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Half Life 2: Lost Coast HDR overview

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Sh0ck4 14th June 2005, 10:35 Quote
Yeah i thought the same thing, the chandelier on page 4 is like
Shadow_101 14th June 2005, 11:48 Quote
Wow I cant wait, it looks stunning! /hopes a gig of ram will do
webchimp 14th June 2005, 11:59 Quote
All this talk of over and under exposure - where exactly is the exposure setting on the human eye?

I thought the idea of FPS games was to simulate you walking around an environment, not walking around an environment watching through a video camera.

I've noticed in some games that you just can't see detail in shadowed areas of scenes unless you turn the brightness up to the point where some areas are too bright. The human eye doesn't work like this, only a small area in the centre is in focus and I guess this is where it takes its "exposure" reading from. So you can see detail in shadow on a sunny day, without the rest of your field of vision burning out. You can also see quite a lot in very low light, unlike games Doom 3, where the room is full of little lights, door switches, computer screens etc. but you can't see anything but these points of light, as if everything else were made of some magical light absorbing material.

By replicating the way a camera "sees" aren't they missing the point of First PERSON Shooter?

Just a thought. :D
rupbert 14th June 2005, 12:52 Quote
Fair point webchimp, however...

The same thing can be seen (though perhaps not as obvious) in the film industry. I don't think the intention has ever been to replicate what the human eye can see; there are simply too many interpretations...

For me the reason is to make the image appear more striking, producing a sharper degree of colour, tone and contrast. This helps create a richer, dense atmosphere which in turn creates an emotional response (fear, serenity etc)...

Nice article by the way :)
The_Pope 14th June 2005, 13:03 Quote
Quote:
So you can see detail in shadow on a sunny day, without the rest of your field of vision burning out.

I understand your point, Webchimp, but one thing to bear in mind is just how rapidly the human eye can adjust. Now, I don't want to start an argument about Exposure: I'm definitely not an expert, and at the end of the day, it's just a funky graphic technique.

But I think if you tried it, you would find the same thing: using a mask or something, open your eyes in complete darkness for a good 10 minutes or so. Then remove the mask outside in bright sunshine and see how difficult is it to see where you are going until your eyes adjust.

It's the same in reverse: if you're in your garden on a sunny day and you go into your garden shed which has no windows or lights, it takes time before you can see the shadowy detail because your eyes have been used to the bright daylight.

So, HDR is a way of simulating *really* bright light: sun glinting off a pane of glass, metal surfaces, water... if you download the video, you'll see that HDR Skyboxes are pretty funky: the day / twilight demo is way cool.

The video links are here: http://www.bit-tech.net/news/2005/05/01/hl2_hdr/
Hippo 14th June 2005, 15:47 Quote
Must admit those screenies look amazing, but I want to ask one thing...

if you look at the sun in a FPS with HDR do you then get a nice green blob in the middle of the screen ? :D :o
Firehed 14th June 2005, 18:11 Quote
green blob? you mean lens flare? If so, you do in Far Cry at least.

I'm rather pissed about this acutally. Valve has had it ready to a point where it could be patched into HL2 for a very long time, but is waiting until ATI's new cards that actually let you use it before it's released. Sure, they're partnered up, but nVidia 6-series users get shafted.

Regardless, games are getting impressive. I thought the texture for bricks in HL2 wasn't that stunning until I actually went out and looked at a brick wall. Turns out real life isn't too stunning either.
WilHarris 14th June 2005, 18:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firehed
green blob? you mean lens flare? If so, you do in Far Cry at least.

I'm rather pissed about this acutally. Valve has had it ready to a point where it could be patched into HL2 for a very long time, but is waiting until ATI's new cards that actually let you use it before it's released. Sure, they're partnered up, but nVidia 6-series users get shafted.

Regardless, games are getting impressive. I thought the texture for bricks in HL2 wasn't that stunning until I actually went out and looked at a brick wall. Turns out real life isn't too stunning either.

If you read the article, we've stated that Valve aren't waiting for ATI's new hardware, since it works fine with ATI's old hardware - you don't need SM3 for HDR. Whatever they're waiting for, it aint new ATI cards.
Firehed 14th June 2005, 19:26 Quote
According to a different article I read, they are. And it actually makes sense, unlike "something, but not ATi". Not saying you're wrong, I've just heard mixed things and that option makes the most sense.
Tim S 14th June 2005, 19:38 Quote
ATI mentioned this to us a while back :)

They're wanting Valve to release it asap ;)
Krikkit 14th June 2005, 22:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigz
They're wanting Valve to release it asap ;)
So's everyone else - more levels!
The_Pope 15th June 2005, 02:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firehed
According to a different article I read, they are. And it actually makes sense, unlike "something, but not ATi". Not saying you're wrong, I've just heard mixed things and that option makes the most sense.

It has been reported in a number of places that Valve are waiting for R520, that is true. I have asked for an official statement regarding the release date to clear things up, but I don't have a response just yet.

One thing you have to be careful of with "facts" on the internet is their source: with the numerous delays to Lost Coast, it isn't hard to make a leap and report "Oh, well, since ATI paid them $6m they've clearly requested Valve hold the game back for their next-gen card so they can put one over NVIDIA" - that seems logical enough, doesn't it? However, it is supposition that is not based on FACT.

Consider the following:

1) HDR works on current cards, as shown in Far Cry 1.3, and in Lombardi's own statement of "6800GT / X800Pro" min specs for Lost Coast

2) We're assuming that the code is complete - it may well not be, and developers often look for extra time for testing / polishing their code

3) 26th July is not a date that ATI have officially stated as the release for R520. We have heard rumours of problems & delays so signifigant that it would mean anything other than a paper launch in 6 weeks would be simple impossible.

4) If you think the delay is so ATI can show off their own SM3.0 part, how about the fact that a) it runs on SM2.0 and b) NVIDIA can not only do SM3.0 on their current card, but that their next GPU, G70, can too and plenty fast as well.

--------------------

All we know for FACT is that Valve are testing & tweaking the final system requirements, and have told us they will have some news "soon". Short of a cash payment from ATI, there is seemingly no benefit to Valve by artificially delaying the release. Throw in the suggestion that 26th July isn't even the correct date for R520, and the conspiracy theories point to Lost Coast being not just an entire 6 weeks away, but possibly even longer!

I hope you'll forgive me if I wait for the official word :)
The_Pope 15th June 2005, 08:19 Quote
Da Dego 15th June 2005, 13:51 Quote
:) Well then...that answers that.

Nice little article, Geoff...Oh, by the way, I like the caption for under the picture. ;)
The_Pope 15th June 2005, 16:13 Quote
Thanks - it's just a little corner of the site where we can have a bit of fun :)
AmiMoJo 16th June 2005, 18:29 Quote
One thing I have noticed with CG for games in general recently:

"emulating a camera's overexposure"

If it's a first person game, shouldn't you emulate the human eye, not a camera? My eyes don't overexpose :)
macroman 16th June 2005, 19:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmiMoJo
One thing I have noticed with CG for games in general recently:

"emulating a camera's overexposure"

If it's a first person game, shouldn't you emulate the human eye, not a camera? My eyes don't overexpose :)

They would if I was to flash at you.
The_Pope 17th June 2005, 03:09 Quote
Actually, I found a GREAT demonstration video buried in the Shacknews comments for my article:

http://www.shacknews.com/ja.zz?id=10252270

Download the 23Mb video, and about 1 minute in you will see a demo of the Exposure Control I mentioned. In fact, most of the video is a perfect example of what is possible with HDR - anyone interested in learning more should *definitely* download this video.
CyberSol 19th June 2005, 02:27 Quote
I'm glad to be living in today's gaming world!!!
Bindibadgi 19th June 2005, 11:15 Quote
I love the fact it's a FREE expansion! Kudos to Valve for not charging like they did with Opposing force, blue shift, etc But it does make me wonder how long it will be? Literally a couple of levels perhaps. That itll become like Doom3 did for ID - just a public advert for lisencees what their source engine can do.
P2D 19th June 2005, 13:30 Quote
that old guy, looks ****ing awesome...!! (not in a gay way)..lol
I was playing around on hl2 the other day and my mum came in, and when alyx vance was talking to gordon, just after she rescues him at the start my mum said "Wow what movie is that your watching" she was gobsmacked when i told her it was a game.. cant wait to see Lostcoast then :o
Ex] 8th August 2005, 00:10 Quote
i want to ask something that i didnt understand. hdr has 7 pixel stages of light or unlimited(and sdr has 2?)?
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