Logic Gadgets: Grade & Effects

Icon logic gadgets grade and effects
Name of gadget Grade & Effects
Section Cameras & Lighting
Number of Tweak pages 5
Author LadylexUK, QuietlyWrong
Last updated 07 June 2019 [EA v1.03]

Description

The Grade & Effects gadget is a powerful tool for putting a final touch on the visuals in your Dream, and its effects can range from the subtle to the dramatic, from reducing the saturation on a “memory” cut-scene to making your Scene look like it’s playing on poor-quality VHS on a TV in the 1980s.

This gadget has a real variety of effects but all are essentially “post-processing” effects, i.e. Dreams applies them after all the other lighting calculations and screen-affecting gadgets have done their work, and they have to apply to the whole screen.

All of the effects take place in real time on your screen when you tweak a powered gadget, so the best way to find out what each does is to experiment! Some of the effects are more obvious when there are lights or strong colour variations in a scene.

Many of the effects are very striking and can be used most effectively in very short blasts. By using the action recorder, for example, you could record the screen “pincushioning” outwards and then back to normal in a split second – then use this animation to add emphasis to momentous events in a Scene, such as collecting power-ups.

Example Tutorial (adapted from Media Molecule)

  1. Stamp a Grade & Effects gadget into your Scene.
  2. On the Screen Effects page, increase the “Grain” slider to see the effect of adding a “Film Grain” to the screen.
  3. Try adjusting the “Pincushion” tweak and see the difference between dragging the slider left or right of centre.
  4. Switch to the Pixellation & Glitch Effects tab.
  5. Try increasing the slider for “Scan Lines” to create the effect of a low-resolution screen.
  6. Drag the handle on the “Resolution” tweaks (at the top of the Pixellation Effects) to see the effect on the apparent pixel size.
  7. Drag the handle of the “Glitch” tweak and watch the effect on the screen – this one’s animated so you should give it a few seconds. At this point, you should have a pretty dodgy display! Try lots of other things!

 

Tweak Menus

Click on arrows to reveal

Tweak Menu 1: Light & Colour
grade_effects1
  1. Tweak Menu page 1: Light & Colour
  2. Brightness
    2a. Input
    2b. Output
  3. Contrast
    3a. Input
    3b. Output
  4. Saturation
    4a. Input
    4b. Output
  5. Hue Cycle
    5a. Input
    5b. Output
  6. Power
  1. Menu page indicator
  2. Brightness
    Alter the overall brightness of the screen. You might use this in a “Player Options” setting so the player can set the screen brightness to a comfortable level.
  3. Contrast
    Alter the overall contrast of the screen. This is the degree of difference between darker and lighter areas of the screen. At low values, everything can look more dull and grey, whereas higher values enhance the difference to the point that everything is either light or shadow.
  4. Saturation
    Alter the overall saturation of the screen. This is the strength of the colours – you could for example reduce this value when the player gets close to death to cause the colours to drain from the screen.
  5. Hue Cycle
    Use this gadget to “rotate” the colours being output on the screen. All colours get shifted, so for example if red becomes yellow, yellow might become green, while green goes to indigo and blue to red. This can create some surreal, hallucinatory effects.
  6. Power
    This is where you turn the gadget on/off.
Tweak Menu 2: Colour Tinting
grade_effects2
  1. Tweak Menu page 2: Colour Tinting
  2. Shadows
    2a. Input
    2b. Output
  3. Mid-Tones
    3a. Input
    3b. Output
  4. Highlights
    4a. Input
    4b. Output
  5. Power
  1. Menu page indicator
  2. Shadows
    These three colour gadgets allow you to apply a specific colour tint to the screen. So you might, for example, redden the screen in the vicinity of a volcanic magma stream – if that suits your image. The provision of three separate colour tweaks gives you greater versatility because these can be set to different values, so that dark areas (Shadows) are tinted with one shade, while light areas (Highlights) are tinted with another and everything in between (Mid-Tones) is tinted with a third colour. By picking vivid, very-different colours, you can lend a surreal or dream-like tone to your scenes.
  3. Mid-Tones
    See Shadows, above.
  4. Highlights
    See Shadows, above.
  5. Power
    This is where you turn the gadget on/off.
Tweak Menu 3: Screen Effects & Special Effects
grade_effects3
  1. Tweak Menu page 3: Screen Effects & Special Effects
  2. Vignette Colour
    2a. Input
    2b. Output
  3. Vignette Strength
    3a. Input
    3b. Output
  4. Bloom
    4a. Input
    4b. Output
  5. Lens Flare
    5a. Input
    5b. Output
  6. Grain
    6a. Input
    6b. Output
  7. Sharpen / Blur
    7a. Input
    7b. Output
  8. Motion Blur
    8a. Input
    8b. Output
  9. Camera Movement Blur
    9a. Input
    9b. Output
  10. Pincushion
    10a. Input
    10b. Output
  11. Power
  1. Menu page indicator
  2. Vignette Colour
    Relevant in combination with a non-zero Vignette Strength, this colour picker can be used to specify the outside colour that bleeds into the edges of the screen.
  3. Vignette Strength
    The vignette simulates a photographic effect whereby the image fades out at the edges of the screen, particularly in the corners, rounding the image somewhat. It can help draw the eye to the middle of the screen or give a sense of enclosure. Choose the strength with this slider and pick a colour from the tweak above. Try animating it – perhaps in time with music or a heartbeat – for a really striking effect!
  4. Bloom
    This effect simulates a photographic effect whereby very bright regions of an image can bleed into adjoining areas. It heightens the impression of brightness and contrast. Use this tweak to choose the degree of bloom that looks best for your Scene or animate it to help enhance the sense of the scene brightness changing, for example.
  5. Lens Flare
    This effect simulates a photographic effect whereby very bright spots of light are reflected within the camera and create effects such as lines of repeated light spots or haloes and a general scattering of light across the image. Because the effect occurs as a natural (and originally undesirable) result of real-world camera optics, computer generated imagery often replicates these effects to add to realism. Use this slider to adjust the amount of lens flare on screen.
  6. Grain
    This effect adds visual “noise” to the screen to simulate the effect of film grain. Increase the slider to make the grain more prominent.
  7. Sharpen / Blur
    Use this slider to add a filter to the screen that will either sharpen (negative values) or blur (positive values) the image to either emphasise or soften the more detailed parts of the image.
  8. Motion Blur
    Use this slider to increase or decrease the amount of blurring associated with motion on screen. In the real world, cameras capture an image over a short period of time (usually milliseconds) which means that any fast motion causes the moving object to smear out or blur in the resulting image. This tweak replicates that phenomenon. Huge motion blur can create some hallucinatory effects!
  9. Camera Movement Blur
    Use this slider to increase or decrease the amount of blurring associated with the movement of the camera itself.
  10. Pincushion
    Use this slider to cause the whole screen to bulge inwards (negative values) or outwards (positive values) to imitate unusual camera lenses. The outward pincushion effect is commonly used to suggest that the image is being projected on to a curved, convex surface, as this evokes the era of viewing everything on CRT television sets rather than the flat screens that prevail today.
  11. Power
    This is where you turn the gadget on/off.
Tweak Menu 4: Hue Selectivity
Grade & Effects 4

[menu as of EA v1.03 – the recolouration of the power input is a bug to be fixed!]

  1. Tweak Menu page 4: Hue Selectivity
  2. Hue Selectivity
    2a. Input
    2b. Output
  3. Hue Affected
    3a. Input
    3b. Output
  4. Power
  1. Menu page indicator
  2. Hue Selectivity
    Use this tweak to add some hue selectivity to the screen. This is an effect whereby one colour takes prominence over others, and all others are desaturated until (at highest settings) they become shades of grey. It can be used to draw particular attention to elements in your scene with certain colours, or to lend a weird, otherworldly tone to the screen.
  3. Hue Affected
    With Hue Selectivity active, use this slider to pick the hue that you want to be “selected” or stand out from the others.
  4. Power
    This is where you turn the gadget on/off.
Tweak Menu 5: Pixellation & Glitch Effects
grade_effects5
  1. Tweak Menu page 5: Pixellation & Glitch Effects
  2. X Resolution
    2a. Input
    2b. Output
  3. Y Resolution
    3a. Input
    3b. Output
  4. Scan Lines
    4a. Input
    4b. Output
  5. Posterise
    5a. Input
    5b. Output
  6. Chromatic Aberration
    6a. Input
    6b. Output
  7. Glitch X
    7a. Input
    7b. Output
  8. Glitch Y
    8a. Input
    8b. Output
  9. Power
  1. Menu page indicator
  2. X Resolution
    The X Resolution and Y Resolution tweaks can be modified together by grabbing and moving the shared handle in the box between them. Moving the handle rightwards and upwards increases the size of the apparent “pixels” that make up the screen, horizontally and vertically.
  3. Y Resolution
    See X Resolution, above.
  4. Scan Lines
    Increasing Scan Lines imposes many horizontal black lines across the screen – the higher the setting, the more obvious the effect. This calls into mind a close-up view of an old CRT television which would literally draw the image in horizontal lines across the screen, so stands in for a “retro”, low-resolution aesthetic.
  5. Posterise
    Increasing this effect reduces the number of unique colours available on screen – a special effect that reminds me of too many 80’s pop videos. At its highest setting, the overall effect if very pronounced, reducing an image to just a handful of vivid colours.
  6. Chromatic Aberration
    Here you can choose the intensity of Chromatic Aberration on screen. In real-world optics, refractive lenses don’t focus all colours equally, so images (especially those taken with relatively simple or cheap lenses) tend to have coloured fringes that are more pronounced towards the edge of images and where there is strong contrast between light and dark. This is chromatic aberration, and you can simulate it with this tweak.
  7. Glitch X
    The Glitch X and Glitch Y tweaks can be modified together by grabbing and moving the shared handle in the box between them. The result is a glitchy image that simulates both radio interference on an analogue TV signal and glitching and tracking flaws of old VHS tapes. Play with the settings and watch how the screen behaves over a few seconds, because this is an animated effect.
  8. Glitch Y
    See Glitch X, above.
  9. Power
    This is where you turn the gadget on/off.

Lex Tips

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