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[SUGGESTION] Suggestion: Depth of field

#1
This is a suggestion regarding the visual aesthetic of the game.

The suggestion is to incorporate depth of field into the player's view. That is, having a blur on the weapon being held.

This can be seen in various games of the last generation (and in photography, of course). It can add a nice touch of subtlety. The player's focus is on the action ahead anyway (or should be), and this is also the way the human eye functions. It's not about being more 'realistic' -- Xonotic is far from that regardless. It's just about being more aesthetically pleasing, and mimicking the way the eye sees.

For *true* depth of field, it follows that there would also be blurring of things in the distance. Or, if you really wanted to get accurate, de-blur only the plane of distance beneath the player's aimer.

I'm no programmer, so I don't know how much work (or reworking) this would involve. But it would be nice to see in a next-gen game such as this. And it's something that I don't think will go 'out of style'.

Xonotic is a visually beautiful game. I only wish to see it become increasingly so, and to be on level with the next generation of video game visuals.

(See attached samples)

Before:
   

After:
   
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#2
But where do you put the focal plane? Or do you want all players to be myopic?

(I honestly don't know how DOF is done in other games, is it always visible?)
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#3
I think this would work better as a screenshot only function?

Not during normal gameplay... a subtle vignette would work better in my opinion..
As would a subtle motion blur (very tiny amount).

As above poster said never seen the DOF effect applied anywhere during normal gameplay. I personally think It would be confusing.
[Image: 12766.png]
Sucks at weapons
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#4
Hell no! This is fu**** dumb & stupid and a lot of other swear words, I hate this crappy effect in all new games. How are you supposed to shoot at anything at a distance when it's all blurry? :-P
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#5
To make depth of field working correctly, you'd have to track the eye focus via camera and focus the DoF filter on the spot you are currently looking at, then calculate how much nearer or further away from the player the rest of the surrounding is and blur it respectively. This would require very accurate eye-tracking and very fast processing of that data as well as the blurring, which is not an easy task (since the blurring would have to be done IMMEDIATELY once you look at another point on the screen. This I would consider to be "true DoF".

If we were to implement DoF in a way that would assume you're all the time looking exclusively at your crosshair (which you aren't, but anyway), then this would mean that when something nearby is obscuring your long distance view everything close would be sharp and everything far away would be blurred as long as your cursor is on the object near you (for example a box standing in front of you). Only when your cursor moves over the edge of that object into the distance, the distant items would get unblurred. Imagine how irritating this would be if you accidentally pass a nearby object with your cursor when trying to nex someone in the distance.

The probably easiest implementation would be a blur filter that blurs everything with increasing intensity the more away it is from your crosshair to the edges of your screen. But that would then again not be DoF, since it is not at all depending on the depth of the field and would rather look like looking through dirty glasses (being German, I'd rather consider this "doof" than "DoF" Big Grin)

I've seen an implementation with eye tracking once, and if done correctly, I believe the result can be very impressive. True DoF is, imho, the only implementation that would be worth thinking about. But I would consider the efforts for implementing true DoF to be immense and there are far more urgent tasks to accomplish currently. But then again it depends on the developer's preferences, if there is someone that is interested in implementing true DoF that has both time and the technical skills to do so, then this might happen. I'm not betting on it, though Undecided
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#6
Thank you for your replies, they were all valuable.

Halogene gives a very thorough assessment of the possibilities. I can see how *true* depth of field more or less requires eye tracking technology. So forget that for now. But even a false depth of field, or 'bokeh' effect; I think it could be an improvement for Xonotic.

It just strikes me how sharp 3D video games remain, despite all of their advances. Like, EVERYTHING is sharp. It's been like a mantra: We want everything to be crisper and crisper at higher and higher resolutions. "Why aren't my hills and mountains HD-retina-sharp!" At some point, I think we will want more photographic integrity than this.

Xonotic is definitely crisp enough. We overcame that in PC games long ago lol. I'm just saying our beloved game could now withstand a little visual stretching. And hey, if it didn't work, we could just forget about it! Or even, make it optional in the Effects settings. I'm definitely not for anything that would diminish playability.

I think my sample was a bit overdone. So just think of a standard 50mm photo lens. The blur is subtle. You notice it (in fact, you don't) only on the things very closest (here, your weapon) and on the things absolutely furthest (the far, far distance, way beyond your tiny target). So basically, what I'm describing is a very long, fixed focal area.

Another solution is to place this 'bokeh' effect only on your weapon and on the environment (other players would remain sharp).

kammy: I agree a subtle vignette, as well as very light motion blur, would be nice touches. +1
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#7
Still, the question remains where to put the focus on (what point in distance is determined to be the sharp one). The crosshair? That would result in irritating focus changes when a nearby object passes the crosshair (e.g. another player even). I honestly don't see a possibility for convincing DoF in Xonotic without eye tracking, except maybe for blurring skyboxes...
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#8
(02-09-2013, 08:04 AM)Halogene Wrote: Still, the question remains where to put the focus on (what point in distance is determined to be the sharp one). The crosshair? That would result in irritating focus changes when a nearby object passes the crosshair (e.g. another player even). I honestly don't see a possibility for convincing DoF in Xonotic without eye tracking, except maybe for blurring skyboxes...

That's not DOF though, you could simply apply blur on the skybox images Tongue
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#9
It would look oh so pretty, and natural, but I can't see DOF being much more than a hindrance in Xonotic. So many shots are taken when you catch a glimpse of a character so distant that they amount to a handful of pixels. That artificial looking 'infinite sharpness' is kind of a necessity in an arena shooter, in my opinion. It'd look nice through a scope, focusing on your target, but it's just so important to be able to see everything at any distance perfectly clearly during normal play.

A lot of people disagree on this one, but I feel motion blur (not frame buffer style, but the Crysis/UT3 and many others style. And not excessive) acts to smooth out the overly rigid look and feel of arena shooters without hindering precision. I'd imagine if this were a feature available on Xonotic, lots of people would have it disabled, but I for one have been waiting for real motion blur since Quake. Seemed like it'd make things more natural. That's not an easy one to implement though, which is why most games' 'motion blur' is framebuffer based. That's more like 'gain up,' or an old, slow LCD screen. Just my two cents, I guess.
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#10
   
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[Image: 788.png]
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#11
These are all good observations. Thank you.

bitbomb Wrote:That artificial looking 'infinite sharpness' is kind of a necessity in an arena shooter

Now that you put it this way, I see better how this 'genre' requires this level of visibility for accuracy. Playability remains the most important aspect above beauty.

So seeing as how it has boiled down to this for a non-intrusive bokeh effect:
How about the possibility of applying blur on just your weapon and the skybox?
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#12
Notice how the attention is drawn to the active playing area, and away from distractions (such as the weapon, the mountains) with a little focal depth -- albeit an artificial one.

   
Gaussian blur filter on weapon only (5pt).

   
Gaussian blur filter on weapon (5pt) and skybox (7pt).

I bet you wouldn't have even noticed it if I hadn't said anything (and if this weren't a forum thread on this topic) :)

The original screenshot (untouched):
   
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#13
Blurring of the weapon and skybox is not bad at all.
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#14
hmm
[Image: 0_e8735_c58a251e_orig]
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#15
No skybox and weapon blur... however, we do want depth of the field. The question really isn't whether we want it, it's more: "Who can do it?" -- The normal team has far too much to do as is, so unless you find someone who can do this for us.... it probably won't happen.
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#16
Quote:however, we do want depth of the field.

Undecided

There will be an option to turn it off, right?
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#17
(02-15-2013, 07:44 PM)Samual Wrote: we do want depth of the field.

Who is "we"? Because if anyone in this thread is part of "we", you should really address the problems that have been mentioned earlier in the discussion.
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#18
I would probably play with DOF on if it was subtle enough to not hinder visibility (the weapon blur pics are probably wold probably a decent indication for this). Focal plane at the cross hair seems fine, and as long as the effect is subtle enough it shouldn't matter is something close by takes accidental focus. Actually, it may help with not blowing yourself up when a wall blocks the path between weapon and cross hair.
Here is an example video with crosshair focused DOF (though settings WAY to intense to be of use in xonotic) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUMFlRTBfM8
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#19
i would put DoF under the "nice but almost pointless" list of things to have. considering many ppl turn even textures off, its quite likely this effect would see underwhelmingly little use. that said, it would certainly be a nice possibility to have.
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#20
Concerning close obsacles, in life it takes you yes some time to focus on wht you are looking at, so somthing small wouldn't have time to defocus the faraway target. Wether, if the DoF takes tame to focus on somthing, it further decreases its usefullnes.

As tZork said, its "nice but pointless", so.

Afterlookung at some faraway things, and on my fingers, I Thought that maybee, only the textures far away can be blurred all the time?
[Image: 0_e8735_c58a251e_orig]
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#21
why does xonotic need DoF?
It wouldn't be too hard to read out the z-buffer of the cam and apply a blur depending on the white/black/grey texture you recieved, but why the hell should the devs spend their time at this tiny little graphical feature? yes it would be nice to have it in replays etc. but maybe at the point we have all the same feelings about the balance Wink

if the mapper/skyboxcreator makes the skybox (that's the mountains you mentioned) blurry, you'd not have to apply blur at it later (postprocessing etc.) Big Grin
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#22
To do this properly, the effect must be coded in DarkPlaces. I've been poking LordHavoc about it every now and then, but he said it's not something he's interested in and he doesn't like it. Not that it can't go in but he doesn't care to do it. So if anyone else wishes to and makes an acceptable DP patch, I think everyone would be grateful... myself among the top Smile

My suggested implementation is to focus depth of field based on where the player is looking. A lot of engines do that, and it's more correct and realistic since it also simulates eye focus. Just trace the distance from where the crosshair "hits" and use that to establish the start and end points of the blur, and of course a transition smoothness when it changes.
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