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[ 2.10 ] New Frob Shader


duzenko
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I'm sorry I have to say that I don't find the outline method appealing at all and would stick to the highlighting method, if given the option.
An artificial outline is far more immersion breaking and visually irritating in a dark environment for me instead of an evenly distributed highlight.

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5 minutes ago, OGDA said:

I'm sorry I have to say that I don't find the outline method appealing at all and would stick to the highlighting method, if given the option.
An artificial outline is far more immersion breaking and visually irritating in a dark environment for me instead of an evenly distributed highlight.

The problem with the regular frob highlight is that it cannot be seen well in bright areas. The outline is supposed to counter that issue. That being said, there is a cvar to disable the outline. I believe it is r_newFrob or something like that.

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29 minutes ago, STiFU said:

That being said, there is a cvar to disable the outline. I believe it is r_newFrob or something like that.

That's good to hear. After reading the thread I had the impression the highlighting method was going to be removed completely because of the needed material stages.

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58 minutes ago, OGDA said:

That's good to hear. After reading the thread I had the impression the highlighting method was going to be removed completely because of the needed material stages.

The regular highlighting method might change a little, 'though. We want to get rid of that "material definition hack" to implement frob highlight. Implementing that in GLSL might change the look of it.

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The effect in bright areas is quite helpful. It especially functions nicely when frobbing candles and light sources. There are at least two cvars that I noticed you can use to swap between frob effects, newFrob and frobOutline, which allowed me to take the screenshots I did. While I left the outline settings at default, there are a bunch of options adjusting the appearance of the effect in the config...

seta r_frobOutlineBlurPasses "2"
seta r_frobOutlineColorA "1.2"
seta r_frobOutlineColorB "1.0"
seta r_frobOutlineColorG "1.0"
seta r_frobOutlineColorR "1.0"
seta r_frobOutline "1"
seta r_frobDepthOffset "0.004"
seta r_frobIgnoreDepth "1"

I was just trying to show that the outline option, in its current state, sort of breaks the combination locks the way they are implemented in most maps since they rely on the brightening effect of the highlight to make the numbers on the dials visible. The outline effect isn't finished so I was mostly just curious is all.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just wanted to say I'm looking forward to seeing this lovely effect! The frob outline is definitely going to modernize TDM visually. I'm in favor of mixing it with the old method by default, the new and old highlight should work great together.

In the past I've also been confused whether I was frobbing an object or not... albeit the brightening is usually consistent and fairly obvious, there are rare occasions when you can't tell if the item was bright already. This will make it easier to understand what you're pointing at and less risky to use the wrong thing when two objects are close and you can accidentally click on either.

Edited by MirceaKitsune
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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/2/2021 at 11:35 AM, STiFU said:

The problem with the regular frob highlight is that it cannot be seen well in bright areas.

Maybe making the higlight dark in bright areas where it is bright, might be an idea. Although then the frob highlight has to be coupled to a lightmeter somehow.

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2 hours ago, datiswous said:

Maybe making the higlight dark in bright areas where it is bright, might be an idea. Although then the frob highlight has to be coupled to a lightmeter somehow.

I would be surprised if they already didn't considered this but you already have a "light meter" value in this game, it drives the lightgem, so if you give the value to the highlight shader and drive the strength depending on how light or dark is the lightgem it could work?

Thou I can imagine a problem with this, the player could be in direct light and the highlighted object in shadow that can happen very easily, for example the object is in the shadow of some other geometry, this would drive the highlight strength down even more when it shouldn't, making it very faint or even vice versa... 

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29 minutes ago, HMart said:

Thou I can imagine a problem with this, the player could be in direct light and the highlighted object in shadow that can happen very easily, for example the object is in the shadow of some other geometry, this would drive the highlight strength down even more when it shouldn't, making it very faint or even vice versa... 

Exactly this. The visibility of the frob highlight has absolutely nothing to do with the light falling on the player (as reported by the light gem) and everything to do with the light falling on the frobbable object.

In order for this approach to work you'd need to measure the rendered brightness of the frobbed object before deciding whether to use a bright or a dark highlight. I don't know how feasible or performant this would be in modern OpenGL, but it definitely sounds hacky. I also don't think it would be terribly intuitive for users — never before has an object become darker to indicate that it can be interacted with.

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1 hour ago, OrbWeaver said:

In order for this approach to work you'd need to measure the rendered brightness of the frobbed object before deciding whether to use a bright or a dark highlight. I don't know how feasible or performant this would be in modern OpenGL, but it definitely sounds hacky.

Now that I think of it, it's probably problematic for every frobable object that is in changing light (half in shadow for example) or there is moving light.. Bad idea.

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As I understand it, the main objective of this change is to make it easier to create material definitions and reduce

the amount of parsing during mission load.

Another possible benefit is state change and drawcall reduction.

It wouldn't be too hard to make a new "frobstage" material keyword that could allow an override but I don't know whether

that would foil future plans to optimize rendering? @cabalistic ?

The other option is to ensure that the r_newFrob always exists and let players set it to 0 when playing missions with custom frob. Although, this would also mean that you would need to pack custom frob materials in your mission for all frobbed assets or we would need to implement a fallback behavior ( if no frob stage is found, render with newFrob ).

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3 hours ago, stgatilov said:

Yes, no way to customize.

Why is that? I have a solution that looks way better, aesthetics-wise, with my assets, than what you came up with in 2.09. Is there no way to leave the option to customize this for someone who really knows what they're doing? Otherwise, that effectively locks me with 2.08.

Edited by peter_spy
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Because the majority opinion amongst the team is that the frob highlight is an aspect of the UI, not the world, and should therefore be customisable by the player (for accessibility and personal preference reasons) but not by the mapper. Just as mappers can't override the screen resolution or force you to play with uncapped FPS.

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You might want to take a look at more modern games like Deus Ex Human Revolution, where both the world and UI are driven by a certain art style and aesthetics, so there's no any particular divide between them, and looks more coherent this way. TDM assets are not coherent, and there's no one art style everyone has to adhere to, and so even UI is moddable. Well, was.

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15 hours ago, peter_spy said:

You might want to take a look at more modern games like Deus Ex Human Revolution, where both the world and UI are driven by a certain art style and aesthetics, so there's no any particular divide between them, and looks more coherent this way. TDM assets are not coherent, and there's no one art style everyone has to adhere to, and so even UI is moddable. Well, was.

You can still customize the frob highlight to your desire via the new cvars, but you cannot dictate how it will look for other players. You could merely suggest how they should configure it, sorry.

That being said, could you please link your frob highlight approach and a description how you achieved it? Nothing is set in stone, yet, so we might adopt other concepts. However, we're all pretty happy with the current outline implementation.

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Mine is still more like TDS tribute, but more subtle, with a certain pattern and a pulse table + shaderparm3 multiplier, so I boost in in more lit environment if I need to.

35 minutes ago, STiFU said:

However, we're all pretty happy with the current outline implementation.

You have a straight on full-white color, which is as crude and in-your-face as you can get. And it enhances aliasing for straight lines. Still a lot of work needs to be done to make it look unobtrusive.

Edited by peter_spy
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11 minutes ago, peter_spy said:

Mine is still more like TDS tribute, but more subtle, with a certain pattern and a pulse table + shaderparm3 multiplier, so I boost in in more lit environment if I need to.

You have a straight on full-white color, which is as crude and in-your-face as you can get. And it enhances aliasing for straight lines. Still a lot of work needs to be done to make it look unobtrusive.

Thankfully, the ouline ARGB is fully configurable, so you can simply pick something else as the white color. I am also suprised that you even consider it to be full-white, as all screenshots @kingsal posted in the private forums showed off a nice and subtle candle-like glow. I guess those cvar values didn't make it into the dev-build stgatilov uploaded. Anyway, you should really play around with the cvars a little and see if you can come up with something you're happy with. That being said, there are still a couple of issues with the frob highlight shader suite that @cabalistic is still working on.

And regarding the TDS tribute: That is something the team specifically did not want to have. While I personally don't mind a subtle brownish normal based highlight (as in New Horizon's TDS tweak package), the general consensus was to stay far away from something like that.

Still, I'd very much like to see your proposed frob highlight shader.

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Hmmm, is it planned to "hide" the outline for parts of the object you shouldn't be able to see. I can see outlines of objects through chests and candle outlines can be seen from under desks (attaching screenshot of grate that sinks into floor).

I will say, the original frob highlight was incredibly subtle and the newfrob outline swings way over to in your face.  I haven't tried tweaking yet, but the default might be better served with something in the middle?  my two cents.

 

hhta.jpg

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30 minutes ago, Sneaker said:

I haven't tried tweaking yet, but the default might be better served with something in the middle?

Open console and paste this: r_frobOutlineColorA .5

 

Edited by peter_spy
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18 hours ago, OrbWeaver said:

Because the majority opinion amongst the team is that the frob highlight is an aspect of the UI, not the world, and should therefore be customisable by the player (for accessibility and personal preference reasons) but not by the mapper. Just as mappers can't override the screen resolution or force you to play with uncapped FPS.

 

18 hours ago, peter_spy said:

You might want to take a look at more modern games like Deus Ex Human Revolution, where both the world and UI are driven by a certain art style and aesthetics, so there's no any particular divide between them, and looks more coherent this way. TDM assets are not coherent, and there's no one art style everyone has to adhere to, and so even UI is moddable. Well, was.

I have to say that I share @peter_spy's opinion on this matter. Even though frob hilighting is part of the ui, that is very well part of the artisitic design of a mission. Screen resolution or fps are not, therefore the comparision doesn't make much sense imho. It is odd that on the one side it is often stated how important the respect towards the artistic choices and mental property of the mappers is while on the other side they get restricted in how to shape their work.

 

It makes sense to have a standard, and if it is customizable by the player that's fine, too. But a mapper should have the choice to alter that if he or she considers a different approach more suitable. Especially considering there is no harm done as it will only affect the autors mission.

 

In addition: who is "the majority"?! I can only see roughly half a dozen team members having discussed this matter. I am pretty sure the team consist out of more then just those few.

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15 minutes ago, peter_spy said:

Open console and paste this: r_frobOutlineColorA .5

 

That's quite a bit better thanks.

Just fyi since I didn't see it mentioned anywhere (could've missed it)... I also noticed that sometimes when doors are initially outlined, the handles will outline for half-a-sec and then disappear.  It seems to happen maybe 50%? of the time.

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@peter_spy The plan is to do something more subtle for the final release. More of a soft glow, but that isn’t represented in the latest build. 
 

Making everything modifiable is a double edge sword sometimes. On one hand it offers creative freedom but on the other it makes it difficult to fix bugs and change features later. That being said I don’t see the harm in allowing authors to set custom frob highlights, perhaps per object. 

We’ll see how it all plays out though as this is still in the testing phase, but thats good feedback.

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3 hours ago, Obsttorte said:

It is odd that on the one side it is often stated how important the respect towards the artistic choices and mental property of the mappers is while on the other side they get restricted in how to shape their work.

It's not as simple as that. Players' preferences matter too. Should a player with colour blindness be forced to have a frob highlight they can barely see because a mapper thought that a particular colour looked better?

And if the frob UI can be configured by the mapper, why not other UI settings too? Perhaps a mapper thinks that their map looks better with bloom enabled, and all players should be forced to have bloom (after all, this is clearly an artistic element of the map)? What about gamma? Can a mapper insist on a super-low brightness setting because they think their map looks artistically better in almost complete darkness?

Clearly there is a line to be drawn between UI elements which should be under the mapper's control and those which should be left to the player. We can disagree about exactly where that line should be, but I don't think it's very helpful to boil it down to some simplistic morality play about mappers' "artistic choices" being "restricted".

Quote

In addition: who is "the majority"?! I can only see roughly half a dozen team members having discussed this matter. I am pretty sure the team consist out of more then just those few.

I meant the majority of the people who had expressed an opinion in the internal discussion thread. Others are of course free to speak up if that is not an accurate assessment of the situation.

There's also the implementation to consider — even if everybody were to agree that some frob highlight customisation should be possible by the mapper, this should not derail the plans to remove the material stage based implementation which is a horrific hack designed for the closed-source engine and no longer makes sense with a fully open-source codebase.

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  • nbohr1more changed the title to [ 2.10 ] New Frob Shader

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