Most people probably looked at the first footage of Nathan Drake's next adventure and were impressed by how Uncharted 4 looked. Not photographer Adam Myhill. He thinks the lighting in A Thief's End could be improved. And went ahead and showed how it could happen.
Myhill's a guy who's worked as a lighter, photographer and director of photography on a plethora of live-action and digital projects. He's also a fan of the Uncharted games. When he saw the premiere of Nathan Drake's upcoming PS4 debut, Myhill thought something was "off":
When the latest trailer for Uncharted 4 which recently came out, I was impressed with the gameplay and graphics but something was off.. The color grading was perplexing… blacks weren't black, whites weren't white – and I doubt the talented people at Naughty Dog were going for an Instagram filter effect, so I threw the trailer up on my color grading studio to have a closer look.
There's a bit of jargon to wade through—daunting if you're not involved in lighting or film professions. But, as I understand it, the gist is that there's a whole philosophy of lighting and color manipulation that can make so-called photorealistic games look even more like reality.
Even if you don't understand the technical language, the results are plain to see. It's important to note that Myhuill isn't critiquing the unfinished state of a work-in-progress and that he's working off of a compressed-to-all-heck YouTube video:
I must say I'm not wanting to come across as critical towards the talented Uncharted art team. I love the stuff you guys make, your games are absolutely amazing, and I know this game isn't out for a while yet so I'm not trying to be negative whatsoever. This post is about exploring how film-grade color grading techniques and tools can apply to games. I believe there's room for improvement with game engine color tools, and with bringing film techniques and the role of 'Colorist' to video game production.
Rather, he seems to be interested in how the tools and knowledge from one, older visual entertainment medium can improve the creations in another. Not a bad way to look things.