The Forza Horizon 3 Skies Are Real-Life Footage
September 25, 2016
I’m always looking for games that push graphical boundaries and blur the line between real and virtual experiences. Games that push these boundaries are typically designed as an emulation of the real-world. The flowers, trees, animals, etc.., that make up game worlds are digital recreations of our physical world, or at least that’s usually the case. The team behind Forza Horizon 3 wasn’t content with the level of realism that could be recreated in a studio, so what did they do? They brought real-life video footage into the game!
The sky in Forza Horizon 3 looks amazing, so amazing that it looks similar to the view you’d expect to see if you glanced out your window right now. The reason behind the stunning quality of the game’s sky is that that it’s not a digital recreation of a real-life environment, it’s ultra HD video footage.
The team behind Forza Horizon 3 built a 12K High Dynamic Range(HDR) camera rig, and went out into the wilds of Australia to capture the skies that you can see in-game. The footage also produced a more realistic lighting effect than you could hope to recreate, so both the sky and lighting in the game are derived from real-world assets. The footage is also combined with photogrammetry techniques for the game’s roads, trees, and other structures, and this has created an extremely immersive environment.
Check out Microsoft’s official post and launch trailer for more information and examples of the game’s real-world assets.