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SnelleEddie's SweetFX (updated with 3840x1080 comparison images)


SnelleEddie

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EDIT: THESE ARE OLD SETTINGS. VIEW FINLAND COMPARISON IMAGES BELOW FOR LATEST VERSION.

Testing my new SweetFX settings. Be sure to click the image again to view it in full resolution.

Key changes:

- reduced saturation, especially on vegetation

- increased brightness to let the sun really shine

- increased contrast for deeper shadows

- sharper textures and image quality


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EDIT: THESE ARE OLD SETTINGS. VIEW FINLAND COMPARISON IMAGES BELOW FOR LATEST VERSION.

Below is a preview of Greece.

I could increase the brightness even more, but it would negatively affect all night stages as well as Monte Carlo, as this would make certain stages basically undrivable as the reflection of the sun on snow becomes too strong. I have to find the right balance between all variables to make sure each country and all of its stages are as good as they can get using one SweetFX preset. That's not an easy task, considering some countries and their time of day rendition are very different to other countries. For example, Germany at midday is much darker and a lot more saturated than Greece using the same time of day setting. Reducing saturation too much in Germany could make Greece almost colorless. That's a no go.

I tried to get rid of the soft, cartoonish look by adding some contrast to vegetation, roads, spectators and objects like cars, poles and houses. Shadows are stronger, adding depth and realism. I made textures a lot sharper and used some additional anti-aliasing. Landscapes and objects in the distance become a lot sharper this way and gets rid of that grey/blue distance fog. Great!

Images are now in 2560x720 format for a better comparison. Click them twice to view them in full resolution.

Next stop: Wales. An even bigger difference.

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EDIT: THESE ARE OLD SETTINGS. VIEW FINLAND COMPARISON IMAGES BELOW FOR LATEST VERSION.

Wales preview.

Really pleased with the atmosphere these settings create. No matter what weather condition I choose, this country always looks fantastic and is a real pleasure to drive in. One of my favourite rally locations. Beautiful.

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I'll be honest, the changes are so small that most of the time you would be hard pressed to notice them. Also you could get this result by simply tweaking brightness, gamma and contrast in the driver settings. Those don't take FPS unlike SweetFX.

Nice try, just not enough, or should I say there's nothing really wrong with colours in DiRT Rally.
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Thank you for your feedback.

Please have another look at my first post. Notice the difference in brightness and color tint between the second (Germany) and third image (Finland). Both are taken using the "midday" setting. Germany looks like it's late afternoon rather than midday. The sky is clear but the sun is underpowering. Can't deny that. And no, it's not because of the dense trees. There are no trees blocking sunlight at all. The whole road is illuminated by the sun. Something is not right.

If you think there's nothing wrong with colors, try these examples:

- Waldabstieg (Germany) at midday: First section of the stage: driving through the dense trees and bushes: too dark, too much of a yellow tint to be "midday". Open spaces after exiting the dense trees: grass, bushes and trees are too colorful. They are too yellow and bright. On top of that, something is off with the shading on these. It looks as if the center of most trees don't even have shadows/ambient occlusion. The leaves in the middle are of the same color/contrast as the outer leaves. It looks very cartoony.

Also, too much contrast on the 2001 Subaru, for example. The color is just too strong, especially in darker areas.

- Greece at midday: too dull and bland, especially using cockpit view. It makes everything look washed out. There are almost no colors. I've been twice to Greece now and I know what the flora looks like. Same for the afternoon setting: too much contrast, too dark. Brown/orange tint is way too strong.

And yes, monitor settings have been checked and tweaked to get the best looking image.

Could you perhaps point me to the brightness and contrast settings? I can only find a gamma slider. If you were talking about the graphics card(s) driver settings, that's a no go. Other games etc. are fine and would only be negatively affected by tweaking those settings using DiRT Rally as a reference point.

Thanks!

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Thank you for your feedback.

Please have another look at my first post. Notice the difference in brightness and color tint between the second (Germany) and third image (Finland). Both are taken using the "midday" setting. Germany looks like it's late afternoon rather than midday. The sky is clear but the sun is underpowering. Can't deny that. And no, it's not because of the dense trees. There are no trees blocking sunlight at all. The whole road is illuminated by the sun. Something is not right.

If you think there's nothing wrong with colors, try these examples:

- Waldabstieg (Germany) at midday: First section of the stage: driving through the dense trees and bushes: too dark, too much of a yellow tint to be "midday". Open spaces after exiting the dense trees: grass, bushes and trees are too colorful. They are too yellow and bright. On top of that, something is off with the shading on these. It looks as if the center of most trees don't even have shadows/ambient occlusion. The leaves in the middle are of the same color/contrast as the outer leaves. It looks very cartoony.

Also, too much contrast on the 2001 Subaru, for example. The color is just too strong, especially in darker areas.

- Greece at midday: too dull and bland, especially using cockpit view. It makes everything look washed out. There are almost no colors. I've been twice to Greece now and I know what the flora looks like. Same for the afternoon setting: too much contrast, too dark. Brown/orange tint is way too strong.

And yes, monitor settings have been checked and tweaked to get the best looking image.

Could you perhaps point me to the brightness and contrast settings? I can only find a gamma slider. If you were talking about the graphics card(s) driver settings, that's a no go. Other games etc. are fine and would only be negatively affected by tweaking those settings using DiRT Rally as a reference point.

Thanks!

If there's a problem with a "colour tint" on one stage, it usually means on other stages it's gonna be a different colour that will be the problem. I had a similar issue while making SweetFX settings for Need For Speed World, a game that had two colour tints that changed from too blue or too greeny depending on the section of the map. My point is, while you can improve one country, the other will feel off.

I can easily agree that the Ambient Occlusion and the general shading of the trees leaves a lot to be desired, however for an outdated engine that it is, they're still holding up well. The only improvements that you can do is sharpening and improving ambient occlusion, everything else can be achieved without losing any FPS.

You do have a checkbox in the driver settings that allows you to switch between default and edited settings. Whenever you want to play DiRT Rally, pop up the driver, switch it to edited, launch the game. Once finished, change back. Takes less than 10 seconds. You can do it while the game is loading as well in its windowed mode (Alt+Enter to switch between fullscreen and windowed mode).

My point here is, if the difference isn't obvious on the first look (and it isn't) the performance impact isn't worth it. Problem with this engine is that it doesn't like when ambient occlusion is being forced into it, same with driver based anti-aliasing or anisotropic filtering. Or maybe that problem only happens on the nVidia side, who knows.

So just like before, it's a nice work there, but just not enough to really make a difference.
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Looking back to the images I posted earlier, I have to agree that the difference is hard to see. If I open the images with Windows Photo Viewer and quickly change between the one with SweetFX disabled and the one with SweetFX enabled, the difference is very noticable.

Below are a few comparison images using different weather presets in Finland. I tried to mirror one image horizontally to create a better comparison. I have also increased the saturation as I was not happy with the previous settings.

Special thanks to steel89ita for the Summer in Finland mod!

ALL IMAGES REUPLOADED IN 3840x1080 FORMAT

CLICK MIDDLE OF IMAGE FOR LARGEST VIEW AND BEST COMPARISON METHOD

Finland comparison 1: morning, overcast

Finland comparison 2: morning, overcast

Finland comparison 3: afternoon, clear

Finland comparison 4: afternoon, clear

Finland comparison 5: midday, sunny

Finland comparison 6: midday, sunny

Finland comparison 7: morning, rain

Finland comparison 8: morning, rain

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  • 1 month later...

No, unfortunately there is no way of separating these, except for turning SweetFX off if you prefer driving with chase cam or when viewing a replay for example.

These settings were actually made for cockpit view, as the difference in brightness, contrast and saturation is huge compared to external view. I really wish it wasn't, but thankfully there is SweetFX.

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Night shots update.

Adjusted color levels to get rid of the blue tint that would occur at dark/black areas. Very glad I was able to figure this out without messing up something else. It's really a matter of trial and error, rinse and repeat. I am very pleased with the results so far. Finally it captures that real night atmosphere, as it should have been from the start. Needless to say, night driving has become a real challenge now. Fantastic experience.

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My slight problem is the blacks are a little too black. It's okay on some of the darker night stages since there is less light, but on the brighter stages or daytime some areas are too black. That being said, I do like the fact that it will hit black, but seems to me like contrast could be lessened a little bit? It's like driving in PCars in daytime and I cant see the dials because light doesn't reach there and it shouldn't be black.
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I see. I'm more or less thinking the same. Sometimes it looks just right, sometimes it's too much. The problem is that lighting in this game is very dynamic, and it's almost impossible to create the right settings for each condition: sunlight, shadows, daylight, nighttime. Not giving up, but it's driving me nuts at the moment. I'll make a slightly less darker version and see what I can come up with. Thanks for the feedback.
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