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Lightsabers and the Bloom Setting

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion
Lightsabers and the Bloom Setting

Docmal's Avatar


Docmal
03.09.2013 , 09:30 PM | #1
There have been many threads discussing the quality of the lightsaber colors in this game. Some were specifically about green sabers and some were about white sabers that look like glow bats. But the truth is that all of these issues people have with the sabers are related to a lighting effect known as bloom.

Bloom is meant to imitate the light bleed that occurs when a bright lightsource is viewed in contrast to a dimmer or less bright background.

The fact is that the current bloom implementation makes lightsabers look over exposed. It appears that the bloom setting takes light source elements and expands them while upping the contrast on the gradient. The effect of this on lightsabers is that the gradient becomes much more banded instead of smooth.

In the case of green the pronounced middle band is a yellowish color. This is a common complaint with green sabers. Yellow, cyan and orange all experience this same issue. The darker colors experience this to a lesser degree. Purple's middle band is rather pinkish and is very pronounced when zoomed..

Currently, turning bloom off makes the sabers look better, but the rest of the game's visuals suffer. in fact I am not a proponent of removing bloom from sabers but I think the effect is overblown and needs to be less pronounced.

Here are some high res screenshots of cyan and purple with and without bloom.
With Bloom
Without Bloom

Pingonaut's Avatar


Pingonaut
03.09.2013 , 09:33 PM | #2
Wow, that's a huge difference. That really does need to be changed.

dorpen's Avatar


dorpen
03.10.2013 , 06:03 AM | #3
WOW it looks so much better with out the over use of bloom.

Tatile's Avatar


Tatile
03.10.2013 , 06:24 AM | #4
I can actually see the detail on the Tythonian sabre. That looks awesome o.O Damn, I'd have bought one of those if they always looked like that.

If you have the Gree sabre, could you check if it changes with bloom/no bloom? The Gree sabres at the moment are very thin, seemingly regardless of bloom setting.

Rabenschwinge's Avatar


Rabenschwinge
03.10.2013 , 06:30 AM | #5
I can't say I've understood everything the OP says, but he seems right. The lightsabers do look better without bloom, the purple lightsaber does have a distinct pink hue and the teal lightsaber looks more "banded"... though in the case of the latter I don't quite see much of a color gradient. In fact the version without bloom seems to turn slightly to blue towards the outside, whereas the version with bloom rather have a solid teal frame.

Could anyone explain the sentence: "It appears that the bloom setting takes light source elements and expands them while upping the contrast on the gradient." please?

Upping the contrast on the gradient is clear... you have a color gradient in Photoshop from 240 50S 50V to 360 50S 50V and you lift the saturation to 100 if I understand the OP correctly. But what does "takes light source elements" mean... and in how far "expands" them?

Altheran's Avatar


Altheran
03.10.2013 , 08:40 AM | #6
Ideally, they "just" have to set that the core isn't a lighting element, but a plain white stick that couldn't be altered by other lighting. How it can be done, is not in my knowledge.

This way, the white core wouldn't be able to "infect" the color glow, which will not be able to turn thick or change color anymore, while keeping the core perfectly white as if it glowed.

Tatile's Avatar


Tatile
03.10.2013 , 08:43 AM | #7
Perhaps make lightsabres unaffected by bloom or give them a special model for bloom?

I will say, I know nothing about programming, so I'm not even going to pretend that's a feasible suggestion.

Oooh, I'll experiment with this and see how other colours come up.

Edit: Pink-purple crystal appeared unaffected - as was the Gree sabre. Perhaps it's something that only affects white-core crystals (the Gree sabre deliberately makes the blade a lot thinner and the glow as well, but I do have a black-red crystal in there instead of a white-core.)

Altheran's Avatar


Altheran
03.10.2013 , 09:03 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Tatile View Post
Edit: Pink-purple crystal appeared unaffected - as was the Gree sabre. Perhaps it's something that only affects white-core crystals (the Gree sabre deliberately makes the blade a lot thinner and the glow as well, but I do have a black-red crystal in there instead of a white-core.)
The black core don't bloom... actually, it's the glow that bloom on the black core with high settings, turning the black into a slight reddish-black/brownish-black (in the case of black-red crystal).

AsheraII's Avatar


AsheraII
03.10.2013 , 09:04 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Rabenschwinge View Post
I can't say I've understood everything the OP says, but he seems right. The lightsabers do look better without bloom, the purple lightsaber does have a distinct pink hue and the teal lightsaber looks more "banded"... though in the case of the latter I don't quite see much of a color gradient. In fact the version without bloom seems to turn slightly to blue towards the outside, whereas the version with bloom rather have a solid teal frame.

Could anyone explain the sentence: "It appears that the bloom setting takes light source elements and expands them while upping the contrast on the gradient." please?

Upping the contrast on the gradient is clear... you have a color gradient in Photoshop from 240 50S 50V to 360 50S 50V and you lift the saturation to 100 if I understand the OP correctly. But what does "takes light source elements" mean... and in how far "expands" them?
Lightsource elements would be things like the local lighting of the place you are, especially if they are in the path of view in front of or behind the lightsaber. Could be a pinpoint lightsource, but also reflections of those or ambient diffuse lighting. What happens with bloom, is that all those values in a direct line of sight get added up or multiplied with eachother, increasing the strength of the lightsaber glow.

For expanding, don't ask me why it does that, but the glow on the bloom lightsabers seems to go about twice as far or be twice as "thick" as the glow on the non-bloom lightsabers. The effect might go similarly far on the non-bloom lightsabers, but it'd be closer to full transparency at that distance, so you wouldn't see it.

Maybe I should take my Shadow to Hoth sometime again, she has a white lightsaber, and the glow of those against a white background actually seems to be light-gray. I just wonder if turning bloom on or off would have an effect on that, and what the effect would be.
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Altheran's Avatar


Altheran
03.10.2013 , 09:08 AM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by AsheraII View Post
Maybe I should take my Shadow to Hoth sometime again, she has a white lightsaber, and the glow of those against a white background actually seems to be light-gray. I just wonder if turning bloom on or off would have an effect on that, and what the effect would be.
On a same note, it seems that when I'm in a area with a mainly yellow ambiant light (the ship's port in the Republic's fleet), my green lightsaber does have these layers even if I'm turning down shaders/bloom