Artificial chromatic aberration doesn't work as a visual effect

The corners of the screen, maybe also the edges, haven't felt particularly sharp to me in Prime. They haven't been obviously fuzzy. They've just… felt… off. Then it hit me. It's the same problem that I have with the glasses I wear everyday: chromatic aberration [].

Everything in the central area of my field of vision looks fine when I'm wearing my glasses. However, any high-contrast edges towards the edges of my field of vision tend to take on a bit of color fringing and feel every so slightly fuzzier than I'd otherwise expect. For example, I can notice this color fringing now, with the white background of this webpage against the black bezel of my laptop's screen. Tilt my head one way, and an edge of the screen takes on a distinctly red hue. Tilt my head the other way, and the edge takes on a blue hue. It's actually quite annoying whenever I consciously notice the chromatic aberration, but my attention tends to be focused on the central area of my field of vision, so that normally doesn't happen.

Thanks to the new Lighting Dynamics setting, by dialing up the contrast of the map tiles, it's quite easy to illustrate that Prime is artificially introducing chromatic aberration at the edges of the screen. Just like with my glasses, it's not exactly an endearing quality of the display. Unlike with my glasses, I tend to actually look at the edges and corners of the screen, because sometimes, that's just where the interesting objects are (maybe I'm cramming multiple things into the field of view, maybe I'm stretching the limits of how far I can see). Worse, there's no actual motivation for this visual effect. Surely, the clandestine organization that built the scanner can afford higher quality optics, yes?

Anyway, some examples, which I'm fairly certain are real not just me looking at my screen funny…

Top down view, top left and top right corners of the screen (also, the unclaimed portal down and to the right of the compass arrow):

Top down view, lower right corner of the screen:

Looking straight ahead view, left and right edges of the screen (on the left, look at the road and paths; on the right, look at the unclaimed portal):


  • I could see how this could be a problem. I honestly have no idea why niantic did this. Maybe the motivation behind this was that unity is a “bad 3D engine and can’t do flashy effects and high quality graphics” or maybe they thought it looked cool. Honestly in this case it’s completely unnecessary and doesn’t add anything to the game

  • TRIBBLE2331TRIBBLE2331 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2019

    As for the bad NIA optics it’s happened before with the Hubble space telescope. What happened is that they accidentally ground the mirror to the wrong shape and in the end had to send up a corrective optics thing known as COSTAR. Maybe prime needs corrective optics lol

    #shameless space nerd

  • ToxoplasmollyToxoplasmolly ✭✭✭✭✭

    Unlike with my glasses, I tend to actually look at the edges and corners of the screen, because sometimes, that's just where the interesting objects are

    On further thought, the more relevant observation is that my phone's screen fits within the central area of my field of vision, so any feeling of fuzziness tends to lead me down the paths of wondering whether my eyes need a break from staring at screens and whether I need to get my eyes examined.

  • I just noticed this yesterday and it's really annoying. This is one of the things that makes the whole Prime "blurry" and hard to read.

  • jontebulajontebula ✭✭✭✭✭

    I hope Niantic listen on agents feedback and fix it soon. I hope Niantic max out graphics and resolution for premium device and we get antialiasing and clean UI without blurry.

  • This needs to get out of the UI.

  • I've heard Niantic comment informally that these effects (like the shift/blur effect in the model animations for items) was meant to reflect a "the world isn't real" cyberspace-y feel.

    That said: I totally agree, it's a design motif that hurts usability, and usability matters more to a product than padding out your design portfolio.

    (in the above claim I'm overgeneralizing around some vision disabilities; there are some people for whom high contrasts are actually harder to see, or to tolerate, than low contrasts and blurrier edges. But the current Prime UI has a lot of high-contrast UI elements as well, so we're kinda already in that mess and visual accessibility in Prime is a major project in itself.)

  • jontebulajontebula ✭✭✭✭✭

    Looks very bad on premium device S10+ with resolution 3040x1440

  • I was wondering why looking at prime gor more than a few minutes gave me splitting headaches.

    I thought it was just that I had to rethink every action due to the different controls.

    Then I realized I felt that way without taking actions. But I thought it was the flashing.

    Maybe it was the chromatic aberration.

  • RostwoldRostwold ✭✭✭✭✭

    I appreciate the time and effort that has been put into creating this effect, but honestly I have yet to see one single comment from any player who thinks it improves the game, and many people report that it gives them headaches.

    I think the ideal solution would be a low-graphics mode that takes out this effect and a lot of animation, concentrating on a clear and simple interface, but if this is not an option you'd be able to offer, perhaps only using the effect occasionally, such as during the start up animation, or weapon bursts rather than as a permanent part of the UI?

  • 1valdis1valdis ✭✭✭✭✭

    Bumping the topic as the point still stands. This effect should be removed.

  • KadahKadah ✭✭✭

    This is one of those things we had tried to get fixed since beta, never get anywhere and gave up. It is one of the many unnecessary bad visual effects that contributes to causing some player to get migraines or nausea when trying to use Prime. I'm one of those and after a year of advocating for that issue and getting absolutely nowhere, I gave up on Prime and when Redacted was pulled, stopped playing Ingress completely.

    If NIA finally fixed this one, great, it isn't enough to get me back, but it's at least one step towards making Prime not completely unusable and literally painful to use for many that may still be trying.

  • It doesn't give me a headache at all, but I suppose it's also not something I'd be heartbroken over losing.

    Restricting the effect to choice moments (like when you get zapped by an enemy portal) would be smart.

  • 1valdis1valdis ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Kadah ping some Nia staff here maybe? I think the number lf likes and "insightful" compared to "disagree" is enough for turning more attention to this.

  • RostwoldRostwold ✭✭✭✭✭

    Removing this seems like an easy win/win for Niantic. It seems that player feedback is either strongly negative or at best 'meh, I wouldn't miss it', cutting down GPU load would help with the game's battery life issues, and PR-wise it would be a great 'we're listening' story.

  • KadahKadah ✭✭✭

    I had mentioned this effect directly to Scott (the previous Ingress product manager, no idea what happened to him and it seems Brian has his job now) the few times we talked about the issues the effects were causing many of us, all of that was over 6 months to over a year ago. You can likely tell how far that got as there were no visual changes till recently.

  • 1valdis1valdis ✭✭✭✭✭

    Removed in 2.37.2.

    UI: Removed chromatic aberration and left/right vignette on map screen. Goodbye blurry edges.

    Bites the dust.

  • Nice

  • MorganzaMorganza ✭✭✭✭✭
  • Now to fix the visual '****' that happens when a button is pressed......

  • Just got the update ..... whoa, how much better is that!?!

    Thanks for listening Niantic, that's a huge improvement. No more blurry, murky yuck. Looking forward to trying this in sunlight over lunch.

  • ToxoplasmollyToxoplasmolly ✭✭✭✭✭

    I’m not sure exactly what is meant by “fix” here, but I posted my own two cents on the topic a while ago.

  • Less purple text on purple buttons would also be a wise innovation.

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