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DoF or Blur Sprites

Is there a way to add DoF or Blur to sprites? High quality blur, art controllable.

You know, like Limbo. Blur affects sprites based on depth. They also have a vignette blur.. The vignette blur or masking a blur post pass was trivial to implement in Unity. I haven't tried DoF. But generally speaking, blurred background sprites are common in platformers.. I guess usually blurred in Photoshop? There are a few games out there that use blur as a post process though. Like Limbo and Hollow Knight.

All I managed to do in Unreal so far is a total mess.. blurring the translucent model based on depth seems to be imposible. So I tried changing the lighting model to Opaque or anything else.. Nothing. I can blur either all sprites, or none, but not based on depth. If I bring a cube in the scene all works well on 3D geometry.

So I thought of using a blur shader, like a piece of glass I could place in front of sprites. And something I'd be able to mask, with gradients for example. One solution seems to be using TemporalAA, which is incompatible with 2D sprites. Also very slow to render. Another one was using some render to texture I think.. which was forcing re-rendering the whole scene. So also inefficient. Someone mentioned using a shder that forces low mipmaps.. only that's low quality blur, and not art directable.

I'm using a perspective camera btw, and I was hoping that most things that apply to 3D could also apply to 2D.. I mean can't we DoF smoke and foliage in the backgroud? Why would 2D sprites be different from any textured billboard?

Anyway, can this be done in Unreal? Cheers!

Product Version: UE 4.18
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asked Jun 26 '18 at 05:56 PM in Rendering

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avatar image v_i_m Jun 27 '18 at 04:11 PM

OK.. nevermind.. Looks like Paper 2D is barebones, poorly integrated in Unreal, no team working on it, no changes have been made in a long time. Dead, just like this forum.. why am I writing here and where be those Unreal devs hiding I wonder? It's not the first time I'm asking something here and.. nobody, nothing, silence. O o

avatar image live4film Jun 27 '18 at 05:18 PM

I would try creating a duplicate particle system which looks blurrier. Maybe even create a few different variations, and then write a blueprint that swaps the particles out based on distance. Similar to the way LOD by distance works.

avatar image v_i_m Jun 28 '18 at 08:55 AM

Particles do read depth. Sprites [for 2D games] don't. Although strangely.. transparency is using depth to sort them. I will have to blur things in Krita I guess, to have artistic control. But I was hoping there'd be a way to force sprites to read depth anyway. I can do that in Unity, with a custom sprite shader, and force ZWrite. Can this be done in Unreal?... I find it unreal that particles and billboards work fine with DoF, but Sprites nope.

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