Photography’s Influence on Video Games

The art of photography has changed significantly over the years – with the improvement of technology and changes in creativity and innovation. Thus, it should be no surprise that photography has had a profound influence on video games and the entire gaming industry. Photography has influenced game development, design and a whole lot more.

But it’s not all straightforward. In fact, there are several very unusual ways in which photography is used to enhance gaming. Let’s dive right into the ten most important ways in which photography has influenced the world of video games.

1.      Texture Mapping

Believe it or not, fictional video games actually have quite a lot to do with reality – even if they don’t look like it. In fact, texture artists – artists that add texture to three-dimensional objects – often use photographs of real-world objects in order to apply texture to three-dimensional models in video games.

This technique enhances the realism of game elements, such as characters, buildings and landscapes. Indeed, if you think that the video game you’re playing looks realistic, it’s probably because it really was modeled on actual photographs.

2.      Visual Design and Graphics

If you think about it, creating a video game is very similar to taking photographs – you need to think about the composition, lighting, framing and more. Since photographers have a keen eye for these things, game developers tend to draw on these skills to create visually stunning environments and realistic graphics in their virtual worlds.

3.      World Building

Everybody needs to be inspired by something, and often, it’s photographs of real-world locations that serve as inspiration for building game worlds. It’s all about coming up with ideas for what to include in these worlds, how to put them together and how to make them look good.

Thus, game developers often reference photographs of cities, forests, deserts and other impressive environments to create realistic immersive game settings. At the end of the day, the best way to build worlds is to find a happy middle ground between reality and pretend.

4.      Virtual Tourism

Many different video games actually attempt to recreate real-world locations, rather than come up with brand new ideas. And in cases such as these, game developers tend to draw heavily from photographs to ensure accuracy and authenticity.

Video games allow players to explore the virtual environments that are created by developers, offering a form of virtual tourism influenced by photography.

5.      Promotion Material

The use of photography in the actual creation of games and the worlds that they represent is one thing, but there’s also a lot of promotion material involved in marketing and selling video games.

Photography is used extensively in video game promotional material, including box art, posters and marketing campaigns. Marketing is always important, and high-quality images can attract consumers and pique players’ interests. It allows developers and marketers to effectively communicate the game’s visual style and themes.

6.      Character Design

As we learned, promotion of video games is just about as important as the video games themselves, and what’s one of the most important parts? That’s right, you guessed it – the characters!

Now, artists need to get their inspiration from somewhere, and more often than not, it comes from real people, or at east photographs of them. Photos can inspire character design in many ways – whether they’re recreating real people or just using aspects of characters in photos to create entirely new characters.

Artists may choose to use real-life facial expressions, poses and clothing styles to craft believable and relatable characters. When characters are based on real photographs and people, they tend to be easier to relate to.

7.      Cinematic Techniques

Believe it or not, cinematography and photography share many principles, such as framing, camera angles and depth of field. Video game developers often incorporate cinematic techniques learned from photography to enhance storytelling and create impactful cutscenes.

8.      Photo Mode

These days, many AAA video games have a “photo mode” feature that allows players to pause the game and manipulate the camera to capture stunning screenshots. This feature is influenced directly by the popularity of photography and the desire to capture and share beautiful moments within the game.

9.      In-Game Photography

In addition to photo mode, some video games also feature mechanics and technology that allow player to take screenshots or capture moments during gameplay. This feature is often influenced by the popularity of real-world photography and provides players with creative opportunities to document their adventures in the game world. If you’re playing at ZAR Casino online, you can do the same just by taking a normal screenshot.

10.  Lighting and Atmosphere

As we know, photography is all about judging the scene – deciding on how to compose the photographs, what should be included and more – as well as the technical aspect of the art. That is, lighting and such. But there’s so much more than that – it’s also about setting the mood and atmosphere of an image. Because without atmosphere, a photograph wouldn’t have much to offer.

Game developers apply similar principles to create dynamic lighting and atmospheric effects in their games, enhancing the overall player experience. Thus, there’s a clear crossover between the skills required to be a good photographer and the skills required to be a good video game developer.

Final Thoughts on the Influence of Photography on Video Games

No two different art forms are the same, but they certainly do influence each other, that’s for sure. And video games involve oodles of creativity to create a world in which players can get lost – worlds that are created by means of a combination of reality and fiction.

Thus, the skills required to be a good photographer are absolutely involved in making video games, and if they’re carried out properly, they have the potential to make video games incredible. Whether they’re recreating real characters and places or using photos to inspire the imagination of brand new ones, photographs play an important role in the development of successful video game.