Epic Games Pushes Graphics Fidelity With Photorealistic Character Model

Epic Games is making strides towards photorealistic graphics. To that end, the company released an incredibly detailed character model and documentation to help artists use it as a template to create their own models.

Photorealism is the holy grail of computer generated graphics. For years, experts have predicted that photorealistic computer graphics weren’t far off. As hardware gets more powerful and graphics engines gain more robust feature sets, 3D rendered art gets closer to being indistinguishable from the real world.

Epic Games is no stranger to realistic graphics. The developer behind the Unreal Engine put significant effort into advancing its texture shading technology over the last couple. Epic developed new shading techniques for eyes, skin, and hair to help create realistic character models in Unreal Engine. Now, the company is showing off the fruits of its labor with the release of a photorealistic character model that anyone can use.

Epic Games believes in sharing the wealth of knowledge that it acquires. The company said the character model is free to use in any Unreal Engine 4 project, and it includes all the documentation you’ll need to learn how to use the assets and the create your own photorealistic characters.

The model features textures created from scans taken with OTOY’s facial scanning technology. The character’s face is detailed such that you can make out individual pores and veins below the surface of its (his?) skin. You can also see the blood vessels in the character’s eyes.

The photorealistic character model showcase is available in the Epic Games launcher under the Learn tab. Open it with the editor to view a cinematic pan around the model. If you wish to implement the character or a variation of it into your project, you can find the documentation on the Unreal Engine website.

 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years.