Warhorse’s Fantasy RPG Has Millions Of Graphics

By Adam Smith on December 10th, 2012 at 12:00 pm.

A farm, tomorrow

Daniel Vavra, the man who built the Mafia, is now creative director at Warhorse Studios and Eurogamer Czech have some ridiculously impressive footage of the developer’s unannounced fantasy RPG. The game isn’t due for a couple of years but the tech, a modified CryEngine 3, allow us to glimpse a future-game so realistic that the monitor is almost like a window. A window that looks out onto a farm, surrounded by woodland and with a muddy puddle on one of its worn tracks. It’s a tech demo and nothing is actually happening in the superbly realised location, but, damn, that really is the best muddy puddle I’ve seen in ages.

If Google Street View worked like this, I’d spend all my time being a virtual tourist.

Thanks to Eurogamer (not Czech), because I do not know what things like this mean: “Praze s prvními veřejně publikovanými záběry naznačují, jak by jednou mohlo vypadat ještě neohlášené husitské RPG.” I would have picked up ‘RPG’ and guessed this was a more character-based Farming Simulator spin-off.

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95 Comments »

  1. Low Life says:

    So, uh, WARHORSE?

  2. Metalhead9806 says:

    A glimpse into the future right there. Next gen visuals like that will be the norm. I look forward to it.

    • Stardog says:

      Well it doesn’t even look any better than the Crysis 3 engine from that video…

      • nanophage says:

        Crysis 3 is built using CryEngine 3 so . . .
        Unless your referring to the “modified CryEngine 3″ bit, as one would probably infer from the next-gen comment.

        The fact is we’ve had the tech for a few years but are still waiting for developers to really make good use of it! Hince the “next-gen” part.

        • MichaelPalin says:

          Why do we even talk about next-gen, we are PC gamers, next gen is every time we upgrade our device… and notice that every game looks like it’s designed for a 7 year old hardware, just with antialiasing.

          • JohnnyMaverik says:

            Because as the new console generation rolls around system requirements will jump dramatically. If you take low to medium settings in pc games to be around equivalent to what you’d see in the console versions as soon as the console hardware jumps, so do our system requirements, and so does the available hardware, the rate of release and improvement of that hardware (temporarily) and the fidelity and complexity you can expect to see from high and max settings.

            It’s both good and bad, good because games can suddenly look a lot better and do a lot more graphical trickery simultaneously, bad because every bodies gaming rids suddenly get a downgrade, low power machines equivalent to the consoles are in danger of not being able to run the new releases, mid power become low and in some cases sub-par, high power becomes the mid and by the end of the ‘next-gen’ machines we’d now expect to play anything at 60fps + will be struggling on medium.

            Like it or not what we can expect from games is for the most part still very much tied to what the consoles can handle. As you pretty much said, our ports maxed out are in the vast majority of cases exactly the same, only with some more AA and AF and higher res textures, better resolution in general in most cases (few console games actually run at 1080p) and better frame rate (of course presuming you have some top range hardware, I personally don’t at the moment but I still get a little more than I would on a console). So exactly the same but a noticeably shinier and stutter free.

      • Stardog says:

        Well this proves it: http://www.vg247.com/2012/12/11/warhorse-studios-responds-to-leaked-medieval-rpg-demo/

        ““To call it ‘next gen’ is also somewhat misleading, considering that we showed it on a two-year-old laptop with a mobile GeForce 555M, which is not exactly state-of-the-art PC or next gen Xbox. Obviously, the machine wouldn’t have fared so well with the whole several square kilometre terrain we have, especially if it had to run the game itself, AI and the full world simulation and not just a preview in the editor.

        “However, the game runs fairly OK on present day average PCs”

        And, yes, I meant CryEngine earlier.

    • Hyomoto says:

      I doubt it. Indie developers aren’t going to be pushing for this; it’s a AAA prospect at best and an exercise in futility at worst. Who cares about the Uncanny Valley playing Borderlands or Torchlight? You drop in this sort of environment and it’s gonna get real Skyrim, real fast. Besides, games like Lone Survivor, FTL and Minecraft cost pennies in comparison and have loyal fan bases. So while Minecraft can churn out updates for free, it costs a few hundred thousand for this one scene. No, I don’t look forwards to this because I don’t see what value it brings to the table. I keep hoping next gen will be about crowd AI and pushing the draw distance, photorealism is a dumb pipe dream.

      • MasterDex says:

        A few hundred thousand for one scene? I assume we’re talking just for the commercial CryEngine 3 license, yeah? Because asset creation, etc isn’t very expensive. It’s a definite time-sink but relatively cheap in comparison to hiring coders competent enough to do really good AI or engine modifications.

        • Shuck says:

          “Because asset creation, etc isn’t very expensive.”
          It is compared to one or two developers releasing Minecraft patches. Heck, it is compared to a few engine/AI programmers. We’re not just talking about time-consuming, high quality art assets, animations, textures and shaders, but along with that is more voice acting, more complex particle systems, physics systems, scripts and AI, not to mention an increased number of managers to oversee all that… it’s suddenly a very large team that’s needed for content creation.

        • Hyomoto says:

          I just don’t see it, there is a diminishing return. First off, you have the initial cost for the engine, then you have the requirement on the end user. Not to mention Shuck’s excellent point. So why would a publisher invest two hundred million in development, QA and advertising to see the same return. So first you ask me to buy a new computer/console, then you tell me I have to buy your game because its so expensive you can’t afford to make it. Yeah, pass. I have difficulty believing its gonna do much for me.

    • fredcadete says:

      Yes. It’s almost on par with Myst 3.

    • Lord Byte says:

      Games always look better when viewed through a camera… Case in point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGuUbWspc7c Good old Arma 1 filmed through a camera pointed at a screen…. Looks next-gen, then look for any ingame footage… it isn’t!
      (Edit: apparently they removed the high res version, but it’s downloadable if you expand the info – It’s aged, but it still doesn’t look like a ten year old game, mostly thanks to the camera).

    • Somerled says:

      And like the many gens before it, it looks good right up until you get control in the game. Then you take a look at the things around you and they flatten out unnaturally, or they all move to the same unheard rhythm, or the NPCs seem to float just so.

  3. HexagonalBolts says:

    When first reading the title I presumed this was a fantasy RPG constructed around the Warhorse play (book? film?) which would have been very strange indeed.

    - Also, that video is incredible. I simply don’t understand how it could be possible for a human to craft a world like that without having to reuse all the unbelievably detailed assets a hell of a lot.

  4. moocow says:

    These Czech camcorder rips are really dropping in quality

  5. AlwaysRight says:

    Needs more brown and green

    • SanguineAngel says:

      I think that place is a legitimate location for brown and green in all fairness

    • golem09 says:

      Because the whole middle age was rainbow coloured.

      • AlwaysRight says:

        Yes thats exactly what I’m inferring;

        Where for example are the lollipop waterfalls?
        or the high-definition recreations of ‘wattle and smarties’ buildings?

        • SanguineAngel says:

          Actually, Waffles and Smarties were abandoned as building materials very early in the middle ages when gingerbread came into widespread use due to its comparative hardiness in most conditions – not to mention its increased defensive capabilities. As you may imagine, this led to a far higher rating on the period’s “Browness Scale”. Consequently, considerable effort was poured into the development of Icing based cladding. As principal pioneer in field, famous contruction engieer and nutritional expert of the time, Maestro Martino explained this was a concerted effort by he and his peers to “Brighten up the place”, although he went on to explain in his memoirs that “The time, effort and financial burden involved in maintaining the visually pleasing sugar based cladding was prohibitive and uptake was restricted largely to the upper classes. Even here, the fad was short lived. Life soon became exceptionally drab once more.”

          In the decades that followed, further attempts by peers of Martino’s (Maestro himself having retired following the entire icing debacle) to bring colour and variety to the world at large continued, with the most notorious being the Great Colouring Disaster sometime during the mid 16th Century [so well after the time period displayed in this article] when thousands of environmental gastronomic engineers roamed the countryside across continental Europe & Euroasia painting individual blades of grass a variety of colours. Originally, food colouring was attempted but following the first week of work, severe rains washed away hundreds of square miles worth of work. The process was then duplicated using a more permanent and (controversially) non-food based product which, whilst effectively sticking to the grass revealed its own drawbacks when the entire Pan-European & Russian countryside was devastated as the painted grass withered and died during the summer months, leaving behind vast swathes of bald, dry ground. Incidentally, the property & bakery market boomed at around this time when much of this land was turned into suburban developments full of cookie-cutter ginerbread houses.

          This final experimentation in country beautification by the brave but doomed gastro-engineers of the 15th & 16th centuries saw the disillusionment of the public with that entire field of science. The concept was abandoned, swept under the rug and the word’s governments unanimously decided to pretend it had never happened. Thus, the countryside the world over remained largely brown and green for centuries.

          • MrCrun says:

            In the face of that post I feel like one of those tourists in Florence who burst out crying because it’s so beautiful.

          • Ich Will says:

            Best

            Post

            Ever

          • AlwaysRight says:

            epic

          • Hydrogene says:

            Did I really read that post ? Amazing. You sir really need to rewrite all contemporary history books. Your version of History is much better than what I learned at school!

          • DellyWelly says:

            In wot seems to be the one of the silliest days in RPS comment thread history, this post is certainly the icing on the cake.

          • LionsPhil says:

            cookie-cutter ginerbread houses

            Glorious.

          • Low Life says:

            Oh wow. Thank you for that.

          • iucounu says:

            That was terrific. I wrote an enthusiastic article about the short-lived vogue for pastry rendering, but was worried it read too much like a puff piece.

          • Dances to Podcasts says:

            We should have a post of the year thingy.

  6. SuffixTreeMonkey says:

    The translation of that Czech phrase is more or less this:

    “Newly released footage suggests how a so far unannounced Hussite RPG could look like.”

    And if European history is not your main field of expertise, know that Hussites were members of a commune-type Christian reform group that was able to control the Czech lands for a while in the 15th century, before being utterly defeated by Catholics. They were no saints (pillaging villages was one of their vices) but the ideals behind the movement (reforming the Catholic church) were solid and they’re viewed as sorta-heroes in the Czech Republic.

    • MichaelPalin says:

      Wait a minute…is this not medieval fantasy? Is this… history!? Blergh!!

      • SuffixTreeMonkey says:

        Throughout the video they’re only talking about the tech (and developer-related stuff, like what changes they made to the engine and what you should avoid when modeling a house for your game developer’s resume), so I think besides thinking Hussites are “cool” they don’t have much in terms of story — or they haven’t shared it yet.

        To sum up, don’t worry, it could be 99% fiction.

      • Zelius says:

        Well, medieval fantasy RPGs are a dime a dozen. Historical RPGs on the other hand… I honestly can’t think of a single example.

  7. Physicaque says:

    “Praze s prvními veřejně publikovanými záběry naznačují, jak by jednou mohlo vypadat ještě neohlášené husitské RPG.”
    ‘[In] Prague… the first ever published video hint at how the yet unanounced RPG set in hussite wars could look like.’
    I am definetely interested how they are going to tackle this period of time (hussite wars) since many people in our country have a lot of misconceptions/idealizations about it because communism goverment used it in its propaganda.

  8. golem09 says:

    Blurry video always looks better than the real deal. Shaky cam doesn’t help.

  9. PearlChoco says:

    I sure thinks it looks pretty, but is it so much better than, let’s say, The Witcher 2?

    • CameO73 says:

      That’s exactly what I thought! It’s really hard to tell with all the shaking and auto-focusing. I did like the field with the swaying flowers, though.

    • Stochastic says:

      I do wonder whether we’ll ever see another Crysis again, that is, a game which blows the doors off existing standards for graphical fidelity. I think we’ve gotten to a point where it’s going to be difficult to make any massive gains that are immediately subjectively appreciable in the way Crysis was back in 2007. Of course, I would be delighted to have my hunch proven wrong.

      • nanophage says:

        I think there are other areas we can improve in though beyond pure pure graphical fidelity and “realness.” Higher resolution textures, high resolution terrain and tasselation techniques, super destructable environements that are actually playable, improved physics, dynamic water, procedurally generated gameplay spaces and environments, intelligent AI, etc. You get the idea. Still plenty of directions to go!

    • Stevostin says:

      I”d rather compare it to Skyrim. I am not sure it looks better than Skyrim as it tragically miss middle and long distances. It does look better than the Witcher 2, but everything does (except The Witcher 1).

      • Lukasz says:

        ? really? You think TW2 looks bad? I was under impression that this game was one of the best looking games on the market at this moment.

        • MasterDex says:

          Something tells me that they have a grudge against The Witcher 2 because that is one damn fine looking game.

        • MattMk1 says:

          TW2 is easily the best looking RPG of its kind.

          Although it’s not an open world game, so if you want huge open vista’s it’s not going to happen, and obviously the art direction – which is far from the “Disney ride generic” fantasy style so popular with some of the bigger US studios – might not be for everyone…

      • Eclipse says:

        LOLWUT? The Witcher 2 looks way better than vanilla Skyrim. And it’s also a better, more mature game all around.

        • Ich Will says:

          What people think looks better is a matter of opinion, do try to not to tell people their opinion is wrong.

          • MasterDex says:

            What people THINK looks better is a matter of opinion. What looks better (as far as graphical quality is concerned) is not. The Witcher 2 looks a lot better, as far as graphical quality goes.

            Also, Eclipse never told the OP that their opinion was wrong, they just gave their own differing opinion. Speaking of opinions, I take issue with this:

            “do try to not to tell people their opinion is wrong.”

            You’re far from the first to say something like this but in recent years, I’ve seen this attitude becoming increasingly popular and it’s really starting to irritate me. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. But – and this is the crucial part – not every opinion has equal worth and opinions can certainly be wrong.

          • Ich Will says:

            @MasterDex – I inferred the attitude of “You’re opinion is wrong” from his opener of “LOLWUT?” – Which as far as I can decipher involves the poster claiming the OP is so wrong, he is laughing out loud.

            I think you are conflating opinion with interpretation. Interpretation can indeed be wrong, opinion, in the correct use of the word can never be wrong or right.

            Here’s a good example:-

            In my opinion, bit trip runner looks better than Crysis (Feel free to read as “I think bit trip runner looks better than Crysis”)
            In my opinion bit trip runner has more polys than Crysis

            The top one cannot be “wrong” unless I am deliberately lying. The only way you could prove that is to be me.
            The bottom one is a misuse of the word opinion.

            You are correct when you say that not all opinions are equal, the opinion of someone who has proven their worth is way more important to his audience (and only to his audience) than someone who just knows what they like, but importantly, no more valid. For example if a renowned game critic says he thinks the graphics in Magika are great and I say I think the graphics in Magika are great, I wouldn’t expect people to question their own opinion based on mine. If they are a fan of the critic, they may be inspired to take a second look.

      • Ultramegazord says:

        Wait, what? Are you really comparing the plastic low resolution console capped crappy looking graphics of Skyrim to this?

        http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/9748/witcher2a.jpg

        They belong to different leagues, there’s really no way to think Skyrim is even at par with Witcher 2 graphics unless you have some kind of grudge against it.

  10. Loque says:

    Where can I donate some dollars for a tripod?

  11. PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

    This is obviously the 1 level they have completed I guess it takes a lot of money to finish but why wait for nextgen consoles just target PC only & include gameplay reasons for people to not want to pirate it!

    • Hyomoto says:

      A decent gaming computer will set you back about twelve hundred dollars. This type of game demands you own a twenty-five hundred dollar computer. How much does an Xbox cost again?

      • skinlo says:

        No it doesn’t.

      • Rian Snuff says:

        I’ve recently put together a full rig including monitor, speakers, keyboard and 5-button mouse on a 600 dollar budget for a friend. It ran Crysis 2 and Skyrim on high/ultra settings averaging above 50fps. People who build rig’s that cost 1200 either didn’t know what they were doing or simply felt like being over the top. Which is totally alright also. How much does a 360 cost after you buy a second controller, HDMI cable, a headset and all the other potential bells and whistles, a few games.. A live account? Now consider how many amazing free to play games you get out of the box on PC and all the savings we receive on bundles and deals and the much higher quality of gaming we experience due to greater advancements in the technology and the ability to customize settings and enjoy modding. There you go, perspective is lovely. Be well!

        • MichaelPalin says:

          People who build rig’s that cost 1200 either didn’t know what they were doing or simply felt like being over the top.

          Kind of annoyed about this type of commentaries, I have to say. Do you know why people spend 1200€ or even 1800€ on a PC? Because while a 600€ one runs perfectly any game released today a 1200€ one will still run perfectly a game released in two years and in three in the case of a 1800€. And it also makes you feel like having a bigger penis than you actually have. Does your 600€ PC make that for you? Does it?

          • derbefrier says:

            easy there fella. Hes said nothing wrong. hes completely right. besides i do not see how a $600 PC will not last at least a couple more years and even in those couple years I would bet only minimal upgrades would be necessary if any at all are. We are not talking high end enthusiast rigs here just good medium range budget PCs. I don’t see things progressing that quickly that a budget PC will be obsolete in less than 3 or 4 years. Maybe you wont be able to run everything on ultra but I would bet you will still be able to play most anything out there at the time.

          • Rian Snuff says:

            Lol, that was intense. Way to actually read what I said.
            All that budget PC would need in two years is likely a GPU upgrade, yea.
            And that was for a friend, not me. My setup is worth a good 4-6 grand in total, proud of it. : P
            Even with my expensive computer a lot of the time I’m limited by the optimization put into games anyways.
            You should have a cup of tea sir. You are batshit.

            That must of been some weird attempt at trolling, one must assume.

          • MichaelPalin says:

            No aggressiveness intended.

          • Droniac says:

            To be honest, I can’t see how you could possibly build a decent PC from-scratch with just 600 euro. And by that I mean a PC that can run every modern game decently in 1080p with everything set to high or maximum, including Crysis 1, World in Conflict, Far Cry 3, Guild Wars 2, and PlanetSide 2, that offers a solid gaming experience.

            Sure you might be able to save big if you don’t care about expenses down-the-line and don’t require a halfway decent audiovisual experience. You’ll be spending a lot more money over time, particularly on externals, but you could conceivably build a system that might run those games decently at medium-high settings on 1080p. If you overclock that might even be consistently high-maximum settings, but even then you won’t be able to do that in another 1-2 years. And you certainly won’t have a decent experience when it comes to visual quality (poor monitor), audio quality (bad speakers / headset – possibly even bad on-board audio), and control (bad keyboard / mouse).

            An optimal system with all the external components you’ll need for a good gaming experience and the internal components required to properly power that for at least 3-5 years (likely the latter) would cost in the region of 1600 euro. The system you have for this price is truly sublime.

            The external components: mechanical keyboard (120 euro), decent mouse (45 euro), decent gamepad (45 euro), decent joystick (45 euro), good 120Hz monitor (300 euro), good stereo speaker set (70 euro), good headphones (100 euro), a solidly built case (80 euro). The total costs for just external components: 770 euro. The key thing to note here is that most of this will last roughly a decade and offer a consistently top-notch experience.

            Internal components for a good, not over-the-top, gaming system that will last 3-5 years – likely 5 – would be something like this: ASUS GTX 660DC2 TOP (240 euro), 500 Watt PSU (60 euro), 16GB DDR3 RAM (65 euro), Core i5 3550 (190 euro), LGA 1155 ATX motherboard (90 euro), DVD writer (20 euro), Samsung 840 Pro 256GB Basic Kit (134 euro), 1TB HDD (70 euro). That’s 870 euro for a future-proof system that can handle any modern game maxed out with absolute ease, and will be able to do so for years to come.

            The key thing to note here is that with a 600 euro setup you’re replacing a video card every one-and-a-half-years (150 euro) and the full internal system every 3-4 years (400 euro). You’re also constantly replacing the cheap low-quality external components, which quickly runs into the hundreds of euros. The optimal system on the other hand, merely requires an upgrade at around 5 years time, for about 550 euro, which can then run comfortably for another 5 years without any expenses.

            I tried your way with my keyboards and headsets. It resulted in buying 8 headsets and 4 keyboards in just 6 years. Had I purchased just a mechanical keyboard and a more expensive headset (like Sennheiser HD series) back then, that alone would’ve saved me hundreds of euros. And that’s just to replace broken equipment.

            There are a lot of quality-of-life improvements to be made that would make a huge impact on a 600-euro-budget system. Insert a SSD for night & day difference in system performance, loading times, and performance in certain games (e.g.: all MMOs). Replace the monitor with something decent (better TN panel), or even something good (IPS/120Hz), so you can actually appreciate the graphics your internal components are churning out. Try on decent headphones (e.g.: Sennheiser HD series) for audio that doesn’t grate on the ears (and I’m not even remotely an audiophile).

            Particularly the SSD and 120Hz monitor make a world of difference. After using a computer with a SSD, you simply cannot go back to regular HDDs. A 120Hz monitor is more subtle, but provides far better responsiveness that’s immediately noticeable and similarly importantly is much easier on the eyes for extended use. The headphones are obvious, but the other two might be mistaken for merely high-end gadgets when they’re really quite essential.

            600 euro is a royal budget for any system upgrade, but not for a from-scratch PC. I’d rather spend more upfront and get something that’s genuinely competent (albeit definitely not top-notch) that will last even longer than a console. That doesn’t mean I don’t know what I’m doing, it means I have standards – and a 600 euro from-scratch build doesn’t meet them, which it really shouldn’t for most gamers.

        • Hyomoto says:

          Clearly it wasn’t a mac, in which case, triple my original.

        • ParadoxEternal says:

          anything more than $1500 is overkill in my opinion, but $1k – $1200 the sweet spot. People who spend $2500 are getting a super overpowered system, but people who spend under $100 must be playing on a lower resolution than standard (1080p). This could run on a $1200 computer, easily. The GPU is a GTX 550M. My PC was $1200 and it has a GTX 670 OC’d. I could play this easily at 1080p.

        • Hyomoto says:

          Shopping for deals? Maybe. Six hundred minus the costs of even a base reliable keyboard/mouse and speakers leaves you with about five for a case, power supply, motherboard, graphics card, cpu, hard drive and memory. That’s a kudos budget to put together anything, but I stand by my comment. Twelve hundred will buy you some quality hardware and minor future proofing, and still be cheap enough to let you replace the whole thing when it obsoletes or lightning wipes it out.

      • Lawful Evil says:

        Trolling?

      • yhancik says:

        From Warhorse Twitter :
        “Its worth mentioning, that the presentation from the leaked “next gen” video is running on old laptop with GeFOrce 555M :)”

  12. Stevostin says:

    It’s rather nice but it’s a pretty small scene, especially for the setting.

    • USER47 says:

      It’s not a game level, just a special scene for the developer conference, used to illustrate some of their technological and design approaches, nothing more.

  13. Crosmando says:

    Meh, the more money they put into the graphics the less money they are going to have to put into the actual role-playing systems of the game, the skills, attributes, inventory system, leveling, weapons, classes, ie the things that make a game a game. I say the game will be a nice tech-demo for CryEngine, a nice screensaver but utterly shallow gameplay consisting of “run” and “swing weapon”.

  14. MichaelPalin says:

    Mafia creator. Great graphics. Medieval Fantasy RPG. Apparent open-world-ness and not annoying “do you want to go to the next set piece?”. No loading time between interiors and exteriors. 8D, HAPPINESS!

  15. MattMk1 says:

    Hussite RPG, eh? There’s a trilogy of historical fiction / fantasy novels set during the Hussite wars written by Andrzej Sapkowski, the author of the Witcher books. (the fantasy elements drive the story, but they’re relatively subtle)

    I’d be somewhat surprised if the Czechs decided to adapt a Polish writer’s view of their own history, but it’s such a seemingly perfect fit…

  16. Calabi says:

    “I cannae maintain that level of detail for long captain, I dont have the power!”.

  17. wodin says:

    It’s people and animations that still need alot of work these days..not really scenery which is looking fine at the moment.

  18. Paul says:

    Uh, guys, you might want to edit that headline, this will be realistic historical RPG, not a fantasy one.

    FORTUNATELY.

  19. ParadoxEternal says:

    looks slightly better than Skyrim with 2K textures + ENB lighting mod with sharpening. It would be nice if they could show off NPC’s, though.

  20. pilouuuu says:

    Well, nice looking environments don’t matter all that much when you have badly animated characters. Skyrim is a good example. Let me know when they show characters with facial animation as good as HL2 or L.A. Noire and good body animation.

  21. aamosnyc says:

    Oh look, Farming Simulator 1513!

  22. SuperNashwanPower says:

    To be honest there is a lot better out there already. Look up some of the Crysis Photoreal mod videos on YouTube – CryEngine 2 with mods has always been incredible. This is good footage though and, as a big fan of real time hi-spec CG I am pleased to see photorealism in the spotlight again