The Evolution of Video Game Graphics

Let's take a look at the evolution of video game graphics over the past 20 years

Evolution of Video Game Graphics

Even I am no hardcore gamer I still like to play a video game once in a while. This hobby is what brought me into CGI/VFX in the first place. When I bought an Asus motherboard lately, I got Doom 4 for free. I know the Quake series from Quake 1, played the original Doom and Doom 3 (though not excessive) so I decided to give this game a try. Not that I bought the board for the game, in fact, when I wouldn't have got the game for 'free' I even wouldn't think about buying it. Not because I expect a bad game or something, the plain fact that I didn't play a competitive shooter for years is the reason and that I lost my interest in that kind of games over the time.

Nonetheless when the game arrived I was excited and I started the steam download immediately. As this isn't a game review, I'll get straight to the point this article is about: The first thing that catched my attention was the graphics! Not that it is something that I haven't seen before, in fact there are many games with visuals that can compete, but looking back at games like the mentioned Quake 1 this really is a lot of progress. And this is just 20 years of time. Quake 1 was released in 1996 and the difference is just astonishing. With this in mind and looking back on quite a 'gaming career' I decided to search the basement for CD's and DVD's and write an article about the evolution of video game graphics.

I found some real treasures, although I hoped to find some of my other classics, but they seem to be really well hidden... However, I found enough to write about and to have a good comparison. Important to mention is, that I only took first-person-shooters as this will guarantee the best comparison of development. Looking at, for example, an open world game and compare it to a first-person-shooter is not going to work well. There is much more to render at the same time and an open world needs more resources than a closed level. On the other hand you can place much more details into small levels, that's why a first-person-shooter from the same generation will usually look much better than an open world game. To get a good overview over the evolution of video game graphics we will be looking at the following games:

Quake - released in 1996
Unreal Tournament - released in 1999
Battlefield 1942 - released in 2002
Medal of Honor Pacific Assault - released in 2004
Crysis 1 - released in 2007
Bioshock - released in 2007
Battlefield 3 - released in 2011
Bioshock Infinite - released in 2013
Doom 4 - released in 2016
Unreal Tournament 4 - pre-alpha in 2016


20.07.2016 by vfx-world

Building a Workstation for VFX, 3D Modeling and Video Editing

A small guide to Systembuilding

Building a Workstation

Whether you are an VFX Artist, Video Editor or 3D Modeler, the thing you will need for your everyday work the most is your workstation. Every artist who also wants to freelance will be depending on his workstation every day. Maybe more than in any other industry, content creators will know one rule: time is money. Especially when it comes to rendertimes. Assuming most artists only have one machine, the problem is very clear: you wont be able to work while your system is rendering. So the faster the better. But fast hardware comes at a price, and not everyone can or is willing to pay a huge amount for his system. This article is meant to be a little guideline for people who have an older system and want an upgrade to save time and to earn a little bit more money or have more time for other projects that way.

If you are an artist who wants the best service and fast exchange of hardware in case of a hardware defect, I mean if you really are a fulltime artist who can't afford to wait some days for a replacement you might be better off looking for a prebuild workstation by Dell, HP or Lenovo. This would guarantee the best possible service but also has it's cons. This workstations usually come at a higher price, when upgrading hardware you are forced to look at your manufacturers range and you are not allowed to do any repairing by yourself, otherwise your product warranty will expire. Although this prebuild workstations with excellent service are prefered by many professionals I myself am also a bit of a hardware enthusiast and so this article will be focused on custom build PC's. This also means nothing for the Mac users here I'm afraid.

Let's take a look at what you will need for your workstation first. Depending on what you are actually planing to do with your PC, the possibilities seem to be endless. In the end the core parts stay the same, so everyone will at least need:

CPU + Cooler
Graphics card
Storage (HDD, SSD)
Power Supply
A Case obviously

This are the main components. Lets start with the CPU.


09.06.2016 by vfx-world

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