In a new Intel-sponsored feature, part of Gamasutra's Visual Computing section
, Senior Graphics Software Architect Manager for Intel Mike Burrows discussed the company's upcoming Larrabee chipset
, rejecting suggestions that graphical fidelity might plateau soon.
Burrows' ambitions for the Larrabee are reflected in his answer to the question about plateauing visuals for rendering and video games:
"I definitely do not subscribe to that theory, but it depends on your definition of graphical fidelity. If graphical fidelity means rendering a chair or table at ultimate resolution, I could see where that could plateau. But if you talk about something organic or something with any kind of physical state that changes over time, usually with some kind of intelligence behind it, there are a lot of things happening there."
Greater advancements in animation and behavior lie ahead, he projects, and right now, game developers are just scratching the surface.
"I've seen great presentations on modeling animals, in the way that animals actually move and walk, whereas today we have great animators who work to ultimate extremes, trying to get more lifelike animations. Assassin's Creed
was an awesome representation of that. From their own presentations, the amount of time that they spent with animators trying to get to that level of fidelity was huge."
"But what I look for is applying computer technology to actually model more of the physical characteristics behind those organic behaviors: How does the human move? How do the muscle groups move and interact with each other? What are the constraints applied to the system?"
"We may be at the earlier stages of that happening or at least at the stage where we're realizing some of the potential, but can't actually do it in a full game because of the other game computing requirements. It's one thing to show a technology sample with one set of animation. It's a different thing to have that running at 60 frames per second and a full game world going on. Still, I don't believe in the plateau theory."
Gamasutra's Intel-sponsored feature goes into greater depth
on the future of visual computing, his own role at Intel, and what lies ahead for the in-development Larrabee.