# Camera angle in PoE vs BG2

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It is common knowledge by now that the pre-rendered backgrounds in Pillars of Eternity were made at two different camera angles (one for indoor maps, one for outdoor maps), and that these camera angles are lower than the 45° one used in the Infinity Engine games.

But what are their actual values, and what is the value of the factor by which the vertical screen dimension is compressed compared to the horizontal one?

I tried to reconstruct these values from a few measurements on screenshots. The result:

The measurements weren't super precise, but the results shouldn't be too far off, hopefully.

Of course if someone knows the exact camera angles that Obsidian used, please tell!

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Btw, here's how I measured and calculated the values:

BG2 and PoE indoors:

For these it was not too hard to find a horizontal square which is perfectly axis-aligned (i.e. so that the dotted white lines connecting the corners in the diagram are exactly horizontal/vertical):

• the on-screen diagonal angle α is measured as shown in the diagrams
• the on-screen stretch factor is calculated as  f = tan(α)
• the camera angle is calculated as  θ = arcsin(tan(α))

PoE outdoors:

For this I couldn't find an axis aligned horizontal square anywhere. So I used the next best thing, a horizontal circle:

• the on-screen stretch factor f is measured as shown in the diagram (by comparing the height of the on-screen ellipse with the height of a perfect circle of the same width)
• the on-screen diagonal angle is calculated as  α = arctan(f)
• the camera angle is calculated as  θ = arcsin(f)

UPDATE: Improved diagram (show cubes instead of squares; more accurate measurements for PoE; add Fallout)

Edited by Ineth

"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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I'd also just like to say that BG2's camera angle is flat out better than either of Pillars camera angles. The only good thing about the low outside one is that you can see more of the faces of structures but it's annoying for gameplay with 3D characters where your characters disappear behind other units, and the inside one isn't high enough so characters are behind walls a lot as well.

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I'd also just like to say that BG2's camera angle is flat out better than

I'm pretty sure everyone knows you think that BG is better than PoE in every imaginable way. Do you post on the Baldurs Gate forums with the same level of dedication? Just curious.

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I'd also just like to say that BG2's camera angle is flat out better than

I'm pretty sure everyone knows you think that BG is better than PoE in every imaginable way. Do you post on the Baldurs Gate forums with the same level of dedication? Just curious.

I'm pretty sure everyone knows that you vehemently disagree with Sensuki. I know when I peruse these posts I grow tired of you two bickering like an old married couple. Care to keep it consolidated to a single thread, and/or agree to disagree?

As someone that enjoyed PoE immensely, I can say some of Sensuki's issues aren't unfounded. It is a taster's choice, and since this forum is dedicated to PoE (a game pitched as a spiritual successor to the IE games) comparisons to BG, IWD, and PST are expected. For better or worse.

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I am not disagreeing with anyone in this thread, learn to read. I asked an honest question about his BG activities since he mentions it so much, and I am truly curious. Try staying on topic.

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Does anyone know different reasons why the camera angles were chosen?

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^ If I remember correctly, to have both a greater field of vision and to show more of the environmental art on screen.  Josh sawyer made a few posts about this early on in Development.

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I am not disagreeing with anyone in this thread, learn to read. I asked an honest question about his BG activities since he mentions it so much, and I am truly curious. Try staying on topic.

I'm pretty sure everyone knows you think that BG is better than PoE in every imaginable way. Do you post on the Baldurs Gate forums with the same level of dedication? Just curious.

I know tone doesn't come across well in writing but that's about as passive aggressive as you get. If you genuinely want to know about Sensuki's posting history on the Baldur's Gate forums do you really think that was a constructive way to ask? Or you could even go check for yourself.

I am sure I will receive a dismissive reply from Zenbane about how I am misreading things, but at some point Zenbane you have to recognise that a lot of your posts get "misread" and the thing all these miscommunications have in common is you.

Like Ganrich I enjoy PoE a lot yet I am still interested in Sensuki's criticism and sometimes find myself agreeing with some of it.

On the actual topic of the thread: thanks for doing those calculations for us Ineth. I've been thinking about Sensuki's criticism of the camera angles recently as a result of difficulty navigating some battles in the later game. Trying to work out where the various combatants are whilst paused immediately after Relentless Storm has fired is very hard. This is certainly partly due to the camera angle, but a bigger problem in my opinion is the fact that better graphics of PoE make the screen more "busy" and this camouflages the battle area. Spell graphics were never good enough to do this in IE games so characters didn't get lost in them. One thing I think would help is allow me to target an enemy by clicking it's "tab-label" as that's, by definition, easier to see in combat.

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I like criticism as well but after 8 months of reading the same thing it gets pretty old - although that has nothing to do with what I asked in this thread and I am simply addressing your topic derail. Also i do not think it is common for my posts to get misread, so your "have in common is me" jab missed the mark by a huge margin. I have accused exactly 2 people of misreading my posts, so unless you are unaware of the number of people posting on a regular basis then I think you are guilty of some terrible math.

I do believe you're the one that needs to read my post again and perhaps look up what "passive aggressive" means; cause I assure you that it is not synonymous with "disagreement." Like I said, I do not disagree with anything posted in this thread - up until your bad math of course.

As for the actual topic, I do believe someone posted a link to Sawyer on the SA forums (or was it a Tweet?) where he spoke of UI updates that are coming very soon. Although, if anyone pays attention to any PoE forums it is often stated that the best combat tactic is using/abusing entrances/doorways. So even if the camera angles in PoE are sub-par compared to its predecessors, I'm wondering how problematic this is when you're standing at a doorway?

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lol now we have an issue about camera angles? Yeah, BG2 camera angles were flat out better. You could see things behind objects and other interesting detailed stuff, like the back of the neck of the characters that had not so long hair when they were at a specific angle, that you cannot even imagine doing in Pillars with this flat out awful angles!

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Yeah the Pillars outdoor camera is too low. The FX are too blingy too. It makes it really hard to see what's going on sometimes; the IE games do not have this problem.

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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You would of thought that the nwn2 camera problems would of been instructive enough for Obsidian. Not to mention the blingy effects in that game.

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You would of thought that the nwn2 camera problems would of been instructive enough for Obsidian. Not to mention the blingy effects in that game.

They moved from a fully mobile camera to a fixed one.  Seems like they learned to me.

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You would of thought that the nwn2 camera problems would of been instructive enough for Obsidian. Not to mention the blingy effects in that game.

They moved from a fully mobile camera to a fixed one.  Seems like they learned to me.

But they failed to grasp a useful angle for combat and still did the flashy effects so sorry to say I politely disagree.

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Yeah the Pillars outdoor camera is too low. The FX are too blingy too. It makes it really hard to see what's going on sometimes; the IE games do not have this problem.

The IE had other things that didn't help you see what's going on. Worst graphics, lower resolution and worst animations. Very rarely do I remeber having problems seeing what's going on in pillars in a way that I couldn't play well than in BG2, for example, were this was much more common (especially in narrow places; oh the nightmare!).

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Isn't PoE's perspective* about what we had for Fallout 1 & 2?

The perspective* in Pillars hasn't bothered me one bit controling my party, and it provides a nicer view of the scenery.

*Well not technically a perspective since its a projection rather than a POV.

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The IE had other things that didn't help you see what's going on. Worst graphics, lower resolution and worst animations.

None of these affect the "legibility" of the game at all. They just make it less nice to look at.

Very rarely do I remeber having problems seeing what's going on in pillars in a way that I couldn't play well than in BG2, for example, were this was much more common (especially in narrow places; oh the nightmare!).

I hate narrow maps in the IE games, but the problem isn't the visuals, it's the pathfinding. I find it way easier to read a lot of the time.

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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Isn't PoE's perspective* about what we had for Fallout 1 & 2?

Seems like. I don't like it there either; stuff gets hidden behind walls way too often.

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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Btw, here's how I measured and calculated the values:

I just want to applaud your ressourcefulness in this matter. Everyone that uses maths in his pursuit of knowledge has my deep respect - great job.

Since obsidian stuff adjusted the angles by hand, I guess its safe to assume that the actual values are the nearest integers, so 40° and 33° respectively.

Edited by Doppelschwert
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I'm pretty sure everyone knows you think that BG is better than PoE in every imaginable way. Do you post on the Baldurs Gate forums with the same level of dedication? Just curious.

Nobody cares.

I am not disagreeing with anyone in this thread, learn to read. I asked an honest question about his BG activities since he mentions it so much, and I am truly curious. Try staying on topic.

Still nobody cares.

I like criticism as well but after 8 months of reading the same thing it gets pretty old - although that has nothing to do with what I asked in this thread and I am simply addressing your topic derail. Also i do not think it is common for my posts to get misread, so your "have in common is me" jab missed the mark by a huge margin. I have accused exactly 2 people of misreading my posts, so unless you are unaware of the number of people posting on a regular basis then I think you are guilty of some terrible math.

I do believe you're the one that needs to read my post again and perhaps look up what "passive aggressive" means; cause I assure you that it is not synonymous with "disagreement." Like I said, I do not disagree with anything posted in this thread - up until your bad math of course.

Did I mention, that nobody cares?

Your dialogues are very, very annoying. And you are by far the worst of you two, because you always initiate those dialogues. Sensuki can at least be ignored. It's harder to ignore the tiolet-paper-like wall of nobodycares that you produce, once you have started talking. And everytime somebody wants to tell you, you start arguing with him. Just try not to talk to Sensuki. And dont answer anything that is adressed to you. Noone wants you to. They just want you to shut up and stay on topic.

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We're all doomed

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OP, can you do a measurement of Fallout?

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Did I mention, that nobody cares?

Yep, you typed it 3 times as you tried to prove a lack of caring. For your next trick will you be playing in traffic to prove that moving vehicles are dangerous? Of course, I never once argued that someone cares but don't let that stop you from seeing things that aren't really there. Also it is not hard to ignore my posts, I believe Fenixp posted detailed instructions on how to do this lol

Isn't PoE's perspective* about what we had for Fallout 1 & 2?

The perspective* in Pillars hasn't bothered me one bit controling my party, and it provides a nicer view of the scenery.

*Well not technically a perspective since its a projection rather than a POV.

I share the same sentiment. Of the many top-down games I've played, PoE just doesn't seem very problematic. And I've yet to encounter a battle where the camera made things difficult.

Edited by Zenbane
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OP, can you do a measurement of Fallout?

It's definitely a low angle.

However, the camera is also panned horizontally (compared to a true isometric view), so that square structures do not  end up aligned with the screen axes:

I'm afraid I haven't figured out (yet?) how to do the math in this case. Help is welcome!

Of course if there was a screenshot showing a large horizontal circle, I could use that because circles don't care about horizontal rotation...

Edited by Ineth

"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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It is common knowledge by now that the pre-rendered backgrounds in Pillars of Eternity were made at two different camera angles (one for indoor maps, one for outdoor maps), and that these camera angles are lower than the 45° one used in the Infinity Engine games.

But what are their actual values, and what is the value of the factor by which the vertical screen dimension is compressed compared to the horizontal one?

I tried to reconstruct these values from a few measurements on screenshots. The result:

The measurements weren't super precise, but the results shouldn't be too far off, hopefully.

Of course if someone knows the exact camera angles that Obsidian used, please tell!

Okay, honest question: why is this important? Am I not seeing something everybody else does?

"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

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Okay, honest question: why is this important?

It's important for modding purposes.

Also, as the first page of this thread demonstrates, it's a perfectly good issue to fight a holy war over...

"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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