Forza Horizon 5 will feature ultra-realistic skies to fulfill its promise of not only “ever-evolving open world landscapes” but also a true next-generation racing simulation.
According to a new Let’s iGo! episode (via VGC) from last week, developer Playground Games captured around 75TB of real-world pictures of the skies over Mexico to help achieve the realistic sky domes of Forza Horizon 5.
Playground Games used a specialized camera setup that took pictures of Mexican skies every 30 seconds in 8K resolution. That amounted to nearly 3,000 pictures a day or nearly 50,000 pictures for around three weeks.
“We have three cameras that can take a third of the sky each and we take that back and stitch it together and then we have up to a 12K image that we can use for our sky domes,” said senior lighting artist Adan Currey.
“Each one of these cameras takes an 8K image but what they do is take a refracted shot of the sky. That means we can capture the full dynamic range of the lighting in that situation.”
75TB worth of data is a lot and as such, Playground Games had to physically ship hard drives back to its main studio in England to be processed. Transferring the enormous data over the cloud was not an option.
To further accentuate the amount of work done into making the realistic skies of Forza Horizon 5, the developer went through every simple photo before selecting only the very best.
It gets even better. Forza Horizon 4 had about 300 sky presets. Forza Horizon 5 will have well over 2,000 and players will be able to pick any one of them while creating custom races, which is where the dynamic weather conditions come to play as well since both weather and skies work in tandem.
Forza Horizon 5 looks to be shaping up nicely and will land on Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, and PC on November 9, 2021.