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Does anyone else think HDR is insanely overrated?

Last response: in Video Games
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September 3, 2007 2:56:05 AM

I'm wondering if I'm the only one that thinks HDR effects in most games look pretty terrible. I've played about half a dozen games to date with HDR (on two different cards that support it). Honestly I've ended up turning it off almost every time. It always seems to make everything look very "plastic" and over-exposed.

I started playing Bioshock recently and couldn't help but notice the exact same problem with the HDR effects in it. The game looks much better to me with it turned off. I'm just wondering if there is something I'm missing here? I'm sure the technology has potential, as I remember playing a game that had an "HDR level" slider. With it on about 1/3 - 1/4 the normal setting, it looked a little better than having no HDR. But as it stands it seems like HDR needs a lot of work to be worthwhile.

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September 3, 2007 4:07:48 AM

i like it oblivion bioshock hdr is unnoticable to me
September 3, 2007 8:31:24 AM

As already said it does make Oblivion look much better, I also found it to do a bit of good in Half Life 2 when they released the update, though I do turn it off when playing Counter Strike. Mind you if it is not used properly the effect does to more harm than good, so it’s all on the developer to do a good job of incorporating it.
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September 3, 2007 10:49:50 AM

it can be annoying, since you can be blinded! but I like it when possible, (try glass claymores in oblivion)
September 4, 2007 3:12:21 PM

When implemented it's fantastic and adds a great sense of depth..
see Motorstorm.
When implemented poorly it just bogs down the system and makes a distracting muddling of the image.
September 4, 2007 5:58:41 PM

yep, it will be better to have the slide setting to select "less HDR"

For me, most of games that use HDR exaggerate it a bit and all seems way too shiny or overexposed.

Fine tuning FTW!
September 4, 2007 10:51:05 PM

I think its cack. Even in Oblivion it just made things look uglier in my opinion, and as someone else has said, puts unneccessary strain on the system.
September 5, 2007 6:19:48 AM

Have you seen the HDR in the source engine... It looks REALLY good. But in other games it looks crap.
September 5, 2007 8:39:29 AM

HDR is terrible and pointless.
September 5, 2007 8:31:37 PM

Were the 2 cards used Nvidia and ATi? I wonder if one makes it look more tolerable than the other. OR just better.
I read somewhere that Nvidia gets it right whereas ATi does not. OR does it even matter?
September 5, 2007 9:33:23 PM

its been tested with some tool somewhere(look on google), apparantly the 8800 gives better HDR than any Nvidia card, and any ATI card at this moment and time, although the newest ATI card beats all the Nvidia cards under the 8800.

personally i think the HDR in CS:S is terrible makes the dust in de_dust look bright orange and horrible, in nuke its like watching a light show. In bioshock i didnt notice it that much and thought it looked great, in Oblivion its ok in bright indoors. i quite liked it in Ghost recon although it makes the game look unrealistic, things in real life dont have a glow around them.

if you look around you can find the options you need to change in the config files of most games to turn down the HDR to make it more realistic.
September 7, 2007 2:46:58 AM

HDR Lighting makes a HUGE Difference on my Laptop (Everex XT5000T, 256MB Dedicated) when playing Bioshock, or Oblivion. I don't notice any slowdown on the computer, except when running full specs on the BioShock Demo, but its barely noticeable.

The HDR lighting effects in BioShock makes the game look REAL, every individual block, water droplet, or anything else, has a perfect shine and graning effect to it. Drop the HDR, and the game looks...meh still nice, but I want the BEAST to struggle with a game once and a while!
September 7, 2007 6:30:21 AM

I've heard that LCD monitors and laptops have issues with HDR (ghosting, blurriness etc.). Those displays could make it look different than it is supposed to. I have a CRT and haven't had the same issues that I've been reading about... so I would have to say that "NO I don't think HDR is over-rated". Possibly incorrectly used sometimes. OR just over-hyped and prematurely released on the world as soon as it could be implemented, for a marketing gimmick.
I personally notice a difference with and w/o HDR.
Serious Sam 2 has pixellated effects with ATi cards that I can see myself, Supreme Commander too. I know that with Nvidia cards this pixellation is not present. I don't mind though. I play Supreme Commander with all settings maxed and HDR on my left monitor and watch cartoons on my right monitor at the same time with no problems. Something I don't think Nvidia cards can do. "small compromise"
I wish I could have an Nvidia card in one slot and an ATi card in the other and switch back and forth for certain games with certain HDR implementations/differences. ALSO the whole AA in games w/HDR enabled too is awesome with ATi cards. In Oblivion esp. I read that Nvidia cards can not do it.
September 8, 2007 2:22:50 AM

All Geforce 8 series cards are capable of using HDR+AA.
September 8, 2007 9:43:56 AM

Flakes said:
its been tested with some tool somewhere(look on google), apparantly the 8800 gives better HDR than any Nvidia card

eh?
January 27, 2008 5:51:34 PM

ive definatly read about it... check google lol... i cant be arsed got a CSS match to play.
January 27, 2008 6:31:23 PM

i like hdr...but as someone above said, it's all in how the developer utilizes it. If you are being blinded every time you walk by a light source, it's being overdone, and I have seen instances like this.

Anyone know if Crysis uses 'hdr'? I know they have some kind of pupil-dilation mimicking effect, but not sure if it's full HDR. Looks good whatever it is!
January 28, 2008 8:21:18 PM

rayzor said:
i like hdr...but as someone above said, it's all in how the developer utilizes it. If you are being blinded every time you walk by a light source, it's being overdone, and I have seen instances like this.

Anyone know if Crysis uses 'hdr'? I know they have some kind of pupil-dilation mimicking effect, but not sure if it's full HDR. Looks good whatever it is!


Crysis is using HDR but as been programmed along with the shader effect. By changing the shader quality, you would also enable or disable HDR.

In my opinion, although very taxing, HDR is a must in gaming. But as mentioned in this thread, it all comes down to how the developers program it. Games should have an option to enable/disable HDR to improve performance of those with lower-end rigs.
January 29, 2008 2:42:11 AM

I think HDR adds a great touch. I like it in Dark Messiah. I think it is very noticeable in that game.

Alex makes a great point. Any feature is only as good as the developer efforts.
It's my opinion that a lot of games are rushed to market and we never really unleash the full capabilities of our hardware as a result.

Both ATI and Nvidia have awesome tech demos, yet where are the games that take graphics to that level?

It's well within current capability...this I know.
January 29, 2008 7:29:04 AM

Flakes said:
ive definatly read about it... check google lol... i cant be arsed got a CSS match to play.



But you do have time to dig up this mid 2007 thread?

Odd fellow....
!