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Depth of Field, Motion Blur and Filters

December 10th, 2005

There’s an interesting article over at bit-tech discussing the new effect Valve are adding to the source engine to make games feel more cinematic. They recently added High Dynamic Range (HDR for short) Rendering support and are show-casing it in the recently released Day of Defeat and new Counter-Strike levels.

Motion Blur

Motion Blur

The article discusses (with the aid of some very nice screenshots and videos) how they have added Depth of Field and Motion Blur effects, and also Film Grain and Color Correction filters, to the source engine. The end effect makes for very impressive viewing however I doubt the usefullness of some of these techniques outside of cutscenes. The film grain used in the final movie looks great to watch but would get annoying very quickly in game and I fail to see how the depth of field would work in-game, how does the computer actually know what on the screen you are looking at?

I guess, just like HDR, that if the effects are used carefully they will improve the experience of single player games, I just hope HDR Bloom and Motion Blur don’t become the new lens-flare. However no matter how great these effects look if they impair a players skill in a multiplayer game they will be turned off by the hardcore players to give them a slight advantage.

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