If there were only a couple of things we noticed (and loved) in the new Horizon 3 trailer, one of them would certainly be how classy the Forza Horizon 3 weather system is, and how realistically it translates the skies of Australia into the game.
Playground Games is using a very in-depth technique to make the skies look so good in the game. In fact, they are putting the in-game skies at the same level of importance as the cars and the tracks, and since the whole map is based in Australia, this si pretty damn exciting.
Benjamin Penrose, the art director of the game says “when you’re playing a driving game, the three most important things are the car, what you’re driving on, and the thing you’re driving underneath. That means the sky is actually super important.”
So what they have been doing is employ a photogrammetry-like technique where they used a customized High Dynamic Range (HDR) camera, took it out to the wild in Australia, captured footage and imported it to the game.
By importing the HDR images into the game they were also able to build the Forza Horizon 3 weather system and lighting system around them to make it look the closest to real.
This means not only that the weather changes you see are going to be drop dead gorgeous and almost as good as real, but also very dynamic, for example, clouds mean rainfall when you get there in time!
All the weather systems we put in place for that game hook into the same system perfectly, so it’s like a new data input it. You see storm clouds starting to build on the horizon, and it’s actually going to drive rainfall in the environment.
It has been a very painstaking process with a number of camera experts gruelling the weather conditions of Australia, but surely the Forza Horizon 3 weather systems are going to be worth it now.