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I am overloaded with all these new terms I have to learn about 3d graphics like lightmaps, bumpmaps, real-time radiosity, luxrender (is there a site where I can learn about all these techniques?).

Realtime gameplay graphics are almost better than prerendered 3d graphic or animation from 10 years ago. At this rate, is photorealistic video games on the horizon? (crysis 2 on pc for ex).

I'm not sure if you can understand this question but for example, when Final Fantasy 7's prerendered backgrounds wowed me, almost 14 years ago, today real-time game graphics are almost better than that.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Anko, Krom Stern, Josh Petrie Aug 14 at 15:14

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

-1, speculation and subjective. – Tetrad Mar 21 '11 at 2:02
Simple postrendered raytraced reflection of scene will to change the realtime cg. – user6243 Mar 22 '11 at 7:14

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Photorealism is about way more than just 3d graphics, you have to take into account so many things to truly make the player believe they are in the game. Animations, environment, sound/music are just a few of the things to make it believable. I find it really interesting how we keep seeing the great looking graphics games and saying how close they are to photorealism, but there is always something our eyes can pick out to determine that it really isn't. The closer we get to photorealism, the more diminishing returns we will have. For example, when you look at Far Cry at the time most people that it was incredibly close to photorealism, but there were details that the players could always find, the same thing happened when Crysis came out, etc. The technology is obviously increasing at a rapid pace, but to be honest I don't think we'll see anything that we view as 'photorealistic' for another few decades. And even then I firmly believe players will be able to determine small nuances in the graphics that will leave them asking, how long before realtime 3d graphics reach photorealism?

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