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Why is there no focus system in games

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I know that this kind of graphics might pull some teeths out... but i gotta ask... In 3d games, the Point of View (POW) allways has an infinite focus... everything is visible, and theres no major difference to the center vs corner visibility in photography, you have a Depth Of Field (DOF), where the center is the least distorted area, and things out of focus, can be either identifieable or not, depending of the DOF To make games more realistic, i think that a DOF system should be invented, or at least included... where the Crosshair defines the Focus point... the AutoFocus could then have a slight delay, in order to make the fealing of focusing realistic... like when eyes focus from short to long distance The stuff that are out of focus shouldn't be so smeared that you get lost, when moving around... just enough to make the fealing of focusing come true... is this idea too weird to be implemented, or is it too hardware consuming that its impossible to be made and therefore not seen in any games ?? im just asking :-)

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Why is there no focus system in games

Because it's expensive.

Now, with shaders it may be possible, but that's a relatively recent development.

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The problem is knowing what the player is focusing on. It's possible to stare at one thing and focus quite a few different levels. I can imagine most players not appreciating not being able to see.

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Thats the point... You see what you focus on...

im not talking of a whole tunneling vision... just some bluriness to the sides

when playing Quake 3 and all those other fast FPS games... people are killed with the blink of an eye...

you spot players in each side of the screen, and in a split second you nail him... Focus system would make a tad harder to spot players out of focus... just like sniper-vision...

the whole focus system, would also contibute to some level of aestethics and add realism to the game...

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But how will you know what the player is focusing on? If you show a scene with objects in the foreground and objects in the background, how will you know whether the player is really looking at the foreground ones, or past them?

Once we have the technology to reliably track the player's eye movements, maybe ... until then, I think it would only be frustrating.

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Like i said... the crosshair defines focus

and maybe some buttons to lock it... i donno...

Remember ... its not total blur... just a removal of the standard infinite view...

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Quote:
Original post by Montago
Like i said... the crosshair defines focus

and maybe some buttons to lock it... i donno...

Remember ... its not total blur... just a removal of the standard infinite view...


The crosshair defines orientation. I know I move my eyes considerably more often, and considerably faster, than I move the crosshair.

Quote:
Original post by Fruny
Quote:
Original post by Miserable
But how will you know what the player is focusing on?


Eye trackers, anybody? [smile]

I know they exist, but how many gamers do you know who use them? [rolleyes]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Tales of Symphonia, a Gamecube roleplay game, uses such a focusing..

I was very surprised and I think it is a nice innovation!

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There's also the issue that game FOVs are significantly lower than the standard human FOV (about 135° IIRC). To decrease the FOV even further would probably be a disservice to players.

At least until we all have eye trackers with our computers. There's a significant difference between simulated DOF and peripheral vision: We can observe the blur on a screen; we can look directly at it. Additionally, as Miserable mentioned, the crosshair defines where we want to shoot, not just look. In real life, you're free to independently look and shoot in entirely different directions.

That said, I expect it'll be "the new lens flare" eventually, so we'll get to play a whole bunch of games and decide whether it works or not.

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I didn't want to apply this new technology on exsisting games... just on some of the new ones...

The idea was to make the mouse-movement more important to vision...
and add a new factor to the diffecaultness :-/

it should still be possible to see whats going on, on the sides of the screen, and in the blury out-of-focus parts....

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Quote:
To make games more realistic, i think that a DOF system should be invented, or at least included... where the Crosshair defines the Focus point...

Or you could just get a pair of shutter glasses. They work great with UT2004.

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I think you can do this with an accumulation buffer... you'd render the frame several times from slightly different angles, with the camera focused on the same thing each time. That's kinda the problem with it, though... to get a good effect you'd probably have to render at least 5 times, and that would cut your eventual frame rate by 5. Same idea with motion blur... it makes rendered CG look much better, but you'd have to re-calculate the position of all objects several times per frame and draw them that many times, effectively dropping your frame-rate.

For the reasons mentioned above, though, I'd look for motion blur in games before you see depth of field. Except maybe for in-engine cinimatics where you know where you want the player to look, it would be hard to make it not annoying while keeping it noticeable enough that it would contribute positively to the overall look of the game.

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Just my opinion but I dont think this would work very well in games. I mean if I look around the room now I dont notice any blurring at all, but if you implemented it as you described it would be noticable and I think it would look silly/unrealistic.

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Myst IV does something like this.

Quote:
IGN
The game uses an intriguing "depth of field" effect where the game tracks where the mouse pointer is, focusing what it's hovering over and blurring everything else slightly. You can turn this off, as well as toggling water and "immersive" effects.


I haven't played it so I can't say much more. The screenshots look wonderful.

That's how Myst has always been.

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Quote:
Original post by Montago
Like i said... the crosshair defines focus

and maybe some buttons to lock it... i donno...

Remember ... its not total blur... just a removal of the standard infinite view...


So what if I want to look at something away from the crosshair? :P
Or to put it another way, whatever I'm looking at should be in focus, yes? Everything I'm not looking at should be out of focus and blurry. But who cares about how stuff I'm not looking at looks? It shouldn't make a difference, because whenever I look at something, it should be in focus. And when I'm not looking at it, I wont notice if it's blurry or not. ;)
Unless the system is flawed, and just applies the blur to anything away from the crosshair, like you suggested. But the crosshair doesn't determine what I'm looking at.

I know photographs aren't that adaptable, but our eyes are, and I don't see any purpose in adding artifical blurriness. ;)

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I'm pretty sure Project Gotham 2 has DOF on the replay cameras.

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Quote:
Original post by Montago
I didn't want to apply this new technology on exsisting games... just on some of the new ones...

The idea was to make the mouse-movement more important to vision...
and add a new factor to the diffecaultness :-/

it should still be possible to see whats going on, on the sides of the screen, and in the blury out-of-focus parts....
Imagine you're playing quake 3. You run around a LOT and you're crosshair is constnatly moving, right? Now imagine that everything not at the same depth as the thing your crosshair is pointing at is blurry. You'd get a headache instantly I think, because as you're running around things are pretty much randomly blurring and unblurring and your eyes just arent' used to that. The crosshair only indicates focus the single frame you pull the trigger, because other times it controls the direction you move in.

It MIGHT work for some games, but they'd have to be extremely slow paced and truly you'd need to add in some kind of system to control moment, gun aiming, and eye focus seperately, which comes out to 3 control systems for 2 hands which IMO wouldn't work. Maybe if you made one of those 'choose your own adventure' video-style games it could work, since you don't control the camera at all and the focus would be developer-defined.

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There's already a focus system inherent in the way you focus on something with your OWN eyes. I don't absorb the whole screen all at once. To have a double focus effect would be just absurd.

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Quote:
Original post by Cipher3D
There's already a focus system inherent in the way you focus on something with your OWN eyes. I don't absorb the whole screen all at once. To have a double focus effect would be just absurd.


in some way yes.... unless your eyes are locked to the center of the screen... forced by the bluryness

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Just my opinion.
The crosshair gives the direction of the move and of the shoot, not of the view. There are many reasons that make the two coincide in games, but there are different things. If you add focus blur in a replay, then ok, because it is in some way simulating a camera (we do not have replays in real world) so you can expect to have this effect (and you can make the two direction coincide).
But a first person point of view should let the player look at what he wants because its eyes already have a focus (we may imagine 360 deg monitors sourrounding us. Current monitors give us just a window of the world, they don't rapresent our eyes. Eyes tracker would be the only acceptable solution).
In adddition, as said before, crosshair gives the direction, not the point, you are looking at. Adding controls just to modify the distance of the focus would be a unuseful handicap, IMHO.

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Nobody has really brought up the philosophical question:

Depth of field (focus, blurriness, etc) is a phenemenon of CAMERAS but isn't necesarily "more realistic". Depth of field images look more "realistic" to us because we are used to looking at photographs. Is the goal of computer games to emulate photography/video?

I'm sure early camera designers were quite often frustrated by too much blurriness and other lens problems, I bet they would be amused to see how much effort we spend trying to copy what is essentially a failure of cameras!

Perhaps in a hundred years we will "get over" the need for depth of field and perfectly sharp images will look "more realistic". If you showed a "caveman" (ie somebody who's never seen a photo) an image with and without depth of field, are you SURE he'd say the blurrier image was "more realistic"?

Not to detract from the original question. Depth of field can definitely have some stunning artistic uses. I just love how much time and code we spend copying DOF, lens flares and glares, film grain, and other artifacts of traditional photography. Will it ever get old?

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Quote:
Original post by Cipher3D
There's already a focus system inherent in the way you focus on something with your OWN eyes. I don't absorb the whole screen all at once. To have a double focus effect would be just absurd.


While its an interesting suggestion this is definatly the biggest problem as I see it. I'm sure we will have the tech to oneday follow eye focus and simulation real time depth of field but I really don't see it adding anything. My eye already has to focus on the screen, it already has to look at the hud, the enemies the level, the minimap and many other things - I don't see why my eye should also have to wait for the PC to to focus for me. When I look ouside the window at the chimney in the next house my eye instantly focuses, when I look at the skyscraper, or back to the screen its pretty much instant focus. So when your in a game looking at something you want instant focus so there doesn't seem a point implimenting a delay into that. It'd be like implimenting your mouse with a 200ms delay to simulation human reaction times ... they're already in there so you'll just end up with sloppy controls.

It would definatly be in interesting for a novelty/art-house game :P but for your standing FPS or something I really don't see it every being done (famous last words .. i'm now going to see it on the box of the next big games just cos I said that)

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