What Uncharted 4′s million polygon characters will look like

You might have already read about a Naughty Dog job listing for a character artist responsible for “making million poly models game ready” for a “next-gen” game, and if so you probably got pretty excited. A million polygons is a lot, right? It’s certainly more than the ~30,000 poly models used in Uncharted 3. Is this evidence of Uncharted on PS4? Or a simple misunderstanding? Let’s investigate.

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mynd3476d ago (Edited 3476d ago )

Million polys was always about the normal maps. Not in game assets, at least this article gets it right. So many people got the wrong end of the stick with the original article.

LolololRumz3476d ago

Glad this artical contains a lot more people with the educated answer, there really won't be much difference between the million poly models and say the final 30,000 poly ones. It's just the quality of the normal maps and the person creating them, but it's in safe hands with Naughty Dog

nveenio3475d ago

We're to the point now that processing power is better spent on dynamic systems. Procedural environments, for instance. Or advanced physics, particle effects and lighting. Procedural animations.

The next level of gaming won't be controller or polygon based. It'll come from more realistic simulations.

Kurylo3d3475d ago

problem with that is if u notice... nothing at all is animated within that video. The technology has been around for ages... i mean a long long time ago... This company is just trying to be slick and rebrand it... its garbage for now that has no support for awesome shaders or skeletal animation or animation at all for that matter.

specialguest3475d ago (Edited 3475d ago )

Notch, the creator of Minecraft called this tech a scam. Euclidean responded stating that Notch based his statements on limited info and understanding of the tech, and that it isn't a scam.

Let's hope this new tech rolls out soon. Euclidean tech could be revolutionary and change the industry.

ProjectVulcan3475d ago (Edited 3475d ago )

This is what they should look like.

This was a tech demo that ran realtime to promote the performance of the 8800GTX 5 years ago. The head had a big poly count: but the lighting/shadows are completely realtime too.

The demo only renders this head, it is exceptionally taxing for this one object, not least of all because of the superb lighting effects of the skin. This is really the sort of thing that would be amazing to see on next generation hardware.

This is what you can do with huge counts.

bozebo3475d ago (Edited 3475d ago )

The normal maps (and depth maps) will be tessellated back into polygons so in the end, if the camera is close enough to the character (i.e. face close-up) then they will easily have a million polygons if you took the density of the polygons on the screen and assumed that density across the whole model.

Of course, that's presuming Sony opt for something a lot beefier than a 6670 lol, otherwise tessellation is a no-go.

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Pandamobile3476d ago

I'd say 100,000 to 150,000 polys in a player/lead character with high quality normal maps and all that should be more than sufficient for next gen games.

After that, you're just needlessly throwing geometry at the GPU with no benefit to the game

moparful993475d ago

Thats what I've always thought.. The thought that a million polygons have to not only be rendered but you have texture maps, colors skeletal animations, and physics it seems like an awful lot of resources for a character model.. I could be wrong though...

ProjectVulcan3475d ago (Edited 3475d ago )

We are reaching the point where you can afford to throw 10 million polygons on screen at once. You can have as much as you want to build very detailed surfaces and characters, objects etc. when tesselated.

I agree that there is a finite number of polygons needed to describe an object and we aren't that far away from reaching that. At this point the GPU architecture is likely to shift increasingly to other more important areas.

hesido3475d ago (Edited 3475d ago )

I don't think we'll be talking about exact polygon counts, that the next gen hardware would probably have feasible tesselation capable hardware. As tesselation becomes a standard, the original assets will be designed with tesselation in mind, with lower polygon meshes coupled with displacement. Good times! Currently, the only thing tesselation does is to slow down the gpu for the sake of looking better, as core assets have to have higher than needed polygon counts to account for hardware incapable of tesselation. When it becomes the standard, it will make things faster, and still look more beautiful.

Based on distance to camera, on close-ups, the characters may have immensely detailed curves with very high poly count, although the base mesh could contain as little as, say, 5000 polygons, tesselated and displacement mapped (displacement mapping adapted from a billion poly source on zbrush).

Then, tesselation would be real memory saver, as characters in memory will take even less memory, but will be displayed in even higher quality than current gen. This will allow lot more objects on screen with unique geometry.

bozebo3475d ago (Edited 3475d ago )

Hesido you said what I have been saying for years but made it easy to understand :P


Key point - tessellation can only be used properly when the game is only going to run on hardware with heavy tessellation. Which means MS have already gimped this gen IF they stick a ~6670 in the nextbox :/ or maybe they are going casual? I don't know. It's strange because last gen the consoles were good performers when they launched so the ~6670 rumour was probably BS anyway. (a 28nm chip would make a lot more sense for many reasons)

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raptor3023476d ago

You can basicly get the same result with normal maps. So I don't really see how having a million polygon model is gonna make any difference to the detail of characters.

It's prob like they say in the article though. Most models these days are sculpted with millions of polygons and then brought down to a much lower amount with different textures maps on them so that they still look very detailed.

LightofDarkness3476d ago

It would make a difference only if you were very close-up and could examine the smallest details. Otherwise, normal maps are absolutely worth the detail/performance trade off.

Besides, something with that much geometric detail would also suffer from tremendous aliasing at the resolutions we commonly game at on PS3/360, which would just make things uglier.

Funny enough, when I saw the fist headline on N4G I shrugged it off as "they probably mean the high-poly renders for normal maps" and a bait headline, but I guess some people took it to heart (probably the original article writer didn't understand it him/herself).

But yeah, poly-counts aren't exactly left wanting right now on PS3 or PC, lighting and more advanced shaders are the stuff that's going to be making the big differences for the next while.

ravinash3475d ago

Once you get down to a certain level, it's the bump map which bring in the real detail.

Pandamobile3476d ago (Edited 3476d ago )

The likelihood of Uncharted 4, or any game in the foreseeable future having million polygon in-game characters is slim to none.

Using high-poly models is the standard for just about every game developer in 2012. Every 3D character has an extremely high poly version that they use to extract normal maps from. This practise will continue into next-gen and beyond because it's a lot more efficient and artist-friendly.

All that job listing was asking was for a 3D modeller/sculptor that has experience making high poly models in Zbrush or Mudbox. Game journalists really need to learn a bit about what they're writing about before they write all these ridiculous, sensationalist articles.

PersonMan3475d ago

This is exactly what I was going to say. Thank you for saying it better :-)

3476d ago Replies(2)
Oldman1003476d ago

Rendering at that amount would be a waste of resources. Just look how little of a difference there is between this strangers wrath 20,000 poly ps3 render and 529,000 poly cg render.

LNDCalling3476d ago (Edited 3475d ago )

Not the best of comparisons being such low resolution images, now try showing those images (Raw) on a 60"+ 4k TV, now that would show the difference!

As things currently stand 'hardware wise' I would agree, but industries (Gaming included especially so) are always looking forward not just at what's possible now!

SephirothX213475d ago

Exactly. I think there needs to be a greater commitment to getting more on screen rather than making things look better. Better AI, better physics and bigger environments. Hopefully by next gen, more developed countries will have faster broadband speeds which will mean less lag and more players in online multiplayer matches.

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