HDR games analysed

DanteLinkX

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
2,898
You TV can do 450nits, but it does that across the whole screen at all times, so blacks will be very grey for you.

FFXV has that fixed 1000nit output in HDR so it makes sense it causes problems.

Other games that let you adjust the peak level (to the lowest) may look fractionally better with the HDR enabled, but I imagine it will be more hassle than it's worth.
Excellent, thanks a lot for the quick response, this is an awesome thread, the best I have seen in a while, really informative, I have had this doubt for so long and couldnt find and answer anywhere. Thanks again man.
 
OP
OP
EvilBoris

EvilBoris

Member
Oct 29, 2017
5,644
If that is a bright day there should not be those totally dark spots, right?
I had a look, those screenshots were taken with the brightness on the default setting and even with that we get a good range of contrast right from the darkest end from the scale up to the brightest.
It looks like it is moonlight in that picture, but it is actually daylight
 

E.T.

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,597
Man, thanks a lot. Digital Foundry should really think in hiring you, at least as a freelancer! Having such complimentary analysis for games would be awesome.
I've just bought an LG B7 55 and the X, and can just definitely says after many hours that HDR is a no way back once you taste it.
Theres some games that just look next gen, specially Gears 4. Simply cant believe how good that game looks. Easily the most impressive showcase of this generation by a wide distant, no matter the platform.
I thought Gran Turismo Sport was considered the prime example of HDR implementation?
 

E.T.

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,597
I think only because it looks nice and they've published a bit more information about the HDR side of their rendering which led everyone to believe it was somehow unique.
Somebody mentioned 10000nit output or something along those lines and the game being ahead of current mass market tv technology, may have been Kaz.
 

freeradical

Member
Oct 27, 2017
386
Again, thank you EvilBoris for this work.
Where does Tone Mapping fit into all of this? My limited understanding it is how the tv maps the nits that are higher than the peak brightness that tv is capable of?
 

Rob

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,188
SATX
Thanks for this. I'm new to HDR, so seeing the games that best offer it are great. Kinda tempted to rebuy FFXV for the HDR or buy Agents of Mayhem.
 
OP
OP
EvilBoris

EvilBoris

Member
Oct 29, 2017
5,644
Again, thank you EvilBoris for this work.
Where does Tone Mapping fit into all of this? My limited understanding it is how the tv maps the nits that are higher than the peak brightness that tv is capable of?
I think that's how most people understand it, but it's not just about what happens above the Tv's capabilities, it's what happens on the way to it.

This graphy below shows the measured outputs from an OLED TV, the yellow line represents the standard for HDR and the grey line represents what the tv is actually outputting.

What you see here is that as the TV approaches it's highest values, it actually starts to deviate away from the standard, tone mapping the image with a curve into that 700nit area , it does this to ensure that there is no sudden steps in the colours of brightness.



Another TV may tone map differently

Here is a samsung LCD

This one here behaves differenty, it starts of meeting the standard, then when it gets to 300 nits, everything becomes much brighter, this keeps going all the way up to it's max 1400 at which point it just hard clips.
This is an example when the TV is being fed 1000nit metadata.
It may well be that TVs also tone map differently depending on the metadata, I mean that is what it is there for.

 

freeradical

Member
Oct 27, 2017
386
I think that's how most people understand it, but it's not just about what happens above the Tv's capabilities, it's what happens on the way to it.

This graphy below shows the measured outputs from an OLED TV, the yellow line represents the standard for HDR and the grey line represents what the tv is actually outputting.

What you see here is that as the TV approaches it's highest values, it actually starts to deviate away from the standard, tone mapping the image with a curve into that 700nit area , it does this to ensure that there is no sudden steps in the colours of brightness.



Another TV may tone map differently

Here is a samsung LCD

This one here behaves differenty, it starts of meeting the standard, then when it gets to 300 nits, everything becomes much brighter, this keeps going all the way up to it's max 1400 at which point it just hard clips.
This is an example when the TV is being fed 1000nit metadata.
It may well be that TVs also tone map differently depending on the metadata, I mean that is what it is there for.

Thanks for the informative response.
I have started to see comments about Tone Mapping in 4K HDR TV reviews. Nice to learn how it actually applies.
 

Trekkie

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
925
I wish I could see what you guys see

But I don't

but I'm assuming it's probably just my tv

Sony XBR 850D

:shrugs:
 

borges

Banned
Oct 28, 2017
1,668
Argentina
I thought Gran Turismo Sport was considered the prime example of HDR implementation?
Gran Turismo is absolutely brilliant, I tried it on a friend's house on a PRO with an LG B7 as well. But Gears is more spectacular overall, thanks to the god tier weather effects when combined with a capable HDR TV and the X. It has to be seen on person to be believed. And I m not even a big fan of Gears, like at all, but damn at those graphic.
 

MAX PAYMENT

Member
Oct 29, 2017
2,876
So what would be the ideal settings for assassin's creed for a TCL 607?

Great thread, but I have some trouble fully understanding all of this.
 

DC5remy

Member
Jan 20, 2018
833

MAX PAYMENT

Member
Oct 29, 2017
2,876
So there is a whole other selection


Generally, as a rule of thumb

for each game

Brightness as low as it will go
HDR slider either
As high as it will go, or as high as it goes before the reference disappears.

You may way to raise the in game brightness slider up a little until you feel happy if you are playing in an illuminated room.
I'm getting some pretty amazing results with this rule of thumb. However, it doesn't seem to work on DICE games.
 

E.T.

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,597
Gran Turismo is absolutely brilliant, I tried it on a friend's house on a PRO with an LG B7 as well. But Gears is more spectacular overall, thanks to the god tier weather effects when combined with a capable HDR TV and the X. It has to be seen on person to be believed. And I m not even a big fan of Gears, like at all, but damn at those graphic.
Would love to see it!
 

Chaeotic

Member
Oct 25, 2017
280
Perth, Western Australia
Now THIS is a hell of a post EvilBoris. Congratulations first and foremost!

Early adopter here, so much so my entire system is lacking object surround sound pass through (HDMI 2.0a from memory). Thankfully that hasn't seemed to take off in the wider sphere as of yet, while HDR is finally starting to hit the masses. Horizon was the first title that made me really "wow" at the difference between the two image qualities, so much so my partner (a relative no idea on the subject), even commented on the difference. HDR, when implemented correctly, truly is another step forward for image quality. It's only going to get more and more prominent - as the general consumer updates their set to HDR capable ones, and the movie industry keeps mastering and pushing the "experiences", I think we'll see the video game industry do much the same. My only wish is that it's kept simple, HDR10 or bust - this Vision/HDR10/whatever else standard JoBlo decides to roll has only confused even the most hardcore TV enthusiast, so fingers crossed we see our industry try keep it as simple as possible.
 

Genetrik

Member
Oct 27, 2017
796
So there is a whole other selection


Generally, as a rule of thumb

for each game

Brightness as low as it will go
HDR slider either
As high as it will go, or as high as it goes before the reference disappears.

You may way to raise the in game brightness slider up a little until you feel happy if you are playing in an illuminated room.
Thank you. Changing it constantly for each game is exactly what I would never do. I believe I found a set up that is great with most games but also know that the current settings reduce with eg horizon the details on the moon.

Edit: you did mean the picture settings on the TV right and not the individual settings for the games (most of the time they only offer simple brightness changes, AC Origins being an exception)
 

zoukka

Game Developer
Verified
Oct 28, 2017
2,361
Great OP. I noticed the HDR mapping was way off in MoHu back in the beta. Good to know my eyes are still working :b
 
Oct 31, 2017
1,093
Paris, France
From what I understood from Dolby Vision (besides a peak that goes to the 10 000 nits for future proof or something) is that it ensures that the image you get on you BluRay 4K or VOD movie is exactly how they frame and colour it for Cinema. Artist vision stays intact. Something along those lines.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,450
United Kingdom
Digital Foundry was very impressed with GT Sport's HDR, seems to be one of the best HDR games yet and it does look amazing from what I've seen, so that would be a great one to check out.
 

Gowans

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,770
North East, UK
Ghost Recon does it super simply, it is locked at 1000nit and you cannot change anything in the image. The image adjustments literally don't work in HDR mode.

But it looks really great. It's a good example of how the actual peak values, metadata blah blah blah mean very little as to how the end product looks, but how it's moreso how the developers deal with the countless aspects of lighting and colour grading to function within a something as dynamic as a videogame.
Ah that explains it, Yeah its the detail in the forset and night time stuff that impresses me, especially when flying around.
 

Mifune

Member
Oct 30, 2017
437
What a great thread! Since getting a new TV a couple months back I've been obsessively toggling on and off the HDR settings in games to see the difference. And while some games looked better with HDR on, the difference wasn't all that notable, and in the case of Origins, the colors looked really washed out.

Well, thanks to this thread, I turned the in-game brightness way down and now it looks spectacular. So thank you. Never realized that was so important.
 

Betamaxbandit

Banned
Jan 30, 2018
75
Great post OP. From my personal exp, Gears has the most impressive HDR implementation ive seen on the X. (It also helps that it has an option to put HDR and SDR side by side for comparison.) For some reason Gears is the only game where the black output hasnt looked weird on my Samsung TV. In Tomb Raider, dark caves had a sort of banding / weird look when it was pitch black.
 

Schlomo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
485
Fantastic thread, very informative. Thank you!

Edit: and will HDR re-map mods for PC become a thing?
I've been wondering this too. Right now, it seems to be a big effort even for professional devs to implement HDR on PC, but I wonder if one day there will be HDR patches for popular older games (provided they use an internal HDR rendering pipeline, of course).
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,319
I notice a pretty large difference (for the better) in HDR-enabled games with my x800d. I know the peak brightness isn't great so I'm hoping this isn't some weird placebo effect.
 

Zappy

Member
Nov 2, 2017
3,194
I think that's how most people understand it, but it's not just about what happens above the Tv's capabilities, it's what happens on the way to it.

This graphy below shows the measured outputs from an OLED TV, the yellow line represents the standard for HDR and the grey line represents what the tv is actually outputting.

What you see here is that as the TV approaches it's highest values, it actually starts to deviate away from the standard, tone mapping the image with a curve into that 700nit area , it does this to ensure that there is no sudden steps in the colours of brightness.



Another TV may tone map differently

Here is a samsung LCD

This one here behaves differenty, it starts of meeting the standard, then when it gets to 300 nits, everything becomes much brighter, this keeps going all the way up to it's max 1400 at which point it just hard clips.
This is an example when the TV is being fed 1000nit metadata.
It may well be that TVs also tone map differently depending on the metadata, I mean that is what it is there for.

Wasn't the whole point of the OLED's HDR game mode that LG controversially introduced that the TV would tone map the entire range into its ~650 nit output range? Hence everything looking darker afterwards?

When I use HDR game mode on youtube videos I can see the difference between 1000 nits and 4000 nits. But not in HDR standard.
 

Pandy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,026
Scotland
Just want to say, that was a hell of an OP. Effort appreciated.

I'm still debating when to move to HDR. I've liked what I've seen on display TVs, but not upgrading my TV for a while, so the first opportunity will be a planned PC monitor upgrade. Very few sets with HDR, and even fewer that have other specs I was aiming for. Will just have to keep price watching and see if one of the better models drops into my price range.
 

Madmackem

Member
Oct 28, 2017
309
Great work op, the only one I disagree with is agent of mayhem, I thought it was pretty bad in hdr.
 

Madmackem

Member
Oct 28, 2017
309
From what I understood from Dolby Vision (besides a peak that goes to the 10 000 nits for future proof or something) is that it ensures that the image you get on you BluRay 4K or VOD movie is exactly how they frame and colour it for Cinema. Artist vision stays intact. Something along those lines.
I think Dolby vision allows tweaking per scene while hdr 10 doesn’t, I might be wrong though.
 

Ohto

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
558
Edit: and will HDR re-map mods for PC become a thing?
I've been wondering this too. Right now, it seems to be a big effort even for professional devs to implement HDR on PC, but I wonder if one day there will be HDR patches for popular older games (provided they use an internal HDR rendering pipeline, of course).

Re-Shade does something with HDR, been using it with ESO and got pretty good results.

Base ESO is washed out and muddied, but using Re-Shade let's you add colour.

When done with taste, it can be pretty awesome looking.

Last update made everything too sharp in my Re-Shade profile, I need to adjust everything again.
 

Petran

Member
Oct 29, 2017
1,629
Congrats EvilBoris for making this topic, as HDR is quite fresh and not only consumers, but even producers might not know exactly what they're doing.
Excellent way to quantify and measure too, as the results are easily readable and make sense.
Hopefully the tests are not a pain for you to run :)

I think that this kind of HDR analysis would be a great contribution to video games analyses like digital foundry / NX gamer / VG tech / candyland / etc
Maybe you should contact @grandmaster or Dark1x for starters

Thanks for the informative thread
 

Apex88

Member
Jan 15, 2018
1,428
Best HDR titles I’ve played are GT Sport, Horizon Zero Dawn and Ratchet & Clank.

GT Sport really does stand above the rest. It looks a different game with HDR.