At the risk of getting my newly rebooted blog a NSFW rating, I thought I’d share this interesting article on “breast physics” – all about the methods used to render them in computer games. It’s a good primer on some of the techniques and issues associated with generally rendering humans as well.

The 3D models use a skin stretched over “bones” and these elements have to be tweaked to produce boob motion as well as all the normal body ones. But there are constraints in terms of how many elements you can render with the computation power you have.

And there is the problem of – how do they actually move. It’s not something people routinely study, and practical observation to ensure you are doing a realistic job may be problematic.

“If you’re around animators working, you often will see them stand up, or they’ll ask someone they’re working with—they’re trying to watch the motion, they will film themselves doing that motion. Interestingly enough, I’ve never worked with any female animators.”

Interestingly development companies often focus test their character models, and women turn out to be the harshest judges of “breast physics”

“Across the board, [the response from women] wasn’t a neutral response, it was a negative response,” Alex said. Curiously, the negative response occurred both when the physics were unrealistic, and when the physics were turned off. It seems as if there’s a very fine line to walk when it comes to breast physics: they can’t be too exaggerated or too toned down without having people feel as if something is wrong”

I can’t say it is something I have paid much attention to in the past. But then individual character models are rare in strategy games. But it is noticeable how the rendering quality of character models has improved immensely in the last decade or two. From jerky sub-cartoonish models, and excessive exagerated limb movements, the computer rendered models you see in modern games line Uncharted are very very good. Not cinema quality, but getting there.