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Ice Hole

Uncanny Valley Grass

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Noticed something odd with the grass in Mystery Lake region. The grass rotates with your view.

 

In the first frame the grass is parallel to the prybar. 

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This last frame the grass is crossing over the prybar. 

Noticed this grass effect looking for feathers when the grass did obscure them.  Cannot say it falls under the 'it is bad' category but it sure falls under the 'uncanny'.

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Posted (edited)

Not normal for my reality. 

Please explain how a clump of grass rotating with your view is normal.  I have not ever seen it in a video game either until now.

Maybe an animation of it would display better.

 

Edited by Ice Hole

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Posted (edited)

@Ice Hole

I imagine it would be kind of rough to render every single blade of grass in full 3D and give each blade it's own dynamic physics... sure it's possible (I know of one game what fully renders water as individual particles to give it truly dynamic fluid physics... but it was also that game's primary feature/selling point and the developer had to make a new engine to do it :D)

Anyways...

I think what you are looking at appears to be the same old-school technique that has been used in games since way back in the age pseudo-3D shooters :D
Basically, we have a two dimensional image and it "rotates" relative to your perspective/position to be always facing you (or presented from several sets of "viewing angles").

Edited by ManicManiac

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I notice a weird thing with trees in maps with high and low areas. As you move and look around, the trees in the middle distance seem to move around thirty degrees. 

I first noticed it on my when HRV launched. It looked like something massive was moving through the forest pushing trees out of the way. Scary!

I’ve maxed the FOV and it might come from that.

Can’t say that I’ve noticed it recently though.

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Posted (edited)

@Daymo / @Ice Hole
This is likely derived from the same technique, which I believe is called "billboarding" (I may have the terminology wrong as I am not a programmer).

*I did a quick google search :D:
"Billboard is a textured flat object, usually a polygon, which faces the camera. Its direction usually changes constantly as the object and camera move, so it always faces the camera direction, this operation is called Billboarding."

Edited by ManicManiac
  • Upvote 2

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Billboard is exactly what is happening.  Never had turned this on until I started taking screen shots and wanted to have more details in the shot.

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Posted (edited)

@Ice Hole
For as long as I've noticed... the "grass" has always been this way.  Honestly, I think it was a clever design choice.  It allows the team to add the "grass" to help flesh out the world in a way that is not intensive at all for the engine... the result being that by and large it will go unnoticed by most players but will still provide the desired affect in terms of adding richness to the game world.

- Also, using billboarding to represent distant objects that would normally be out of draw distance (based on your graphics settings) is also an easy way to keep assets from noticeably disappearing as you walk away from them.  Done carefully the player won't even notice the transition.  :) 

I'm not saying that is what's happening with the trees @Daymo mentioned... (I don't know if or to what extent the Hinterland team uses billboarding for distant trees and/or other features - it just seems likely)... I just meant to point out that it is a useful technique that saves on rendering/processing resources and has been a mainstay in many games since it was innovated all those years ago.  The grass though... yeah, that is done with billboarding (or some other similar technique) I'm fairly confidant of that :D 

Edited by ManicManiac

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