Tweaks and Highlights

Published on 4/25/2012

My wife made a comment about how she struggles to distinguish the HUD from the background. And she had made a good point.

So I Googled a bit for images of real-world HUDs, and found that almost all of them are lit up like a christmas tree. The high contrast from the background is what makes all the difference. Here's an example:

Looking at that it was obvious that I couldn't just get away with adjusting the color from Lime to something more white. I could maybe have gotten away with adding some gradients and clever masking to my PNGs files which I use for the HUD elements, but that wouldn't have solved my problem for the text. So I started writing a pixel shader. A derivation of the Poisson blur and a few pow() and clamp() calls later, and the result seems pretty ok.

HUDEffectDay_U.png HUDEffectNight_U.png

Obviously this will get tweaked as time goes by. The filter settings is pretty sensitive to the render target size (where a 0.001 shift in UV could be a dramatic shift), and there's some glaring/white-out where there's overlapping, like on the radar. But all in all I'm pretty happy in a preliminary sort of way.