vorpX’s Sense of Scale


A sense of scale and proportions is important in many ways. It’s useful when you want to estimate distances, it’s pretty useful when you are handling business affairs, and of course it’s a very important thing in games.

Since in games (and VFX in general) it would be impossible to build everything in the correct scale, many tricks are used here. While small scale objects are usually built in correct proportions relative to the player, on the large scale things are different. A sky or horizon is never as far away as it would be in reality for example. Or take those huge mountains in Skyrim. They aren’t nearly as huge as they look like, just hills painted like mountains if they were real. It’s all smoke and mirrors as they say in Hollywood. This is a non-issue in 2D, but when it comes to 3D, especially in a VR-environment like on the Oculus Rift, correct proportions even on the large scale would clearly be best.

Due to the way vorpX creates its 3D-effect, it is able to account for such things to a certain degree. With a little bit of mathematical creativity it is possible to make objects appear farther away (or higher, in case of mountains) than they are in the game world. Let’s fix it in post – to describe it with another overused VFX-phrase.

There are limits to this, of course. But overall it’s more than worth it most of the time.

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7 comments on “vorpX’s Sense of Scale”

  1. Grant

    Hi Ralf,

    Just wanted to say this is all sounding excellent. I am especially interested to see how 2D games look in the Rift. Does your brain start to interpret them as 3d or do you get the effect that you are standing very close to a tv? I have been saving a list of games that I really hope get support and this becomes more likely if the 2d version with headtracking works for lots of games without much work. .

    Also wanted to say that I was an avid follower of yours on mtbs. I’m not going to get into the politics but all I can say is that their decision was certainly detrimental to the VR community. I hope all of your followers have found you here. Im sure when the driver releases word will spread like wild fire!

    • Ralf

      Without stereoscopy it’s not perfect, but you still get a nice ‘being there’-feeling, which you can easily try for yourself. Just close one eye, that’s more or less comparable to how a game looks like in 2D on the Rift. With a ‘slightly’ lower resolution, of course.

      btw.: the number of visitors here is already much higher than expected, so everything is on track.

  2. Arni1984

    How can you assess the situation with the scale of the mountains, playing through the NVIDIA 3D VISION?

  3. Evenios

    sounds good to me. it wont be perfect im sure but it will work nice. I notice when using anagylph and nvidia drivers things can be a bit off sometimes like in Unity 3D you feel a bit as the world is smaller then it shoudl be and in Neverewinter (in free look mode) you feel smaller then you should be :-D.

  4. bo3bber

    I’m not certain, but I think that IPD also plays into the feel of sizing.

    There is an effect called ‘toyification’ by some people, the doll-house effect. You can achieve this effect using 3D Vision by turning the depth up, as well as the convergence. This effect makes everything seem smaller than expected, like viewing a model or a playhouse.

    I’ve read that this is because the convergence relative to your IPD makes it artificially small, and your brain compensates by deciding it’s all a doll-house. Not sure. Just thought I’d add that thought.

    • Ralf

      Might very well be that I wrote what you read. :-)

      That is exactly what happens on a Rift or similar device, if you overdo the stereo separation. Psychologically interesting, but certainly not what you would normally want.

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