Visual design disasters I hope KSP 2 will steer away from

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22 minutes ago, ModZero said:

I said so.

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2 hours ago, Delay said:

And I still cannot imagine a Sun without lens flares and glare! Both of which - in "absolute" terms - are camera malfunctions, but - again - a perfect white circle doesn't look right!

I haven't personally been to LEO and looked at the Sun, and I assume you haven't either. I know what it looks like from the ground, and I know that photos don't look the same as the real thing without certain techniques applied. I've certainly never seen lens flare with my naked eyes - that is very much a camera artifact, caused when light refracts and reflects multiple times inside a compound lens. If you are literally seeing lens flare when looking at bright lights, you really should see an opthalmologist. That's not an insult or a joke at your expense, that's me being concerned about your eyes.

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I agree lens flares are a product of camera imperfection - Pardon me, I meant glare the whole time, how a light source can seem bigger due to its brightness, which is certainly normal. Keep in mind the sun is no bigger than the Moon, but appears a lot larger most of the time.

And I'm not seeing these things as an insult or a joke - I think it's good you're concerned about someone else's health.
If anything I have problems understanding your position, just as you have problems understanding mine. I'm used to how things look through cameras and I'd like that look to be replicated in digital media.

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3 hours ago, Delay said:

If anything I have problems understanding your position, just as you have problems understanding mine. I'm used to how things look through cameras and I'd like that look to be replicated in digital media.

I think there are several different positions happening here:

1. Games should look as close to real life as possible, and avoid artifacts from things like cameras, windows, and dirty glasses.

2. Games should look as much like movies and/or photographs as possible.

2a. Artifacts should be minimized, as they would tend to be in NASA photos and many other professional contexts.

2b. Artifacts look cool, use more of them! Ok, maybe not that many...

3. Games are games (apologies to @DStaal), and if it works to improve the gameplay experience it should stay. Realism is for reality.

Edited by sturmhauke
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Position 3: Games are games - realism is only useful insomuch as they mimic real life.  Looking 'realistic' by one definition or another doesn't necessarily help a game, and should be considered in terms of what the game is trying to accomplish.

---

Yes, KSP is a space program manager simulation.  About little green men, who's heads are as big as the rest of their bodies.  Full realism isn't the goal of the flavor of the game - it's semi-realistic from the start.

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13 minutes ago, sturmhauke said:

I think there are several different positions happening here:

Depends on the situation. For instance, a point and click game can be drawn. A jump and run can be a 2d platformer or 3d, either drawn, or using pixelart or using 3d models, etc.
KSP is trying to be a simulation of space travel and deserves realistic graphics instead of cartoon ones. Realistic game, realistic graphics.

What artifacts would I include? Also depends. Glare, motion blur and and bloom are things picked up by both cameras and eyes (though for different reasons, at least for motion blur), so they'd be added independently from what object we see the virtual world from. From here, things are more specific. So... what is most fitting for KSP? A camera or an eye? I'd consider the external camera to be a camera, and the IVA view to be directly from the eyes of the Kerbal you're looking from. He's not holding a camcorder in some invisible third hand, it's his perspective.

External: Lens flares are camera artifacts, so is chromatic aberration, the latter would be added very, very subtly. Something that could only be seen when you really look for it. Depth of field I already talked about - no. Not because it's unrealistic, but because it requires the engine to know exactly what the player wants to look at. Too much code for a simple effect.

IVA: I have yet to come across chromatic aberration with my bare eyes. My glasses are causing it here and there, but it's not my eye's fault. Not added to any internal views.
A shallow depth of field and astronauts would be a bad combination, no thank you.

Neither: Dust and film grain.
Dust? We're in space.
Film grain? This is not a VHS.

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1 hour ago, Delay said:

Film grain? This is not a VHS.

VHS doesn't have film grain, it's a magnetic medium.

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2 hours ago, DStaal said:

Position 3: Games are games - realism is only useful insomuch as they mimic real life.  Looking 'realistic' by one definition or another doesn't necessarily help a game, and should be considered in terms of what the game is trying to accomplish.

---

Yes, KSP is a space program manager simulation.  About little green men, who's heads are as big as the rest of their bodies.  Full realism isn't the goal of the flavor of the game - it's semi-realistic from the start.

Look over there, it's the kraken! steals idea

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I think this sums it up pretty well. THIS is what I want my game to look like.

On 10/2/2019 at 6:07 PM, lajoswinkler said:

If you think this is how real world looks, I have to suggest you visit your physician and get an appointment with an ophtalmologist. This is not normal vision. I don't care if it looks "nicer". It's a sign of pathological changes in the eye. It might be cataract or glaukoma.

Oh, no, that's not what the real world looks like.

If we take away bloom and the like, we're left with this.

Or a kerbin that looks like this, you'll have to add in the ground in your imagination.

The atmosphere's nonexistent! It's just gray!

Just a tad bit of bloom and...
This seems a little bit better.

Remember, that's not supposed to be realistic, just to slightly improve it.
I'll edit kerbin soon to show my point.

Bloom is actually visible by the naked eye, just on bright objects with a very dark background.
To see this, go out and look at a streetlight (at night) . Do you see

...or just a streetlight with NO glow/halo?

Heck, the SUN has bloom. That's how Solar eclipses work. The Corona's basically bloom... ish.

What we're calling "bloom" isn't actually bloom, per se. It's called bloom but differs in cameras and human eyes. It's due to the "dynamic range" of our eyes, and the short-range light source being outside it. People without glasses see it, people with glasses see it, not just 80-something people.

Excessive bloom is annoying. Excessive anything is annoying, save for savings, performance and value.

Edited by Concodroid
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Overdoing VFX is like putting too much salt on food, it ruins it. I don't think anyone's disputing that.

VFX do however serve an important purpose. A computer screen is not like the real world. It has many orders of magnitude less dynamic range, for one thing. That means that if you want to make something look realistic, you have to trick the human visual system into "seeing" things that aren't actually there. Our visual systems have already been trained to "see" certain representations as more realistic than they actually are, through media like film and TV. This training can be used in computer games as well.

So, for example, bloom tricks the visual system into perceiving an object on the screen as brighter than it really is. Lens flare does the same, because we've been trained to see it on TV, in photos, and in the movies.

If done well, you won't even notice they're there unless you're specifically looking for them. You'll just perceive the scene as brighter, deeper, and more "real" than it would be without them.

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Hey, folks...

Just a friendly reminder to not make personal attacks for differences of opinion. While we do want an open forum for the free-flow discussion of observations, ideas, and opinions, personal attacks are forbidden.

Thanks for your understanding and cooperation.

The moderation team.

Nobody is making any personal attacks on this thread.

8 hours ago, Concodroid said:

I think this sums it up pretty well. THIS is what I want my game to look like.

Oh, no, that's not what the real world looks like.

If we take away bloom and the like, we're left with this.

Or a kerbin that looks like this, you'll have to add in the ground in your imagination.

The atmosphere's nonexistent! It's just gray!

Just a tad bit of bloom and...
This seems a little bit better.

Remember, that's not supposed to be realistic, just to slightly improve it.
I'll edit kerbin soon to show my point.

Bloom is actually visible by the naked eye, just on bright objects with a very dark background.
To see this, go out and look at a streetlight (at night) . Do you see

...or just a streetlight with NO glow/halo?

Heck, the SUN has bloom. That's how Solar eclipses work. The Corona's basically bloom... ish.

What we're calling "bloom" isn't actually bloom, per se. It's called bloom but differs in cameras and human eyes. It's due to the "dynamic range" of our eyes, and the short-range light source being outside it. People without glasses see it, people with glasses see it, not just 80-something people.

Excessive bloom is annoying. Excessive anything is annoying, save for savings, performance and value.

Atmosphere does not look nice because of bloom. It looks nice because it blends with the surrounding, pitch black void. Same as Scatterer does rather well when you're in orbit, and stock KSP keeps ignoring for years.

As for the strong light sources, yes, healthy human eye does see bloom in occasions where source of light is very small compared to the rest of the darkness, and when the source is extremely bright. It does not appear with distant stars, the full Moon. It will appear with things like candles up close, last stages of total eclipse before totality (when the sliver is still shining), street lamps up close in the night. It would appear with high albedo objects reflecting sunlight this close to the Sun where we live (like if Enceladus was moved here for a moment, it would certainly be difficult to look at in the night sky).

There is also a variation of bloom that arises from UV fluorescence. Less in cameras because glass can be chemically formulated to minimize the effect, plus there are UV blocking filters that are put in front of cameras. However, human eyes are very susceptible to this because our vitreous body is very fluorescent in soft UV. If you ever looked at a blacklight in darkness you noticed how rest of the scene gets an annoying, dim, cyan tint that is gone as soon as you cover the light source with something.

All these occasions are pretty specific and don't happen often. Therefore I'd be totally ok with it if the developers would add them accordingly, but if they say: "That takes too much time and resources, let's just slap significant bloom as a visual constant throughout the game", then no, I would be highly against it.

Why should all other scenes where bloom would not appear, which exist in far greater number, suffer because of few occasions where smaller degree of bloom is justified? I don't want the game to look cheesy like that.

BTW, no, Sun's corona is not bloom. Bloom is an artifact of the image detector system. Corona and atmospheric halos exist by themselves.

4 hours ago, Brikoleur said:

Overdoing VFX is like putting too much salt on food, it ruins it. I don't think anyone's disputing that.

VFX do however serve an important purpose. A computer screen is not like the real world. It has many orders of magnitude less dynamic range, for one thing. That means that if you want to make something look realistic, you have to trick the human visual system into "seeing" things that aren't actually there. Our visual systems have already been trained to "see" certain representations as more realistic than they actually are, through media like film and TV. This training can be used in computer games as well.

So, for example, bloom tricks the visual system into perceiving an object on the screen as brighter than it really is. Lens flare does the same, because we've been trained to see it on TV, in photos, and in the movies.

If done well, you won't even notice they're there unless you're specifically looking for them. You'll just perceive the scene as brighter, deeper, and more "real" than it would be without them.

This training is done excessively and for the most part it's not realistic, therefore certain things it uses should be ditched.

As I've said to Concodroid, very careful, realistic (lens flares in human vision are a symptom of pathological changes therefore pls no), measured and tasteful addition of certain effects is more than welcome, but if the only options are:

a) to make the game free of them

b) game drenched in excessive effects that someone could just turn into "Ophthalmic pathology mod"

I choose a).

Sorry but not sorry - I don't want the feeling of getting blind, wiping my glasses or screen while I play my favorite game/simulator.

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2 minutes ago, lajoswinkler said:

As I've said to Concodroid, very careful, realistic (lens flares in human vision are a symptom of pathological changes therefore pls no), measured and tasteful addition of certain effects is more than welcome, but if the only options are:

a) to make the game free of them

b) game drenched in excessive effects that someone could just turn into "Ophthalmic pathology mod"

I choose a).

Sorry but not sorry - I don't want the feeling of getting blind, wiping my glasses or screen while I play my favorite game/simulator.

Has somebody ITT been arguing for (b)?

There may be some differences of opinion about how much is too much, but I don't think anyone wants to turn it into VFX soup. Nor do I think that's what's going to happen -- the pre-rendered preview trailer gives an idea of what the devs would want the game to look like if they had an unlimited budget and unlimited processing power, and IMO it's not overdoing the VFX at all. I'm hoping the final game will look somewhere between the pre-alpha footage and that.

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20 hours ago, Delay said:

Then something truly is wrong with my eyes - the sunlight is so intense that I merely see white. Well, yellow actually.

The sun is white, thats why white paper appears white outside unless its dawn/dusk

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1 hour ago, lajoswinkler said:

lens flares in human vision are a symptom of pathological changes therefore pls no

It would be okay to use lens flares for external views, at least in my opinion. They have no business in IVA's, however.
Also I doubt anyone said that they're seeing lens flares, and I corrected myself and I admitted I meant something else, so why mention it?

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8 hours ago, lajoswinkler said:

This training is done excessively and for the most part it's not realistic, therefore certain things it uses should be ditched.

As I've said to Concodroid, very careful, realistic (lens flares in human vision are a symptom of pathological changes therefore pls no), measured and tasteful addition of certain effects is more than welcome, but if the only options are:

a) to make the game free of them

b) game drenched in excessive effects that someone could just turn into "Ophthalmic pathology mod"

I choose a).

Sorry but not sorry - I don't want the feeling of getting blind, wiping my glasses or screen while I play my favorite game/simulator.

Just make em options, right?

I mean, there's a very, very easy way to make bloom appear only in very bright objects, just change the threshold. Make it really high, so basically planets / the sun on a near-black (or black) background shows bloom, not every single object.

I think that satisfies both of us.

Edited by Concodroid
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On 10/4/2019 at 9:32 PM, Concodroid said:

Just make em options, right?

I mean, there's a very, very easy way to make bloom appear only in very bright objects, just change the threshold. Make it really high, so basically planets / the sun on a near-black (or black) background shows bloom, not every single object.

I think that satisfies both of us.

I'd be ok with such treshold, of course. Bloom does appear when conditions are right - high apparent luminosity and high contrast. Combined with necessary disappearance of skybox it would be a good visual tool to indicate brightness.

BTW I've added vignetting to the list.

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1 hour ago, lajoswinkler said:

I'd be ok with such treshold, of course. Bloom does appear when conditions are right - high apparent luminosity and high contrast. Combined with necessary disappearance of skybox it would be a good visual tool to indicate brightness.

BTW I've added vignetting to the list.

Vignetting is useless, unless you're trying to simulate old-film style, which KSP2 probably won't.

Maybe add an asterisk and put threshold on the original list for everything that needs it

Edited by Concodroid
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2 hours ago, lajoswinkler said:

BTW I've added vignetting to the list.

Yeah, I don't get that effect either. You may also add god rays to the list - very overused, far beyond the point of realism.

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On 9/19/2019 at 7:17 AM, Brikoleur said:

Since physics isn’t easy to parallelise it can only derive limited benefit from GPU acceleration anyway.

My take? I will be happy if the game looks good. Overusing VFX is worse than not using them at all, but if used tastefully they can greatly enhance it. Also in my opinion it is silly to point out any specific VFX to rage at. They’re like spices in cooking, used wrong they will ruin it, used right they will let it shine, but none of them are inherently good or bad.

Actually well written physics *is* easy to "parallelise": since physics is for major parts pure functions and stateless. Any pure function means that it doesn't matter in which order it's executed, thus can be parallelised.

Take for example the equations of motion for an aircraft, as for example used by FAR. They are often linearized solutions of the differential equations, for all translation and rotations. While at first glance the equations look like they mix with each other. In reality by choosing the right constants you can make 6 separate equations, and put those in a matrix form.

GPU's are amazingly good at solving matrices: it's what they are doing anyways.

What is hard is however to optimize this, each cpu has it's own optimization path, and does very bad with other type of matrices. Many gpus are also *incorrect* providing an "almost" correct result but just not quite. Thus you might see different results in your physics engine between computers, or whether or not the current equation is send to the GPU.

Also what are you talking about with lens flare: just about any human aged about 30 has a form of lens flare in some regions of their eye. (Due to cataracts etc).

Edited by paul23
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35 minutes ago, paul23 said:

Actually well written physics *is* easy to "parallelise": since physics is for major parts pure functions and stateless. Any pure function means that it doesn't matter in which order it's executed, thus can be parallelised.

*If* every part independent and has minimal interactions with other parts.  The problem with physics for KSP is that isn't true: Every part of every ship is an separate dependent part, which has continual interactions with all the other parts and on the ship.  So while each function is a pure function, the inputs of the functions will depend on the outputs of other functions, and the overall order matters.  Simple two part example: Engine and fuel tank.  If you compute the fuel tank first it has no forces on it, so will stay in place.  If you compute the engine first it pushes on the fuel tank, and the fuel tank moves.  Then you have to compute the center of mass for the entire ship for orbital mechanics...

You can do some parallelization, but at the end of the frame everything has to be synced back up again on a per-ship basis at minimum.  Likely a ground-up redesign over KSP1 can help that quite a bit, but I still expect physics threads to be a bottleneck.

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Again, just like in normal aerospace engineering those things can be linearized. In aircraft also the fuselage, wing, tail (fin and horizontal control) and even things like landing gear all "influence each other". But by linearizing correctly you can still create a linear differential equation that can be morphed into a simple matrix.

This is what any field of engineering is doing with simulations. It's not hard at all, just not trivial.

IE during a symmetric flight an (bidirectional symmetrical object, ie a standard aircraft) will follow the following equation:

$\begin{bmatrix} C_{X_u}-2\mu_cDc & C_{X_\alpha} & C_{Z_0} & C_{X_q} \\ C_{Z_u} & C_{Z_\alpha} + \left( C_{Z_\dot{\alpha}} - 2\mu_c \right ) D_c & -C_{X_0} & C_{Z_q} + 2\mu_c \\ 0 & 0 & -D_c & 1 \\ C_{m_u} & C_{m_\alpha} + C_{m_\dot{\alpha}}D_c & 0 & C_{m_q} - 2 \mu_c K^2_yD_c \end{bmatrix} \begin{pmatrix} \hat{u} \\ \alpha \\ \theta \\ (q\bar{c})/V\end{pmatrix} = \begin{bmatrix} -C_{X_{\delta_e}} & -C_{X_{\delta_t}} \\ -C_{Z_{\delta_e}} & -C_{Z_{\delta_t}}\\ 0 & 0 \\ -C_{M_{\delta_e}} & -C_{M_{\delta_t}}\\ \end{bmatrix} \begin{pmatrix} \delta_e \\ \delta_t \end{pmatrix}$

With all constants, in the matrices or current flight sate in the vectors (these are derived from newton's laws, you could do the same for any motion of irregular objects, the matrix then just becomes much larger, hard to handle as human but computers have no trouble with that). The constants are just derived from the geometrical properties of the thing. So while those can typically not be linearized, they don't change that often. Only at decoupling/untimely detachement these need to be recalculated/simulated: a clever system could simulate these actually in advance "while building".

Edited by paul23
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On 10/12/2019 at 12:17 PM, paul23 said:

Again, just like in normal aerospace engineering those things can be linearized. In aircraft also the fuselage, wing, tail (fin and horizontal control) and even things like landing gear all "influence each other". But by linearizing correctly you can still create a linear differential equation that can be morphed into a simple matrix.

This is what any field of engineering is doing with simulations. It's not hard at all, just not trivial.

IE during a symmetric flight an (bidirectional symmetrical object, ie a standard aircraft) will follow the following equation:

$\begin{bmatrix} C_{X_u}-2\mu_cDc & C_{X_\alpha} & C_{Z_0} & C_{X_q} \\ C_{Z_u} & C_{Z_\alpha} + \left( C_{Z_\dot{\alpha}} - 2\mu_c \right ) D_c & -C_{X_0} & C_{Z_q} + 2\mu_c \\ 0 & 0 & -D_c & 1 \\ C_{m_u} & C_{m_\alpha} + C_{m_\dot{\alpha}}D_c & 0 & C_{m_q} - 2 \mu_c K^2_yD_c \end{bmatrix} \begin{pmatrix} \hat{u} \\ \alpha \\ \theta \\ (q\bar{c})/V\end{pmatrix} = \begin{bmatrix} -C_{X_{\delta_e}} & -C_{X_{\delta_t}} \\ -C_{Z_{\delta_e}} & -C_{Z_{\delta_t}}\\ 0 & 0 \\ -C_{M_{\delta_e}} & -C_{M_{\delta_t}}\\ \end{bmatrix} \begin{pmatrix} \delta_e \\ \delta_t \end{pmatrix}$

With all constants, in the matrices or current flight sate in the vectors (these are derived from newton's laws, you could do the same for any motion of irregular objects, the matrix then just becomes much larger, hard to handle as human but computers have no trouble with that). The constants are just derived from the geometrical properties of the thing. So while those can typically not be linearized, they don't change that often. Only at decoupling/untimely detachement these need to be recalculated/simulated: a clever system could simulate these actually in advance "while building".

Got any examples of a actual implmentation in a Simulator/Game?

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6 hours ago, Incarnation of Chaos said:

Got any examples of a actual implmentation in a Simulator/Game?

FAR.

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15 minutes ago, paul23 said:

FAR.

FAR simulates aerodynamics for the entire craft. KSP has to simulate interactions between parts, with flex and stresses that may lead to failures. You’re not describing the same problem.

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