View Full Version : mgs2 color smearing effect

06-09-2005, 05:00 PM
this feels like an embarassing question to ask, but how could i accomplish the equivalent to this with opengl? it's a very specific effect in the game, and i'd like to be able to have something as close as possible.

it's hard to describe, but what i'm referring to is the effect that gives everything an impressionistic touch for a moment, a smeared and out-of-focus look that seems to act on shadowing the most, but that may be just a byproduct of blending or whatever. i don't know. if you played the game, then i guess you'll remember what i mean.

a similar effect is present in snake eater, that gives everything in a scene a highly noticeable gradient. i think that's part of the key to the effect in mgs2, but if there's an easy way to do that, as well, i'd like to know.

06-09-2005, 10:21 PM
I think you're talking about paintstrokes or something.

Linky: http://www.red3d.com/cwr/npr/

06-10-2005, 12:13 AM
johndavidjack, can't you find/post a screenshot of this effect on the web ?

06-10-2005, 04:23 AM
sure. sorry. but i'm looking now, and it's not an easy thing to find, even over at metalgearsolid.org. no one wants a shot like that for a screen capture. if i can borrow a digital camera, i'll make one myself from the document dvd. but if you have the game, one specific instance comes during the first cutscene with vamp. there's a side shot of one of the seal team approaching, and during that there's a quick refocus of the camera. it happens during that. but it's throughout that part, and soon after that, during the scenes with stillman.

06-10-2005, 06:03 AM
well, here's one:


it's not the best, but the effect on the body lying in the foreground is partly what i mean. it's not very defined in this particular shot, though. when it's in motion, there's usually an after-image color smear from frame to frame.

06-10-2005, 08:01 AM
here's one from mgs3


look at the shading in the bandana. that's the type of low-res shading that's all over mgs3. i really think that's part of the effect in mgs2, but otherwise i'd like to know if there's an easy way to do this too.

06-10-2005, 10:12 AM
when it's in motion, there's usually an after-image color smear from frame to frame Are you talking about motion blur? I don't see anything special in the screen shots except the polygon egdes look ugly. It looks like a really bad FSAA, maybe because of the jpeg compression.

06-10-2005, 10:24 AM
no, it's not the motion blur -- or not just the motion blur -- although there is plenty in the game. it's not depth of field either, but it is similar, in the sense that it can accomplish the same of kind of effect.

i guess it's similar to a trails effect, but it's more specific. i don't know how else to describe it. like i said, it leaves an after-image, but it's not just a copy of the image, a la motion blur.

06-22-2005, 04:02 AM
if anyone has any other ideas, i'd be glad to hear them. i can't find a proper photo, and i'm struggling to describe it. it's actually pretty similar to if you were to render a scene without clearing the buffers each pass. it's not exactly the same, but if you've seen that, then that's the idea.

anyway, this exact effect is also used in the first metal gear solid for the psx. it's used just about as frequently as in mgs2, so i guess it's not too complicated. the low-res gradient, out of focus effect is also part of it in this case too. the thing is, i know this is a real-time effect in mgs2 (and mgs3), but in mgs1 the same sort of noticeable gradient is built into the overall design of the textures in the first place. i still think it's an active part of it even for the mgs1, but i can't be sure.

i'm sorry this is as convoluted as it is, but if i knew a better term for the gradient thing, this might sound better. it is like really bad jpeg compression, though. for the smearing, it's like just a part of the current scene is rendered off and then smeared in an after image. i don't know.

06-22-2005, 04:38 AM
Are you sure it's not just a bloom? Like in something like "prince of persia: sands of time"?
It kind of gives a dream like quality to the scenes.

06-22-2005, 05:16 AM
nah, it's not. it's essentially a 2d effect, i'm pretty positive.

06-22-2005, 06:05 AM
Bloom is a 2d effect. It can be done quickly too by simply downsampling the framebuffer and blending it over the full resolution version. This is stuff that can be done on the CPU, no need for fancy shaders.

06-22-2005, 06:32 AM
here are a few examples from mgs1:




these are not very good, either, because there's not much context. but you can see color saturation, and that's part of it. it's almost like the translucent glass filter (whichever it is that sections the image into hexagons of differing qualities) in photoshop, now that i think about it, especially for mgs2.

06-22-2005, 06:36 AM
oh, alright. can you give me an example? i recognize the overall hazy effect in the lighting and everything for sands of time, and that's really what i thought you were referring to. if so, it's not really that, but give me an example.

06-22-2005, 06:39 AM
i guess it might be bloom, if you just downsample the framebuffer. i had an idea of that too tied to how i think of bloom lighting.

06-22-2005, 07:26 PM
Just do an additive alpha overlay of the last frame (aka, your current frontbuffer) overtop the backbuffer when you're finished rendering. You can scale the buffer up a bit and you get a 'feedback' effect for free. That's exactly what MGS2 does. Tons of PS2 games do the same.

06-23-2005, 11:32 AM
Oh, so it's motion blur, as previously suggested.

06-27-2005, 03:16 AM
you know, i can't say from any real knowledge, but it's not just motion blur. it's not pure motion blur -- it's not just that effect. the root of the effect might be the same, or what accomplishes motion blur is a part of it, but the game uses more than a few cinematic effects. there's a clear distinction between the two. i can visualize what you mean by bloom, but maybe i still don't have it right. if it's basically what was used, then the copy of the current framebuffer would have to be, i don't know, fractal transformed before being blended with the current scene? it is a sort of fake depth of field, but it's used for more than that.

06-27-2005, 05:05 AM
In fact johndavidjack is paid so that we all go and buy this game to this very mysterious VFX :D j/k

06-27-2005, 09:53 AM
well, i guess it's going to be something similar to the paint strokes that t101 mentioned. i neglected to look at that link before.

but it doesn't look as noticeably painted as some of those examples. just some kind of fractal transformation, i guess.