Journal: Virtual Car Photography Has Never Looked More Real

Virtual Car Photography Has Never Looked More Real

By Michael Banovsky
October 8, 2015
6 comments

Photography by Michael Banovsky

I’ve been playing video games since the early days, and of course, watching my favorite vehicles ever more incredibly rendered each year has been amazing to behold.

It used to be that there was barely enough memory to get a red blob from start to finish, with a few dozen turns in between. Now, virtual cars are defined with enough computing power to run a row of Sega Outrun cabinets. This has also allowed for game designers to become more creative and add features in order to appeal to a wider audience. Gran Turismo 4 was the first game to have this feature, and it’s something that’s appealed to me from the start.

This may sound silly, but with graphics as good as they are now, there’s a surprising amount of fun to be had in composing an interesting photo in a video game. I also find it oddly relaxing, which it should—after all, I’m just tapping buttons to compose virtual thoroughbreds into an interesting photo. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been taking quite a few in-game photos to see how real Forza 6 photography can get, and the results are pretty good.

Even with a small amount of post-processing applied, and the images cropped to the same size: what do you think? And are you a player who enjoys virtual “photo modes”?

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Leon Prinsloo
Leon Prinsloo
6 years ago

Assetto Corsa also has amazing graphics and a fantastic photo mode. Great shots.

thierry di raffaele
thierry di raffaele
6 years ago

Dear Micheal,
if you want to take your article a step further you should talk to the guy who makes all official Porsche pictures. Since few months, none of the pictures on their website are real anymore… all of them are digital. Feel free to contact me and I will connect you with him. His work is pretty unbelievable.

Francesco Lucci
Francesco Lucci
6 years ago

I don’t know how you can take photos now or on GranTurismo 4, unfortunately I left videogaming after Forza Motorsport 1, but sure it isn’t the fist car racing game where you can awake the photographer that’s in you.
I clearly remember when soon after a victory in a snowy track I take pictures of my yellow Mitsubishi Starion 4WD.
That’s a quote from a online review:
[b]”Another likewise feature, is the ability, no perhaps I should I the say obligatory photo-session after each race in GT mode. The game promptly asks you take take six pictures (You simply press the black button and whatever the screen shows when you press it, is your picture) and when you are done, you pick one of them to hang in your garage. This little nifty feature is nicely sponsored by Canon.”[/b]

Peter Schroeter
Peter Schroeter
6 years ago

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While Forza and PCars are surely graphically superior to Gran Turismo, the virtual photography trophy in terms of photo realism still goes to Kaz’s jewel. Awesome pics you posted! Especially the vintage racing bimmers.

Romain Beaulieu
Romain Beaulieu
6 years ago

Awesome pictures! My favorite: That big yellow Countach…
Most of the pictures I take are in game, here’s a couple of them:
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Jon Ulrich
Jon Ulrich
6 years ago

That is pretty fantastic. The virtual pictures look like the real deal to me. It’s amazing the advance in digital technology and the commuting power in video games. Nice pictures.