Your Eyes Are Lying To You

I wear glasses/contacts as do a majority of people in this cg and vfx field; comes with the package as we sit around in front of our computer all day. (I actually got my glasses from reading too much as a child.) With our prolonged diminishing eyesight, sometimes we forget that what we see isn't how the world really looks and other people don't see the world in the same way.

I recently learned, while sitting around a bonfire with friends, is that people with perfect vision don't see the starburst effect around lights in a dark setting. Mind blown! I had been thinking that they were volumetric rays and the breaks caused by imperfections in the glass. It's a very pretty effect and gives the world a little bit of magic when looking at things like Christmas lights but in fact is a vision artifact. According to the one friend who had perfect vision among us, all she saw was the light and the bulb; a little bit of glow, but there was nothing fancy looking like light rays coming out of the source. We tried to explain what we were seeing to her, but all she saw were the bulbs.

This may not matter that much in VFX as usually you will be attempting to match the effects of a physical camera, but if you ever have to create a first person view looking at a light in the dark, their eyesight quality may be something to consider...