The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter Shows Off “Photogrammetric” Environments In First Gameplay

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

Do you have any idea what photogrammetric environments are? I’ll admit, I’ve just had an education myself after looking through the three gifs showcasing the first gameplay of weird fiction horror game The Vanishing of Ethan Carter.

In short, creating photogrammetric environments involves taking photographs of objects in the real world from multiple angles, and then sending these photos into the computer so that it can create an accurate 3D model with what can probably be aptly described as “photo realistic graphics.” You know, that phrase that’s been thrown about a lot over the past decade when describing games that aren’t photo realistic at all? Well, here’s a game that might actually be worthy of it, considering the process just described.


“…we believe it’s the future for a lot of indie studios interested in photo-realistic worlds.”

The Astronauts are the developers behind The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, and like I said, they’ve passed on three gifs that contain the first gameplay from their upcoming horror. We’ll go through them below with some words with what’s going on and what to pay attention to, but first, if you need to catch up on what The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is all about, here’s an article that goes over everything we know so far.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

Gif #1: Above, you can see a small climb up a rocky path near the opening of the game. This is really just graphics porn, this one. Stare at the smoothness of the movement through this clip of the countryside. Stare at the grass, plants, rocks, trees and the particles of light falling from the sky. It’s very beautiful.

As said, some of the textures and objects in the game are formed using photogrammetric tech, and it’s something that The Astronauts believe in. They say:

“…we believe it’s the future for a lot of indie studios interested in photo-realistic worlds. The technology does not eliminate the need for artists and never will, but it allows faster acquisition of high quality in-game assets.”

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

Gif #2: Oh, that’s…interesting. What we can see here is a supernatural event occurring right before the main character’s eyes. If you need reminding, we’re an “occult detective” called Paul Prospero, who can see things most others can’t, and he uses that to solve mysterious cases. In this instance, Paul is apparently “questioning” a corpse about an event that happened previously, hence why this train seems to appear out of nowhere before disappearing just as quickly.

The Astronauts have a little note tied to this one, too:

“Note how the foliage is affected by the switch from reality to the memory, right before the draisine materializes.”

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

Gif #3: Hm, a cemetery, huh? Yes, apparently, this is from a later part of the game. What you may want to note is the fact that the tombs and parts of the trees were created using photogrammetric tech. It makes for good looking; I’ll give it that, even for a cemetery, those most beautiful of deathly places. I particularly love the orange and browns in the tops of the trees in this one.