Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Does anybody know if we can expect a sort of parallax effect for the environments of Pillars of Eternity to illustrate depth when panning?

Something to the effect of parallax scrolling, but with a technology perhaps more like parallax mapping?

parallax-animation-lytro-gentian.gif

 

We've seen some pretty neat tricks that Obsidian employed with dynamic lighting and even water depth effects using normal mapping to immitate 3D space in a 2D image.  Do you think it'd be possible that they could (or already have) also imitate parallax effects using the same (or similar) tech?  I suspect that the constraits of a fixed camera angle might make this possible, but have no experience with graphic design from which to draw any real insight.  Anybody with a knowledged or insightful thought on the matter? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Diablo 2 did this. It looked a bit strange and pixelated, but Diablo 2's graphical style and low resolution mitigated the issue. 

 

Because Project Eternity aims for a very clean, high-res, pixel-perfect look, judging by the screenshots seen so far, and because the camera is placed much higher than in D3, the effect would look jarring. 

Edited by Zeckul
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think if it was subtle it would look good for trees and the like, which aren't "baked" into the environment anyway (I don't think) because they're animated.  They shouldn't look too pixely in this day and age of antialiasing, I imagine.  Scratch that, even as an environment overlay piece, because it doesn't exist in 3D geometry, there should be no need for anti-aliasing regardless.

Edited by Pipyui

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

parallax simulates a shift in viewing angle, but the viewing angle in isometric view doesn't ever change, so i don't see how that would work.

 

i think depth of filed would be better suited for creating an illusion of depth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, that all depends on the effective distance of the camera.  At infinite distance (I know that's hard to imagine zoomed in so close), there would be no parallax effect.  This is how I suspect PoE will look.  On the other hand, if the camera is closer, though the camera never changes angle, the angle from the camera to any given point changes with panning, and would thus exhibit parallax.

 

I (personally) feel like my eyes would explode if I had to play an isometric game with DoF.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

isometric view (or any axonometric view parallel projection) = infinite camera distance. PE will use some sort of axsonomtery (as far as i know, they're using steeper viewing angle for indoor, and shallower angle for outdoor areas).

 

i'm not advocationg extensive use of DoF, but it can be useful in cases such as mountain tops (arreat mountain top in diablo 2), tall towers (severed hand in iwd), floating thingies (astral prison in bg 2), etc.

Edited by sesobebo
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Parallax scrolling is generally not applicable for this type of game, as there's always a fully opaque background (the ground) close to the point of attention and nothing in the foreground that's not connected to the background.

 

However, there are potentially some situations where it could be used effectively. For example, if the map is located on a platform magically suspended kilometers up in the air, the distant background could scroll at a different rate than the platform the characters walk on.

 

I'm not sure what parallax mapping has to do with this subject. It's a completely different animal.

 

(EDIT: I've no idea how I missed sesobebo's post above and ended up saying pretty much the same things... oh, well.)

Edited by Caerdon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do we know that Obsidian is actually going for infinite camera distance though?

 

I'm not sure what parallax mapping has to do with this subject. It's a completely different animal.

 

I'm not sure exactly what I was thinking here, to be honest.  I had figured that parallax scrolling would be limited to copy/paste resources (like trees) that - I presume - wouldn't be baked into the environment.  Otherwise layers would be needed, and that would, I suspect, make maps rediculously huge in file size.  Alternatively, now that I reflect on it, image layers could be replaced by polygons drawn in 3D space upon the 2D plane.  That might be more feasible, but the whole business sounds messy.

 

I guess I was trying to imagine that, if parallax scrolling were impractical, they could use the existing map data elements (normal maps, occlusion info, height maps (I imagine this is how they managed dynamic water effects), etc), to kind of fudge up something similar to parallax mapping.  Parallax mapping works by measuring the angle of view between a camera and a texture, and appropriately showing texture bits.  I thought that, if camera wasn't at infinite distance, an angle could be measured between any point on screen and the camera, and a map of that point would define the look of the texture there?  Heck, I didn't think dynamic water should be possible in a 2D imagine, but they done it, and I still don't know how exactly they managed to map a 2D image so that it reflects light as a 3D space instead of as the flat surface with bumps that it is (I suspect depth data is also stored in image, to abstract the 3D data of it).  What I'm trying to say is, Obsidian has confounded my conceptions of 2D before, it shouldn't surprise me that they could manage to fudge parallax, though it seems perhaps impossible to me now.

 

i'm not advocationg extensive use of DoF, but it can be useful in cases such as mountain tops (arreat mountain top in diablo 2), tall towers (severed hand in iwd), floating thingies (astral prison in bg 2), etc.

 

I could live with that. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is known as 'perspective' view in Shadowrun Returns, and is noticeable when scrolling, despite the camera angle not changing. I like it, but if it isn't relatively free to implement I doubt OE would consider it. What's the cost / benefit of such a feature?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do we know that Obsidian is actually going for infinite camera distance though?

well, there's been a video and a few screenshots, so, yeah, we do. {:

 

 

btw, there are a couple of slides here, that shed a bit of light on how their lightning magic is done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...