Cameras are becoming excessively complicated!

I recently updated to UE4 version 4.23, and the nice, easy-to-understand gaussian blur I was using for my background has been removed, and now I seem to obliged to spend time learning about shutters, apertures, focal distance, etc. I think UE4 camera settings are becoming excessively complicated, and I’d suggest having an option to enable “advanced” camera controls for those who need / want them.

I was very satisfied with the gaussian blur effect I had created with the post process volume - I’d like to know how this can be replicated, and why it was removed.

Additionally, what is the relationship between post process volumes and cameras? Do the settings on the camera override those on the post process volume, or is the reverse true?

Just to weigh in, we also would like to know how to achieve the same results we could have with Gaussian Blur without too much hassle.

Seems like they are going more and more towards the ideas in Unity’s “cinemachine”

Actually, physically based usually means both simpler and easier to use, and this also applies to this particular case: Depth of Field.

Yes, you will have to learn something new, but it’s trivial. Even more trivial than old gaussian DoF. There are only 2 relevant factors: Focus distance and F-stop/F-Number/Aperture. It’s just confusing that there are several different names for a single thing.

Focus distance: What you focus on - the distance from the camera that’s in focus.

F-stop (Called aperture in UE4) is simply DoF amount, except inverse. So lower Aperture value means stronger DoF.

In the end, physically based DoF setup is extremely quick and trivial. You just set up focus distance to what you want to have in focus, the object of interest, and then you move the Aperture slider to tweak the amount of of DoF effect to your liking. That’s it… no more crazy values. :slight_smile:

Downside (for some, not for me personally) is that unrealistic weird DoF setups are no longer possible, as you are constrained to some boundaries.

It’s a critical downside in my opinion, and probably the core of the controversy in this topic - it used to have artistic freedom, now you are forced to use them physically correctly. Which is not what many developers want.

I agree that having a massive list of options is not the best approach.

Physically based controls for cameras are great when matching real cameras, matching real world values, and working with someone with a film/photo background. But it’s also difficult to tell in UE4 if you’re even using physically based values for the sun and skylight. If everything is going to be physically based, we need better suited tools for it, and for the default setup for every light and scene to be physically based.

Physically based controls for cameras are awful when you’re (for example) trying to adjust exposure, but instead are given ISO, Aperture, and shutter speed. (And shutter speed and ISO aren’t practically different when motion blur isn’t tied to shutter speed).

EDIT: I’d also like to see a physically based “human eye” camera if that’s the route UE4 is going. No camera controls, exposures are locked to the limits of the human eye, locked focal length to around 22mm.

In vast majority of cases, when people say “artistic freedom” they usually mean using way more settings to achieve visually inferior results. There were similar discussions back in the day when PBR workflows were becoming standard. People were saying that PBR limits their artistic freedoms. Things like energy conservation or inability to tweak specular highlights independent of light sources or reflection glossiness. Here we are few years later and you rarely see people still requesting the terrible times of blinn and phong shaders to come back.

Same will happen with the depth of field, it will just take a couple of years. But in a 11 years or so of my career, I’ve yet to see a single person who actually utilizes this “artistic freedom” to achieve better looking results. So far it’s almost always been the case that the more physically based the tools where, the higher the visual quality ended up being.

The problem with UE is that it’s only half way there, which currently leaves the entire workflow if a state of being a nuisance rather than a benefit. The whole physically based exposure and light units thing was left in a half ■■■■■ state unfortunately.

That being said, when I look at just the DoF itself, this is a welcome change.