Watch the horizon in Horizon: Zero Dawn

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Horizon-Zero-Dawn

I’m already so intrigued by Horizon: Zero Dawn. I probably shouldn’t be this excited by a game that is still so far away, but I just can’t help it. It’s so much more than robot dinosaurs, and really, what could be more than robot dinosaurs. But I’m intrigued by the world being created and I want to know everything I can about Aloy and her story. But I might just have lie on the grass somewhere and stare at the sky.

Here is a new video of volumetric clouds with time lapse in Horizon. I normally wouldn’t care about this, but it’s just so stunningly gorgeous, I had to watch the whole thing:

And over on the Guerrilla Games site they explain what we’re seeing:

Real-time volumetric clouds in games usually pay for fast performance with a reduction in quality. The most successful approaches are limited to low altitude fluffy and translucent stratus-type clouds. For Horizon Zero Dawn, Guerrilla need a solution that can fill a sky with evolving and realistic results that closely match highly detailed reference images which represent high altitude cirrus clouds and all of the major low level cloud types, including thick billowy cumulus clouds. These clouds need to light correctly according to the time of day and other cloud-specific lighting effects. Additionally, we are targeting GPU performance of 2ms. Our solution is a volumetric cloud shader which handles the aspects of modeling, animation and lighting logically without sacrificing quality or draw time. Special emphasis will be placed on our solutions for direct-ability of cloud shapes and formations as well as on our lighting model and optimizations.

I will admit, much of that went over my head, but I love the shapes of the clouds and the way the lighting works to make it all look so real. It’s truly incredible and already makes the world seem so much more alive. If this is the sort of attention being given to the sky, just think of what they’re doing for the world. I’m sort of in awe already and I just can’t wait to see more.

Last Updated: August 25, 2015

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. You can read more of my words over at www.borngeek.co.za, or just follow me on all the social networks to get the true range of my sarcasm and wit.

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