A Collection of Videos that Show Photorealism is Here

The other day I posted a wicked cool screenshot from a Diablo 3 cinematic and talked about how the photorealistic apocalypse, my theory that when game graphics equal reality, people will never want to leave and society will collapse.

Such tech is surely decades away right? Well, not really, as photrealism has actually been achieved by a few rare visual effects artists already. The problem is then mass producing this technology as something other than tech demos so it can be used in movies and eventually video games.

I’ve assembled a collection of videos here that show ranges of what I’m talking about. There are perfect CGI films of nothing but digital effects, and there is tech already being used in games that’s bridging the gap between the virtual and real life. It’s a pretty cool collection if I do say so myself.

The Third and the Seventh – Alex Roman


I’m hesitant to start you out with this one, as it will dwarf anything and everything that comes after it, but it will work out well for those of you who are too ADHD to make it to the end of lists like this. Truly astonishing, and yes, it’s 100% CGI

Above Everything Else – Alex Roman


Another video by the same artist, shorter, but equally impressive.

Meet Emily


Emily shows that virtual humans aren’t so far away.

Johnnie Walker – The Android


A cool Johnnie Walker ad using photorealsim I’d never seen.

Formula 1


Forza and Gran Turismo are just about here.

My Lonely Friend


Another insane render of a human.

Sixes Last


Blending the real world with CGI.

GTA Photorealism Mod


Shows the upper limit of what game graphics are possible currently if you push our hardware to the max.

Alter Ego


Some cool facial capture tech you’ll be seeing used in more games soon.



A similar facial tech program with even better effects.

  • tuffy

    thats amazing… games are going to be insane in ten years. Graphically at least. I wonder what kind of PR Storms are going to start when you’re playing CoD:MW17 and the people you are shooting look just like real people.

  • Jim

    I don’t want PHOTOREALISM… realism is boring, I want SURREALISM and ABSTRACTION in my games, movies, art.


  • Doug

    I don’t really consider Meet Emily and Janimation in the same category as the other, they are more like extreme mocap with added details of people’s faces, kind of like L.A. Noire.

  • Ben

    As I said in the last article, these are amazing but we are still a long long way away from being able to achieve stuff like most of that stuff in game.

    It’s not a matter of how many polys you can push anymore it’s a matter of textures and reflections etc. This stuff is immensely computationally heavy.

    The textures alone for some of that stuff in the first clip would eclipse what’s possible in games today. We’re talking absoultley massive textures that are gigs each. Everyone would have multiple layers in the 3D program that would react differently for the light shining on them, reflecting them, shining through them etc. We’re talking multiple hours per frame on a high end computer. To achieve those kinds of effects with a real time render are not even remotely possible.

    That Meet Emily video hilights my other point. That video is freaking creepy as hell. It looks like an alien killed her and is wearing her skin as a suit. There are hundreds of tiny little imperfections that just render it wrong. THAT is the major hurdle in crossing the uncanny valley. Even bigger then the technical issues wich will eventually be overcome with time. The human brain is REALLY good at picking up imperfections.

  • David

    Where could I learn more about photorealism for film. Is there a place that anyone can recommend that I start. I know a few of you look down on the art but I find it very interesting. Thanks for your help.