Graphical elements to improve going forward3 Likes/2 Replies/77 ViewsOriginal poster pesto. 358 posts
AC a has always been a visual feast and testament to the artistry of Ubisoft and its employees, but the hardware lags behind the vision. So with absolute respect because I know how much goes into this stuff here are a few visual things I would love to see opened up and improved upon now that we have next gen consoles with more memory and processing power as the baseline.
- Lighting - in Valhalla there’s separate shadow gobos from the sky and while it gives great distance effect on the ground the fact that it doesn’t match the clouds is really jarring, you’re in shade, you look up the sun is in a clear blue sky, or conversely you’re in bright sunlight and you look up into storm clouds, speaking of…
- Localized weather, there are foggy regions but no other localized weather effects, it would be nice if when you rode towards a storm it would continue to get darker and murkier and more wet.
- Sun through clouds, should not be visible beyond at the very edge of cumulonimbus clouds, they're thick with great dispersion, storm clouds often fail to obscure the sun and act more like thin stratus cloud cover.
- Moon light source volumetric, it’s jarring to look at the moon and actually see the center of the spotlight used, it would be better if the volumetric didn’t go all the way to the tip of the cone but stopped at the point where it visually just covers the moon.
- Occluded specular, would be a big step up. It’s very weird to look across the snow-pack in mountains at where the sun went down 5 minutes ago and still see specular reflections of the sun light source. With ray tracing turned on this eventually dithers itself out but you could also use the primary shadowmap used on diffuse to mask the specular at the same time (and should).
- Semi-accurate night sky, just phases of the moon with respective lighting strength and stars rotating with the sky would be a step up.
- Dark mode for night sky, same as in breakpoint. Makes a big difference to the look as well as improving night gameplay.
- Improved ocean shader. The bump/displacement often synchronizes into coherence showing obvious tiling, it would be really nice if this didn’t happen.
- Water edge interaction and “wetting”, I would love to see this extended to sand and porous materials not just the cloth on the lead character. Also an even faster fading “glisten” map for where things have just been splashed on all materials interacting with water.
- Better water edge tension shader, uses an iso bevel to mimic the water tension effect at the edge of water, puddles, streams etc
- Improved flow map on rivers and streams. RDR2 has water running faster at the center of rivers than at the edges and this helps sell the illusion. Bonus pints if you can do eddies and whirlpools that you get at more turbulent areas so rivers.
- Foam effect, both in rivers and oceans. This can be simulated effectively with 2D particles.
- Tides. Not so easy to add, but would really help sell the sense of passage of time in port areas.
- Underwater shader, it was good in Odyssey, but Valhalla shows the limits of this engine, check out the underwater in the next Horizon Zero Dawn. Lovely stuff.
- All dialog scenes need major improvement on animation, either full Motion capture for NPCs in all dialog cutscenes (and camera moves), or a lot more involved facial animation.
- Improve facial rigs and shading, get rid of creepy dead Skyrim eyes.
Original poster pesto. 358 posts
Something else that I think could do with a little tweaking is the small plant LOD. It works pretty well mostly but on steeper hillsides that face the player it can drop off way too close to the player to retain the illusion. The long barrow north of grantbridge (not that far east of the settlement] is a good example of where the facing angle calculation could be tweaked, you can virtually be right on top of it before the plants appear.