• danielvestal

Videogame Photography

An interesting development in videogames has been the advent of what's referred to as "photomode". A feature that allows players to pause their game at any given moment and move the camera wherever they like in the 3D space as if they were a photographer choosing various angles to capture images. IT's thought of as a throw away feature by some hardcore gamers who believe gaming should be reserved for completing levels and defeating enemies as presented by the developers. But more and more people are being drawn to this peculiar feature, myself being one of them, as games begin to take on more realistic visuals.

Light in videogames is achieved by a process known as rasterization. It's an approximation of what light ought to look like when interacting with a physical object in the game (most often the *main character* or in my case, Spider-Man). So while real time path tracing is still far away, rasterization at least gives a pretty good illusion allowing people to get fairly photorealistic images out of their in-game photos, assuming they're able to learn how to work around the parameters of rasterization and make the most of this simulated light.

I've attached below several screenshots that I've taken from the Spider-Man game for PS4. I believe that in time, this sort of feature will grow into an animal all of it's own, beyond what any game developers could dream of currently.

If you would like to learn the difference between rasterization and ray/path tracing, you can view this concise yet comprehensive video on the subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrF4k6wJ-do