A simple blur on underwater shadows

A simple blur on underwater shadows

Requests for features in the spring code.

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PtaQ
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A simple blur on underwater shadows

Post by PtaQ » 18 Nov 2017, 01:40

For the last couple of months, I've been collecting content for an official BA website and I've made a lot of screenshots. It turns out that provided with some good looking maps you can make really nice shots with current gfx. As the upcoming release introduces a big sea rework, I have made lots of screenshots showing ships etc. Some water renders are dope too, but there is one thing that ruins the whole effect, namely shadows.

As good as they may look on land, in water they just seem a bit out of place having so sharp edges, and also being totally rigid. Some examples below:
Image
Image
Image

My suggestion is to at least apply some blur around the edges of underwater shadows, ideally make their location oscillate a bit around some point, to create an illusion of changing refraction effects due to waves.

To go a step further IMO all shadows cast by units floating over ground should be blurred as well. only point-like sources of light can cast perfectly sharp shadows and the higher is the altitude of an object the more blur should be observed.

It's just a quick suggestion for your consideration. I personally have no idea how much effort would it take to implement something like that in spring and how much the performance would suffer because of that. Yet even a simple blur would make it look way better so maybe its worth considering :)
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Google_Frog
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Re: A simple blur on underwater shadows

Post by Google_Frog » 18 Nov 2017, 08:06

I agree regarding underwater shadows.
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Jools
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Re: A simple blur on underwater shadows

Post by Jools » 18 Nov 2017, 10:20

I also agree regarding underwater shadows: there was a long thread about this before, and my opinion is that the shadows should be cast on the water surface and not on the bottom, the dev team misses a thing called scale. Yes, you have shadows on the bottom of a bath tub, but on the bottom of the pacific ocean -- not so much so.
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Jools
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Re: A simple blur on underwater shadows

Post by Jools » 18 Nov 2017, 10:26

Compare with this:
https://imgur.com/a/snEl6

Edit: I cannot get the inline image posting to work :(
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Silentwings
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Re: A simple blur on underwater shadows

Post by Silentwings » 18 Nov 2017, 11:15

I guess the trouble is - on that photo, you also can't see underwater. If you want submarines to be unseen then ofc it makes perfect sense to do the realistic thing and have shadows on the surface of the water. Afaics there isn't a visually realistic way to solve this issue.

Personally, I turn all shadows off.
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Jools
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Re: A simple blur on underwater shadows

Post by Jools » 18 Nov 2017, 11:40

I made a widget that turns shadows off if there is water on the map, and restores the setting otherwise. On water maps, it's just confusing to see the water bed shadows, they make it difficult to see sea planes' elevation.
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PtaQ
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Re: A simple blur on underwater shadows

Post by PtaQ » 18 Nov 2017, 13:13

The simplest solution I can imagine is just to make all shadows' sharpness vary with different altitudes of units over ground (no distinction between land/seabed). This way there would be no change to land units, but shadows of planes and sea units would be blurry as their altitude over ground is elevation over the surface + sea depth. This would fix planes elevation problem over the water, as this kind of shadow would be very dim, almost invisible. What do you think? Is that hard to implement?

Unfortunately, this solution doesn't take into account terrain features casting shadows too. Yet these shadows don't look that bad right now ( see the first photo).
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Jools
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Re: A simple blur on underwater shadows

Post by Jools » 18 Nov 2017, 13:37

Anything would be better than the way it is right now. I think the real fix would be to change how water is implemented in the spring engine.
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raaar
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Re: A simple blur on underwater shadows

Post by raaar » 19 Nov 2017, 15:51

Instead of a sharp intense shadow on the sea floor, there could be blurrier and more translucent ones projected both on the sea plane and on the sea floor.
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