying to do 60 fps. Even then, in quieter areas the game hits 1600p even on the PS5 at 60 fps. Who wouldve thought that a FULLY ray traced game would even run on next gen consoles. I remember DF and especially Alex dismissing the PS5 RT as shadows only RT. But here you have a last gen game retooled to do ray tracing at 60 fps. Most next gen console games will target 1440p 30 fps anyway. Thats what UE5 is doing.

Even Control runs at 50-60 fps in most scenes in xsx. and 45-55 fps in most scenes in the PS5. Thats a notoriously demanding game that I personally had to run at 960p on my rtx 2080 back in 2019 to get a stable 60 fps.

Regardless, these are all last gen games. We have already seen what the PS5 can do with ray traced reflections. And these are 4kcb ray traced reflections too. At Native 4k 40 fps.



If they had targeted 1440p 30 fps for their quality mode, the game wouldve looked truly next gen in the vein of Avatar and the UE5 demo.
 

01011001

Member
If they had targeted 1440p 30 fps for their quality mode, the game wouldve looked truly next gen in the vein of Avatar and the UE5 demo.

there was nothing special about that UE5 demo except that Nanite got rid of noticeable pop in. nothing else in that demo was in any way better looking than the best looking last gen games.
and it only ran at 1440p30 because of their shitty software raytraced Lumen tech eating up resources like some overweight fatass at an all you can eat buffet
 
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there was nothing special about that UE5 demo except that Nanite got rid of noticeable pop in. nothing else in that demo was in any way better looking than the best looking last gen games.
and it only ran at 1440p30 because of their shitty software raytraced Lumen tech eating up resources like some overweight fatass at an all you can eat buffet
You might want to look at it again.
 

Tschumi

Member
there was nothing special about that UE5 demo except that Nanite got rid of noticeable pop in. nothing else in that demo was in any way better looking than the best looking last gen games.
and it only ran at 1440p30 because of their shitty software raytraced Lumen tech eating up resources like some overweight fatass at an all you can eat buffet
Isn't the thing about lumen that it's not RT?

Or am i wrong and it's just software RT like you say..
 

Lethal01

Member
Isn't the thing about lumen that it's not RT?

Or am i wrong and it's just software RT like you say..

Yes it's RT, it just has a mode where it doesn't use hardware acceleration and doesn't trace against triangles, but with hardware acceleration it looks much better.

 
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01011001

Member
Isn't the thing about lumen that it's not RT?

Or am i wrong and it's just software RT like you say..

yeah it is software based raytracing that doesn't even look much better (if at all) than better and faster competing tech like Crytek's SVOGI

You might want to look at it again.

tell me what looks so good in that demo? I get it, Nanite gives really high detail. the issue with that is, Nanite can only be used in 100% static objects... anything that moves, anything that has physics or animates can not use Nanite.

this means, Nanite will be great for static ground detail and absolutely static environment stuff like buildings or mountains... but as soon as you actually want something to be interactive, Nanite will not work.
what issues arise with that then is that when you have SUPER HIGH DETAIL ground and wall models using Nanite, any object that is dynamic and therefore can't use it will look out of place and low detail in comparison... so you will get into artstyle issues real fast if you aren't cautious about the use of it
 
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RT is fine. The reason why Metro struggles is because Metro devs are trying to do 60 fps. Even then, in quieter areas the game hits 1600p even on the PS5 at 60 fps. Who wouldve thought that a FULLY ray traced game would even run on next gen consoles. I remember DF and especially Alex dismissing the PS5 RT as shadows only RT. But here you have a last gen game retooled to do ray tracing at 60 fps. Most next gen console games will target 1440p 30 fps anyway. Thats what UE5 is doing.

Even Control runs at 50-60 fps in most scenes in xsx. and 45-55 fps in most scenes in the PS5. Thats a notoriously demanding game that I personally had to run at 960p on my rtx 2080 back in 2019 to get a stable 60 fps.

Regardless, these are all last gen games. We have already seen what the PS5 can do with ray traced reflections. And these are 4kcb ray traced reflections too. At Native 4k 40 fps.



If they had targeted 1440p 30 fps for their quality mode, the game wouldve looked truly next gen in the vein of Avatar and the UE5 demo.
The 4k/30 fpw fidelity mode looked truly ne t gen. Problem is most of us are done with 30 fps.
 

SlimySnake

Member
The 4k/30 fpw fidelity mode looked truly ne t gen. Problem is most of us are done with 30 fps.
Good thing is that PC cards like the 3080 and 6800xt are already 2x more powerful than the PS5 so 60 fps fans should be set.

Besides, by the time these next gen only games arrive in 2023, we would probably have mid gen console already. It took 3 years for Sony to launch the PS4 Pro.
 
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01011001

Member
The Lumen lighting system is also voxel-based GI lol.

pretty sure there is more to it than that. I think as soon as it rays actually hit geometry is is more precise than that, which is where the gigantic performance hit comes from when used, with very little actual benefit for the final image IMO
 
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ZehDon

Member
I'm not expecting massive fidelity changes, to be honest. What I'm expecting is that most games will now be able to do scale, detail and dynamism akin to games like The Division 2 and Red Dead Redemption 2, because the extra hardware won't force developers to pick and chose - they can do it all. TLOUII largely looks good because of its lighting and animation, but those are pre-baked - there is no real-time time of day changes, environmental lighting is static and mixed with the dynamic elements, and animations are brute forced instead of dynamically created. It's why characters and props stick out a little bit from their scenes in certain lighting conditions. It's gorgeous, but it's a lot of smoke and mirrors to get there. With real-time effects, those problems disappear, and with the extra hardware of the new consoles, its reasonably done.

So, what I'm expecting this generation is a move away from pre-baked stuff to more real-time and interactive. Games going from wide corridors that look great most of the time, to far more open and interactive game worlds that look great all the time, now at 4k and 60FPS.

 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
Every system gets better looking games later (especially in that year 3 to 4 period where it kind of tops out). But not expecting giant leaps.

This gen will be more odd than others as just about every game has a quality/performance toggle. So if there are big jumps with RTX it'll probably be at 30 fps. 60 fps gamers like me in Perf mode will see marginal gains.
 
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