Game camera modded to show slight perspective change when turning head. Beautiful immersion or vomitous oversimulation?

Originally published at: Game camera modded to show slight perspective change when turning head. Beautiful immersion or vomitous oversimulation? | Boing Boing


They have the physics correct but the biology feels wrong. Our eyes usually only move smoothly like this when executing smooth pursuit, that is, tracking a moving object. Rather, when we’re scanning the scenery, we move in short jerky movements called saccades.


Is it my imagination, or are they dialing the quality up on the “corrected” perspective recordings to make them seem more realistic that the perspective alone would?

I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s a neat effect. But if they are gilding the lily, it leaves me wondering what they’re trying to sell.

Incidentally, it would be interesting to see what happens when distance from the game camera to its axis of motion is even greater. Brontosaurus cam, anyone?

I’m also wondering if the lack of this “correction” contributes at all to motion sickness in VR.


So much this. I can’t play first-person games at all any more because I get severely nauseated and a nasty headache. The corrected version looks better to me.


For screen based games the perspective fix is unneeded but i’d say this is more useful for VR


This is what you see IRL too, because of your dominant eye being off-center from the pivot point in your head.

yeah, i play screen-based games and don’t really see much of a difference between them. i’d be ok either way, i think. but if this was VR i bet it would be a big difference.


Looks good to me, but the jerkiness of the movement in the video was severely off-putting, kind of spoiling the effect. Not nauseating or anything, just really jarring. You don’t notice this kind of stuff when playing yourself, but watching a video makes it clear why films and TV have cinematographers that literally do camera movement for a living.


I think it’s a subtle yet dramatic improvement (talking screen here, I don’t have a VR rig). I love it!


“this is beautifully realistic!”

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I don’t think they’ve done something groundbreaking here, and I also don’t think it would affect VR in any way, actually. (NB: I could be entirely wrong about this whole post.)

First, all modern 3D games already include parallax motion. You can see it fine in their example where the user goes up to the hole in the cave. If the camera changes locations, the foreground and background will move related to each other, because that’s simply how raytracing or any other 3D engine works.

So why does looking around look flat in games? Simply because they make the assumption that the camera is a fixed point, and they are pivoting the camera around that point. Obviously, this isn’t how eyes work.

So I think all they’ve done is put the camera on the surface of a sphere instead. So now when you look around, the camera is also traveling in 3D space, and so the game engine does what it already does and shows parallax motion.

To my eyes they’ve made the sphere a bit to big — I think that’s why @beschizza suggests it could be vomitous. I think they could shrink the sphere a little bit and get a good effect, but then their video wouldn’t be as dramatic and no one would care.

As for VR, your head already moves in 3D space when you rotate it, so you should already be getting the parallax effect. I am quite certain it would be near impossible to get something that looked like the totally-flat examples in VR, you can never pivot on a single point.

Now, do the goggles always know exactly where your head is? Not exactly, so that could be a cause a sickness. But adding additional movement to what it’s already calculating would be sure to make you sicker.


This video explains what’s going on a lot better than the Skyrim shots:


Yes, that’s a whole other issue that no one addresses, or maybe no one wants to address… I could see the “fix” there really being a headache for the player.

I literraly do not see ANY difference. What am I missing here?


I like it, but it appears a bit more exaggerated to me than I think it needs to be. However, that’s subjective to me because I wear glasses and have a very narrow field of vision to begin with. I can’t watch objects all the way to a full turn of my head (they slide out of view of my lenses and become a blurred color), so it may be more accurate for someone with better vision.

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Same. I wish they’d have moved the camera faster. I don’t usually turn my head in tiny increments when looking around.

It’s only “groundbreaking” because computers have finally caught up to what programmers intended to simulate all along. Computers simply weren’t powerful enough to render that many naturalistic images in real time until now. The original 3D perspective views literally were distorted renderings of boxes with images on each side. Later, processing became fast enough to animate those images, then fast enough to render each of those views on the fly in stead of needing to pre-render a set for each possible location.

Offsetting the views by those three to five inches needed to “correct” the perspective on obviously CGI scenery added a lot of overhead that didn’t add much to the game’s experience. Nowadays, games can create so much naturalism in real time, I think the altered perspective will become very significant. It particularly helps identify distinctions in depth between similarly colored objects and their backgrounds. I do think that most of the current batch of examples are offset slightly too far, overemphasizing the resultant effects (kinda like living in a Sam Raimi movie). So far, I have only seen essentially static scenery, too. I would like to see what it with character movement, and in mobile combat scenes.


Agreed. Bit too exaggerated, but this will probably work smoothly and fine on a modern system running Skyrim (depending on the mods installed). I want to try it, but I can’t find a link to his settings.

I love it! I’d like to see it in fast motion and action sequences, though

You get it for free in a VR headset, I suppose, so it doesn’t need simulating there. And it seems unfixable on normal desktop play because the user would overwhelmingly expect the viewpoint to track with the controller/mouse movements.

But I have this idea of smaller saccades, moving only slightly around what you’re generally pointing at, being really useful. A horror game or thriller could use rapid saccades to indicate fear. An RPG could use them to help you spot important things if your character is perceptive.

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