Effects - How much is too much?

Continuing the discussion from Concept Realization and Development - NEW CONTENT!:

This got me thinking …

  • With all the lasers and blasters won’t it “blow out” all those faint textures?

Maybe it’s just the missing light source in this example but I fear that with lasers and explosions the textures won’t be noticable anymore and all that will be left will be those lights.

Does anyone know of examples where this happened or examples where it didn’t happen (pictures?) or is this just a feeling that isn’t really justified?

What would the alternative be? Textures with high saturation and contrast? To me that would make it very “arcadey”, Elite: Dangerous has already gone quite a way in that direction.

I prefer the more photo-realistic approach that’s shown in these screens. Laser effects don’t have to be overblown and explosions should be fairly infrequent. Usually if there’s an explosion you’re not looking at the ship textures. In most real pictures of explosions I’ve seen, the thing that is exploding is just a silhouette.

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I like both. And given no one goes as much in this photo realistic direction as I-Novae does (space game wise) I also support it.

I was more thinking about gun effects. It’s true explosions may not be very frequent but there are games out there where literary everything explodes … depending on the speed of the game play and the number and type of weapons used it may happen.
Another alternative would be faint gun effects … but that’s a trade off too.

Moments of darkness may also dampen the extend of “over exposure”.

I think it’s the dynamic lighting and the fact that I don’t know how that will turn out … that’s why I’m throwing my “concern” into the discussion.

I agree. I also look at E.D.& S.C, to me they both look like Star Wars on laser light steroids.

Lasers, in the traditional sense I should have been left in the 70s - 80s. Explosions and the flames in a vacuum… pretty uneventful anyway. Besides with seamless planetry re-entry it will be cool watching those textures discolor and burn through the atmosphere, or am I getting ahead of things… :wink:

Bloom and the emissive intensity of various lights used by effects are all things that can easily be tweaked and likely will be during play testing.

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Not really justified if you’re going for realism.

In real life, if someone were to start shooting at you, do you think you’d see how many buttons his shirt had? As in, not only does your eye register it and your memory record it, but you actually perceive and consider it as it’s happening? Even though the bullets, passing within inches of your eyes as you dive for cover, are practically invisible to said eyes, they’d still be able to overshadow even the most garishly coloured images, because that’s how the human brain is wired. Stay alive first, appreciate art if first priority was successful and the shooting stopped.

Arcade-like graphics are more noticeable against a backdrop of lasers and explosions mainly because they help remind you that what you’re seeing isn’t real, or at least that’s my theory.


I agree it doesn’t make sense for regular gameplay. Your eye will automatically apply all the requisite DoF blur for you as you look at the screen imo. For cinematic cut scenes however I still think it’s useful to use DoF to give it the film look. That being said there are different algorithms for DoF that have different levels of quality and that also plays a major factor. Not only did MWO use DoF everywhere but they also didn’t use a very high end algorithm for it so all in all it was just frustrating and looked like crap.

I am really tired of games overusing Bloom, Glow and Lens Flare… This and this is how it should look like, not this or that. It’s an unfair comparison but all those “shiny” things make it hard to see: here for example are 7 infantry soldiers, good luck seeing them all in combat. These glows obscure everything around them and it’s hard to make out any meaningful details. These are but a few examples i’ve seen in many games that overuse these effects “for the shiny” and ruining the picture. A very subtle glow is much better than that.

Also see my other post: Concept Realization and Development - NEW CONTENT!

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For the record your first picture would probably have some bloom if you were actually looking at it with your eye and the second picture doesn’t have any parts that are overexposed and therefore wouldn’t generate any bloom anyway. Also bright lights on a night/very dark scene would in fact create bloom that obstructs the details of objects near it. That’s why the military uses flash bangs and high intensity flash lights on the end of its weapons. Bursts of bright light cause a large amount of overexposure on your retina which will temporarily blind and disorient you.

That being said we’ll do our best not to overdo bloom, or anything else, and of course will be actively soliciting feedback from our alpha/beta testers as we build the game.

Yeah i understand. One thing is street floodlights having bloom around them, sure, another is just ambient/interface lights. Unless light sources are designed to actually illuminate surfaces they shouldn’t bloom. Those “sci-fi futuristic glowy bits” like Tron’s clothes lights or, in the case of that particular ship in the images above, the red, cyan and green lights should never bloom. Or at least have it 1-3 pixels wide at 20-60% opacity.

That depends on the intensity of the light relative to the intensity of the ambient light as well as the bloom algorithm. As @INovaeAndre mentioned he might have made the lights a bit too powerful. It’s something we’ll tweak as the game moves through production.

Here are a few examples on how, in my opinion, to do it right:

In The Elder Scrolls Online there are these Skyshards that the player uses. That process creates a brief flash of light. Here’s how it looks from afar. That is a very brief bloom that fades quickly and the game otherwise doesn’t have any bloom anywhere and only big explosions and effects have it. The screen HDRs everything else, making the surroundings darker. Like in this example in Avatar, the scene darkens and shifts the palette to simulate the intense brightness that would otherwise be impossible to convey on a 32-bit image screen with low brightness.

Bloom like that is expected and it looks good, even tho the Elder Scrolls example is a bit extreme but serves well to exemplify the kinds of effects that can be present in game graphics. However, back to that Scythe from Planetside 2 all that blooms is just too much, the underside just looks bad and those glowy grills still show too much glow that obscures everything behind it when a much more subtle glow like this would look much better. I know those examples aren’t apples-to-apples, but i hope anyone reading gets my point :stuck_out_tongue:

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In The Elder Scrolls Online there are these Skyshards that the player uses. That process creates a brief flash of light. Here’s how it looks from afar.

It’s a sprite!

These screenshots demonstrate the worst visual eye-candy I’ve ever seen.

32-bit image screen


These forums are freaking ludicrous. I think I-Novae should have kept the website closed until they launched the Kickstarter.

I don’t think bloom is realistic or appealing at all; but Keith’s implementation is one of the sexiest I’ve seen by far, so I’m cool with it. Side note: The Elder Scrolls Online and Skyrim look like…

I was just making an example, that wasn’t an apples to apples comparison. And yes what i’ve seen so far is really good. I’m just providing feedback and opinion, you don’t have to agree with it.

I know what you mean (and I agree), but I don’t care about your cute, impeccable opinion. I was also giving my opinion, and my second reply was directed towards the topic’s existence as a whole.

Also, that photograph you have is a good example. It’s not * “using bloom to convey the brightness which is otherwise impossible with our 32-bit screens” *, all the glow you see there (ncluding the lamps) is due to how light passes from one medium to another (camera lense & glass bar).

I do not want screens which can convey brightness any better than they can now; my monitor’s brightness is only at 33% (mostly because I’m on the computer all day and I want to preserve my vision). Brightness stings! I can’t even look in the direction of the sun without squinting (i.e. any direction which the sun is directly visible). It’s just blinding, there’s nothing attractive about being blinded. You’ve gotta lower your narcissistic car mirror thingy to block the sun when you’re trying to drive, but then people cant see your face, only you can!! Pfft, brightness. Brightness is over-rated.

Sure, a monitor that would blind you because your character look at a nuke would be kind of stupid. That said, frag still has a point : those neon lights on Planetside 2’s ships don’t look that great.
The problem with bloom is not exactly that it isn’t realistic, it is that your eye’s bloom don’t look like that. So it still feels artificial when you see it alot of it. So the artists have to be careful not letting appear it too much, so it can put emphasis on punctual, bright events (like, say, explosions) instead of constant light you see all the time.

If you want to see what real eyeball bloom look like, stare at car headlights by night without blinking. If you directly stare at it and at its borders, you’ll see what it really looks like.
The problem, of course, is that you can’t take a picture of it, and maybe it looks different from one person to another. For me, it looks nothing like a regular blur around the headlight (as I have described in another topic, it is more like a light sea urchin).

[quote=“frag971, post:12, topic:308”]
In The Elder Scrolls Online there are these Skyshards that the player uses. That process creates a brief flash of light. Here’s how it looks from afar. That is a very brief bloom that fades quickly and the game otherwise doesn’t have any bloom anywhere[/quote]

Hmm… ESO absolutely has bloom everywhere and it’s no better or worse than in other games IMO. In fact, just in the starting cell, you have tons of shining objects, like the bench near the fire, some glowing items, the lights in the ceiling… just look around !

Pics for example: On a golem ; On the sails of ships ; On various props. In fact, the last level of the tutorial, the one where you free the prophet, is full of bloom/shiny stuff if I remember well…

The blue bits in the golem and props screenshots are glowing. It’s a light source that is illuminating surfaces around it. That’s not bloom.
The bloom on those two sails look good.
I’d say the sail in the middle is a bit too glowy but it’s tempered by the backdrop.

In space with a black background any glow designed to simulate bloom is exaggerated.

Actual photo:

Judging from Andre’s screenshots, if this was in engine it would be more like this:

[quote=“hrobertson, post:19, topic:308”]
The blue bits in the golem and props screenshots are glowing. It’s a light source that is illuminating surfaces around it. That’s not bloom.[/quote]

The cyan part coming from inside the golem might be a light source, however the blue lighting that is leaking out on the adjacent areas is totally bloom. Look again.

My point is that ESO is full of bloom. Well, it’s more subtle in the outdoors areas, I’ll agree with that. But still, there’s bloom everywhere. And sometimes it’s not so subtle.