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How Can A Cryengine Game Be So Ugly?


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#201 BDU Havoc

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:31 AM

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#202 Havok1978

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 01:24 PM

I dont like the film grain either. most these things can be fixed by editing the client side .ini file typically. or use of ENB's and the like.
If PGI will allow us to do this or not is a different story.
and it helps to understand what a graphics engine actually does as opposed to a physics engine..
cuz some of this reads like
"my car isnt running properly when I turn on my tv"
If you dont understand the analogy, then your one of these people.

#203 Shumabot

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 03:52 PM

View PostHavok1978, on 21 February 2013 - 01:24 PM, said:

I dont like the film grain either. most these things can be fixed by editing the client side .ini file typically. or use of ENB's and the like.
If PGI will allow us to do this or not is a different story.
and it helps to understand what a graphics engine actually does as opposed to a physics engine..
cuz some of this reads like
"my car isnt running properly when I turn on my tv"
If you dont understand the analogy, then your one of these people.



A graphics engine is a rendering suite, content pipeline, physics engine, and anything else that falls under the umbrella of the specific engine. Cry Engine has a graphics engine built into it, and this game makes use of it often. Non interactive physics can be considered a part of the graphics engine, especially when relating to particle effects or environmental destruction.

You don't sound like you actually understand what a graphics engine is.

#204 TheUncle

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 04:10 PM

Hey guys,

I think I can say a little about CryEngine in general and what i think of the implementation in MechWarrior Online.

I have a little blog over at Crydev, in which i talk about some new tech features which come in the latest SDKs, and I often times help artists with their work.

I worked in CryEngine for quite some time now, but not as a professional. Nevertheless, I think my knowledge of the engine is pretty good.

In my spare time I sometimes do some screenshots, but they never take longer than an afternoon: (If you like Mechwarrior check it out!)
Spoiler



So first of all, let me make that clear - CryEngine 3 is superior to CryEngine 2, even though some shots might look better in CryEngine 2.
But make no mistake, from a technological point of view, nothing of significance has been lost, while many essential features have been added, while overall performance has increased.

Now, I like MechWarrior Online, but I surely don't like it for its graphics. Or let's better say its looks.

I know this is a controversial post and I hope we get some discussion on this.

There are several things, which feel to me like either art direction is not completely determined, or some people did not really find an optimal solution and just settled with some so-so stuff. Or they just have a different taste than me.

First about the looks in general.
-> An overall lack of contrast. Forest Colony or Frozen City would look a lot better and feel a lot more real if the shadows were a bit deeper. The lack of black is very apparant. Shadows are so bright, it's often times not worth enabling them. This could look a lot better.
Also by now CryEngine 3 has some brilliant SSAO modi, which essentially combine several SSAOs into one, not having too much unrealistic looking halos, while still doing a fine job of making the scene feel much more integrated. (r_SSAO 5 with multiple radii).

-> River City Night is a mess. How can it be so dark, while the sky is so bright?
Of course it is a night scene, but why not make it coherent looking?

There is a big BIG problem with HDR_eye_adaption in the implementation of Mechwarrior online. I feel like in many cases the scene has been darkened, not by making the sun and sky lights darker, but by turning down the blacks in post-processing. If the HDR eye adaption would work as usual, the eyes would slowly make the scene brighter until at least some contrast is given. At least that is the intention, but it can be modified in various ways.

You can see the effect work when you get hit by something, which in 99% of the case is some overly bright effect, which makes the eye_adaption go crazy and blacken your whole screen for a few seconds.

Also - NightVision/Heatvision can be controlled very easily by parameters which can be set individually per Level. Why not adjust Night Vision for RiverCity alone? It clearly fails there.

-> Assets in general look very flat. CryEngine 3 has, like many other engines, stuff like Environment probes, which add cubemaps to each element in a part of a level. I don't see that used really. It brings out beautiful reflection which makes shadowed objects still have some structure and depth to them.
Also why not add more reflections to windows of buildings? I can see how that would make a difference in how Frozen City would feel ;)

So I did the work and checked through the assets. And there are actually several environment probes for Rivercity for example. But the windows are often times not glossy! They don't reflect!

-> Mechs have predefined environment maps in their material files. Why not have the mech reflect their actual surroundings? Also make them a little little bit more reflective ;)


For you to illustrate my points, I show you what i mean with some assets in CryEngine. And maybe the Artists use some of the effects, but to a very little extend. I am prone to blindness, so if someone steps in and says - hey that's clearly in game! Then ok.



I don't want to show off, or try to humiliate the devs or anything (hell no! You are awesome), but here is some stuff which i mean could be improved.

I launched the editor and just threw together some buildings, i was not trying to create a city, just show some effects. Don't judge the scene because of the arrangements of buildings etc. That took me 5 minutes only.
I might look into making some beautyful scenes later on.

This is the level without any reflection.
Posted Image

This is the level with environment probes used in a way I like
Posted Image

To make the point of cubemap reflections clear: (And this looks a million times better in motion)
Posted Image
vs
Posted Image
Don't get it wrong - cubemap environment reflections are in game. But they are used with so little effect that one has to ask whether it's worth the computation cost. Or maybe it's just me.


Now the Scene with GI. GI means global illumination, which calculates the way light is reflected off of objects.
Posted Image

It seems to me like the GI in Mechwarrior Online is not really configured for the game. The stock GI in CryEngine works good for first person shooters, and the maximum distance for which this is calculated is default 100 m. But in Mechwarrior Online we look from a much higher point of view.

See how flat it looks without and with GI:
Posted Image
Posted Image




Apart from that little rant, I have really noticed how awesome the assets actually are.
The buildings are really imaginative and have a unique style. I really love that. The River City assets in particular have a "Bioshock" Steampunkie/Future feel to them. I like it. Never noticed ingame though ;)
Posted Image

Apart from that, the Ice cave is a masterpiece. With all the laser reflections in the ice it just looks awesome.


So yeah, I don't know maybe someone found this useful. The guys who use CryEngine already especially ;)

Edited by TheUncle, 21 February 2013 - 04:37 PM.


#205 costi

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 04:15 PM

View Postnksharp, on 20 February 2013 - 09:10 AM, said:


Yes, compare a game that came out in 2012 to a game that came out in 2006, BRILLIANT.


And yet the 6 year old game looks better...

#206 Shumabot

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 06:24 PM

View PostTheUncle, on 21 February 2013 - 04:10 PM, said:

Hey guys,

I think I can say a little about CryEngine in general and what i think of the implementation in MechWarrior Online.

I have a little blog over at Crydev, in which i talk about some new tech features which come in the latest SDKs, and I often times help artists with their work.

I worked in CryEngine for quite some time now, but not as a professional. Nevertheless, I think my knowledge of the engine is pretty good.

In my spare time I sometimes do some screenshots, but they never take longer than an afternoon: (If you like Mechwarrior check it out!)
Spoiler



So first of all, let me make that clear - CryEngine 3 is superior to CryEngine 2, even though some shots might look better in CryEngine 2.
But make no mistake, from a technological point of view, nothing of significance has been lost, while many essential features have been added, while overall performance has increased.

Now, I like MechWarrior Online, but I surely don't like it for its graphics. Or let's better say its looks.

I know this is a controversial post and I hope we get some discussion on this.

There are several things, which feel to me like either art direction is not completely determined, or some people did not really find an optimal solution and just settled with some so-so stuff. Or they just have a different taste than me.

First about the looks in general.
-> An overall lack of contrast. Forest Colony or Frozen City would look a lot better and feel a lot more real if the shadows were a bit deeper. The lack of black is very apparant. Shadows are so bright, it's often times not worth enabling them. This could look a lot better.
Also by now CryEngine 3 has some brilliant SSAO modi, which essentially combine several SSAOs into one, not having too much unrealistic looking halos, while still doing a fine job of making the scene feel much more integrated. (r_SSAO 5 with multiple radii).

-> River City Night is a mess. How can it be so dark, while the sky is so bright?
Of course it is a night scene, but why not make it coherent looking?

There is a big BIG problem with HDR_eye_adaption in the implementation of Mechwarrior online. I feel like in many cases the scene has been darkened, not by making the sun and sky lights darker, but by turning down the blacks in post-processing. If the HDR eye adaption would work as usual, the eyes would slowly make the scene brighter until at least some contrast is given. At least that is the intention, but it can be modified in various ways.

You can see the effect work when you get hit by something, which in 99% of the case is some overly bright effect, which makes the eye_adaption go crazy and blacken your whole screen for a few seconds.

Also - NightVision/Heatvision can be controlled very easily by parameters which can be set individually per Level. Why not adjust Night Vision for RiverCity alone? It clearly fails there.

-> Assets in general look very flat. CryEngine 3 has, like many other engines, stuff like Environment probes, which add cubemaps to each element in a part of a level. I don't see that used really. It brings out beautiful reflection which makes shadowed objects still have some structure and depth to them.
Also why not add more reflections to windows of buildings? I can see how that would make a difference in how Frozen City would feel :)

So I did the work and checked through the assets. And there are actually several environment probes for Rivercity for example. But the windows are often times not glossy! They don't reflect!

-> Mechs have predefined environment maps in their material files. Why not have the mech reflect their actual surroundings? Also make them a little little bit more reflective :P


For you to illustrate my points, I show you what i mean with some assets in CryEngine. And maybe the Artists use some of the effects, but to a very little extend. I am prone to blindness, so if someone steps in and says - hey that's clearly in game! Then ok.



I don't want to show off, or try to humiliate the devs or anything (hell no! You are awesome), but here is some stuff which i mean could be improved.

I launched the editor and just threw together some buildings, i was not trying to create a city, just show some effects. Don't judge the scene because of the arrangements of buildings etc. That took me 5 minutes only.
I might look into making some beautyful scenes later on.

This is the level without any reflection.
Posted Image

This is the level with environment probes used in a way I like
Posted Image

To make the point of cubemap reflections clear: (And this looks a million times better in motion)
Posted Image
vs
Posted Image
Don't get it wrong - cubemap environment reflections are in game. But they are used with so little effect that one has to ask whether it's worth the computation cost. Or maybe it's just me.


Now the Scene with GI. GI means global illumination, which calculates the way light is reflected off of objects.
Posted Image

It seems to me like the GI in Mechwarrior Online is not really configured for the game. The stock GI in CryEngine works good for first person shooters, and the maximum distance for which this is calculated is default 100 m. But in Mechwarrior Online we look from a much higher point of view.

See how flat it looks without and with GI:
Posted Image
Posted Image




Apart from that little rant, I have really noticed how awesome the assets actually are.
The buildings are really imaginative and have a unique style. I really love that. The River City assets in particular have a "Bioshock" Steampunkie/Future feel to them. I like it. Never noticed ingame though :D
Posted Image

Apart from that, the Ice cave is a masterpiece. With all the laser reflections in the ice it just looks awesome.


So yeah, I don't know maybe someone found this useful. The guys who use CryEngine already especially :ph34r:


I'm going to bump this because it seems like a pretty great post.

#207 rgreat

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 07:02 PM

I'm already reported it and send a link to Matthew Craig, just in case. :)

Edited by rgreat, 21 February 2013 - 07:18 PM.


#208 Dukarriope

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:53 PM

Would TheUncle like to share with us a config file? Great explanations there by the way.
It'd be good to know what the ideal HDR adaption ratios and SSAO modes are.

#209 Ed Steele

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:54 PM

View PostEvilSpaceOrc, on 20 February 2013 - 02:54 AM, said:

Thread title pretty much says it all, I'm getting really annoyed by how irritating some of the graphical shortcomings are.

I don't believe that its only me who gets so distracted by all the issues with the parallax materials for example, if you look at those surfaces at any angle higher than lets say 30 it appears too heavily distorted (and in CryEngine SDK there is a single slider to adjust that...). It looks really silly when you are moving over the terrain and you can see the rocks kind of morphing as you pass by. If there is any material blend, you will see depth of the rock material change, while for example snow on top of them will seems to be floating above, completely breaking the immersion.

There is no environmental destruction.

There are no ballistics.

Rockets seem to fly through rocks and buildings if the collision should happen soon after launching, so collisions are not awesome either.

And the game barely ran on my older rig with GTX460, so where is all this processing power going? Crysis looked much better in '07 and the maps seemed to be larger and you could collapse almost every structure and chop down trees.

I know it is still a beta, but without anyone complaining about it nothing will be done.


Upgrade your video card, a GTX460 is almost three generations old. Also, this game is very CPU dependant, so having a fast quad core is a benefit also.

#210 klownnection

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:01 PM

BLABLABLABLA the texture , BLABLABLABLA cry engine , BLABLABLABLA my 800$ graphics cards , BLABLABLABLABLA other game are better .

KEEP THE TROLL UP .

Oh by the way , i m very satisfied with the content . I think the game look VERY nice , the gameplay is ok and that s why i play it ;) . I m not enought @diot for cry about perfection , cuz i m aware that s its still a beta . those people who cry and argh make me laugh and feed my love with troll and grief .

I stayed like 1years 6 month in a wot clan without playing just because i like listen / read the frustration of the people when they are playing ( specially when they are " mature " ) . I was playing at the same time at some solo game ( skyrim ) or doing beta ( firefall , D3 , MOW ) .

Leave it if you dont like it and leave it if you dont support it .

from France with love ;) .





For the troll :

When i look for reality , i m not log into a game , i go outside and get it !

Edited by klownnection, 21 February 2013 - 11:15 PM.


#211 ChrisOrange

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:29 PM

you're as bad as the DHB guys klown lol.

(well i mean the old DHB during closed beta...now they seem to play nicely on the forums. Oh I wonder why)

Edited by ChrisOrange, 21 February 2013 - 11:53 PM.


#212 Mackensen

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 12:31 AM

I think that the graphics is decent. The biggest problem IMO is that the textures on the ground are shifting very much as you walk. It looks a bit weird.

Edited by Mackensen, 22 February 2013 - 12:43 AM.


#213 Shumabot

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 08:05 AM

View Postklownnection, on 21 February 2013 - 11:01 PM, said:

BLABLABLABLA the texture , BLABLABLABLA cry engine , BLABLABLABLA my 800$ graphics cards , BLABLABLABLABLA other game are better .

KEEP THE TROLL UP .

Oh by the way , i m very satisfied with the content . I think the game look VERY nice , the gameplay is ok and that s why i play it :) . I m not enought @diot for cry about perfection , cuz i m aware that s its still a beta . those people who cry and argh make me laugh and feed my love with troll and grief .

I stayed like 1years 6 month in a wot clan without playing just because i like listen / read the frustration of the people when they are playing ( specially when they are " mature " ) . I was playing at the same time at some solo game ( skyrim ) or doing beta ( firefall , D3 , MOW ) .

Leave it if you dont like it and leave it if you dont support it .

from France with love :rolleyes: .






For the troll :

When i look for reality , i m not log into a game , i go outside and get it !



So you're a dedicated troll, who not only doesn't actually know what a game with this floor of hardware performance should look like, but you also are a dedicated troll on multiple forums because you enjoy trolling more than you enjoy actually playing the games you're trolling about? You actually stopped playing WoT, but you stuck around to troll people who actively played but wanted a better experience? Do you stand outside restaurants and harass customers about how wonderful the food is, months after the bad food made you leave?

#214 Stoicblitzer

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 08:12 AM

directx9 is not an excuse for the subpar gfx. gfx aren't everything. The fact that this is F2P probably explains why it isn't super beautiful.

#215 Dakkath

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 08:13 AM

Guys,

Please keep it clean, and within the Code of Conduct. Attack/argue the post, not the poster. We don't want to have to issue warnings, or close the topics because of arguments or what have you.

Thanks,
Dak

Edited by Dakkath, 22 February 2013 - 08:13 AM.


#216 Dukarriope

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 08:42 AM

View PostStoicblitzer, on 22 February 2013 - 08:12 AM, said:

directx9 is not an excuse for the subpar gfx. gfx aren't everything. The fact that this is F2P probably explains why it isn't super beautiful.


I see no logic in this...

Edited by Dukarriope, 22 February 2013 - 08:42 AM.


#217 Shumabot

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 09:01 AM

View PostDukarriope, on 22 February 2013 - 08:42 AM, said:


I see no logic in this...


F2P games usually have much lower initial budgets, and artists for asset production and fidelity are costly expenditures. The vast majority of F2p games get around this by giving either a broad amount of lower fidelity visuals (LoL for instance, not photoreal, but that lets them put in a LOT of content quickly), or they have few high fidelity/photoreal visuals (Like MWO, WoT, etc). The issue here isn't the lack of content in MWO, people see and understand it. It's part of the content roadmap they've set out.

The issues are the fact that the visuals that they take so long to release seem to look much worse than the performance requirements indicate. Alpine does not need to look as bad as it does. Not even close.

#218 Dukarriope

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 09:29 AM

At this point in time, the assets are average, at best, but CryENGINE 3 has naturally fantastic lighting, post processing and what not. Many of those elements can be easily configured via text files, and many users have come up with better looking, better running configurations.

From what I can see most of the complaining about here is that although its true the assets could probably do with some tuning via materials and reflections and what not, many of the graphical capabilities of the engine such as global illumination, vector based motion blur, realistic ambient occlusion (CryENGINE has multiple advanced ambient occlusion methods) and its aforementioned excellent lighting are either simply not used or presented in a way that cannot be appreciated.

For starters, nearly every map is obscured in a fog so thick that you cannot see anything meaningfully more than 50m, leading to a lifeless, dull image. An easy solution for this would be to bump contrast (which can be done with r_Contrast, the current value is the nominal 0.5).
Secondly, the color grading further reduces the already dull coloration of everything even more. I have r_ColorGrading = 0 right now and it makes most maps more saturated.
Next we have what TheUncle mentioned, stuff like global illumination which could make things look so much better for minimal effort are not in place.
Something else I'd like to point out is that since we're stuck on DX9, CryENGINE 3 is still indeed limited further as it cannot use the more streamlined shader code (which is known to improve performance) and its DX11 exclusive features. Said features include realistic water (that will also react properly to bodies in it), tessellation (sharply increases detail of models), parallax mapping (which would fix the ground texture problem we get), HDR motion blur (no bleed effect), even better lighting and shadowing and photographic depth of field (bokeh).
And this is probably my personal opinion, but the anti-aliasing currently available is not up to par. Everything may be sharp and clear (relatively), but the edges of things are rough and annoying somehow.

Long story short, the capabilities for amazing graphics are already present in the engine. Look at early versions of MechWarrior Online. Sure, you'll probably complain that they looked a bit blurry and soft, but the lighting, environments and shadowing were all relatively top notch. It actually looked like a CryENGINE game.
Look at the front page today and tell me what it looks like. I expect graphics like that from an Unreal Engine based 2009 title. The lighting and shading looks awfully flat. Everything just feels dull.
Check the fantrailers posted a couple pages ago. Those were made in earlier beta builds, which supposedly had DirectX11 in place, and the lighting there is far better, disregarding the exaggerated color grading.

Here's one of the early beta screenshots.
Posted Image

Here's the latest one of the Pretty Baby;
Posted Image

Now you'll realize the early beta screenshot is pretty muted, which has been a fairly persistent problem with MechWarrior Online's aesthetic right from the get go; it just doesn't have enough color or contrast, it presents a very dull lifeless image. To be fair it's a problem of many of today's shooter games, they insist on gritty dirt and gray browns everywhere, but we all know people love color, love punchy saturation and contrast. Crysis 1's great aesthetics come partially from the use of vividly green forests (realistically green), combined with their amazing lighting.
So all PGI really needs is to clean up all that fog, except on maps that truly warrant it (e.g. Frozen City, which is supposed to be in a permablizzard) and bump contrast and saturation (both of which can be done via post-processing values). Users can in fact use r_contrast and r_Brightness in a user.cfg but I'll warn you that it affects your desktop as well (which is probably why PGI has it disabled. But why...). So if the early beta screenshot had better saturation and contrast, what would it be like?
Posted Image

#219 rgreat

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 10:14 AM

Got a reply from Matthew Craig about TheUncle post.

Quote

Thanks his points are valid and we're not unaware of them just been more focused on other issues like performance etc. but these are coming back into focus for getting addressed properly


So i guess it is all down to: 'All takes time.' and 'Beta.' :D

Good luck guys.

Edited by rgreat, 22 February 2013 - 10:17 AM.


#220 klownnection

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 11:36 AM

View PostShumabot, on 22 February 2013 - 08:05 AM, said:



So you're a dedicated troll, who not only doesn't actually know what a game with this floor of hardware performance should look like, but you also are a dedicated troll on multiple forums because you enjoy trolling more than you enjoy actually playing the games you're trolling about? You actually stopped playing WoT, but you stuck around to troll people who actively played but wanted a better experience? Do you stand outside restaurants and harass customers about how wonderful the food is, months after the bad food made you leave?


you are totaly rigth , specially about restaurant , it s a very good comparison , showing me how much lost you are :D .

Edited by klownnection, 22 February 2013 - 11:36 AM.






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