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Half Life 2: Lost Coast level (with HDR!) released

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 28, 2005 4:24:13 PM

Very pretty, complete with director's comments if you like the option.

Well worth the download, lads...


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October 28, 2005 8:15:07 PM

Yup, you can download & launch it through the new Steam interface.

Very cool for a free bonus add-on. I hear they plan to add HDR to counter-strike maps soon, as well.
No plans to add HDR to HL2 itself, though. Curious.

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October 29, 2005 12:25:38 AM

So what are their recommendations for using HDR, I was hoping I could get by with a x800xl. Now I just have to get that copy from my brother, what a wusy!

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BunnyFusion!!! It looks like there is no stopping bunny now.
October 30, 2005 2:12:17 PM

So where is this level in the story/time line in relation to HL2? Or is this the level that's going to bridge HL2 and HL2:Aftermath?

Oh you touch my Tralala
October 30, 2005 4:44:11 PM

It's a tech demonstration of the HDR features and some other enhancements of the source engine. I don't think it is part of the HL story line at all.

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October 31, 2005 1:23:32 PM

From what I understand, it's a level that never made it to HL2, but they've packaged it as a stand-alone freeman adventure.

You're sucked out of the "limbo" that the g-man puts you in for safekeeping (between missions), and when you're done the mission you're transported back to limbo.

Hardware requirements; even the Radeon 9550 would work with HDR on this tech demo, it only requires SM 2.0

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November 2, 2005 1:02:07 AM

actually, is HDR dependant on hardware? I though only newer cards have this feature, or 'supports' HDR? Is HDR software based?

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November 2, 2005 8:31:05 AM

go goog it!!! quik quik quik!!! :D 
November 2, 2005 12:57:00 PM

Are we there yet?

Oh you touch my Tralala
November 2, 2005 2:14:10 PM

HDR requires SM 2.0 hardware... Radeon 9550 or above, Geforce 6200 or above.

Not sure if the GeforceFX's can handle it, they might.

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November 2, 2005 7:28:58 PM

it did...and then it went like ding ding, followed by a dong later!!! swear i heard a ramalama ali baba in there somewhere too! :D 
a b U Graphics card
November 2, 2005 11:36:47 PM

Quote:
actually, is HDR dependant on hardware?



Depoends on the type you use. OpenEXR (ILM's version) requires FP16 blending and as such can only be done on NV40/G70/R5xx hardware.

However there are other forms of HDR out there, and they have been supported on older cards like Cleeve mentioned. FXs can support the older syle of HDR, just not very well (like 1/4 speed of equivalent R9xxx series card), even the NV40s had trouble.

Quote:
I though only newer cards have this feature, or 'supports' HDR? Is HDR software based?

That the OpenEXR method of HDR, HL2 actually supports both methods, as does SplinterCell3. HDR can be done in software but at a terrible performance hit (except on a server). Remember also that HDR is a lighting support method it is also applied to 2D photos. If you were to do the effect from FartCry in software you could expect to see framerates in the seconds per frame, not frames per second. Also effect can be mimiced with software/hardware workarounds. While it's not supported in FartCry you technically could achieve the same lighting effect with an R3xx/4xx series card with multiples passes (would require 3 to match the same levels (actually at FP24), however that would be a drastic performance hit, where an X850XT would likely perform as fast as a GF6600GT or worse for the same segment (rememebr that's considering that this is a game that usually has higher framerates on the X8xx series to start with). In order to make that work properly would require a fair amount of additional work from the developer, not worth really it in that case.

HDR is a tricky issue, and there's far more BS out there than fact, but really the main thing to remember is that it's up to the developer to decide what they will support.

Technically both the X1800 and GF7800s can support higher than FP16 HDR, but no one is going to go to that step because that would shut-out the GF6xxxs.

IMO the best solution for gamers is that of SplinterCell and HL2 where you have a choice, however the best solution for developers is probably sticking to a single format, which is likely to be OpenEXR for the foreseable future.


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