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Tweaks to Frob highlight


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#1 New Horizon

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 11:47 PM

Personally, I have no problem with a small hand indicator appearing in either the weapon or items slot.

On the subject of the frob highlight, I would like to look into correcting that as well. I'm really not pleased with the way the hybrid approach is implemented. I didn't realize this until just recently, but the diffuse texture is hardly used at all in this method...instead, the TDS method of using a single color is dominant...with only a faint hint of the diffuse lighting up at all. This is why it's so blood difficult to see it.

It looks like this...

{
if ( parm11 > 0 )
blend gl_dst_color, gl_one
map _white
rgb 0.40 * parm11

}
{
if ( parm11 > 0 )
blend add
map models/darkmod/props/textures/skey1_d
rgb 0.15 * parm11

}
}

Hardly any diffuse used at all...instead, just a flat color washing out the entire object...like in TDS. :(

It should be more like this...


{
if ( parm11 > 0 )
blend gl_dst_color, gl_one
map _white
rgb 0.15 * parm11

}
{
if ( parm11 > 0 )
blend add
map models/darkmod/props/textures/skey1_d
rgb 0.35 * parm11

}
}

The original frob highlight I had setup used a single pass, and looked identical to T1/2. I can understand wanting to make it more subtle...so I think my second example should achieve that. I'll whip up some comparison shots.

#2 Springheel

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 04:16 PM

I just moved this here so it doesn't get lost. I think this is a good idea and I'd be very interested to see how it turns out.

#3 New Horizon

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 07:05 PM

I just moved this here so it doesn't get lost. I think this is a good idea and I'd be very interested to see how it turns out.


Cool. I'll put some samples together.

#4 Ishtvan

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 06:46 PM

Yeah, fixing the frob hilight will be a great addition to our final release I think. It's always bothered me personally.

#5 Tels

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 08:01 PM

Yeah, fixing the frob hilight will be a great addition to our final release I think. It's always bothered me personally.


I think it will be possible to automate the change once you can give me replacement values. Otherwise, someone needs to modify 2000 materials manually - yikes.
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

#6 New Horizon

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 11:27 PM

I think it will be possible to automate the change once you can give me replacement values. Otherwise, someone needs to modify 2000 materials manually - yikes.


I'll give you some replacement values very soon. I hope to get some testing done tomorrow.

#7 Tels

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 12:53 PM

I'll give you some replacement values very soon. I hope to get some testing done tomorrow.


I am traveling from 18.12. to 25.12 and will not have any computer access in that time, and the remaining time will be probably spent packing, so don't rush :)
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

#8 Fidcal

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 05:31 AM

bump.

Just boosted the hilight on the very dark wood of the cabinets I'm doing. If this modification goes ahead with a search and replace will it just replace eg, rgb 0.40 * parm11 with a new fixed value and skip over eg, rgb 0.60 etc or will it do a calc. for all values? Guess that's a question for Tels.

#9 New Horizon

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 10:15 AM

bump.

Just boosted the hilight on the very dark wood of the cabinets I'm doing. If this modification goes ahead with a search and replace will it just replace eg, rgb 0.40 * parm11 with a new fixed value and skip over eg, rgb 0.60 etc or will it do a calc. for all values? Guess that's a question for Tels.


Which part of the hilight did you boost, the map_white or the physical texture? map_white should be reduced and the physical texture increased. I was working on some tests before the holidays, but I just didn't get around to uploading them yet. The current system is using a flat colored texture to wash out any detail on the hilighted item, like Thief 3 did.

As I demonstrated in my example above, the map_white should become .15 and the reference to the texture should be .35. That way it will give the hilighted object more detail, but the .15 of white will still soften it a bit.

#10 Fidcal

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 11:40 AM

I just boosted both as a temporary fix as the highlight was too dark. I realize it will want adjusting again for quality if this topic is effected. My concern was that if all the textures are changed by software rather than manually will it pick up the non-standard values. For example if it just changes all the lines with rgb 0.40 * parm11 to rgb 0.15 * parm11 (which would correct 99% I guess but not 100%)

#11 New Horizon

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 11:55 AM

I just boosted both as a temporary fix as the highlight was too dark. I realize it will want adjusting again for quality if this topic is effected. My concern was that if all the textures are changed by software rather than manually will it pick up the non-standard values. For example if it just changes all the lines with rgb 0.40 * parm11 to rgb 0.15 * parm11 (which would correct 99% I guess but not 100%)


Probably won't pick up the non standard values, but that can be manually checked later I imagine.

For reference, don't increase the frob hilight setting beyond 0.5. Imagine a scale where 0.5 is 100% full bright...anything above 0.5 creates an over bright, washed out texture. I figured that out in my early tests of the hilight system by comparing it to Thief 1 and 2. When I imported a Thief 2 door into TDM and tested it with 0.5, it gave me essentially identical results to Thief 2 hilight.

That's why I suggested making the base texture .35, and the _white texture .15. That combination will give us a .5 total.

#12 Ishtvan

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 04:56 PM

Will increasing the texture instead of the white make it harder to tell when you've frobbed something that's already lit up? That's the problem I have most frequently: light is already lighting up the texture, and there's only a very small difference when you frob it. Do we still need the white to tell the difference in this case? Or do you can still tell from the texture even though it's already pretty bright from other lights?

#13 New Horizon

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 05:59 PM

Will increasing the texture instead of the white make it harder to tell when you've frobbed something that's already lit up?


It shouldn't. I think a lot of the problem in early maps was that they were overlit to compensate for the lack of ambient light. We don't have that issue anymore, so the maps aren't over lit. The white tends to wash the object out in my experience and just makes it harder to see.

That's the problem I have most frequently: light is already lighting up the texture, and there's only a very small difference when you frob it. Do we still need the white to tell the difference in this case? Or do you can still tell from the texture even though it's already pretty bright from other lights?


I'll have to experiment a bit more.

Personally, I wish we could do away with the white texture...but let me see what I can do with both.

#14 Ishtvan

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 07:47 PM

It shouldn't. I think a lot of the problem in early maps was that they were overlit to compensate for the lack of ambient light. We don't have that issue anymore, so the maps aren't over lit. The white tends to wash the object out in my experience and just makes it harder to see.
I'll have to experiment a bit more.

I just had the problem of not being able to tell if something was frobhilighted in jdude's "randommech" map which was already very dark (darker than SL even). It was the door to the lava compartment (with the demon-head-knocker-thingy on it). It was only lit by one torch, but that was enough to make it hard to tell it was frobbed. I could see the difference between frobbed and not frobbed when I was looking closely, but the first time as I was just walking by, I turned to look to see if they were frobhilighting and they looked normally lit even though they were hilighting right in front of me.

Personally, I wish we could do away with the white texture...but let me see what I can do with both.

I have no idea how this texture stuff works, I don't know if the white texture really helps at all, I'm only stating observations. :) I guess the main problem is that our current hilight effect is weak when there's already light hitting it.

#15 rebb

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 12:21 PM

I've been fiddling with a sort of "Thief-Deadly Shadows" Style approach to this some time ago, using a special fragment-program that is using a fresnel-like effect to highlight something frobable.

This is how it looks at the moment, shots were taken in the frob-highlighting testmap.

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

The colors for the frobbing effect are set inside the material of each object.
This makes it easily possible to have different kinds of frob-colors, for different types of objects, like Loot ( Golden ), General Useables ( Blue ) etc.

Would it be worth it to try this out or have there been votes against a "colorful" approach like this somewhere in the past ?
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#16 Tels

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 12:53 PM

I've been fiddling with a sort of "Thief-Deadly Shadows" Style approach to this some time ago, using a special fragment-program that is using a fresnel-like effect to highlight something frobable.

This is how it looks at the moment, shots were taken in the frob-highlighting testmap.

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

The colors for the frobbing effect are set inside the material of each object.
This makes it easily possible to have different kinds of frob-colors, for different types of objects, like Loot ( Golden ), General Useables ( Blue ) etc.

Would it be worth it to try this out or have there been votes against a "colorful" approach like this somewhere in the past ?


I like the idea, but it probably should be a configuration switch to please old-timers. Which would complicate matters quite a lot. Also, only very very subtle color hints could be used, or it looks like Thief CE (Child Edition) :P

In addition, is a new shader really nec. or wouldn't it be just enough to tweak the overlay multipliers? (You screenshot is too small to see any nice shader effect it might have :)
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

#17 rebb

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 01:04 PM

After clicking once on the thumbnail-image you get sent to the imageshack site, then you can click on the image again to get the full-size version :).

The colors can be easily changed in the material, those images are just a test basically, less bright colors can be used and its also possible to set the min/max alpha of the effect.

Its just an example for how a colored fresnel-like approach could look.

#18 SneaksieDave

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 01:21 PM

I'd like to see more of what you come up with on this. The screenshots are pretty sweet.

#19 Tels

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 01:23 PM

After clicking once on the thumbnail-image you get sent to the imageshack site, then you can click on the image again to get the full-size version :).


Yeah but on my huge monitor it wasn't much bigger :P

The colors can be easily changed in the material, those images are just a test basically, less bright colors can be used and its also possible to set the min/max alpha of the effect.

Its just an example for how a colored fresnel-like approach could look.


Yeah, sure, I wasn't criticing, merely commenting. :) It probably looks much better in movement, too?
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

#20 Springheel

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 01:53 PM

We certainly don't want to go with the atomic blue of TDS. The idea of a different frob colour for loot is interesting and worth discussing. I'm not a fan of those particular shots, as they look awfully bright (and a bit 'blotchy' to me), but I'm sure they can be adjusted.

#21 rebb

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 03:12 PM

as they look awfully bright (and a bit 'blotchy' to me)


The "blotchyness" is due to a mask-image being incorporated in the effect - without the mask the pure fresnel-effect looks a bit too clinical especially on models which have no normal-map, like that book for example.

#22 New Horizon

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 05:38 PM

Would it be worth it to try this out or have there been votes against a "colorful" approach like this somewhere in the past ?


Well, we have maintained from the beginning that we would not have TDS style frob hi-lighting. There were several reasons for this.

A big offender is that is obscures details on the object...although if we're talking about making loot a different colour from regular stuff...that might be a step up alright.

Personally, I really like how the original thief hi-light simply lit up the object to full bright. Our current system uses both fullbright, and a flat colour that masks the details on the object. I still haven't uploaded my tests on that, curse my foolishness.

I would be saddened to see the original, traditional, Thief hi-light go, as it is something we have promoted from the beginning. I also feel that a TDS inspired version feels more cartoonish.

One option is to only use it on loot, but then we end up with two frob hilighting systems. We could actually do this with the current system, by creating a golden texture that would be applied to loot, along with the fullbright effect. Hmmm.

#23 Springheel

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 06:54 PM

I have mixed sentiments about different frob colours. I agree that it is hard for new players to tell what is loot and what is not, and a different frob effect could help, and be rationalized as the player's natural ability to appraise objects of value. Since frob only works when you're close and focussed on the object, that seems reasonable. On the other hand, the idea of having two different frob colours also feels a bit gamey.

#24 New Horizon

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 08:58 PM

On the other hand, the idea of having two different frob colours also feels a bit gamey.


Yes, indeed. Which is also how I feel about using a colour instead of a straight forward Thief 1/2 effect. To me, no matter what colour it is, it screams Thief Deadly Shadows, and I would like to avoid that. We already have a working frob system, it just needs to be tweaked.

#25 greebo

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 01:28 AM

@rebb: are these tweaked files available somewhere? I'd like to take a look at it, both out of curiosity how it looks like and out of curiosity how you did the shader. :)



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