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HDR games analysed

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EvilBoris
Oct 29, 2017
4,042
When HDR is turned on in the Windows display settings, doesn't Windows tonemap the desktop so SDR content is supposed to look correct? I know I've seen the option to adjust SDR white levels in the options. Also, games that don't support HDR just change back to SDR as long as they support Exclusive Fullscreen. So, what I'm asking is is it not possible to just keep HDR on all the time? That would get rid of all the switching back and forth when playing games.
I think if you turn HDR on in the display settings this is what triggers the HDR flag to the display. The screen becomes dim because the format of the desktop is entirely different, so it gives you the option to boost the overall brightness to make things useable again.

Meanwhile anything that is HDR compatible in borderless window i.e. Windows Store games can sit quite happily on the desktop, the colours are correct as they detect HDR is enabled in windows and are not affected by the increase in brightness you have applied.

Full Screen Exclusive Dx11 games take responsibility for triggering the HDR and booting up with the correct settings.
You'd like to think that if HDR is already running, then this will also be happy and you can just leave the Windows settings on all the time.

Best thing to do is find a game that has HDR support, runs full screen exclusive and boot it and look in the video settings to see if your HDR calibration options are still there. If so, then you should be able to leave it on all the time.
 
Oct 27, 2017
166
Having just played the Resi demo, 100% these blacks are completely messed up, firstly you can see the HDR highlights are there, speculars are everywhere, the problem is those blacks, you can see that's not how they are supposed to be, from the very first cutscene, when you duck under the metal shutter, the blacks are jet black, then he moves around with the camera, and bang, like a light switch they go milky grey, but obscenely so, and again you can see all the speculars but with lessened impact because of the greys, I'm convinced this is a patch fix.
Yeah! That moment under the metal shutter is like going from OLED to an LCD of 2005, lol. That can't be right! Lowering the brightness of your TV helps but than you crush blacks in other areas, it's not ideal at all. I hope it's fixed it for the release.
 
Nov 8, 2017
102
Tbh resident evil looks quite good, and intentional. It gives a foggy look in most areas in the dark. The output looks comparable in sdr mode too. As soon as you can turn on a light switch, the black levels get deep and the image looks amazing.

The other games I've mentioned earlier never look right, and do not match the grading of their sdr output. Hdr should never look worse or have a lower dynamic range to sdr. Hdr is not just brighter whites, but also deeper blacks, more precision, less banding, and wider colour gamut support. The irony is that most games have increased banding and worse contrast in hdr - specifically farcry 5, rdr2, Assassin's creed origins and odyssey, tomb raider, and even pre rendered video in bfv & battlefront - just to name a few
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,873
Tbh resident evil looks quite good, and intentional. It gives a foggy look in most areas in the dark. The output looks comparable in sdr mode too. As soon as you can turn on a light switch, the black levels get deep and the image looks amazing.

The other games I've mentioned earlier never look right, and do not match the grading of their sdr output. Hdr should never look worse or have a lower dynamic range to sdr. Hdr is not just brighter whites, but also deeper blacks, more precision, less banding, and wider colour gamut support. The irony is that most games have increased banding and worse contrast in hdr - specifically farcry 5, rdr2, Assassin's creed origins and odyssey, tomb raider, and even pre rendered video in bfv & battlefront - just to name a few
It's very inconsistent though, two areas pitch black and foggy, depending on the view? That's not right or intentional, if it is then, that's an unbelievably bad grading.
 
Oct 26, 2017
8,105
the darkest paper white setting gives you a very similar image to the unadjusted SDR image (those SDR images just give you more opportunity to cursh and compress the blacks)

I personally don't see it as an error and it looks as I expect it to look, but it's certainly greyer (and often bluer).
There is the possibility there is some kind of gamma error in HDR, You can however adjust the gamma setting down on your TV and still retain the benefits of the HDR.
I can play the demo again and it's time to give this HDR another shot.

The paper white setting is that the first one (Max brightness (HDR) or the second one with the blue, white and red bars?

I assume it's the former, I need to set that all the way to the left? (darker) completely? Which makes the inner grey box completely visible.
 
Oct 26, 2017
5,053
the darkest paper white setting gives you a very similar image to the unadjusted SDR image (those SDR images just give you more opportunity to cursh and compress the blacks)

I personally don't see it as an error and it looks as I expect it to look, but it's certainly greyer (and often bluer).
There is the possibility there is some kind of gamma error in HDR, You can however adjust the gamma setting down on your TV and still retain the benefits of the HDR.

Pretty much this. Set the gamma on my tv to the lowest value and increased black levels and its significant improvement. For it not being purely black , i dont think its intended to have full deep blacks even if sdr allows it be that way.
Fyi this also improves hdr in other re engine games . I just push the brightness to the max ingame with max-brightness calibrated properly
 
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EvilBoris
Oct 29, 2017
4,042
It's very inconsistent though, two areas pitch black and foggy, depending on the view? That's not right or intentional, if it is then, that's an unbelievably bad grading.
Has there been any actual mapped testing of the HDR on the RE2 PC and PS4 Pro demo?
I guess maybe wait for the full game, it may be they they have amped up the style for that first area to channel the look and feel of the older games.
I can play the demo again and it's time to give this HDR another shot.

The paper white setting is that the first one (Max brightness (HDR) or the second one with the blue, white and red bars?

I assume it's the former, I need to set that all the way to the left? (darker) completely? Which makes the inner grey box completely visible.
Paper white is the red/blue bars. I have mine 3 from the lowest
 
Oct 26, 2017
8,105
Ok I'm playing it again and the difference is striking. The odd thing is, when you walk to the area with the women's restroom but go past it, don't enter it. There's a dead end, the contrast is perfect here.

Go to the area before trying to rescue the cop, that room is perfect in terms of contrast too. I wish it was like that everywhere because that looks good.
 
Oct 26, 2017
8,105
I guess maybe wait for the full game, it may be they they have amped up the style for that first area to channel the look and feel of the older games.


Paper white is the red/blue bars. I have mine 3 from the lowest
I've tried this but SDR still looks better to me, a big difference actually.

I'm inside one of the rooms now and it's dark and with HDR it looks washed out, grey and I lose a lot of detail on Leon. Then I go straight into the Xbox video settings, disable HDR (game still running) and I go back to the game and it looks so much better.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,199
Discovered an oddity with Resi 2 HDR when comparing the PS4 version and PC version.

On the PS4, I had to crank the peak brightness all the way to the max to get the calibration square to be barely visible. On the PC, I have to only go about 3/4ths of the bar to get the same result.

Don’t know which one is displaying correctly although I’d have to believe that the PS4 would be in this case. Will have to learn what amount of nits represent each step of the calibration!
 
Oct 26, 2017
8,105
This is odd as hell and this is also the first time this is happening.

I can't really get the RE2 demo to look right when I have HDR10 enabled on Xbox One X. But neither can I when I disable it and start the demo. However....

If I have HDR10 enabled on X, I start the demo and in the middle of the demo, without closing the demo, I go back to the X settings and disable HDR10. Then it looks really close to how you would expect these black levels to be. But I can't get it looking like this with HDR on or off right from the start.

Odd as hell.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,025
Yeah, confirmed earlier myself that this seems to be an artistic choice. Some rooms have perfect contrast, others have a foggy look. Don't know why they wanted it to look like this, but it very much seems intentional now.

EvilBoris Might I ask why you suggest to turn the Blue/White/Red way down? I trust your advice, but I'm curious why Capcom says to adjust it so the blue and red bars are equal size. And which bar should be the biggest that you then click three points on, blue or red?

Discovered an oddity with Resi 2 HDR when comparing the PS4 version and PC version.

On the PS4, I had to crank the peak brightness all the way to the max to get the calibration square to be barely visible. On the PC, I have to only go about 3/4ths of the bar to get the same result.

Don’t know which one is displaying correctly although I’d have to believe that the PS4 would be in this case. Will have to learn what amount of nits represent each step of the calibration!
What display you got? If it's an LG 7 series, it tonemaps down consoles as consoles don't send metadata, so the HDR is dimmed. PC does send metadata tho, so it's brighter.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,199
What display you got? If it's an LG 7 series, it tonemaps down consoles as consoles don't send metadata, so the HDR is dimmed. PC does send metadata tho, so it's brighter.
I have the TCL R617! If PC tonemaps, then that probably answers it! My set seems to tone map up to 4000nits before it starts clipping so that must be why I need to jam the nits up on PS4. Perhaps the peak brightness of Resi 2 is less than 4000 nits?
 
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EvilBoris
Oct 29, 2017
4,042
in the age of HDR devs really need to stop with the all white screens. every time i use a warp gate in god of war i am blinded
Yeah, confirmed earlier myself that this seems to be an artistic choice. Some rooms have perfect contrast, others have a foggy look. Don't know why they wanted it to look like this, but it very much seems intentional now.

EvilBoris Might I ask why you suggest to turn the Blue/White/Red? I trust your advice, but I'm curious why Capcom says to adjust it so the blue and red bars are equal size.


What display you got? If it's an LG 7 series, it tonemaps down consoles as consoles don't send metadata, so the HDR is dimmed. PC does send metadata tho, so it's brighter.
I’m not sure why they make the recommendation that they do beyond to perhaps being a throwback to older TVs and that 4000nit tonemapping thing .
But basically that bar is an HDR specific general purpose brightness slider.

The higher you set the peak brightness , the brighter it is trying to make you adjust the image, which in turn raises black levels (the brightness control in red Dead is essentially locking paper white and peak white at the same value and this issue was pronounced). The reality of it is that the main part of the image should be broadly the same regardless of what type of display you are on. Given that people are complaining of raised blacks, the obvious answer is to give instructions to make sure you do not artificially raise them further.

I’ll know more when the full game comes as 30 minutes of access (and wanting to play the game!) did not give me huge amounts of time to investigate fully
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,025
I’m not sure why they make the recommendation that they do beyond to perhaps being a throwback to older TVs and that 4000nit tonemapping thing .
But basically that bar is an HDR specific general purpose brightness slider.

The higher you set the peak brightness , the brighter it is trying to make you adjust the image, which in turn raises black levels (the brightness control in red Dead is essentially locking paper white and peak white at the same value and this issue was pronounced). The reality of it is that the main part of the image should be broadly the same regardless of what type of display you are on. Given that people are complaining of raised blacks, the obvious answer is to give instructions to make sure you do not artificially raise them further.

I’ll know more when the full game comes as 30 minutes of access (and wanting to play the game!) did not give me huge amounts of time to investigate fully
There's a trainer that allows you to permanently disable the timer, if you'd like me to send it to you.

So, am I suppose to make the blue bar big and then click it three points, or the red?
 
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EvilBoris
Oct 29, 2017
4,042
I have the TCL R617! If PC tonemaps, then that probably answers it! My set seems to tone map up to 4000nits before it starts clipping so that must be why I need to jam the nits up on PS4. Perhaps the peak brightness of Resi 2 is less than 4000 nits?
It’s 4000 nits.

Somebody in the thread that the NVIDIA driver pushes out metadata, which may affect that roll off or clipping point.

Depending on the metadata my display receives ( or doesn’t ) I have found there are 3 variations of clipping points and roll offs. 2 at 1000nits and 1 at 4000.
I’m sure that is the same for many displays
 
Last edited:
Oct 25, 2017
5,199
It’s 4000 nits.

Somebody in the thread that the NVIDIA driver pushes out metadata, which may affect that roll off or clipping point.

Depending on the metadata by display receives( or doesn’t ) I have found there are 3 variations of clipping points and roll offs. 2 at 1000nits and 1 at 4000.
Ohhhh, ok! Thanks for explaining!

A fun note I discovered with my specific set is that the correct HDR setting to use is one called “dark HDR” with calibration usually ending up at 4,000 nits. However, the second (of three) options, “normal HDR”, changes the PQ EOTF (by brightening/overshooting it) and calibrations instead end up at 1,000 nits. It really confused me when I first got the set since 1,000 nits is of course about where my set can display so I thought that option was the correct one.
 
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EvilBoris
Oct 29, 2017
4,042
Ohhhh, ok! Thanks for explaining!

A fun note I discovered with my specific set is that the correct HDR setting to use is one called “dark HDR” with calibration usually ending up at 4,000 nits. However, the second (of three) options, “normal HDR”, changes the PQ EOTF (by brightening/overshooting it) and calibrations instead end up at 1,000 nits. It really confused me when I first got the set since 1,000 nits is of course about where my set can display so I thought that option was the correct one.
The 1000nits one may be more appropriate, as the display is trying to fit more in if you select the 4000 nits version. I think my display actually applies more contrast across the image to make up for it, so the image looks punchier with a 4000nit tone map, but is actaully just dropping blacks down and increasing the luminance faster.

What you may find that games with no adjustable peak brightness may actaully look better for you with the other setting (as they’ve likely been configured on a display that is doing exactly the same type of thing that 4000nit setting is doing)
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,199
The 1000nits one may be more appropriate, as the display is trying to fit more in if you select the 4000 nits version. I think my display actually applies more contrast across the image to make up for it, so the image looks punchier with a 4000nit tone map, but is actaully just dropping blacks down and increasing the luminance faster.

What you may find that games with no adjustable peak brightness may actaully look better for you with the other setting (as they’ve likely been configured on a display that is doing exactly the same type of thing that 4000nit setting is doing)
I do prefer the brightness of the normal hdr setting, but it does also change the color saturation to a point where the image becomes oversaturated! I’ve seen HDR on other sets and the colors all match the dark hdr setting that goes to 4000nits. Yellows become orange and so forth! Shame becaus again I find the brighter PQ curve to be more enjoyable.
 
Oct 27, 2017
383
Does the X still have that raised gamma issue? Reason I ask, I played RE2 on both the X and the Pro. The Pro appears to have better contrast and a little more HDR pop. Perhaps is my imagination but the X looked a little more washed out.
 
Oct 27, 2017
137
I don’t know why everyone is calling the HDR in RE2 broken. It really seems like a deliberate stylistic choice. The tone mapping is changing all over the place as you jump between areas. Some areas you don’t get full deep blacks, others you do. But it is very hard lined and defined points where it changes. The options are HDR is selectively broken by room, or its deliberate style choice. This type of tone mapping has been done in games trying to set a specific tone for a while, this feels like more of that.
 
Nov 13, 2017
479
I don’t know why everyone is calling the HDR in RE2 broken. It really seems like a deliberate stylistic choice. The tone mapping is changing all over the place as you jump between areas. Some areas you don’t get full deep blacks, others you do. But it is very hard lined and defined points where it changes. The options are HDR is selectively broken by room, or its deliberate style choice. This type of tone mapping has been done in games trying to set a specific tone for a while, this feels like more of that.
Some areas of The Last of Us have the same "issue", I don't like grey blacks but it must be by dev choice so...