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Doom 3 DOF


jdude
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The pics are gorgeous for sure, and great in a cinematic sense. That said, I can never really understand general use of this in a game. It's redundant, as my eyes already do it, and where I'm actually looking. What if I wanted to see the control panel to the side of the zombie as I was shooting him? I can expect a headache to accompany the pretty graphics, because the mod tells me I have a 30 degree field of view right in the center of the screen and everything else is blurry. Maybe if it was turned down to a really subtle level it would fit into general usage?

 

Now I want to play D3 again. I'd forgotten how incredible it looks.

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The upshot in terms of gameplay value may be a wash, minuses of unwanted focus-directing balanced against pluses of more focused gameplay or game-storytelling. But as an aesthetic decision it makes an impression, and it might be fun to see it used just for the different experience it gives. There may be some FMs where it'd work better than others.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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It definitely looks impressive, and I'd be very willing to try it out in game play. And yes, it could be very useful as a mood setter or story enhancer for the right FM.

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The pics are gorgeous for sure, and great in a cinematic sense. That said, I can never really understand general use of this in a game. It's redundant, as my eyes already do it, and where I'm actually looking.

 

Ah, but they don't in this case, because your monitor is flat... :)

 

For a while now I've wanted to get myself a gaze-tracking setup and experiment with adding DoF effects based on where you're actually looking on the screen. Combine that with 3D stereoscopic vision and the

and you'd have something quite cool.

 

(One of the problems with ordinary stereoscopic vision is that everything is always in focus - one of the reasons why it tends to be so headache-inducing, although there are more fundamental reasons as well.)

My games | Public Service Announcement: TDM is not set in the Thief universe. The city in which it takes place is not the City from Thief. The player character is not called Garrett. Any person who contradicts these facts will be subjected to disapproving stares.
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Ah, but they don't in this case, because your monitor is flat... :)

Eh? Maybe we're talking about something different, but eyes focus where you're looking and nowhere else, regardless of what's being observed. Of course, larger relative differences in distance (tree in field) show greater difference in focus than shorter relative differences (corners of flat monitor).

 

Anyway I have no problem with people liking and having this (obviously), it's just not for me. I prefer natural eye-looking, as opposed to forced wrist-looking. I tried it with Tomb Raider, and it was nasty. It's just not how the eye-brain works.

 

Looks great in cinema, sure, but gaming is interactive. I wanna look where I wanna look, not where a director tells me to.

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Eh? Maybe we're talking about something different, but eyes focus where you're looking and nowhere else, regardless of what's being observed. Of course, larger relative differences in distance (tree in field) show greater difference in focus than shorter relative differences (corners of flat monitor).

 

But that (your last sentence) is exactly the point of "Depth of Field" focus. It keeps things in focus according to distance, so when you look at far away things, near things are blurred, when you look at near things far away things are blurred. I think the way the eyes' lenses are, it can just focus on one distance at a time, for all objects at that distance.

 

I think he didn't just mean whatever you look at by itself is in focus and everything else is blurred (which would be odd) but that the sensor would take the depth of field of where you're actually looking (is it distant or near?) into account and blur/focus the entire field of near and far objects accordingly, e.g., so if you scanned the walls of a hallway from near to far, the focus would track down the length of the hallway with your eyes.

 

Also, if you followed the link, Crispy's set-up *is* "eye-looking, as opposed to forced wrist-looking", since the DOF blurring is done according to where you're eyes are looking (with IRTrack, edit: my mistake, actually you'd need a pupil track like they use in psych experiments, but it's still possible; the IRTrack is for perspective, pupil track for DOF), not where your mouse is pointed. It would simulate as if you were really looking out into 3D space inside the monitor, like it were a window to the outside. Actual phase information of near and far objects is simulated for your eyes, which you can't otherwise get on a flat screen.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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But that (your last sentence) is exactly the point of "Depth of Field" focus. It keeps things in focus according to distance, so when you look at far away things, near things are blurred, when you look at near things far away things are blurred.

But what if my eyes (NOT the mouse) are looking at the fields in the distance? They're out of focus, because they're not centered on the screen, and there's nothing I can do about it other than turn my wrist. That's unnatural.

 

I'm not really putting up anything but a fact and an opinion. Sorry if it bothered people, sheesh.

1. The eye focuses on one spot directly in front of it. Focus decreases radially as it goes out.

2. I look at spots on the screen other than the exact center, and therefore prefer to let my eye focus properly where I'm looking, instead of some nonsense (though pretty) eye candy effect locking me into staring at the exact midpoint of the screen at all times and wrist-looking.

 

If I'm looking at point A, on the left side of my monitor, why blur point B on the right side of the monitor? To my eye, it's already blurred, naturally. Additional blurring is redundant.

 

I wasn't speaking about Crispy's link, as I'd seen it quite some time ago and it's not directly related to my point. But, if eye tracking is ever incorporated into Lee's work, then it'll make a bit more sense. Still not complete sense, as it will still be redundant, but at least it will move with your eye and not a head mounted or hand held device.

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It's gimmicky now (esp in that mod) because it's not set up very well.

 

Again, it's not tracking where your eyes are looking, so in the mod you can look directly at distance-blurred objects, which is exactly what doesn't happen in real life because the DOF takes over and puts the distant object back into focus and blurs near objects. You are never looking directly at blurred objects in real life. That's what I think is contributing to NH's point.

 

And @Sneaksie, I understand your point and wasn't trying to attack your opinion or preference. It's cool. Just trying to maybe distinguish it from what I thought was the cool potential of this tech in the right set up.

 

It's not redundant to what you're talking about IMO because they are two different kinds of focus that look and work differently. You're (I think) talking about fovea focus -- what you look at is sharpest -- there because the most photoreceptors are packed into the center of the retina/your visual field. But it's only a flat 2D focus with no 3D discernment. DOF is about lens focus, which bends light more or less bringing nearer or farther objects to land sharply on the retina wall and blurs the rest. That carries 3D information with it. So in the right set up (eyetracked, might add phase info of 3D glasses & perspective-control of head-track (Crispy's link)), it would give a very strong perception of 3D vision through the screen. Not just that, but actually put 3D information to work in the game. That could add something to a gaming experience I think, e.g., scanning a room and shelves for an object you want; it'd really *feel* like you're scanning a room in 3D space.

 

But yes, the 3D illusion and information is completely destroyed if it's anything other than eye-tracked, and then it reverts to just being an interesting aesthetic idea which is sort of gimmicky unless done carefully, but maybe a clever map-designer could put it to interesting use.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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Pupil tracking DOF would be closer to reality, but I think it's still not quite there. You can focus on something farther away even if something closer is partially obscuring it. For example, holding your finger up against something far away, you can continue to focus on the far away thing even if your finger moves up to occlude the spot directly ahead of you, where pupil tracking would say you are looking. A more important example for games might be holding a gun sight in front of a target, and consciously shifting focus from the sight to the target. As another example, suppose you are looking at something through the leaves of a bush. You don't want to focus on the leaves, but if a close leaf or branch accidentally gets too close to the center of your vision, the tracking system would immediately focus on that.

 

I think a DOF system would actually have to track the lens focus of your eye and then focus at that distance ingame in order to feel real. Just focusing on whatever is at the exact center of your vision would leave some errors. I don't know how you'd track that, I don't think you can tell from pupil size since that's the aperture, controlled independently, but could be wrong. Haha, you could shoot a test-laser at the eye and measure the wavefront coming back. Maybe you can pick up current going to the eye muscles from an external pickup, or just drill some holes in the head. :)

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I do still wonder why the mod's demo screenshots look so good. Is it the effect itself, or are my visual settings that far below his, or maybe I've just forgotten that D3 looks really good. I don't want to think about implications of that...

 

Edit: Ah I think I know -- the combo of the effect + bloom completes it.

 

shotdof23.jpg

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Pupil tracking DOF would be closer to reality, but I think it's still not quite there.

 

Yeah, you bring up a lot of great points. This is exactly the sort of stuff we used to study in my cogsci classes...

 

Another wrinkle in the gun-sight or looking-through-leaves or through-window cases is that sometimes you'd want to alternate ... first look at the leaves/window-pane or glass itself, then through them to the distant scenery, but your line of sight never changes; it's just lens controlled. You might have a special key, like F4, that would instantly swap figure-ground on near vs far objects to deal with that problem. Ahhh, it's all backseat driving for us anyway, but that's the idea I'd play with to deal with it.

 

Another cool thing about pupil-tracking lenses: eye-controlled laser sights. B)

 

(For the record, as I understand it, psych experiments on what people look at use high def cameras set on the eyes, iirc the head has to be in a brace so they don't move, and compute line of sight from the image ... not a trivial thing to do in real-time!)

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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(For the record, as I understand it, psych experiments on what people look at use high def cameras set on the eyes, iirc the head has to be in a brace so they don't move, and compute line of sight from the image ... not a trivial thing to do in real-time!)

Can they mount eye-tracking stuff like that in helmets, too, so that they don't move relative to the head?

 

A friend was telling me they have some eye tracking stuff for helicopter flight simulators made up of several screens. Apparently they weren't able to render the image in hires on all the screens simultaneously (which seems kind of silly, you'd think you could do that in parallel), so instead they tracked where the pilot was looking and only displayed those screens in hires. I think they had some kind of helmet-mounted camera looking at the eyes.

 

EDIT: Not that it would be cool to have to wear a helmet to play games.

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But what if my eyes (NOT the mouse) are looking at the fields in the distance? They're out of focus, because they're not centered on the screen, and there's nothing I can do about it other than turn my wrist. That's unnatural.

Yep, agreed. That's what my suggestion of basing the depth of field effect on the line from your eyes rather than the line from your crosshair is designed to overcome (though as Ishtvan says, it's not a perfect solution).

 

If I'm looking at point A, on the left side of my monitor, why blur point B on the right side of the monitor? To my eye, it's already blurred, naturally.

Only because it's in your peripheral vision, not because of DOF. Even though you're looking at point A, point B is still in focus since the distance between your eyes and point A is equal to the distance between your eyes and point B. That's what I meant by "your monitor is flat".

 

You can argue that the blurring from peripheral vision is sufficient, and you're probably right in that case, but that case is not the point of the technique. The idea is that when you look at a foreground object, the background behind it gets blurred (due to DOF), even though that background is not in your peripheral vision. That's not redundant at all. We can of course argue about whether it's useful, which is a separate issue. I'm suggesting that it might reduce the eye-strain associated with using stereoscopic 3D (when used in combination with stereoscopic 3D). Of course, that's an open question AFAIK since nobody has actually tested it.

 

I think a DOF system would actually have to track the lens focus of your eye and then focus at that distance ingame in order to feel real. Just focusing on whatever is at the exact center of your vision would leave some errors. I don't know how you'd track that, I don't think you can tell from pupil size since that's the aperture, controlled independently, but could be wrong. Haha, you could shoot a test-laser at the eye and measure the wavefront coming back. Maybe you can pick up current going to the eye muscles from an external pickup, or just drill some holes in the head. :)

That's true. I'm also not sure how to track that, I don't believe anyone's done much work on it. Probably you'd need to somehow pick up on the flexing of the muscles responsible for stretching/squashing the lens. Pupil size is indeed controlled separately (it's the difference between aperture and focus point on a camera), otherwise on a bright day you wouldn't be able to focus at certain lengths without getting blinded.

 

(For the record, as I understand it, psych experiments on what people look at use high def cameras set on the eyes, iirc the head has to be in a brace so they don't move, and compute line of sight from the image ... not a trivial thing to do in real-time!)

There are two components to gaze tracking: Head tracking and eye tracking. Head tracking is "easy"; the simplest approach is basically Johnny Lee's (attach lights to the user's head and track their location with a camera). Eye tracking is harder, but it can be done with a high-resolution video camera, and modern implementations do work in the presence of some head movement (I guess knowing the position and rotation of the head could help with that). Electrooculography is an alternative approach for eye tracking which is potentially cheaper but requires some custom head-mounted equipment.

 

A full gaze-tracking setup is generally too expensive for anyone outside of research labs to afford, although I think there are companies selling commodity versions of the technology (for use by people with disabilities). Head-tracking can be done pretty cheaply (either using Lee's Wiimote hack, or just with a webcam).

My games | Public Service Announcement: TDM is not set in the Thief universe. The city in which it takes place is not the City from Thief. The player character is not called Garrett. Any person who contradicts these facts will be subjected to disapproving stares.
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Only because it's in your peripheral vision, not because of DOF. Even though you're looking at point A, point B is still in focus since the distance between your eyes and point A is equal to the distance between your eyes and point B. That's what I meant by "your monitor is flat".

It's not, and that difference does require different focus. It's one of the reasons people get eyestrain from looking at a monitor all day. My first post suggested that maybe if it was very subtle it might it more viable for mouselook (though it'd still be redundant ;) ).

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Didn't Call Of Duty have some slight DOF going on?

 

I personally think that it's way overdone in those screenshots linked above. If the whole thing was toned down an awful lot more so it was far more subtle, then I'd be for having it in use. I don't want it to make everything where I'm not directly looking a blurry mess, however a little separation might be nice. It would have to be subtle though. Very very subtle.

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It's not, and that difference does require different focus. It's one of the reasons people get eyestrain from looking at a monitor all day. My first post suggested that maybe if it was very subtle it might it more viable for mouselook (though it'd still be redundant ;) ).

The eye lens does have some depth of field though where things at slightly different distance are effectively in focus without having to flex muscles to change the focal length of the lens. You'd have to prove that the distance change from the edge of the monitor to the center was outside that depth. Maybe you can derive the depth of field from the focal length of the lens (assuming a normal eye-monitor distance and that the eye is focused inbetween the two distances to the monitor) and some diffractive optics. I don't know, I just know barely enough optics to get by at work. :)

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Yep, agreed. That's what my suggestion of basing the depth of field effect on the line from your eyes rather than the line from your crosshair is designed to overcome (though as Ishtvan says, it's not a perfect solution).

 

Hmn, sounds like LOD and mipmapping... ;) You have to simulate focusing an object somehow and aparently the mouse is the quickest and basically the only way. Of course you could also focus different objects bei tabbing through them, but that's nonsense of course.

 

The screens look really good. I think they also use a highres texture pack or it just seems to be so detailed because the pictures are so small. But the last time I played default doom 3 I was always pissed about the blurred textures. (kinda ironic, isn't it ;) )

Edited by STiFU
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I reckon choosing what is in focus and what's not, has got to be an artistic choice, so this would be great for ingame cutscenes but not gameplay.

 

Actually I saw it used in one place during gameplay to good effect - in Crysis, if you look through your gun scope, the lens is in the middle of the screen and its contents are in focus, and the scenery outside the scope (filling the rest of the monitor) is blurry. Mostly an aesthetic thing but helped focus your attention where it was supposed to be.

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