Image scaling in games... Does it reduce Impact of screen size?

DarkSideA8

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I don't really have a way to check this - but watching this video it struck me as strange to see the images displayed were the same size despite the different resolution.

Back in the day when you jumped up in resolution, you got a lot more on the screen. As in when you went from 720p to 1080p you would get a lot more of the surrounding images (area to the left right up and down that were not displayed at 720 were visible at 1080p) than was drawn on the lower resolution. This could enhance the situational awareness and immersion by seeing more of the gamespace. The drawback was that you needed a larger screen - or had to deal with smaller images.

But looking at this video, it seems like the rendering space (fov, whatever) are virtually identical - the only thing that has changed is the details of the identically constrained space are better at higher resolution. It's like the developers have prevented people with higher resolution from seeing anything more than what they show the lower resolution players.

Is this common now?
 

LukeTbk

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Back in the day when you jumped up in resolution, you got a lot more on the screen. As in when you went from 720p to 1080p you would get a lot more of the surrounding images (area to the left right up and down that were not displayed at 720 were visible at 1080p) than was drawn on the lower resolution.
Maybe you happened to play game that automatically changed something to the field of view when you changed the resolution ? Or something strange happened when you were not in native res ? Did you really went from 2 16:9 format resolution ?

Because normally, in 3D at least you do not know the concept of resolution before the rasterization is done and everything you will see if well decided already no ?

What you see is normally something independent of the monitor pixel density, it is field view angle related, at least from my experience with 3d engine.
 

DarkSideA8

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Maybe you happened to play game that automatically changed something to the field of view when you changed the resolution ? Or something strange happened when you were not in native res ? Did you really went from 2 16:9 format resolution ?

Because normally, in 3D at least you do not know the concept of resolution before the rasterization is done and everything you will see if well decided already no ?

What you see is normally something independent of the monitor pixel density, it is field view angle related, at least from my experience with 3d engine.
Really good question - and I don't know. I went from a high quality 24 inch Dell CRT from the 90s to a high quality 1080p HP 24 inch flat panel about 10 years ago. I remember changing resolution way back in the day on the CRT depending on the game and my gpu - and noticing what I described above. Similar stuff happened on the Win95 laptop - I could choose higher resolution with more on screen but smaller images or a lower resolution which made distant things seem larger - but narrowed the fov.

Since acquiring the flat panel, I've just run everything in 1080p native - but assumed that going 1440 or 4k would be like what I remember. In other words - if you had two 24 inch monitors side by side - one at 1080p and the other at 4k - the 4k monitor would show much more of the gamespace (and make you want a bigger monitor)

But the video above makes it look like both images would be similarly sized (I. E. You wouldn't see anything on one that wasn't displayed on the other) - but the 4k would have crisper textures and more detail.
 

LukeTbk

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I remember changing resolution way back in the day on the CRT depending on the game and my gpu - and noticing what I described above. Similar stuff happened on the Win95 laptop - I could choose higher resolution with more on screen but smaller images or a lower resolution which made distant things seem larger - but narrowed the fov.
CRT technology was much more fluid in term of resolution, there was less a notion of native res and working better at it or at it's multiple.

It is possible you changed the aspect ratio when changing resolution and that CRT was probably not 16:9 and probably did not have 720p or 1080p has common or special choice.

You probably went from a 5:4 or 4:3 CRT to a 16:9 LCD that was wider and started to have a different and wider field of view and see more things on the side.

If you go from a 16:9 1080p LCD to a 16:9 4K LCD it will not by itself change anything in what you see, but if the new monitor is bigger and you seat at the same distance, you can see more by augmenting the view angle.

I think once you have the same aspect ratio it is all about screen size and sitting distance (if you use the good field of view option) and having an higher resolution can make having a larger screen close to you that help you see more be a better experience, but it is not directly related.
 

TimothyB

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Interesting question, but pretty much comes down to the FOV slider to see more in 3D games that look through a camera projection, a virtual eye or lens. You can increase the field of vision to see more, just like throwing a wide angle lens on your camera. Too much and you get terrible distortion on the sides. Ultrawide can help balance this. Though, some games will just crop the top and bottom and actually showing less. Some people don't like 49 Ultrawide because of how distracting distortion becomes.

Now, if you have an isometric game, top-down, side-scrolling, 2D art, the higher resolution may help depending on the game. Playing a game like Anno, top down isometric 3D, technically you can just zoom out after increasing the resolution to see the same detail in the assets, but more on the screen. Then you got Hades, mostly 2D isometric game, but it only supports 16:9, no Ultrawide. They said they handcrafted all the art for that aspect ratio, dialed in performance and effects as well. So they won't ever offer ultrawide because it could hurt their presentation and performance, or let you zoom out too far.

I think Nvidia was working on a solution to fix multi-screen distortion due to the high FOV. Here's has a cool demo showing the issue, at 2:20min:

Think of the experience on phones as well, difference screen sizes, different resolutions, but the developer has an intended scale for the UI and Text for a consistent user experience.
 

kasakka

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Ultrawides are the only displays that show more on screen and that has to do with the way field of view is implemented in most games. As the aspect ratio gets wider you see more on the sides. Otherwise higher resolution just increases the fidelity, being able to see fine details in greater detail as there are more pixels to represent them.

Some 2D games that have a fixed resolution for pixel graphics might instead expand the viewing area as resolution increases.

If games have FOV sliders you can use those to view more on screen, same with viewing distance options. The size of your screen will of course be a factor in what settings are usable. For example on my 48" 4K screen some strategy game would let me use a far further away zoom level and still see what is going on compared to a 1080p screen where there are not enough pixels to represent some tiny unit when zoomed at the same distance.
 

DarkSideA8

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You probably went from a 5:4 or 4:3 CRT to a 16:9 LCD that was wider and started to have a different and wider field of view and see more things on the side.
I should have been more clear - I went to a 16:10 24 in flat panel from the 4:3 CRT because I did not like the 16:9 aspect ratio and loss of vertical real estate

I think the thing I'm trying to illustrate is shown in the top picture of this article
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cn.../4k-1080p-2k-uhd-8k-tv-resolutions-explained/
There is a misperception fomented by articles like this that created my impression of what 4k offers over 1080p. This is also what I remember about changing resolutions on the CRT way back when. If you do the mental gymnastics to picture the small 1080p box as 'what you see on the HD screen' compared to the 4k, and then imagine both rectangles as representing the border of a 24 inch screen - I expected that not only would the detail be higher - but you would see more of the total image.

I can see the potential problem with this. If this was the case, screen size becomes very important to resolution and user experience (a 4k game on a small screen would be difficult to play because the characters would be quite a bit smaller). Thus if you had a character that measures 4 inches tall on a 24 inch 1080p, the same character might be closer to 2 inches on a 24 inch 4k - except that on the 4k you also see a lot more of the total world. Pushing up the screen size would restore the character to close to 4 inches AND give the player a huge information advantage.

However what I'm seeing is that all a 4k resolution provides is tighter details, but the total image displayed is the same regardless of whether it's 1080p or 4k. See the top image here:
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bytesin.com/what-resolution-is-720p-1080p-1440p-4k-or-8k/?amp
So the benefit of the higher resolution is limited to that you can use a larger screen without washing out the exact same image seen by all players regardless of resolution. This is basically the opposite or reflection of what I described above - the distant half inch tall enemy seen on a 1080p 24 is also 1/2 inch tall on the 4k 24, and if you bump both to a 32 inch screen (a 4k 32 next to a 1080p 32), the enemy is now 3/4 of an inch - but on the 1080p the character is blurry.

The 4k player sees exactly the same amount of the world as the 1080p player - that is the unexpected part for me. I presumed it would be different.

Frankly - had I analogized the images to TV (where you won't see more of the football game just by jumping resolution) I would not have had this misperception. But I remember a time long ago when changing resolutions changed what games presented on the screen.
 

hajalie24

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If it's a 2D topdown game (like Stardew Valley for instance) higher resolutions should result in more screen real estate, just like how your desktop increases.

If it's a 2D game it should entirely be dependant on the aspect ratio.

Games can either be Hor+ or Vert-, Hor+ increasing the real estate as you get wider and Vert- decreasing it.

This FAQ should be useful

https://www.wsgf.org/book/export/html/908
 

LukeTbk

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I should have been more clear - I went to a 16:10 24 in flat panel from the 4:3 CRT because I did not like the 16:9 aspect ratio and loss of vertical real estate
But I remember a time long ago when changing resolutions changed what games presented on the screen.
That almost certainly changing the screen ratio that changed what you saw, not an increase in pixel count (if there was any, your 24 inch CRT was probably similar resolution, 24 inch CRT could have 2304x1440 or something like that, higher than a 1080p lcd)

I can see the potential problem with this. If this was the case, screen size becomes very important to resolution and user experience (a 4k game on a small screen would be difficult to play because the characters would be quite a bit smaller). Thus if you had a character that measures 4 inches tall on a 24 inch 1080p, the same character might be closer to 2 inches on a 24 inch 4k - except that on the 4k you also see a lot more of the total world. Pushing up the screen size would restore the character to close to 4 inches AND give the player a huge information advantage.
It would be a big issue, fortunately in 3d programming you never know the pixel and never talk in pixel, the character in your game is 6 foot tall and far away in the process the video card rotate, scale the world than flatten it in 2D at that moment 3d coordinate are translate into 2D pixel position, keeping everything the same size on screen regardless of DPI.
 
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DarkSideA8

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in 3d programming you never know the pixel and never talk in pixel, the character in your game is 6 foot tall and far away in the process the video card rotate, scale the world than flatten it in 2D at that moment 3d coordinate are translate into 2D pixel position, keeping everything the same size on screen regardless of DPI.
You have been educating me for a while on this - and its interesting to learn; I clearly have a lot of pre-conceived notions and biases that I keep running up against. I will read a discourse on UI elements and screen scaling, where the UI elements are (or have been in the past) drawn in determined pixel sizes - and perhaps I've improperly extended that concept to how things work in the virtual 3D space (wrt/ interactions at various screen resolutions).

As hajalie24 writes - my age-old experience may have been related to top-down games, which I remember playing way back then. Not many in the last 10 years, but before that -- they were quite common. I mean - I started down this route back when games were still DOS based. I'm certainly not a programmer - just a user, and frankly have a cursory knowledge of how these things work. Consequently, I appreciate when folks take the time to explain stuff!
 

DarkSideA8

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All of this aside - it really makes me wonder as to the benefit of going to a higher pixel count. I'm guessing the real benefit is not having to use some software based edge softening (like anti-aliasing). Certainly it allows you to preserve pixel density when moving to larger sized displays.
 

LukeTbk

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You have been educating me for a while on this - and its interesting to learn; I clearly have a lot of pre-conceived notions and biases that I keep running up against. I will read a discourse on UI elements and screen scaling, where the UI elements are (or have been in the past) drawn in determined pixel sizes - and perhaps I've improperly extended that concept to how things work in the virtual 3D space (wrt/ interactions at various screen resolutions).
UI and 2d in general is indeed often in pixel or screen percentage instead of centimeter like a 3d world.

That in part why something like windows and UI in many apps have many issue with 4K, while pure 3d game can sometime go from 480p to 8K without even knowing about those when they were made.
 
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