Suggestion: Disable "Attached to Camera" for lights in VR mode


(Paul Greveson) #1

Hey, I've been really enjoying VR in Sketchfab, it works really well!
However I have found (with some of my own models) that while having the lights set to "Attached to Camera" looks great in the regular viewer, once you jump into VR, it looks very weird, since your head moves around a lot naturally but that causes the lights to move as well.

I feel like any "Attached to Camera" lights should automatically be detached while the viewer is in VR mode, since it seems like it will always feel nicer to view things in VR this way.
I can't think of any situations where it will make sense or look better to have lights follow the tracked VR head. Also, I don't want to have to sacrifice the lighting setup of the non-VR viewer in order to improve the VR experience. Hence an automatic toggle seems like it would make sense?

I did see that a similar discussion happened around this a year or so ago for First-Person (non-VR) view, but it was shelved as "we'll revisit this later" - it seems even more relevant for VR since it makes no sense that the light is attached to the user's virtual eyes. Here's that thread, for reference.

It would be interesting to hear people's thoughts - are there any situations where having lights attached to the camera in VR will look better than if they're not?

(Fongoose) #2

I think that's a good point and worth discussing. :slight_smile: I can't think of many situations where you would want to attach lights to camera in VR unless you wanted a head torch effect or something... although I've never tried that type of lighting setup before.

(Fongoose) #3

Looks like this has already been discussed here:

"We've decided we won't change this behavior for now. We would rather have 'attached to camera' work consistently, so the best solution is to disable it."

(Shaderbytes) #4

WebVR has so much vendor issues at the moment it is kinda sad, honestly these browser developers need to get the shit together.

The problem with this sort of situation is whether the request is the common thought of most people or just a select few person will say they dont like the attached lights in VR , another will say they do. The only fair way to address a question like this is to actually have a public poll ..

(Fongoose) #5

I think it's a really good point as I can't see where attach to camera would be useful in VR, however having a separate setting for VR mode would complicate the user experience so I also agree with why the developers have decided to keep it consistent. I guess it all comes down to whether or not the publisher intends for the scene to be viewed in VR. If not then they may feel the scene benefits more from having the lighting attached to camera for standard viewing.

(Stephomi) #6

Lights (and shadows) attached to camera in sketchfab is indeed a problematic situation at the moment.

The first issue is in VR. I don't see any valid use case with lights attached on the camera in VR.
We already disable the shadows if the lights are attached on the camera.
In VR, we can take more liberty and honestly we can (and probably will) just detach the lights from the camera (and keep the shadows instead).

The second (more problematic) issue is in non VR.
The only reason why most models have light and shadows attached on the camera is because our light presets have it by default (decision we definitely regrets).
Also for static models, shadows attached on the camera currently have a bad performance effect.
And shadows attached to the camera doesn't make much sense either... I suspect most people miss the "attached to camera" option because they set up their model with the camera standing still (logical...).

So right now I'm seeing 3 solutions :
- keep the legacy as it is
- remove the shadow if the light is attached on the camera
- detach the lights from the camera (if the light is casting shadows)

Solution 2 basically means most models won't have shadows anymore... probably a bad decision.
So we are leaning towards solution 3.

In any case, for the non VR case, we'll probably have to contact the authors of the impacted models.

(Paul Greveson) #7

@stephomi Thanks for the information!

Personally I feel like this only needs be a change (override) for viewing in VR.

The mode of lights attached to camera, even by default, works quite well in non-VR. I wouldn't want to change the default option for all models at this point.

What you said about taking the liberty and detaching the lights from the camera (and, yeah, keep the shadows please!) when in VR mode would be enough, in my opinion. That way, non-VR users still have the option to set up their models as they always have - and nobody needs to be contacted about a change affecting their models :slight_smile:

@shaderbytes: I'd be interested to hear who might think lights attached to camera in VR is a good idea... as @fongoose said the only way it makes sense physically is if someone had a giant arrangement of lights on poles attached to their head, that moved while their head moved. It's just weird.
The "light attached to camera" makes way more sense in non-VR since the user can rotate the model here, which is more like a facsimile of having a real model on a turntable under studio lighting (so the lights stay fixed to the camera while the model rotates). This doesn't make sense for VR at all, since the camera is representing the user's head. Lights are never attached to your head in most real situations, so it will always feel weird to pretty much anyone (even if they can't quite put their finger on why...).

(Shaderbytes) #8

@moppius I agree fully with the logic, just said what I did based on experience in realizing what we tend to think is common sense for everyone is not always the case :slight_smile: This is where majority rule comes into play and of coarse the developers of sketchfab.

It seems they are keen to get it detached in VR so all good news.