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Cinematic Effects Aid Gaming Realism 30

Posted by Zonk
from the that-was-then-this-is-now dept.
rtt writes "When Valve recently added support for HDR technology into their 'Source' engine, they quickly discovered that in games such as Day of Defeat, a WW2 based game, the rendering quality far surpassed the video quality that would have been possible in the time that the game was set. In a new round of updates, VALVe have researched and developed cinematic effects commonly used by the film industry - motion blur, color correction, and depth of field amongst others - to aid realism for the set period of the game. bit-tech has up an article detailing each of the technologies, along with video clips to showcase the effects at work in the Day of Defeat mod."
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Cinematic Effects Aid Gaming Realism

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  • by FromWithin (627720) <stuff@@@fromwithin...com> on Saturday December 10, 2005 @03:25PM (#14229373) Homepage
    I don't understand. HDR as an effect is good because it's similar to how our eyes work, but adding cinema effects from the time period of the game plot? That's sounds completely bizarre.

    Soldiers in World War II didn't all have eyes with built-in film grain. Sounds like somebody is working in the wrong industry. Games should try to be games, not try to be films.
    • EXACTLY.

      For cutscenes, that's fine - I suppose. But I wan't REALISM in my game. And by REALISM, I don't mean "like a movie". Contrary to apparant popular belief - MOVIES are not REALITY.
      • Agreed, again!

        I love the depth of field - and motion blue to an extent - you get that in a human eye, too... but why the hell is there all this sepia toning and film grain? It just looks wrong. I want to feel like I was a soldier who saw that horrific B&W world in full colour.
        • I actually have a problem with motion blur -- isn't that just what the ghosting on my LCD monitor does anyway?
          • motion blur of objects happens in real life. just watch a car pass you very very fast without focusing on it
            • The problem is that the computer can't tell what you are looking at. Depth of field and motion totally break realizm if they aren't in sync with what the viewer is focusing on.

              If you are being guided through a cut scene or movie, depth of field can make you focus on the path the story intends. If you are in an FPS with "free" control, this can blur the object you are trying to see.

          • I actually have a problem with motion blur -- isn't that just what the ghosting on my LCD monitor does anyway?

            Not really - there's a demonstration of the keep-small-amount-of-previous-frames method shown in one of the videos, and it looks genuinely horrible. The 'correct' way of doing motion-blur seems to be to effectively render at a very high framerate and merge, say, four frames together into one displayed frame. The next displayed frame will be from the next four rendered frames in the sequence, and so
    • I don't understand. HDR as an effect is good because it's similar to how our eyes work, but adding cinema effects from the time period of the game plot? That's sounds completely bizarre.
      It's not a bizzare as you think. Stubbs the zombie had film grain and discoulouration, and It works extremely well as a way to enhance the atmosphere, immersing you into the world of the 1950s.
      • It works extremely well as a way to enhance the atmosphere, immersing you into the world of the 1950s

        There were zombie epidemics in the 50s? I don't even remember the laser-rifles, robo-butlers, or hovercars!

        (Also, that's a 3rd person view... the game's "camera" is not supposed to be your own eyes, so mechanical artifacts will be more plausible in chasecam situations. You're watching Stubbs, not being him)
    • Soldiers in World War II didn't all have eyes with built-in film grain.... Games should try to be games, not try to be films.

      The goal of games is not necessarily to simulate reality at all, just as the goal of painting, photography, and film is not necessarily to accurately show events as they occurred. There will always be non-realistic (i.e. stylized) depictions in any field of art, and that is not a bad thing at all.

      Whether or not soldiers in WWII saw everything through film grain is irrelevant. All that
    • I think you are looking at this in the wrong way.

      Technology like this doesn't matter because it looks good, it matters because of immersion. HDR is meant to be used so that the people playing the game feel it is so realistic (to look at) that they can't tell the difference between the game and real life. I don't believe the ''grain effect" as was talked about in the article is very impressive or realistic, being used for DoD. However, they have developed a very impressive technology which can be used for
    • The thing is that it's a flat screen already... so you are effectively 'watching' something that you are taking part in anyway... so you can't be truly immersed... so, what they're attempting to do is to make it more like what we're used to seeing on a flat screen, and that's movies... we have spent our lives seeing 'reality' presented via tv/movies in this way, so if you can make the game seem more like that, then you can make it seem like you're acting in a movie (in a sense anyway)...

      There are ways and m
    • Sounds like somebody is working in the wrong industry. Games should try to be games, not try to be films.

      Actually, it depends on the effect they want to achieve.
      If they are aiming to create a render closer to grainy black and white film, this is the way.

      Moreover, games hardly want to emulate life. They want to emulate the glorious, exhilerating part of some topic. Those same parts that have already been glorified for several decades by the film industry. So, aiming your game to present and react as would

  • I hope this isn't taking away from them releasing maps beyond the four that came with the launch. After all, the primary criticism of DoD: Source is its lack of content, not graphical quality or immersiveness.
    • Considering that the people working on this graphical enhancements are definitely not the map builders, I doubt that it's much of a trade-off. The problem is that creating content for high polygon count models and high resolution textures in a trully quality way is taking longer and longer. You can see it in the development of any high end games.

      But I do hope they come out with some more maps soon. You're right that new maps are definitely a higher priority than newer graphical enhancements. I just don't s
  • Good Move (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Dr. Eggman (932300)
    I applaud Valve's move. It seems a rather humorous artistic take on the modern "realism" period in games today. Taking a WWII shooter, a very common "reality" subject, and applying affects to it in a way that is unrealistic but at the same time much closer to the way its primary audience knows WWII as "real" (we only know the second great war through its grainy footage, and I doubt there are many WWII vets playing DoD.)

    I for one love this artistic move by Valve. We have enough realistic games and WWII shoo
    • It's not about realism. It's about immersion. If these techniques make a player feel more into the game, I am completely for them. Anyone who thinks realism is the only way to create immersion is sadly mistaken. Besides, I don't think a battle in WW2 was clear and cleanly lit. While these effects might be more exagerated than what a real soldier saw, they're a lot better than the artificially clean look of most games.
      • I agree, immersion is what it's about but I think too many games confuse that with realism. Thats why I like it, it steps back from that and tries to immerse you in WWII from a different angle, namely a cinematic one not unlike what we are use to seeing WWII from.
  • Day of Defeat: Source - arguably the best multiplayer World War II shooter around

    I stopped reading after that.

    A graphical updated version of a 4 year old mod (Beta 1 came out January 2001) is 'arguably the best multiplayer World War II shooter around'? Wth?

    • Been there, done that.

      Many of the racing games I've played, some of which are several years old, have lens flare in the game. Very cool effect to see when you're driving around. Perhaps it hasn't been done yet in FPSs... I haven't played any in a while.

  • What the fuck is the point of these effects in a multiplayer game? After ooing and ahing for 2 minutes everyones gona turn it off so it doesn't get in the way. Why dont they spend their time adding these to a SP game.
    • Although on second thoughts, it would be good for making movies. With quake 3 engine games it takes a lot of time to grab the depth of field (forgot the name of the hook program todo it). (Incidentally it can do motion blur with 1000fps samples- but I'm not sure how well that goes with the DOF simultaneously)
    • ...except that you won't be turning HDR off in many games- the idea is that this is used for gameplay effects like being partially blinded as if your eyes are adjusting to the light (when you move from a dark area to a bright one, or have a flashbang go off near you, etc.). In a multiplayer game, they will need to remove the ability for the player to turn these things off (as that would be cheating). Thus, your Steam/VAC or Punkbuster/whatever servers will flag you as a cheater (and kick you from the mult
  • I love how the mainstream game press loves to liken games and the game industry to their Hollywood counterparts. Naturally, "cinematic" 3D effects are being likened now to "realistic" effects (3dfx marketed this first with their "t-buffer" temporal motion blur nonsense).

    This is not the journalist's problem; the corporate/marketing guys in the game industry who talk to the press are the ones who hail such things as "realistic" and "revolutionary", when in fact they are not anywhere near photorealitic and ar
  • This reminds me of the one where Calvin asks why old movies are black & white, and his Dad says the whole world used to be black & white...

    the current problem with Day of Defeat: Source is that the quality of the scenes rendered is far beyond what was capable in the time period where the game is set.

    This whole idea is a conceptual nightmare. I guess games set in periods prior to the invention of film are going to need to have mods to transcribe them into series of still paintings, pencil sketches,

Prototype designs always work. -- Don Vonada

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