Are These CryEngine 3 Screenshots ‘CG’ Quality? What Does That Even Mean?

Are These CryEngine 3 Screenshots ‘CG’ Quality? What Does That Even Mean?

Have gaming visuals reached a plateau? They’re definitely not making the revolutionary strides they once were — say, when normal mapping hit — but we’re still seeing some fantastic improvements, such as faster, higher-quality anti-aliasing techniques and more efficient shader revisions. These screenshots, posed in CryEngine 3, show that developers are still plugging away at making games look even more real… but would you call them “CG” quality?

Technically, these are “CG” — they’re generated by a computer — but the term is now synonymous with pre-rendered 3D graphics in cinema. Artists “Puppy” and Mark Ranson put together these admittedly gorgeous scenes in Crytek’s latest engine and there’s no denying that they look great, but what I want to know is what framerates we should expect when these bad boys are being rendered in real-time.

I’m sure any sufficiently skilled programming team could code up a highly-detailed static model viewer, but making a smooth gaming experience out of it is something else entirely. Not to crap on Crytek’s parade — these visuals are impressive — but in the end, it’s about how it’ll play and look.

[DSO Gaming]

Images: “Puppy” and Mark Ranson


  • Has the engine ever been used for a racing game?

    Hell, the mass scale environments with that much detail + Test Drive type gameplay would be awesome.

  • One day soon we’ll be able to play with that level of detail at 60 fps., give it a couple more GPU generations.

  • You can’t complain about computer game graphics not improving much with out mentioning consoles on 7 year old hardware are severely holding the entire industry back.

    Cryengine did a great job optimising Crysis2 for console. However it looked no where near as good as on PC. Which then with dx11 and HD texture pack. Looked even better.

    Even with that, Crytek has said it was held back because they couldn’t implement all of that stuff initially. So it didn’t run as well or look as good as if they could have put that all in at the beginning.

    That’s the big issue with PC. Even when you have a great game engine. Unless they develop the games separately. The PC version is just the same game with some new bells and whistles turned on. Which aren’t properly implemented and so take a big performance hit and don’t get the results a for PC version could do.

    • And just to add to that I don’t know where Crysis 2 looked better than Crysis 1. I’m sure it did somewhere, I’m sure technically it was much better, but something about Crysis and its setting and artstyle did a lot more for it. Crysis 2 always looked a little low-res and blurry (all that bloom and low fov really wrecked the visual fidelity imo).

      When I look at games like GTAIV or Dear Esther, STALKER or Far Cry 2 their settings and art style have a lot more going that just makes them look that much better regardless of their technical limitations (when compared to an engine such as CryEngine 3).

      The above images look great, but even if they were implemented in a game, that game would still need to have clear crisp images that are further complimented by an interesting artstyle (even if that artstyle is “photo-realistic”).

    • I changed to consoles after years of building pcs because of the cost factor, and also I enjoyed knowing that 99% of the time the game would just work exactly how it was supposed to, no hardware conflicts or driver problems etc etc etc.

      Maybe they should develop consoles that allow you to upgrade them, and the manufacturer (say microsof) could do a yearly release of a new cpu or something like that. —– make it some kind of scaleable architecture. instead of releasing an entire new console when more power is needed.

    • That doesnt matter. PC gaming will never be what it once was. No one wants to be spending hundreds of dollars a year on PC hardware when you can just get a console and all you have do is buy games.

      People just need to accept it. consoles are cheaper and you get better quality games on consiles.

      PC gaming is prone to bugs, glitches and problems from this DRM crap.

      Console gaming is simple, more relaxing and no installing and technical stuff that most people want nothing to do with.

      Its as simple as that. PC gaming is more expensive and annoying then console gaminf. And developers prefer designing games for Consoles anyway, and as long as there are good quality consoles then it will dominate.

      And Sony have always kept each generation going. There consoles have always pushed the limits and look at the PS3, the graphic power and innovation it continues to push out is what is keeping this geration of gaming last this bit longer.

      • “Consoles are cheaper”
        I just bought 23 games for ~$84 for my PC. Games like Just Cause 2, Far Cry 2, Arma 2, Deus Ex HR (yes, I know that’s free on PS3 right now), Left 4 Dead 2, AAA games like that.
        Sure, consoles may be cheaper initially, but then you have to keep making big(ish) purchases to buy the games. PC games are usually cheaper, and they have things like the Steam Sales.

  • Silly car renderer person, you’re supposed to have the front wheels turned away from the camera for maximum sex appeal.

  • Looks very nice. I am looking forward to the day where midtown madness uses google maps to make your own city. It’s a dream but if it looks as sweet as this (and drives just as good) WANT!

  • Don’t worry, there are still a few big things to come. When computers are finally powerful enough to use ray-tracing and radiosity, it’s going to be incredible. I’m pretty sure UE4 supports radiosity…

  • 100% correct – improvements to visual fidelity can only really move forward in minor increments now that the majority of effects required for realism are covered. We’ve got realtime ambient occlusion, radiosity/global illumination, subsurface scattering, practically unlimited detail through normal maps and high polycounts, and bloom, film colour grading, and excellent anti aliasing solutions like SMAA cover the post processing stuff pretty well. Real time ray tracing is about the only thing I can think of that is missing, but even that’s being worked on.

    If anything I find that effects are being overused – bloom and motion blur being the two main culprits.. I turned bloom off in Witcher 2 because it was just distracting, in Metro 2033 i actually managed to tweak the motion blur so it didn’t look like you just had a swig of vodka.

    • Effects are always overuse when they’re relatively new. It’s like the new toy that everybody wants to play with all the time. A remember there was a time when you couldn’t turn around in a game without having your eyeballs assaulted by wall to wall lens flare.

  • Sorry but these screens are crap. The normal maps are awful. The only thing close to impressive is the lighting reflections from the headlight.

  • To answer this post’s question, this quality can easily be rendered at 30+fps on a GTX 460. The fish-alien-monster-thing is just a sample asset from the free SDK showcasing tessellation+displacement mapping, and from what I experienced on my moderate system it is very optimised and runs very smoothly (surprisingly alot better that Crysis 2, even with the added version 3.4 rendering features).

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