In order to work the way they do, video games employ hundreds of little tricks and sleights of hand while you’re not looking. Sometimes, though, they pull tricks right in front of you in ways you hopefully won’t notice.
Youtuber Shesez profiles one of the most common tricks of this kind: Model swaps. Because games have a limited processing budget to work with, they often have to swap out the detailed character models we may see up close for lower-resolution models when the camera pulls away, in order to make larger spaces easier to render in real time. To learn more about how developers do it and see a few instances of it in classic games, check out the latest episode of Shesez’s series, Boundary Break.