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It really is hard to distinguish between what’s real and what’s not with how far technology is advancing.
The latest instance of blurring the lines of reality comes in the form of video game footage made with the 3D computer graphics engine Unreal Engine 5.
Behold this ‘apparent’ virtual train station, that looks exactly like a real train station.
Seriously, look at this and tell me this is not a real train station. I’ve been staring at this video for the last 10 minutes and I’m still not sure if the video is having me on.
Video game graphics have grown leaps and bounds as next-generation consoles and graphics cards are released.
We’ve somewhat grown accustomed to beautiful games, and probably less impressed by high-end graphics over time.
However, this train station built in Unreal Engine 5 and shared over on r/nextf**kinglevel is leaving people seriously stunned.
One Redditor commented: “I’m convinced. We’re in the Matrix.”
Honestly, it’s terrifying as much as it is beautiful.
Another said: “People are gonna just starting filming s**t and posting it with the caption ‘Wow. Someone just made this in Unreal 5.’”
It wouldn’t be that far fetched to believe this train station is just real-life footage with someone looking to gain some internet clout. Yet, it’s not.
The footage comes from 3D environment artist Lorenzo Drago, who recreated Japan’s Etchū-Daimon station using the Unreal 5 3D engine.
Drago detailed the project on ArtStation, saying: “For this project, I wanted to get as close to photorealism as possible.
"I used camera matching to get accurate proportions and made careful use of reference. I adjusted the measurements afterwards to help with modularity.
“Aside from detail textures and alphas created from photographs, I created all textures from scratch in Painter and made custom materials in Unreal for use with vertex painting or masks to break up repetition.”
The result is equally immersive as it is stunning, as the virtual camera moves around as a smartphone would.
Between the station loudspeaker announcement, static noises of bugs buzzing, and the way the light and shadow effects move with the camera, you really do feel like you’re present at the station.
While the demonstration isn’t necessarily reflective of how games will look like in Unreal Engine 5, it is an example of the capabilities of the tech that is coming to games.
Games such as the next Tomb Raider and Witcher titles are expected to use the engine in their upcoming editions.
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