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Thoughts on canopy reflections (in VR)...


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...and why they seem "overdone".

I'm an ardent fan of immersion and eye candy and - needless to say - VR is the only way for me to go and fly. IL-2's cockpit reflections are by far the best I know of any flight sim. However, I can't talk about FS2020. Because, see above, «No VR, no buy». And no fly...

But even for a person like me it's obvious that in many situations, depending on daytime, environment, angle of sun and cockpit geometry, the reflections are exaggerated. Sometimes bluntly excessive.
 

How come?

It's not the render engine that is wrong. Or that the glass and perspex materials are wrongly chosen. It's simply the limits of current VR technology that lead to a massive difference between what's objectively correct, but subjectively looks overdone. The keywords to understanding this are Depth and Focus.

In real life we mostly look THROUGH the canopy and our pupils do not focus on the glass or Perspex, but way behind. Therefore reflections or stains on the glass become very indistinct and blurry. They may be annoying and cumbersome, but we soon forget about them. Unless we'd focus at very short distance. And focus means: both eyes converge and each of the pupils accomodates to the new distance (by changing their refractive power).

 

1279942565_accomodationsml.png.1e31743ccf09ef8d1d1e7ba7511d1029.png

 

Is VR any different from that?
Unfortunately the answer is a big YES. Current VR HMDs do not require any accomodation of our pupils! We look at one or two flat screens and the inbuilt lenses of the HMD pretend we look far, far away, at infinite. During a VR session your eyes may move a whole lot, but your lenses (pupils) stay the same, for the whole hour or whatever. Focused on infinity.

And because the render engine does not know where your attention and focus is, it renders the whole scene evenly sharp. From the spot on the perspex only a couple of inches away from your eyes to the very distant landscape.
 

Eye tracking and varifocal lenses may help in finding a way out of this inherent problem, but that's still some years away. Until then we need a workaround that probably is some kind of compromise. My suggestion is: make cockpit reflections not on/off, but adjustable or "dimmable". To the individual likeness of the "immersion people". Those who go for a fast kill would never turn it on anyway...

Though I only know VR I assume the desktop users must face the same problems and an adjustment slider would help them, too.
 

Any thoughts?

accomodation.png

Edited by Venom
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I also use a VR (Pimax 5k+) headset and have no problem with the cockpit reflections option turned on.  In fact, I very much appreciate the immersion of the reflections.  There is always the option to turn the reflections off or turn them up or down a notch in the graphics settings to suit ones preference.

 

Happy landings,

 

56RAF_Talisman

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I've found they aren't believable esp in cockpit layouts like the FW-190 where the instrument panel is recessed under the surrounding paneling. You simply wouldn't see a reflection of it in the side screens, probably not in the top glass of the canopy either . I think the developers have used a simple method of getting an approximation of reflections by a sort of cut the image of the instrument panel & foot well, then  reverse these three cut outs  & paste along the side & top lines of the cockpit. It's a cheat & a very believable & effective one in some cockpits , but not real.Once you start noticing it , it becomes difficult to ignore .Eventually I turned it off hoping I might eak out one or two more FPS's...

a727ffd902e534ecd6588f3ed76a712e.jpg

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10 hours ago, Venom said:

Focused on infinity.

 

Not exactly. The VR focal distance is about 2 meters in most of the VR devices (it may vary depending of the device). For the Index is 2 meters.

 

This is a know problem of VR vergence-accomodation problem which was adressed by our "friends" of Oculus with the Half-Dome prototype and its varifocal lenses. We don´t know if this will be something future devices will incorporate.

 

I have not measure the fps cost of Cannopy reflections but I usually fly with them off because current VR devices has only one focus plane (2 meters) and can not fully reproduce cannopy reflections for our eyes.

11 hours ago, Venom said:

varifocal lenses may help in finding a way out of this inherent problem, but that's still some years away

yes, it is still some years away, and what it is worse, in Facebook!

11 hours ago, Venom said:

My suggestion is: make cockpit reflections not on/off, but adjustable or "dimmable"

 

The current levels are Off, Low and High. 

By dimmable you will also refer to "blurrable"?

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5 hours ago, chiliwili69 said:

 

Not exactly. The VR focal distance is about 2 meters in most of the VR devices (it may vary depending of the device). For the Index is 2 meters.

 

This is a know problem of VR vergence-accomodation problem which was adressed by our "friends" of Oculus with the Half-Dome prototype and its varifocal lenses. We don´t know if this will be something future devices will incorporate.

 

I have not measure the fps cost of Cannopy reflections but I usually fly with them off because current VR devices has only one focus plane (2 meters) and can not fully reproduce cannopy reflections for our eyes.

yes, it is still some years away, and what it is worse, in Facebook!

 

The current levels are Off, Low and High. 

By dimmable you will also refer to "blurrable"?

 

I know I just got up and am not fully awake, there is a canopy reflections setting in game?

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9 hours ago, chiliwili69 said:

The current levels are Off, Low and High. 

By dimmable you will also refer to "blurrable"?

Thanks for hinting at that! From earlier trials I was convinced that "low" and "high" referred to the quality and accuracy of the reflections and therefore had always left it on "high". However, it seems indeed that "low" means something like "dimmed" and I guess, even blurred. Thus it looks like from now on Canopy Reflections will be one of the few settings I will not have maxed out. But sure have it turned on! 🤩

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I've kept it on "Normal" since it was introduced as I like the effect and haven't noticed it interfering much with my vision as long as I don't let my mind (not my eyes) focus on the reflection itself. If I do actively pay attention to it for too much then I have to do a "reset" so to speak as it turns in to one of those ambiguous image illusions.

Rabbit-duck illusion

I get the same effect when I try to focus on the gunsight itself instead of looking through it; I assume for much the same reason.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I haven't flown in VR for a couple months as I've been iRacing instead...I dig the canopy reflections and the shine of the glass gauges. Makes you really feel in the cockpit instead of an invisible bubble.

 

How big of an FPS hit is this setting on high?

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On 11/25/2020 at 10:08 AM, kestrel79 said:

I take back a little of what I said about the reflections. In the Hurricane they are more of them, and it does hinder my ability to scan for targets. I'll probably be turning this down or off.

 

I agree, I think it's a great feature for single player but it makes the game harder. In VR we're already competing against owl-necked superzoom pancake pilots, no need to make things more difficult!

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I turned them off because they weren't believable. Reflections on the wrong side of the cockpit and things reflected that couldn't possibly be so; Newton's theory of light is more plausible.

The first eye candy I have turned off; a shame because I'd love to have them.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 12/2/2020 at 12:59 AM, SCG_Fenris_Wolf said:

It needs to be sharp, but dimmable. I'd love a setting in which I could keep the instruments' glass reflections, but disable the canopy reflection or strongly dimm it.

I do not agree on the need to be sharp. The reason is in my very first post: In real life your eyes constantly change depth of field. Except in the rare moments when you focus on the canopy and not on anything in the world outside, the reflections on canopy are NOT sharp. Whereas on screen and in VR depth of field (sharpness) is from near to infinity. Therefore I prefer the canopy reflections to be blury...

On your last statement: I don't think you have to decide, canopy reflections are independent from instrument glasses' reflections.

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You might have misunderstood me.

 

By sharp I refer to canopy_ref=2. There are two stages, a blurry low-res on canopy_ref=1 and a sharp high-res on =2. The GFX itself are still blurry, as you'd expect from a canopy reflection.

 

On my last statement: You have to decide. They're both on the same variable.

 

 

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