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Games with great HDR. Mark Rothko debates included for free.


JoeK
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This is certainly the thread to which I can make the absolute least contribution that I've ever been tagged in. So I'll simply say that I know very little about modern art,* but I do love Kandinsky's paintings, and also the fact that he indirectly led to the development of Rez, a game which sadly does not take advantage of HDR in any of its editions despite having a visual style that could make effective use of it.

 

Yes, that seemed vaguely relevant. I'll go somewhere else now.

 

*and by 'modern' I here mean 'post-5th century CE'

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9 minutes ago, Wiper said:

This is certainly the thread to which I can make the absolute least contribution that I've ever been tagged in. So I'll simply say that I know very little about modern art,* but I do love Kandinsky's paintings, and also the fact that he indirectly led to the development of Rez, a game which sadly does not take advantage of HDR in any of its editions despite having a visual style that could make effective use of it.

 

Yes, that seemed vaguely relevant. I'll go somewhere else now.

 

*and by 'modern' I here mean 'post-5th century CE'

This is samurai level posting. I don’t even know how this is possible. I have just read it. Yet I know this post should not exist. It is perfectly on topic in relation to any and all of the 12 conversations going on. And also a change in subject. 

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5 minutes ago, Thor said:

You didn't do that though, you just called me an idiot. Though you at least had the sense to edit your post with "re: Rothko".

 

It was Velma who questioned my ignorance and prejudice toward Rothko fans, and look where that led.  Maybe you should take a leaf out of Velma's book, rather then resorting to insults and wasting the time of moderators... 

 

Fake edit (I'm doing a lot of these tonight) - just read your latest post. Nice to see you have some sense of humour at least. :)

 

Almost all of my posts are playful.

 

I wouldn't be so direct with most posters, but you do tend to communicate in big bold primary emotions (like your future hero Mark Rothko), so I thought I'd be blunt in response to cut through. Apologies if you felt at all upset, but I very much doubt you did.

 

If so, look at this for a bit:

 

Spoiler

75a955d91018a0914548b145557e2d3e.jpg

 

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5 minutes ago, Oz said:

This is samurai level posting. I don’t even know how this is possible. I have just read it. Yet I know this post should not exist. It is perfectly on topic in relation to any and all of the 12 conversations going on. 

Alright, Oz, it's just a post on rllmuk. I mean, Wiper's post is good, but it's not exactly a Mark Rothko painting, is it? :coffee:

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Just now, Thor said:

The irony being I took your "Reported" post as playful. You were clearly very serious. :lol:

 

Oh, the report was deadly serious. I believe you deserve a robust ban and a period of reflection, research and contemplation. Lucky for you I'm not a mod. 

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And with that, @JoeK, you can have your topic back. :lol: 

 

As I've said, HDR on PC is a bit of a mess (especially of you're on a monitor - I believe only TVs do great HDR), but there are a few games that get it right. Only one has actually nailed it on PC though (Doom Eternal).

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Anyone interested in how HDR works in video games from a proper in depth (including maths and code) view I really recommend this 

 

 

The first half is the background colour theory and the second half about implementing this is COD. Very little discussion of Rothko.

 

This is my indirect way of saying COD probably looks good in hdr. Although I’m not 100% sure about on PC. 

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17 minutes ago, HarryBizzle said:

I think he’s absolutely right that “good” HDR is entirely subjective. I find people obsessing over their own preconceived ideas about what HDR should and shouldn’t be, pretty odd.

 

In the sense that all art is subjective, sure.

 

But you can absolutely make a distinction between 'fake' or under-utilised HDR modes vs. ones where the full colour range is used in the correct manner.

 

I agree that you can make a subjective value distinction outside of that, but it's still absolutely worth being able to discuss whether an HDR mode makes full use of the HDR colour range, or whether it's been clearly bolted on using the SDR image with the brightness turned up on everything to tick an 'HDR' box.

 

The difference between the two approaches is massive. As we see more games do the former and fewer games do the latter it will only get more apparent when developers fudge it.

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That's fine, but there are games like RDR2, which has an HDR implementation which looks nothing like the SDR image, makes use of a wider dynamic range, specular highlights, etc, but is considered "bad" HDR. 

 

The forum is full of posts calling various HDR implementations poor, which, on a technical level, are not just SDR + overall brightness. People seem to have their own ideas of what HDR should be and anything which doesn't match up with what's in their head is often called a "poor implementation."

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3 minutes ago, HarryBizzle said:

That's fine, but there are games like RDR2, which has an HDR implementation which looks nothing like the SDR image, makes use of a wider dynamic range, specular highlights, etc, but is considered "bad" HDR. 

 

The RDR2 discussion is obfuscated by the fact that they originally added an HDR mode that was literally just the SDR image with the brightness turned up (the cinematic mode in the existing settings) and took a while to patch in an actual attempt at proper HDR.

 

The HDR upon release was probably the worst implementation of HDR we have seen yet.

 

Also the 'fixed' game mode still isn't great. The brightest part of the image is still nowhere near the brightest range of HDR, and likewise the blackest part of the image.

 

So the HDR picture is still washed out.

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1 hour ago, Isaac said:

@ZOK is objectively wrong about HDR in Cyberpunk, it's just an SDR image with the brightness turned up.

 

The idea that you'd want a dark, dystopian game brighter is a frankly baffling one. 


Is it a dark game? It has a full daylight cycle, a desert and a billion tonnes of neon. It’s certainly not going for eternal blade runner smog.

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HDR shouldn’t look that different to SDR, it’s just a tech change to allow things to go a bit brighter and represent some more colours. For most scenes the image should be broadly the same, but the centre of lightbulbs, explosions and specular reflections will be brighter. If you take a HDR image you can absolutely tonemap it to look comparable on SDR, just missing some highlights. Those highlights matter, and can certainly make an image look more vibrant and real, but the overall grade of the scene can be very similar.
 

I think most of the time if games look significantly different it’s a bug. 

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1 hour ago, Isaac said:

@ZOK is objectively wrong about HDR in Cyberpunk, it's just an SDR image with the brightness turned up.

 

The idea that you'd want a dark, dystopian game brighter is a frankly baffling one. 


So the desert should be darker? Sounds spot on! :rolleyes:

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37 minutes ago, MemoryLeak said:

HDR shouldn’t look that different to SDR, it’s just a tech change to allow things to go a bit brighter and represent some more colours. For most scenes the image should be broadly the same, but the centre of lightbulbs, explosions and specular reflections will be brighter. If you take a HDR image you can absolutely tonemap it to look comparable on SDR, just missing some highlights. Those highlights matter, and can certainly make an image look more vibrant and real, but the overall grade of the scene can be very similar.
 

I think most of the time if games look significantly different it’s a bug. 


I really don’t think you can say this is universally true. I do think it will be a good approach until HDR televisions are more widespread, so you can do your HDR presentation as just “SDR plus” rather than two completely different styles. However SDR is such an incredibly narrow brightness range versus reality and versus HDR that once people start thinking about “HDR first”, the two will have to look completely different. To use the SDR image as a baseline forever after would be like using black and white film as the baseline when making a colour movie and just painting in some colour splashes later.

 

Edit - I talk about “until HDR is more widespread”, I also mean until HDR TVs people own actually use a decent proportion of the HDR range. Most are tone mapping down to maybe twice or four times SDR.

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From a development point of view It doesn’t really surprise me the implementation is a struggle, traditionally you stick lights in a scene and tweak until it looks nice. But now you’d have to have your game world lighting created with correct values organised on a global scale. This is the kind of stuff you are supposed to do in architectural renderings, getting the proper light luminance values and colour temperatures for every fixture so it works as a whole( but then still do multiple exposure renders because even virtual cameras don’t work like the human eye).

 

Especially in virtual worlds, oh that glowing shrub in the corner? How bright would that be, 10 candles? Halogen spot level? Laser beam, should that illuminate a scene?

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