Friday Facts #320 - Color correction

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KatherineOfSky
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Re: Friday Facts #320 - Color correction

Post by KatherineOfSky » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:25 am

I've been pondering whether or not to write this post, but I decided to do so since after implementation it might be difficult to change.

I am not a fan of the new brightness/saturation. It feels far too bright, too saturated. When I play Factorio, I am looking for a game that I can rest my eyes on. The new color balance is definitely not restful. (I have 24/7/365 migraines, and I need games to be pleasant to look at... and the gentler they are, the more often I can play them. The new color set is extremely harsh to me, and literally hurts to look at.)

I feel that the saturation of colors doesn't really fit with the dystopian setting of the game either. I always enjoyed the "dusty" look, as if as soon as you build something, it gets coated with a fine layer of the ever-present dust of Nauvis that blows in the atmosphere. :D

Night view: far too blue. I prefer the earth tones. (Blue is also extremely harsh to the eyes, and definitely not conducive to late-night sessions). Reminds me of the icky green that was so yucky on night vision.

Map view: MUCH easier to read. I like the new map/minimap colors.

A friend suggested that the color options be a tickbox in the settings. I wholeheartedly agree with this suggestion, (if it can be implemented easily). If not, I definitely prefer the classic look of the colors/brightness/saturation. New ones are just blinding.

Thank you for your consideration :-)

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Re: Friday Facts #320 - Color correction

Post by BrainlessTeddy » Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:14 pm

Fuersten_Krone wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:39 pm
I like the new look (No idea why the others are crying like that) Bonus points, if you can implement a way to automaticly go (gradually) back to the old look (and beyond) when the pollution rises. And vice versa: when the pollution goes back, it should take at least 5 times so long to go back one gradient to the new look.

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Re: Friday Facts #320 - Color correction

Post by Oktokolo » Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:45 pm

+1 for the enhanced contrast - didn't make sense, that it is always cloudy in the desert.

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Re: Friday Facts #320 - Color correction

Post by jodokus31 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:56 pm

My opinion is, that it's not bad to add a bit of saturation and brightness. But maybe not so much. More like halfway or less.
The desert orange is also very much too much, almost stinging.
Map view is a lot better.
The biggest problem I have with the nighttime blue-ish look. I don't think, the colors should change so much compared to daylight to be able to distinguish the items better. Also, I heard rumors, that especially the blue from displays is more harmful to the eyes, than other colors. Don't know, if that's true.

By the way, the new tooltips look very nice, well done!

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Re: Friday Facts #320 - Color correction

Post by YotaXP » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:24 am

I like the change, and I'm honestly quite surprised at the negative reactions here. I'll have to check it out on my poorly calibrated monitor at home later to see if it makes a difference. (Edit: I can see it looks a little less appealing on my crumby home monitor than it did on my Surface. Perhaps a slider for this would be nice, but then what should streamers and Youtubers set it to?)

Have any experiments been made to make the "pollution" more visible in game? Smog may not be appropriate, but desaturating highly industrial areas (or inversely, saturating eco-friendly areas) could be a concept to investigate.

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Re: Friday Facts #320 - Color correction

Post by EnerJi » Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:53 am

The mixed response here is interesting to me. People seem to have such wide and varying opinions that it makes me wonder how much different monitors and different monitor settings / calibrations are impacting how we all see these images?

For my part, I find the changes to be very subtle, and mostly quite positive with the exception of nighttime. I'm concerned that it is EVEN harder to see at night, and I already find myself hating night time. (Haven't researched night vision yet but working on it.)

Also, I find it interesting that the changes appear to be much more positively supported (even overwhelmingly supported when factoring in upvotes) on the Reddit thread than here on the forums.

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Re: Friday Facts #320 - Color correction

Post by dee- » Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:38 am

macripp wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:07 pm
I like the idea of depicting the planet and its nature in brighter, more vivid colours.
But as for the factory, I prefer a darker, dirtier more grungy look.
Let's be honest: the factory damages the planet and its nature, it causes dirt and pollution. For me, that doesn't go with bright, vibrant colors.
I would like to see untouched nature represented in vibrant, vivid colours that become darker and dirtier as nature becomes more and more exposed to pollution. One could probably use the Pollution layer as a mask for the strength of the color change.
My 2 cents on color correction.
I came here to post exactly the same.

IMHO pollution is not visible enough to the user in the normal gameplay (the withering trees were a good start) so this would add another layer of feedback and immersion to the player, about the impact his actions have on the surroundings and what "progress" he has accomplished.

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Re: Friday Facts #320 - Color correction

Post by Zer0Frost » Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:51 am

Please dont! :(
Desaturation of collors is important pillar holding mood of this game.

Dont turn this into candy themepark :(

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Re: Friday Facts #320 - Color correction

Post by Koub » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:32 am

EnerJi wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:53 am
The mixed response here is interesting to me. People seem to have such wide and varying opinions that it makes me wonder how much different monitors and different monitor settings / calibrations are impacting how we all see these images?
I won't take shortcuts like "people who like flashy things are plebs lolz", but for a long time now, most screens (TV, computer, smartphone) are made specifically to present "pleasing vibrant colors" (understand awfully flashy and saturated). That's how most screens seem to be sold today with default settings.

Luckily, during the last years, there are also good color profiles on a significant part of the displays out there ... for those who make the effort to select the most accurate color setting (I'm not talking about professional stuff for graphists).

But most beople won't even bother, at least in my surrounding : the only person I know, besides myself, who chose his screen and settings with color accuracy in mind is a professional photographer (while I'm just an average geeky guy who cares).

I know the overwhelming majority of people out there amongst the whole Factorio players are used to flashy colors with badly calibrated screens. I think this contributes to the variability of the opinions : People are not used anymore to accurate colors.
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Re: Friday Facts #320 - Color correction

Post by Rinin » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:54 am

It's interesting, that's quite a lot of people with 1 post only accounts in this friday facts thread. Not sure it's only this time, or it's always happen with FF. But if your changes force significant part of silent readers (like me) to answer - it should probably draw attention.

This theme is too bright and colourful. It's not factory colours.

I do want clean and shiny look, I realy do. But it should be separate stage in "manual"-"steam"-"industrial"-"hightech" chain. We don't have "hightech" stage, and we will not have it. So just keep industial stage looks industrial please.

I'll support the majority
Map is nice,
Night is terrible, much less details, much harder for the eyes, blue is ok though
Overall factory is way too candyland

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Re: Friday Facts #320 - Color correction

Post by Koub » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:14 am

Rinin wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:54 am
It's interesting, that's quite a lot of people with 1 post only accounts in this friday facts thread. Not sure it's only this time, or it's always happen with FF.
It's frequent. Not for all FFFs, but it's almost systematic on significant changes.
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Re: Friday Facts #320 - Color correction

Post by xng » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:34 am

Koub wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:14 am
Rinin wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:54 am
It's interesting, that's quite a lot of people with 1 post only accounts in this friday facts thread. Not sure it's only this time, or it's always happen with FF.
It's frequent. Not for all FFFs, but it's almost systematic on significant changes.
I would guess that the vast majority of customers/players don't measure their own importance by how many posts they do complaining about other people in a games forum. Most people are either silently agreeing or just popping in when they have something they feel is important to add, like their opinion on some technical detail.

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Re: Friday Facts #320 - Color correction

Post by Rinin » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:47 am

Koub wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:14 am
Rinin wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:54 am
It's interesting, that's quite a lot of people with 1 post only accounts in this friday facts thread. Not sure it's only this time, or it's always happen with FF.
It's frequent. Not for all FFFs, but it's almost systematic on significant changes.
Funny that simple color change became significant topic.

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Re: Friday Facts #320 - Color correction

Post by jodokus31 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:24 pm

Rinin wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:47 am
Koub wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:14 am
Rinin wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:54 am
It's interesting, that's quite a lot of people with 1 post only accounts in this friday facts thread. Not sure it's only this time, or it's always happen with FF.
It's frequent. Not for all FFFs, but it's almost systematic on significant changes.
Funny that simple color change became significant topic.
Color changes are significant, because you see them always and many people put thousands of hours in this game. If the eyes are hurting faster, then it has big impact for longterm players, which are used to the current settings. I would like to test the change before i can say it's perfect and even then it could get worse after playing several 100 hours.

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Re: Friday Facts #320 - Color correction

Post by Filter62 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:53 pm

jodokus31 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:24 pm
Rinin wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:47 am
Koub wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:14 am
Rinin wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:54 am
It's interesting, that's quite a lot of people with 1 post only accounts in this friday facts thread. Not sure it's only this time, or it's always happen with FF.
It's frequent. Not for all FFFs, but it's almost systematic on significant changes.
Funny that simple color change became significant topic.
Color changes are significant, because you see them always and many people put thousands of hours in this game. If the eyes are hurting faster, then it has big impact for longterm players, which are used to the current settings. I would like to test the change before i can say it's perfect and even then it could get worse after playing several 100 hours.
Yup, I just hope this changes doesn't be hard to look at in long-term. Yeah it's pretty and all, but it's kinda bad when eyes get tired fast (It's more likely with bright colors). I noticed that game was kinda dark not so long ago btw, I had a colorful wallpaper on desktop, so after playing factorio it was too bright. XD

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Re: Friday Facts #320 - Color correction

Post by Ext3h » Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:33 am

Tynach wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:02 am
I admit, I hadn't even thought about it from the perspective of artists and modders, and there I admit I agree... It's only more convenient to use matrix math for weirdos like me who get giddy with excitement about being able to apply arbitrary colorspace conversions on things. For everyone else, a LUT is much more convenient, and weirdos like me can still generate our own LUTs using our matrix math and Linear RGB→XYZ→LMS→Von Kries Transformation→XYZ→Linear RGB matrix math stuff.
Slight misassumption here - this is tone mapping, and that's usually not using a linear transfer function to begin with. Neither in sRGB (linear), RGB (gamma corrected), YUV nor HSL space. So you can't even express it as a color twist matrix to begin with. The actual transfer function which corresponds to what the artist can do in Photoshop is pretty hard to approximate with anything but a LUT mapping the entire color cube (which is - not so much of a coincidence - what these LUTs actually include). And even that approximation is wrong, as Photoshop has several filters which are actually based on convolutional filter kernels.



As for the actual color correction employed here, day mode, mixed feelings.

Some texture had been over-saturated before, and now just hurt. E.g.:
  • Circuits
  • Modules
  • That red-green spotted grass texture
  • Purple inserters
  • Green inserters
Some textures already had highlights before, fighting against that grey-filter, and are now overexposed.
Actually about every instance of "blank metal texture", be it on power poles, top of assemblers, or iron plates.

As for night mode, well, could use more dynamic range. I know, it's supposed to be "night" and visibility is supposed to be "limited". But that's not how it works when actually playing this game. The actual effect is that I can't see shit if there is any ambient light in my room, especially in the summer, while I'm still seeing clear as day when playing at (real life) night.

Artists choice aside, you just got to make the "dark" areas at night use more of the available brightness range. Just a matter of basic usability.


The map? Better, but still not great. While the updated color schema makes it easier to distinguish biomes in the first place, you should really give something else a try. Flat color next to flat color is just stressful on the eyes, especially if the only difference between biomes is on chroma.

E.g. consider simply adding solid borders around biomes. Darken each border pixel of each biome by like 30-50%, in order to get a hard border in the perceivable luminescence. I guarantee, not just color blind players are going to favor that.

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Re: Friday Facts #320 - Color correction

Post by Murzik » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:02 pm

Ext3h wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:33 am
The map? Better, but still not great. While the updated color schema makes it easier to distinguish biomes in the first place, you should really give something else a try. Flat color next to flat color is just stressful on the eyes, especially if the only difference between biomes is on chroma.
I agree that map doesn't need much contrast between biomes, because differences between them are not that important for the gameplay. It is much more useful to have good contrast for the turrets, walls and other buildings, basically stuff that matters. For example, there should be a clear difference between biters and turrets on the map - both are currently marked as red dots.

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Re: Friday Facts #320 - Color correction

Post by Some_Pleb » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:59 pm

I'd say that since the team is so close to a 1.0 version, I'd hope for a "legacy" color mode. As for the adjustments, I like the brightness increase, but I feel that the color saturation is heavy handed. The night time environment is much too blue, and the sands are very orange. Reminds me of the transition Fallout made between games 3 and 4 (ended up looking like playdough).

The desaturated nature of the game communicates a reserved, acetic situation that is so deliciously real and engaging.
I love the accents on the trees, and the lighter grass. Keep the enameled metal industrial components dusty and faded though, they already have enough color.

Color is incredibly difficult to work with, especially in a digital medium. Bringing in someone with a lot of experience in that specific area could take factorio's great artistic mood to excellence.

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Re: Friday Facts #320 - Color correction

Post by Ext3h » Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:01 am

Murzik wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:02 pm
I agree that map doesn't need much contrast between biomes, because differences between them are not that important for the gameplay.
Orientation. I don't actually care much either what the individual biomes are (surprise!), but I primarily recognize where I am on the map based on the shape of the individual biomes outlines. Hence also the suggestion to make the biome outlines more pronounced, rather than pushing for "more recognizable colors".

For all I care, the map could even do away with color coded biomes at all, as long as a visible biome transition in the world maps to a recognizable border drawn in the map. As far as color coding is concerned, "water" and "not water" is all I care about, and then reserve color coding for entities on the map.

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Re: Friday Facts #320 - Color correction

Post by bobingabout » Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:59 pm

I can definitely say, that with the exception of the map, the right hand side looks way better in every image, the left looks too bright and cartoony, which completely breaks the feel of a game like Factorio. the left hand side of the map looks better though.

Considering left is before, and right is after (unless you're insane), then this is a good change.
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