Is this real life? Is this just fantasy?
From the time we’re small, movies, video games, and TV show us so many things to dream about. Even when you’re too tiny to know how to operate anything, it’s aspirational. You hope that someday, somehow, you’ll be able to ride that bike, drive that car, or maybe fly that plane.
When you see that stuff, your brain usually accepts that a crew recorded footage of someone else doing that thing you want to do in some beautiful location—and that it actually happened. This video shoot for a demo of the Epic Games/Unreal Engine showcases a gorgeous Indian FTR 1200. The bike and its rider are totally real, but everything else you see is a highly detailed and visually convincing fantasy.
Virtual environments aren’t just for video games—they can be useful production tools for all kinds of creative purposes. Whether it’s a commercial for a bike like the FTR 1200, or a sophisticated vision of a world that doesn’t exist, these technological achievements are awe-inspiring.
Still, it won’t replace the experience of riding an actual FTR 1200—or any other bike, for that matter. A video like this is a bit like a fun ride at an amusement park. It’s cool while you’re watching it, and it’s an incredible technical achievement. Do you want to see it onscreen and enjoy it while it’s there?
Absolutely, you do, but you also know that you won’t feel the wind rush past you as you race along the road. You won’t feel the absolute joy of nailing that one corner you’ve been trying to perfect. You also won’t have all of those million tiny moments that make up the sheer joy of hopping on your bike and riding anywhere at all. Let’s face it; even stopping to pick up a loaf of bread is more fun on a bike.
Getting environments to look so astonishingly real for bike—and other—scenes is a visual treat for all of us who love to be entertained. Now, if we could get someone to also work on getting correct engine sounds to come out of the bikes we’re seeing on screen, that’d be great. Dirt bikes don’t sound like Harleys, and boxers definitely don’t sound like inline fours, guys.