Lighting And Dazzle Effects
HDR rendering was the most important step in lighting the environment; without the shining effect, the reflections on silver and gold are practically impossible. HDR rendering blurs light surfaces and strong sources of light. The sun lights up the heavens and metallic objects reflect light. Hollywood also uses these effects specifically, for example, when the camera operator looks directly into a spotlight, the sun sets or special effects are created using computer graphics. The potential for this was recognized, and new cameras capture the HDR-R effect of nature much better than before.
The shining effect can look very different from one game to another. Oblivion gets the best results with silver and gold. Rainbow Six Las Vegas uses the UT3 Engine with DirectX 10. Spotlights and neon lighting dazzle in an unpleasant way, the scenes appear milky and garish. Blacksite Area 51 (UT3 Engine) also lights very heavily, although you do spend time walking through a lot of desert which does almost excuse the excessive lighting effects. Only Mass Effect appears to have the UT3 Engine under control. It reduces the dazzle effect to a pleasant level. Assassins Creed (DirectX 10) is very convincing as well. Sun and candles have a golden yellow shimmer and the graphics are almost photographic.
One minor side-effect of direct sunlight is lens flare, which appears as tiny circles of light in your field of vision. In older games, the sun and dazzle effects are painted and simulated as background graphics. In newer games, the circles of light wander around your field of vision, and even occur when the light source is slowly hidden by an object.