• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

New DoF and Motion Blur Technology

Page 2 - Seeking answers? Join the AnandTech community: where nearly half-a-million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.

destrekor

Lifer
Nov 18, 2005
28,799
356
126
Reading all the replies here, where the majority hate the features and turn them off anyway, yet they are still added to games even though we dont want them shows just how much developers dont really listen to gamers opinions anyway.

I mean, we've all been trying to get them to stop adding an autosave before a long cutscene just before a big boss fight since i can remember, and they STILL do it.
So you have to reload and watch the same cutscene over and over.

In other words..... Why do we even need new DOF and Motion Blur tech when nobody wants it in the first place?
Uh, I love the visual trickery.
And many people like it too.

And it will only get better as new techniques are established or older ones are perfected.

Like you said, you can turn it off.
If it's not there, I can't turn it on.

Suck it up, stop whining, and turn it off if you don't like it. Hell, be grateful you have the option to disable it.
 

wuliheron

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2011
3,536
0
0
Reading all the replies here, where the majority hate the features and turn them off anyway, yet they are still added to games even though we dont want them shows just how much developers dont really listen to gamers opinions anyway.

I mean, we've all been trying to get them to stop adding an autosave before a long cutscene just before a big boss fight since i can remember, and they STILL do it.
So you have to reload and watch the same cutscene over and over.

In other words..... Why do we even need new DOF and Motion Blur tech when nobody wants it in the first place?
I wouldn't start forming opinions about how popular something is in video games by counting how many people complain. Video game technology is immature and expensive and people just love debating the finer points and complaining. If anything it seems developers have largely learned to ignore such complaints. Motion blur allows them to get away with lower frame rates which allows them to add more eye candy, which allows them to sell more games.

I was pleasantly surprised this year when the developers for Deus Ex actually took gamers' online criticisms of their trailer to heart and made an option to turn off blinking objects. It sounds like a simple thing to do, but they had to make sure it didn't introduce any bugs. With any luck it might start a new trend.
 

mooncancook

Platinum Member
May 28, 2003
2,855
24
81
I can understand the use of DOF and motion blur in games. In real life our eyes cannot simultaneously focus on objects from different distances, while in a game you are looking at the 2D screen, everything is the same distance to your eyes, so you cannot experience this DOF focus effect. The game has to simulate that sensation to make things appear visually more like real life. If done properly I think it can enhance the visual experience. To do it properly, developers need to research these effects. For instance, when we run really fast we don't experience motion blur. And finally, always give the option to turn it off.
 

wuliheron

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2011
3,536
0
0
I can understand the use of DOF and motion blur in games. In real life our eyes cannot simultaneously focus on objects from different distances, while in a game you are looking at the 2D screen, everything is the same distance to your eyes, so you cannot experience this DOF focus effect. The game has to simulate that sensation to make things appear visually more like real life. If done properly I think it can enhance the visual experience. To do it properly, developers need to research these effects. For instance, when we run really fast we don't experience motion blur. And finally, always give the option to turn it off.

Its not just for simulation, but a cinematography technique used for effect no different then a spotlight used on a stage to draw your attention. Metro 2033, for example, is the most advanced stereoscopic 3D game yet and uses DoF to enhance the illusion of depth. On a 2D monitor it looks pretty lame and you can turn it off, but in 3D it can enhance the experience.

In a movie a director might use the exact same blurring around the edges of a frame to help focus your attention on the depth of field for dramatic effect. Likewise, motion blur can also be used to enhance the illusion of speed. These are not techniques game developers invented out of thin air, but things they have borrowed from the movies and are struggling to adapt to video games. There is an incredible amount of research already involved including some rather daunting mathematics.
 

Cerb

Elite Member
Aug 26, 2000
17,484
33
86
Anyone who has tried the currently available DoF in games like metro 2033 knows it can cut your fps in half and isn't all that great looking. Likewise some people just can't stand the motion blur in games like Crysis. With all the lighting effects and whatnot available now this is the final touch needed to create truly cinematic quality video games.
Anyone who has tried DoF in any current game should know very well that it is a terrible feature. It cannot look good, outside of cut-scenes (where someone else should be controlling where you can focus attention). Good DoF will require a gaze-tracking camera, calibrated just for you, and that technology is not as responsive and accurate as you'd think it would be. The game can't tell where my pupils are pointing at this point in time, therefore it is preferable to have infinite/no focus.

Good motion blur will needs work, but there's no fundamental problem with it. There are quite a few minor problems, and I look forward to them being completely worked out. It looks like, now, there may be options which will not get in the way of making a more detailed game environment, which has been one of the motion blur problems (the other big one being variability/unpredictability of render times).
 
Last edited:

wuliheron

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2011
3,536
0
0
Anyone who has tried DoF in any current game should know very well that it is a terrible feature. It cannot look good, outside of cut-scenes (where someone else should be controlling where you can focus attention). Good DoF will require a gaze-tracking camera, calibrated just for you, and that technology is not as responsive and accurate as you'd think it would be. The game can't tell where my pupils are pointing at this point in time, therefore it is preferable to have infinite/no focus.

When the light at the end of the tunnel is all you can see it doesn't matter where your eyes focus. Its just another effect that can add something to a game if used right and developers haven't really had time yet to explore how to use it properly. Improving the technique couldn't hurt either as it often tends to look about as primitive as fish-eye lens right now.
 

Cerb

Elite Member
Aug 26, 2000
17,484
33
86
When the light at the end of the tunnel is all you can see it doesn't matter where your eyes focus. Its just another effect that can add something to a game if used right and developers haven't really had time yet to explore how to use it properly. Improving the technique couldn't hurt either as it often tends to look about as primitive as fish-eye lens right now.
The actual blur itself is done OK, in some games. But, even then, it tracks the aim point, not my pupils. Until it can effectively do the latter, it's a pointless feature in any game where I am allowed to look around.

Much like lens flare, I think it's one of those things devs get off on, for it looking 'cinematic'.
 

wuliheron

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2011
3,536
0
0
The actual blur itself is done OK, in some games. But, even then, it tracks the aim point, not my pupils. Until it can effectively do the latter, it's a pointless feature in any game where I am allowed to look around.

Much like lens flare, I think it's one of those things devs get off on, for it looking 'cinematic'.

You may get your wish sooner then you think. The industry is very interested in eye tracking technology and cinematic effects. With motion capture and the next generation consoles the first fully interactive and cinematic movies are less then a decade away. It may be that all movies incorporate the effect eventually. Just imagine TV commercials that incorporate things like eye tracking DoF to get your attention and you'll see that sometimes its best to be careful what you wish for.
 

MustangSVT

Lifer
Oct 7, 2000
11,550
12
81
in general I dont like blur or dof "effects" in games, but lately I find some are getting them jussst right.

Portal2 was mentioned and I find blur in shift2 on low is pretty good.

but I dont like blur in witcher2.
 

wuliheron

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2011
3,536
0
0
in general I dont like blur or dof "effects" in games, but lately I find some are getting them jussst right.

Portal2 was mentioned and I find blur in shift2 on low is pretty good.

but I dont like blur in witcher2.

Light bloom bugs me the same way. Too much just looks like a bad cartoon and is distracting, but more games are using it effectively now that its been around awhile.
 

Cerb

Elite Member
Aug 26, 2000
17,484
33
86
You may get your wish sooner then you think. The industry is very interested in eye tracking technology and cinematic effects. With motion capture and the next generation consoles the first fully interactive and cinematic movies are less then a decade away. It may be that all movies incorporate the effect eventually. Just imagine TV commercials that incorporate things like eye tracking DoF to get your attention and you'll see that sometimes its best to be careful what you wish for.
While I don't doubt that these things will be tried, they will be annoying gimmicks for some time to come. Proper eye tracking, FI, will require a disruptive technological development, if it is to be useful as more than a bad gimmick (your eyes move too erratically to make tracking both fast and accurate by current methods, and there are other hurdles, like choosing focus distance when more than one surface distance exists where you are looking, once that is tackled). Until that disruptive technology comes along, focus being non-existent will remain the best choice for most games.

Used in a 3D platformer, or something like that, FI, where you are on a linear path, DoF could be done in a way that you would likely not notice during play, but that could be used to focus attention on what's ahead. Likewise with adventure games and linear RPG battles (unfocus 'far' space, and leave it less detailed, to more seamlessly go into and out of combat mode). The key point being that it's only useful for cases that mimic photo and video, in that there is a person directing what you should pay attention to, by what is in focus.

Instead, we get it done in spades in games where you need to be aware of what's going on everywhere in your FOV, and thus, are games in which your pupils are darting around at basically untrackable speeds.
 

wuliheron

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2011
3,536
0
0
While I don't doubt that these things will be tried, they will be annoying gimmicks for some time to come. Proper eye tracking, FI, will require a disruptive technological development, if it is to be useful as more than a bad gimmick (your eyes move too erratically to make tracking both fast and accurate by current methods, and there are other hurdles, like choosing focus distance when more than one surface distance exists where you are looking, once that is tackled). Until that disruptive technology comes along, focus being non-existent will remain the best choice for most games.
Disruptive technology? Eyes move too fast for electronics to track? Eye tracking has been around for 40 years but other then the military there just hasn't been much done with the technology. That's beginning to change with relatively inexpensive commercially available eye tracking technology being used by industries to see what shoppers, TV viewers, and gamers are really looking at. If nothing else it should help developers decide when DoF is particularly appropriate to use.

With the success of the Wii remote, the MS Kinect, and stereoscopic 3D its pretty clear the gaming industry is very interested in exploring just how far they can push the current technology and improve the gaming experience. Real time eye tracking is just one of the more obvious ways in which major improvements can be made and I will suspend judgement on whether it is commercially feasible or not until they've at least had a chance to explore the option. They've surprised everyone more then once with what is possible and eye tracking certainly doesn't seem nearly as difficult as some of the things they've already accomplished.
 
Last edited:

Cerb

Elite Member
Aug 26, 2000
17,484
33
86
Disruptive technology? Eyes move too fast for electronics to track?
I think you misunderstand the problem. The physical eyeball can be tracked quite well, but that doesn't get the job done.

I don't know of available tech good enough for the job of being both highly accurate and instantly responsive. It's not a problem of hardware, but that a way to translate tracking information into focus information has not yet been figured out. The problem is to come up with a somewhat predictive model, so that when you dart your eyes somewhere, precisely what you are looking at can be discerned, right as you are looking at it.

When you look at a point, your pupils aren't motionless, and they don't zero in on what you are focused on. It's jittery, you are constantly looking around the point you are focused on, and you have no conscious control over this. Getting accuracy within a degree or so in a time span fast enough to be imperceptible is going to require out of the box thinking. Figuring out where you were looking, after you've looked somewhere else, based on looking at what is now past data, which can be considered complete data is a task many orders of magnitude easier than trying to do it with current incomplete data (you can find near clusters, find outliers, discard them, then do various other statistical analyses on the data collected). For marketing purposes, that's plenty, whether approximate but quick, or fairly accurate but slow. For instant--next rendered frame--visual feedback that is sensitive to small angle errors, that's not even close.

In addition, if the screen changes based on where you look, you will involuntary check out those changes, so the input will be poisoned by extra movement--a difficult feedback loop to deal with. So, DoF changing focus position real-time will make it harder than it already is, if you can notice the blur occurring from the DoF (if it occurs too slowly, or not perfectly following where you are looking, this will happen).
Eye tracking has been around for 40 years but other then the military there just hasn't been much done with the technology.
My limited experience and knowledge is using the stuff for mouse and keyboard replacements. I would consider that alone plenty to have been done with it.
 
Last edited:

Nik

Lifer
Jun 5, 2006
16,125
2
56
Well, that is just the definition of "blurry". We're not talking about fog effects. The effect is created by the limitations of our visual sense. It's not just focus. The retina in your eye has a "frame rate" for lack of the proper term. It retains ghosts of previous images, and can only send information about new images to the brain at such and such a rate. So something moving very rapidly through the field of view looks blurry.
I want my own eye generating that effect. I don't want some damned stupid checkbox in settings making my shit look ugly, muddy, and blurry.
 

destrekor

Lifer
Nov 18, 2005
28,799
356
126
I want my own eye generating that effect. I don't want some damned stupid checkbox in settings making my shit look ugly, muddy, and blurry.
Read my previous post.

Your eye cannot compensate for the lack of certain input from the display systems.
Unless we can create some kind of true multidimensional holographic projection display, or better yet, some kind of retinal direct-injection display tech... our eyes cannot properly process a flat image with such a limited FOV and artificial DOF.
Thus, unless we want our images to be perfectly sharp and thus unnatural, developers should continue to offer (and improve upon) current visual trickery techniques.
 

wuliheron

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2011
3,536
0
0
When you look at a point, your pupils aren't motionless, and they don't zero in on what you are focused on. It's jittery, you are constantly looking around the point you are focused on, and you have no conscious control over this. Getting accuracy within a degree or so in a time span fast enough to be imperceptible is going to require out of the box thinking.
That's exactly what the Kinect required, out of the box thinking and some sophisticated algorithms that replaced a lot of time consuming resource demanding number crunching.
 

wuliheron

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2011
3,536
0
0
I want my own eye generating that effect. I don't want some damned stupid checkbox in settings making my shit look ugly, muddy, and blurry.
In that case you'll have to wait until they can plug the computer into your brain because your eye does not generate that effect.
 

Cerb

Elite Member
Aug 26, 2000
17,484
33
86
That's exactly what the Kinect required, out of the box thinking and some sophisticated algorithms that replaced a lot of time consuming resource demanding number crunching.
Exactly, and we just aren't there, nor is there a way to predict when we will be (hence disruptive). OTOH, the number crunching is not time-consuming. Hardware has far outpaced the software, both in terms of computer processing power, and affordable camera quality. Amateurs have just as much of a chance of being the ones to finally make the breakthrough as highly paid researchers at unis and tech/medical/entertainment companies.
 

wuliheron

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2011
3,536
0
0
Exactly, and we just aren't there, nor is there a way to predict when we will be (hence disruptive). OTOH, the number crunching is not time-consuming. Hardware has far outpaced the software, both in terms of computer processing power, and affordable camera quality. Amateurs have just as much of a chance of being the ones to finally make the breakthrough as highly paid researchers at unis and tech/medical/entertainment companies.
All the more reason to expect if it can be done it will be in short order.
 

Cerb

Elite Member
Aug 26, 2000
17,484
33
86
Maybe. I'm not saying it can't be done; just that it hasn't yet been done, when it will be done can't be predicted, and no one knows exactly what the hardware requirements will be (cameras are cheap, but surely a specific configuration will be ideal), so it will follow the black line.
 

Nik

Lifer
Jun 5, 2006
16,125
2
56
In that case you'll have to wait until they can plug the computer into your brain because your eye does not generate that effect.
Bullshit. I see both effects in the real world.

Whatever. I'm not going to argue semantics with you people.
 

Markbnj

Elite Member <br>Moderator Emeritus
Moderator
Sep 16, 2005
15,682
13
81
www.markbetz.net
I want my own eye generating that effect. I don't want some damned stupid checkbox in settings making my shit look ugly, muddy, and blurry.
Don't disagree, but the points some of the others are making are valid as well, i.e. that you don't get all the same inputs to your visual sense from current display systems. I'm firmly in the "no motion blur, please" camp, but I think there are other areas where tricks will continue to be needed to enhance realism.
 

Nik

Lifer
Jun 5, 2006
16,125
2
56
If I wanted realism, I would go outside and do something. I play games to escape reality and I LIKE unrealistic games. :p
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS