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Epic Games CEO thinks we need 40TFLOPs for photo real gaming

by Mark Tyson on 18 July 2016, 10:31

Tags: Epic Games

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Graphic detail and realism in computer games continue to be refined at a pace. We have recently seen both AMD and Nvidia launch new generation graphics processors and there are other players which could pull something out of the bag, such as ARM, Intel and Imagination, but how close are we to enjoying photoreal 3D games? According to Epic Games co-founder Time Sweeney we are almost there for environments but once you put humans into the game, for example, rendering becomes a “much harder problem”.

In an interview with Gamespot last week Sweeney gave his thoughts on VR and photo-real graphics, among other things. During the course of the interview Sweeney suggested we need multiples of the current typical GPU power available to enjoy photo-realistic gaming. While a top of the range modern graphics card such as the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 can provide about 9TFLOPs of processing power, Sweeney suggested that about 40TFLOPs would be sufficient for photo-real 3D gaming with human characters involved. As mentioned in the intro, it is the human character in motion which will be the greatest challenge to rendering already complicated photo-real scenes. Today’s tech and algorithms are good enough to do the rendering it seems - but we are still waiting for the brute force rendering power to make such an experience available to end users.

Looking to the future, Sweeney sees “dynamic human responses in games”, as a much tougher nut to crack. If it is to look like you are interacting with the environment and other game characters, it’s important that character response is realistic to avoid the ‘uncanny’ valley. “As you're interacting with a real human, their eyes are constantly moving with you, the eye contact is super important. You're picking up the emotions on their faces, and they're dynamically responding to you,” envisioned Sweeney.

Dynamic eyebrows

Touching upon the advanced game AI system in the Unreal Engine, Sweeney admitted such ‘AI’ isn’t approaching anything like a human mind. Such higher level AI is currently being researched by the likes of Google and Facebook and remains a pipedream for gaming companies.

HEXUS Forums :: 15 Comments

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That photo of Tim Sweeney is terrible and looks stretched - can it be resized in the article?
And his photo has aliasing also, can you please use better GPU so we can get realistic graphics ? ;-b

On the side note, we are close to 10TFlops,in theory they could already test it with four cards, in two years we hope to double the performance so we will need two cards….so should be on the shelf for everybody in about 10 years?

All we need is great programmers to make it happen.
That photo of Tim Sweeney is terrible and looks stretched - can it be resized in the article?

Not enough FLOPs ;)
There must be more then enough FLOPs as we are all living in a virtual universe anyway! SD,HD or UHD version don't know!

The end of the universe will not end in a violent event, just a blue screen with error indication and a Press any key message to reboot! :crazy:

You may ask how I know that we all live in a virtual universe, it's because, early in the morning after a heavy night, everything looks pixellated!
Non issue surely? As more people live in a VR they will forget how to interpret the subtle emotional clues so they won't matter any more…

/fetches coat