Monday, April 9, 2007

Why Do They Look Like Ghosts?

Seems like every generation we are supposed to be 'wowed' by how 'good' Final Fantasy looks, and I have to admit up until now it sure has wowed everyone. But the first trailer of Final Fantasy XIII released, the one that apparently no one was sure was real time or not until the menu screens popped up, what a disappointment.

Just like with 'Spirits Within' Final Fantasy XIII has this ghost-like look to the characters, theres an insane amount of polygons in them no doubt, but they lack detail, like the modelers just got Playstation 2 Final Fantasy models and clicked on 'mesh smooth' and slapped some higher resolution textures onto them.

There is nothing astounding about the character models, they look like extremely smooth clay models... of ghosts. The faces are too perfect, sure this kind of perfection is what takes hours and hours to achieve on Leonardo Di Caprio's face hence should be inherently a good thing here, it is just too perfect.

Flawless in every way, smooth skin texture and what really irks me, basically a mirrored face. No ones face is the exact same on both sides, seems like thats something that didn't click with the modelers here. Two halves of the face should look at least slightly different and the fact they don't here just adds to the eery ghost-like effect the characters visage seems to portray.

Perhaps the reason why the mirror technique is showing off so spectacularly here is because the graphics are just so damn good, almost all other games have mirrored characters, it saves time. But when the character models have this many polygons, special FX wizwaz and whatever else, the mirroring and lack of finer details really shows.

Still have doubts? Compare Half-Life 2 to Final Fantasy XIII,

As you can see with the model taken out of Half-Life 2 Alyx definitely has far fewer polygons, lower resolution textures amongst other things. But she looks more life like, her skin has an actual human like texture, it isn't perfectly mirrored in on itself, it just looks more human.

With the FF XIII model it is quite obvious the image is sharper, no jagged edges anywhere, but still, she doesn't look nearly as real, her skin texture is too perfect, her face is mirrored and no amount of graphical horsepower could change that, thats the way the character has been modeled.

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