My Massive config Shootout *Long Thread is Long*
After pouring through about 12 different custom configs for Crysis, all of them disappointed me... some less than others.
I was pleased to see that my old config, Gaco's and kotlar's all stacked up favorably to the internet favorites such as HP's configs and the CCC config.However... I found that none were perfect and surprisingly enough, some were just downright hideous compared to what my own eyes perceive as a good looking config.
most of the problems I saw were (AGAIN!!!) related to poor SSAO settings, overblown HDR and after some fairly rigorous testing, the very seldom modified human eye settings. I can't stress how big an effect this had overall on the HDR and SSAO settings. It's like if the eye adaptation settings aren't JUST right, the HDR and SSAO, no matter how perfectly set they were before, do not look right.
So at this point in my tweaking and testing, you'll notice compared to other configs that mine has much more subdued SSAO and shadowing, much less HDR bloom and brighter areas that aren't exposed to direct sun.
The eye adaptation tweaking came into effect right after the first encounter at the dig site when the alien wakes up and freezes teh doctor, cut scene ends and you go outside and it's dark. It was PITCH BLACK... zero light.
Thinking that maybe the HDR just needed time to adjust, I sat and waited... and waited and 10 minutes later, still zero light.
Was it my config? I loaded config file after config file and discovered that every single one of them suffered from this total absence of ambient light.
Now, here's where my real life common sense kicks in and says "ok.. if it's a full moon outside and you're far away from artificial light... it's usually bright enough that you can see without a flashlight."
The only config I found that showed a little promise (though still very very dark) was HP's ultra high 1.3 config. I opened it up to see what it had that could be helping it and surprise, it was the only one that specifically addressed the eye adaptation settings.
So I printed those off and loaded back into crysis and started tweaking them until I could walk from inside the little excavation building that was lit up and go outside and have the eye adjust fairly quickly to the dramatic loss of light and still be able to play the game without the need for nightvision.
It worked amazingly well but my primary concern was now that this has been changed, how would bright daylight or dusk look? Would it be blown out and over contrasted? Would the light bloom be unbearable?
the answer was absolutely not. It looked even better than previous daylight testing. This was when I discovered that (to me at least) these tweaked eye adaptation settings made bright daylight look even better. Specicfically when you're under tree canopies that aren't receiving direct light.
The HDR bloom, SSAO shading, Vegetation shadows with the Terrain AO settings, etc.. they all just look "right" to me.
So with that being said, here come the comparison screenshots.
Please keep in mind that up until the harbor level, my config was constantly being altered at the various points of screenshot taking. Most notably, the Eye adaptation didn't get touched until that part I mentioned when it went to night time and the vegetation draw distance didn't get touched until the 3rd set of shots.
***NOTE, the Ultima Rage TOD mods are installed for this testing*** They can be installed with the CCC mod
All of the screenshots were taken with no AA and DX9 rendering And for bandwith sake, I didn't post actual screens. It's easiest to simply download them and flip back and fourth using a photo viewer (I like picasa myself).
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