Unreal3 First Look
The machinima cut-scenes are really special - as I hoped they would be. The gameplay is utterly UT - as one might expect. That W key gets quite a workout :-)
Here are a few captures of various pieces at the start of the campaign both cut-scene and gameplay - well they are both the same things really from a visual perspective. The detail and emotion in the characters looks great for a realtime engine and should be very droolish for the Machinimators out there. The lips sliding over teeth and such is such a big step up from anything but the elite engines - cant wait to play with the editor for this baby.
[screenshots of how things kick off in the campaign]
Architectural Visualisation in 3D Engines
With the coming of the new might of Unreal3 and Crysis there will be renewed energy into using realtime environments to deliver Architectural Visualisation - or perhaps Architectural Experience would be a more apt term. There is little doubt that there is potential to be explored here. I do wonder about the legal requirements and costs for doing business with these engines in such a way.
HKS in the US have already licensed the Unreal 3 engine for their Architectural work. Animation & Images have a reply to the HKS press release on their site. Those Digital Urban folk will doubtless try their hand at all this.
If the only way to use game engines commercially for Architecture and design purposes is to get a full commercial copy of the respective engine itself - this would put it well beyond the reach of the small freelancer. Many small Architectural Visualisation firms of 1-5 people exist quite happily with software like 3DsMax, V-Ray, Sketchup, Vue and such. It would be great if keen early-adopters could live in this same environment with one of the latest engines in their toolset.
I have been talking about engines and graphics alot, here is a quick example of the splendour that we get everyday in WoW with very very very low requirements.
[screenshot inside WoW - shrunk to 800x500]