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Author Topic: Graphics settings... HDR? AA? Bloom?  (Read 2204 times)
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Clay
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« on: November 17, 2006, 09:48:31 PM »

So, with my new gaming rig, I've finally been able to play some games that I've wanted to play for a long time.  What I am confused by are the graphics settings.  For instance, in Oblivion, the option to use HDR is available, but I can't have it on at the same time as Antialiasing.  What's up with that?  Which of those is preferable?  High Dynamic Range = brighter, more saturated colors, right?  Why is this incompatible with AA?  Which is 'better?' 

And then there's bloom...  I know what it does and I like it sometimes, but I wonder: does it exist to cover up graphics that otherwise don't look great?
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2006, 09:53:08 PM »

I'm not that much of an expert but:

HDR and AA are incompatible on certain cards I think- Nvidia maybe.  I think this has been "solved" in the 8800 series though.  AA eliminates jagged edges.  At lower resolutions (1024x768 for example), jaggies can be very apparent so AA is really nice.  At higher res, jaggies aren't as obvious so you might prefer HDR instead at that resolution. 

Bloom is sort of a poor man's HDR.  HDR is designed to simulate the effect that light has on your eye so as enter the outdoors from a dark room or cave, you are initially blinded a little bit and then things come into focus.  The same applies if you look up at the sun and then down, etc. 
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Kobra
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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2006, 10:22:02 PM »

As a rule I turn HDR and Bloom off in all games.. I totally hate the effect, especially in Oblivion where it blinded you and overexposed almost everything you were looking at.

HDR/Bloom is the Lens Flare of 2005/2006.
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Knightshade Dragon
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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2006, 10:35:43 PM »

HDR on, bloom off.
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2006, 10:38:26 PM »

HDR > AA for me, vastly.  But it's mostly up to personal preference.  Try 'em out for a while and see what you like.  HDR and AA are incompatible on most hardware due to complicated technical reasons that you don't want to hear about.  It's solved on some ATI cards with a driver update.  What Kevin says about bloom is correct.  It is largely meant as an approximation of HDR for people who lack the hardware to do true HDR.
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Clay
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« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2006, 11:04:38 PM »

Ok, thanks for the advice.  AA works fine for me on everything except for Titan Quest.  After 5 minutes running with AA, it locks up, which bums me out.  Those 5 minutes of Titan Quest with AA are beautiful.  biggrin

Oblivion looks great...  I think I have AA on, but no bloom or HDR.  I'll have to play around with the settings some more. 
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Calvin
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« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2006, 03:33:56 AM »

HDR if possible, bloom and AA if not.
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« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2006, 03:19:45 PM »

Lens flare was 2005?  That was the original Playstation's 'thing' for all of it's existence.  My friend used to make fun of it for using it so much.
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Glycerine
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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2006, 04:24:27 PM »

AA on for me, HDR and Bloom off because they look horrible.
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Windows95
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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2006, 05:00:29 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on November 17, 2006, 09:53:08 PM

I'm not that much of an expert but:

HDR and AA are incompatible on certain cards I think- Nvidia maybe.  I think this has been "solved" in the 8800 series though. 

Depends on the implementation.  Source engine games (Half-Life 2) support both HDR & AA currently, but Oblivion and Far Cry do not.  Don't recall all the details, but the Source engine calculates things differently whereas the other two require hardware features that nVidia doesn't yet uspport.  Iirc there was a patch released by ATI for Crossfire systems that allow AA & HDR in Oblivion, but I've got nvidia cards so can't say for sure.

HDR is hit or miss for me.  Sometimes it looks nice, sometimes it's just distracting and I turn it off.  It certainly gives my video cards a run for their money.  I've got two 7900's running in SLI mode and even they can choke sometimes with HDR, AA at high resolutions.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2006, 05:03:06 PM by Windows98 » Logged

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