The Witcher 3 VFX Artist Talks PS4 and Xbox One Development, Upgrades to Water and Shaders


The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt VFX Artist Jose Teixeira in an interview with DualShockers talked about the process of developing a game this complex for consoles.

Was it hard to “fit” this game in consoles? Why yes, of course it was! And that’s the whole point. I’ll try to elaborate, without making it too boring: PCs evolve every year, so the limit to what we can do is constantly changing (believe it or not, that actually makes developing for PC quite difficult).

Consoles, on the other hand, are constants, so we know where the limits are, and it’s up to us to do as much as possible within them. That is a necessary challenge, and one that every gamer greatly benefits from. Take the last generation consoles – compare a game from the first and the last year – it’s the same console, the same “performance limits”, yet the game looks so much better! Let’s think of it this way – The Witcher 3 is coming out in consoles that are about one and a half years old, and it already looks this good!

Based on our experience making this game, the lessons we’ve learned, the ideas we already have to be able to do even more within these same limits… I, for one, am already super excited for the next couple of years.

Jose continues to talk about the shaders and improvement made to the water with the latest builds.

The water is one of those things that could be worked on forever! This is one thing that our Technical Art Director – awesome guy, by the way – worked on extensively… Adjusting the foam, the wave patterns, their reaction to the wind… So many things! We even have simulated ripples when characters walk on water, or generated by the boat… And the ocean shader, what a crazy complicated shader that is.

One of the latest tweaks to it was to add this “coloring” of the water as the ocean floor gets deeper, you go from transparent water to a very exotic turquoise tone, and finally to the dark blue tone in deeper waters. It looks super cool, especially in areas where the ocean floor is not too deep.

Some shaders are really great, one of our Technical Artists did an amazing looking ice shader, with some clever translucency effect… You have to see it, under certain lighting conditions looks absolutely fantastic! I know I’m an effects artist, and I know a bit about shaders… But these ones go way beyond my capabilities!

Level Designer Miles Toast revealed tons of interesting new information during a livestream hosted by GoG.com, yesterday. Nvidia has made available the first screenshots from The Witcher 3 that demonstrate Nvidia features like HairWorks and HBAO+. Nvidia has also released a press release announcing that both Batman Arkham Knight and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be included in their GPU bundle with the GTX 980 and GTX 970 GPUs.


The reviews for The Witcher 3 will go live a week before the release of the game

We have previously reported that the reviews for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will go live a week before the release of the game, which goes to show how dedicated CD Projekt RED is to their fans and the community.

You can checkout the last Ultra settings 1080p 60fps footage provided by YouTuber ImAnderZEL, as well as the previous video here. Note that the video is not of the highest quality and it from a previous build of The Witcher 3 and not the final. The specs of the system are - GTX 980, i7 4790, 8GB.

The Witcher 3 is just two weeks away from release, and as we have previously covered, CD Projekt has already announced that pre-load options are already live, as well as the unlock times for The Witcher 3.

The Witcher 3 will release on May 19 2015 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. We will bring you any new information on The Witcher 3 as soon as it becomes available. Be sure to check out our previous coverage for more information on The Witcher 3, here and here.