Motion Blur - Camera Spin Blurring Setting to Get The Best of Both Worlds

Virtually all avid FPS gamers hate motion blur for 3 reasons that only they understand, yet developers enable it like a summerchild (that’s how I know they don’t understand this core aspect of gaming as well as passion-driven gamers, which is concerning).

Firstly** it’s fatal to awareness having your entire field of vision blur while turning**,as you can’t properly pick up enemies and details while doing so, which is an absolute must; it’s not a pretty movie, it’s a game, so you primarily need to constantly know it’s states in order to optimally respond/play accordingly; you don’t want to miss anything at all. A huge portion of sightings happen during turning. Also in reality your eyes normally don’t move in a linear smooth motion along your head turning, it jumps ahead as far possible, barely enduring any visual distortion; individual distinguishable frames ironically achieve this jumping effect better.

Secondly** it’s detrimental to quick and precise real-time aiming **(think CS); your brain needs the precise frames in order to microadjust the mouse movement path, compensate for error and pre-anticipate the exact position of a target to try locking onto; this is impossible when the screen is blurry throughout, you can barely orient yourself, much less have an idea which exact pixel blob you need to hit.

Thirdly** no implementations do blurring realistically**; real life blurring almost instantly shows the object at the current position, along with a logarithmically more opaque trail where it traveled; meanwhile, rendered motion blur shows the trail as intensively as the leading object, real interpolated blurring. We don’t even experience blurring, we experience visual retention and slight visual response delay, both depending on intensity; the higher the intensity, the faster the “pixel” changes, and the higher it’s placed on a relatively slowly downtrailing log scale, after it’s no longer excited/lit (meaning the natural blur-resembling effect applies much less to dim objects and much more to light sources).

As such, “motion blur” is a fallacy to begin with (except for desperate screentear circumvention in low-fps-casual/non-shooter games) and should optimally be replaced with another method to be called Visual Retention (though both methods should still exist for the rare case where blurring the entire screen is beneficial). Frame jumping would of course still be present when not totally interpolating between them, but it would still be much less noticeable if the trail was relatively opaque and depended on light intensity.

Developers need to realize that frame-jumps, screentearing and non-synced rendering are necessary evilsin far most shooting and action games, evils that aren’t very prevalent today anyway; just run 80fps on your 75hz monitor and you’ll barely notice since the tear line changes rapidly (of course talking PC; not sure if the average console gamer is so casual they wouldn’t care about the information lost in blur, and would prefer it’s tear-circumvention abilities instead; at natively low fps it does make much more sense).

To most feasibly fix the gripes with motion blur without introducing a completely different method, while also gaining most advantages, add a sub setting to motion blur called Camera Spin Blurring that devs can disable, to only blur according to object movement and spins, and camera movement (it is still really nice when it doesn’t inhibit awareness and playability).

Working with the existing method, a few other sub settings could be present, such as Camera Movement, Object Movement, Object Spin and Indirect Camera Spin Blurring (that will still blur camera angle changes not input by the player, eg. if on spinning platform, and deblur if they compensate by turning opposite). Settings should be dynamic to eg. disable indirect camera spin blurring while in vehicles (otherwise action-driving and shooting experience would suffer). Further speculation, maybe it’s beneficial if a material or actor property exists to disable it’s motion blur, eg. you could motion blur everything but enemies, or make interesting focal effects (but perhaps at that point, the visual retention alternative is more feasible).

Bottom line; I can’t use motion blur as it currently exists, but I would very much love to have it’s benefits of fluidity where it doesn’t impact playability. I’d even set it as default. However, as it stands, it feels like a disservice to players to even present them the option to turn it on.