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Topic: HDR in games

Posts 1 to 20 of 24

Jorjk

Hello! I got a good 4k HDR10 samsung TV (1 year ago), and I recently installed the HDR update for Destiny 2. The difference is amazing, much much more noticeable than any other game. This got me wondering wether the Destiny 2 implementation of HDR was sublime, or for some reason my TV was not showing real HDR on other games.
So which games you think benefit most from HDR? My eyes only spotted the Destiny difference.

I can talk for hours about TLOU and Bloodborne
PSN: jorjk

Mergatro1d

Is the HDR patch live on Destiny 2? Might have to revisit it in that case.

Horizon was amazing in HDR, as were Uncharted, GT Sport and Assassins Creed Origins.

Mergatro1d

PSN: mergatro1d

Jorjk

@Mergatro1d yes it went live on tuesday, check the brightness settings. When you turn HDR on/off in destiny you will find a major difference. With other titles (like the UC4, Horizon and Origins, I failed to see such difference)

I can talk for hours about TLOU and Bloodborne
PSN: jorjk

BAMozzy

I agree with @Mergatro1d - HZD, Uncharted (4 and Lost Legacy) and ACO are great - don't know about GTS as I don't own it but its regarded as one of the best implementations of HDR and 'future proof' too as the standards of HDR in displays improve - most TV's have 'poor' HDR (compared to the mastering standards and ultimate goal) and few only just pass the 'MINIMUM' standards. This should mean that as manufacturers improve their HDR performance, GTS should also look better.

Other games worth looking out for are Infamous (especially first light as the Neon at night looks great), Last of Us, Ratchet and Clank (looks amazing) and even ME:A (particularly the planets - the 'forest' one looks fantastic) has good implementation. ME:A was slated, its story wasn't the best and facial animations can be 'laughable' but the worlds looked great and I spent 100hrs beating the game and Side Quests. Might be worth picking up for £10-15 if you like RPG's.

A pessimist is just an optimist with experience!

Why can't life be like gaming? Why can't I restart from an earlier checkpoint??

Feel free to add me but please send a message so I know where you know me from...

PSN: TaimeDowne

Jorjk

@BAMozzy how noticeable is the difference in uncharted, origins and horizon? I find it mind boggling that I see a huge difference in destiny, and practically nothing with other titles.
Ps: my samsung is 2016 KS series, HDR10, supposedly one of the "good" HDR displays

I can talk for hours about TLOU and Bloodborne
PSN: jorjk

BAMozzy

@Jorjk I noticed quite a significant difference in those games. I admit though that I am playing Origins on my Project Scorpio and not the Pro. In Horizon for example, the colours are more vibrant - reds look more 'red', sunsets look more rich. Also things like fire glow more and when you hack a Tallneck, the electric glow is more intense. If you have the 'ultimate' armour too, the light on these is more intense as well. Overall the picture is brighter and richer in colour. I do find 'dark' scenes with 'neon' type lights have more impact (look at Lost Legacy on the rooftop with the Pink Neon lights as an example - another good example is Infamous: First Light as Fetch as Neon powers and its set mostly at night). The same is true for Uncharted 4 - brighter and richer colours (not 'every' colour is 'richer' btw but I notice it more in the greens and reds). The overall scene is 'brighter' but as a lot happens during 'daytimes' its maybe a bit more subtle than a 'dark' scene with Neon glowing.

If I go from HDR to SDR, I do find that Reds tend to look more 'brownish' for a while until I acclimatise. In Horizon, there are some reddish plants that look more brown when in SDR. I was watching a video and thought a game was trying to copy Horizon but looked flat and almost ugly by comparison - then I realised it was H:ZD - just in SDR...

A pessimist is just an optimist with experience!

Why can't life be like gaming? Why can't I restart from an earlier checkpoint??

Feel free to add me but please send a message so I know where you know me from...

PSN: TaimeDowne

RogerRoger

HDR can be "hit" and "spectacularly miss". As others have already stated, Horizon: Zero Dawn and Uncharted 4 / The Lost Legacy are great, but recent releases like the L.A. Noire remaster and Star Wars: Battlefront II have glaring issues.

In L.A. Noire, HDR somehow makes everything look like plastic (and not just because it's a remaster of an old game). Not only that, but you can't activate and use the in-game Photo Mode (if that sort of thing appeals) if it detects that you're using HDR... but there's no option to disable HDR in-game, you have to close the application and disable HDR in your console's settings, then restart. So very weird; never seen that in any other game.

Star Wars: Battlefront II has pre-rendered and compressed cutscenes and loading screens, meaning that the additional brightness afforded by HDR reveals a truckload of ugly compression artifacts, particularly in darkness or shadow (and I don't know if you're aware, but a lot of Star Wars takes place in the inky blackness of space). I can imagine the same issue in any other games that use pre-rendered cutscenes... in fact, I think I recall one or two moments in the story campaign of Injustice 2, which also supports HDR. In the actual gameplay of Star Wars: Battlefront II, things look great, but a lot of the deliberately-vibrant environments like Naboo end up looking a tad washed out.

It's definitely something that will improve over time. Right now, HDR support still feels like a bit of a novelty, and a lot of new releases this year don't even have it (Sonic Forces and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus are the most recent examples I can think of).

"Another happy landing."

kyleforrester87

Just a reminder for best effect to manually crank brightness up to 20 on the ks7000 when playing HDR content.

kyleforrester87

PSN: WigSplitter1987

BAMozzy

I didn't notice any issues with Star Wars: BF2 - although I am playing on the Xbox (if that makes any difference). If anything, the increased resolution may well be the reason I haven't noticed any issues but it could equally be that I just wasn't paying enough attention to these cut-scenes.

Edited on by BAMozzy

A pessimist is just an optimist with experience!

Why can't life be like gaming? Why can't I restart from an earlier checkpoint??

Feel free to add me but please send a message so I know where you know me from...

PSN: TaimeDowne

RogerRoger

@BAMozzy If somebody tells me how to insert a picture into a forum post, I'll show you what I mean, as I took a screencap during a cutscene.

"Another happy landing."

BAMozzy

@RogerRoger Even if you could take a screen shot of the HDR and upload it, the chances are none of us would be able to see 'exactly' what you mean. Our displays are not HDR enabled and therefore wouldn't get the contrast or the wider colour gamut information anyway. I doubt you could take a 'HDR' image and send that to someone with a HDR screen as most of the HDR data would not be saved.

Set up of both HDR options in the 'Settings' menu of your PS4, in-game settings (if available) and TV settings are very important to get the most out of HDR. Setting some things to 'Auto' for example in the PS4 and on your TV don't always give the 'best' results. Even though the KS is able to cope with Full RGB for example sometimes, the PS4 (in Auto) will send either Full or Limited but the TV will not 'automatically' switch between full or limited. Its generally the PS4 that doesn't send the correct information - ie its sending limited but the TV is registering as a 'Full' signal. Its a known issue.

As @RogerRoger states, HDR can be 'hit or miss' but often, when it misses, its due to not setting something correctly. Some games offer 'sliders' to set up HDR properly to your TV's capability and like I said, sometimes 'Auto' doesn't select the 'best' option. With the KS you also have to manually tweak the settings for the full HDR benefit. I keep Colour Space on Auto as that does seem to switch between the standard and wide colour gamuts but I have to adjust the Backlight brightness manually. Dynamic Contrast and Smart LED are personal preference - both I keep on Low for both SDR and HDR. I am sure I set my PS4 to deliver full RGB and set my TV to full as well rather than have both on Auto. You could pick limited on both too and get just as good image but they MUST both be on the same otherwise you get washed out or crushed blacks images - depending on which is full and which is limited.

The TV is the easiest in general to ensure its offering the best HDR, next is the games themselves - if they have HDR settings, the PS4 settings are a bit more complex and don't necessarily do what you expect - like Auto sending a 'limited' RGB but the TV picking that up as 'Full' - Auto 'Should' register if the TV is capable of receiving a Full RGB and send that but doesn't work properly. Its been over a year since I checked out U4 and didn't spend long as I had beaten the game. I haven't played H:ZD for months either - not after getting the Platinum and I am yet to start the DLC as ACO is grabbing my attention at the moment. If you have a KS TV though, you should have access to HDR content on youtube - DF have some HDR game video's and the HDR channel has some too - inc 1-2 games like H:ZD and Last of Us. The Last of Us is good as it shows side by side the difference HDR makes. Initially, before the side by side, you can easily be forgiven for not noticing a difference - its when you see the Side by Side that the difference becomes much more obvious.

Wide colour gamut for example doesn't mean 'every' colour looks saturated - faces look generally the same. Often its only 10-15% of an image that uses these wider colours. Same with 'bright' highlights. Rarely is everything brighter but you notice things like a brighter and richer looking sky instead of a more even and paler sky. Things like the LED lights on the Robots glow more (this is also where you may notice 'richer' reds too) and fires look richer, brighter too. It really does depend on the scene but if you were to look at a 'map' of where the wider colours and brighter parts are on an image - sometimes these don't occupy more than 20% of the image - the other 80% isn't much different. This obviously varies on a scene by scene basis and HDR isn't just about 'brighter' images either as they can add more detail in dark areas too. It really depends on the scene, the lighting etc. You wouldn't expect peoples faces to look overly bright or saturated just because you are in HDR so these probably won't change much. You may get a bit more 'sparkle' in snow as crystals catch the light or the 'electrical' sparks and arcing looks much brighter and more intense. Not everything is 'cartoony' bright like R&C.

In Destiny 2, its not always obvious either but go into the caves on Nessus (the mission on Nessus in the CoO for example) and the difference is clear. Roaming Mercury for example, the materials you can collect (seeds or whatever they are called) really Glow and the Vex milk looks much brighter but the opening mission where the tower gets destroyed is 'amazing' in HDR because it mostly at night which makes 'brighter' things appear much brighter.

A pessimist is just an optimist with experience!

Why can't life be like gaming? Why can't I restart from an earlier checkpoint??

Feel free to add me but please send a message so I know where you know me from...

PSN: TaimeDowne

RogerRoger

@BAMozzy Apologies if I misled the conversation. I wasn't criticising the HDR itself, I was criticising Star Wars: Battlefront II for using pre-rendered, compressed cutscenes. The additional detail and image quality granted by HDR merely exposed the flaws in the cutscenes moreso than a lower resolution output would have. The screencap I took is merely of a particularly bad moment in a cutscene featuring a Star Destroyer emerging from shadow - even without brightening the image, you can see the clear layers of compression artifacts where the white glow from the vessel's hull radiates into the dark surroundings. It becomes worse and more noticable when you look at it on increasingly-better screens, but it's a flaw in the game itself.

It's like when you see a row of parked cars at night, and they all look wonderful and shiny, but then you take a torch and walk along the row and notice that every other car has small amounts of rust damage on the edges of the wheel arches (and no, I have absolutely NO idea where that analogy came from... please rest assured that your vehicles are safe from my night prowling... wait, that sounds even worse, I'll shut up now).

I'm sure I'm not alone in appreciating the detail in your response; I'm always surprised by the number of people who say they can't see a difference, only to have everything set to "auto" or indeed, as I discovered with my new Sony 4K television earlier in the year, never change the default "HDR off" setting when getting a new screen out of the box, or plug things into HDMI port 1 when it's only HDMI port 2 that's HDR-enabled. It's relatively new technology for many and the level of tweaking required can be a block. For many, it comes down to a personal preference and those settings all need to be tweaked manually to get the most out of any given experience. Pointing people in the direction of what key words to look for is always good, because it can get intimidating and frustrating to get lost in the menus of a new gadget (especially on a birthday or Christmas Day when you just wanna gosh-darn play your new game).

The examples you give from Horizon: Zero Dawn are definitely some of the greatest HDR moments to look out for. I arrived at a campfire at night, on a mount, and the combination of LED blue glow from my mount's eye and the orange flames of the campfire, against the darkness and across the edges of Aloy's character model, was breathtaking. I used Photo Mode to take several screencaps of the scene and none of them do the actual moving image of the moment justice, and it was the same when I recently played The Frozen Wilds and couldn't stop raving about how gorgeous it all looked... a friend of mine playing on a 1080p screen and a base PS4 played it a few days later and came back with "yeah, it was nice, but it wasn't as mindblowing as you made it sound". It can be difficult to convey the impact without somebody actually sitting there and viewing the image with you... like trying to describe the taste of salt without using the word "salty", you just have to experience it for yourself to have any viable frame of reference to comprehend it.

"Another happy landing."

Jorjk

BAMozzy wrote:

@RogerRoger It really does depend on the scene but if you were to look at a 'map' of where the wider colours and brighter parts are on an image - sometimes these don't occupy more than 20% of the image - the other 80% isn't much different. This obviously varies on a scene by scene basis and HDR isn't just about 'brighter' images either as they can add more detail in dark areas too. It really depends on the scene, the lighting etc. You wouldn't expect peoples faces to look overly bright or saturated just because you are in HDR so these probably won't change much. You may get a bit more 'sparkle' in snow as crystals catch the light or the 'electrical' sparks and arcing looks much brighter and more intense. Not everything is 'cartoony' bright like R&C.

This changed everything, I started looking for those small details, and I see the difference. I always expected a screen wide difference, now it makes more sense.
I tried it in horizon.
Note that in destiny, there s so much color in the UI and in the environment that the difference for me is almost everywhere. Destiny really feels like a different experience with HDR.

Thank you for helping

I can talk for hours about TLOU and Bloodborne
PSN: jorjk

BAMozzy

@RogerRoger I wasn't criticising your comment but merely agreeing that some HDR isn't necessarily always going to be 'significantly' better or as well implemented as others. It varies on a per game basis and even on a scene by scene basis. Coming up to a 'campfire' in H:ZD in the middle of the day isn't going to make the HDR of the fire or glowing elements of the mount stand out as much as at night. No different from real life in that aspect.

The KS series has all 4 ports HDR and HDCP2.2 enabled so picking the right port isn't necessarily going to affect every one - LG's two have all ports full 4k HDR enabled but Sony do only have two ports out 4. Set up for 4k HDR isn't as simple as 'plug and play'. In the past, our TV's only had differing resolutions. Whether it was SD or HD, they still used the same colour gamuts, the same max brightness levels etc so it was often a simple case of 'plug and play'. At most you may have had to look around to find how to enable 'Game mode'. With HDR though, you cannot use the same settings because the colour gamut and brightness levels are different. The colour bit depth is different two - although not sure if SDR games can be 10bit - it may depend on whether its scaled down when output as most TV's were only 8bit (some with dithering to simulate 10bit) or left for the TV to scale down - majority of film/tv is 8bit only anyway.

Then you have TV's which can cope with a full RGB or just limited. As most TV's are (or were) built primarily to the standards of Film/TV content - therefore 8bit and 'limited' RGB - the consoles were always built to deliver on these standards. Game devs would also tone map their games to these standards and why games either target 30 or 60fps (because 60hz is the max refresh rate of TV's. I know some TV's may offer 240hz (for example) but they only display up to 60hz content - they interpolate the missing frames to create the illusion of a faster frame rate. Even with 120fps, it would only display every other frame (60fps) and interpolate the others meaning that the 'real' frame in between is dropped and a interpolated frame inserted making it less accurate - anyway that's a bit off topic.

Because the standards were all the same regardless of whether it was a STB, DVD, Bluray or game, it was a simple 'plug and play' set up. In recent years, we are plugging many more devices in to our TV's. 4k has a higher 'encryption' standard (HDCP2.2) so that needs to be taken into consideration (not all ports have HDCP2.2) and HDR uses a different standards, it needs to be set up correctly. You also have to understand that some people maybe plugging their Pro/X into a 1080p SDR 8bit TV or into a PC monitor so the consoles need settings for these too. Not every 4k TV has HDR either. Like I said we also expect our TV's to cope well with SD (DVD's and 'freesat' channels - most HD set top boxes handle the upscaling of SD content before sending to TV anyway), HD (Blurays, consoles, STB's) and now 4k (SDR and HDR consoles, STB's etc) as well as double up as a PC monitor and either offer all streaming services or external device to deliver streamed content. Point is, these TV's are now being asked to work with a much more varied set of devices and standards than ever before. So its not just consoles that need 'settings' to work with a varied set of TV's and capabilities but also TV's and of course the games need 'settings' too to adjust to get the 'best' image on whatever display and standards you have.

I know you probably knew that, but the information is meant for all to read and maybe explain why things aren't as simple anymore

A pessimist is just an optimist with experience!

Why can't life be like gaming? Why can't I restart from an earlier checkpoint??

Feel free to add me but please send a message so I know where you know me from...

PSN: TaimeDowne

RogerRoger

@BAMozzy I know you weren't criticising, and I'm sorry if I seemed overly defensive or explained myself in too much detail. I do that sometimes!

As you rightly pointed out, HDR as it currently stands isn't plug-and-play. It's complicated for the layman and needs to be simplified and unified before we start to see a standard upheld across the board (and communication to the consumer needs to be clearer, too - the PS4 Pro does 4K but not quite but it actually is, even though it isn't, whereas here comes the Xbox One X-S Scorpio or whatever they're calling it this week... yeah, especially in the run-up to Christmas, people are naturally gonna get confused and that's just with the console, let alone the tellybox).

Television has changed so radically in the past couple years. Gone are the days of a couple inputs and a VCR. Modern televisions are essentially giant tablets, many running on Android with apps and patches and firmware updates and it shocks many who walk out of the electronics store with a screen under their arm because the looping clip of Blue Planet looked amazing through the store's window. I've only had my Sony 4K TV since May and two firmware updates between then and now has not only changed the operating system layout, but also enabled new features relating to picture and sound quality. Great that you can gradually implement improvements, but painful if you have limited time and just wanna get stuck in to hunting robot dinosaurs. I think that's where a lot of people get frustrated.

You've summed up everything clearly and no, I didn't know some of the points you made, so I'll be diving back into the settings of my TV when I'm back home on Monday and referring to your posts. Thank you!

"Another happy landing."

themcnoisy

HDR is too bright and gives me a head ache.

Forum Best Game of All Time Awards

Multiplat 2018: Horizon Zero Dawn
Nintendo 2017: Super Mario Bros 3
Playstation 2016: Uncharted 2
Multiplat 2015: Final Fantasy 7

PSN: mc_noisy

Jorjk

@themcnoisy i get that too when I switch from playing a game in SDR to HDR, but a couple of hours in and I get used it. Thats why when I start a game i tend to finish it before starting a new game. Each game seems to affect my eyes differently and requires some sort of conditioning.

I can talk for hours about TLOU and Bloodborne
PSN: jorjk

themcnoisy

@Jorjk looking at really high brightness screens for prolonged periods of time will effect your eyes. It looks absolutely brilliant though.

Forum Best Game of All Time Awards

Multiplat 2018: Horizon Zero Dawn
Nintendo 2017: Super Mario Bros 3
Playstation 2016: Uncharted 2
Multiplat 2015: Final Fantasy 7

PSN: mc_noisy

themcnoisy

@Jorjk
"Staring at a flashlight in a dark room is annoying, right? But standing in a room with the lights on isn't. Your eye adjusts to the average amount of light hitting your retina. A dark room with a bright TV is still, on average, dark. So your iris is wide open. But the parts of your retina getting hit by the light from the TV are overwhelmed. They fatigue, causing the tired, scratchy feeling.

In general, the way to prevent this is reducing the amount of light hitting your retina. You can do this by turning down the overall light output of the TV, or, counterintuitively, increasing the light in the room."

I just read that in a great article. I was playing wipeout and a streak of sunlight appeared and looked amazing. 2 minutes later I had a pounding headache. Same thing happened with Ratchet and clank but this was over the course of half an hour. Im going to switch a lamp on while im gaming at night.

Forum Best Game of All Time Awards

Multiplat 2018: Horizon Zero Dawn
Nintendo 2017: Super Mario Bros 3
Playstation 2016: Uncharted 2
Multiplat 2015: Final Fantasy 7

PSN: mc_noisy

Jorjk

@themcnoisy oh I always play with the lights on, thanks for the insight

I can talk for hours about TLOU and Bloodborne
PSN: jorjk

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