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Report: Gaming on a 3D TV, NVIDIA 3DTV Play and AMD/Tridef 3D
by Guillaume Louel
Published on December 23, 2010

F1 2010
NVIDIA: Fair (detected as Formula 1 Racing)
Tridef: Profile (DX 9,11)

The release notes for the 260.89 NVIDIA drivers released at the same time as the game do show the addition of a Formula 1 game, called “Formula 1 Racing” (possibly F1 Racing Championship, a Ubisoft game dating from 2000, or its predecessor F1 Racing Simulation, 1997?). The very recent F1 2010 from Codemasters is detected as such but stereoscopy didn’t work. F1 2010 uses the improved version of the Codemaster in-house engine (Ego V1.5) already used in Dirt 2 (V1.0) and the rendering for the right eye is violet here.

F1 2010 isn’t currently supported by NVIDIA.

The case with Tridef is original. Firstly, the menus in 3D diverge too much to the point where you can’t reconcile them as a single image. In the game, everything seems ok until you come to a sequence of curves with the stands appearing in the distance. Autofocus then kicks in, changing perspective. This makes you want to turn the wheel full lock to compensate. The problem is easy to sort out. You just have to disable autofocus and return to Fixed 1 mode and the game becomes perfectly playable, including in DirectX 11 (patch 1.01 required). Better still, Fixed 1 mode corrects the menu problem too. We reckon Tridef highlights its autofocus technology too much. Sure it helps Tridef to differentiate itself from NVIDIA but it also sometimes needlessly spoils the first impression you may have of their software.

Extreme divergence due to Tridef’s autofocus. Removing it sorts out the problem.

Fallout 3
NVIDIA: Excellent
Tridef: Profile (DX 9)

No real problems with the NVIDIA solution here, though there is a flashing at the beginning of the game, just after the birth of your character in the “Gene Projection” screen (the head of the character and the menu only appear in the left eye). You should just disable 3D on this bit of the game.

There are sometimes bugs in the game menus or intermediary mini games. Here’s the character choice screen in Fallout 3 with NVIDIA.

With Tridef, there aren’t any problems in the above screen but the autofocus is more of a problem. The attempt to determine convergence automatically, in the corridors, is often off. We think choosing Fixed1 mode makes the gaming experience much better.

Far Cry 2
NVIDIA: Excellent
Tridef: Profile (DX 9), not supported in DirectX 10

NVIDIA advises reducing post processing to low, shadows to medium and removing the Bloom. Once these settings have been changed, the rendering is improved but the game doesn’t look as nice.

Tridef unfortunately only gives DirectX 9 support. With all settings at max, there are visual bugs on the water. If you configure the game with the recommendations made by NVIDIA, the rendering is okay.

NVIDIA: Not rated
Tridef: Profile (DX 9)

In spite of its popularity (though very demanding on the CPU in its PC version), GTA IV has been completely forgotten by NVIDIA and doesn’t even have a profile indicating it isn’t supported. Rendering errors are everywhere (different lighting for each eye, darkened buildings and so on) and the game is unplayable.

The building behind the crane appears for a second time in blue near the top. Lighting is inexistent (NVIDIA).

Tridef support is announced but we picked up on problems a plenty in terms of lighting, the most obvious being the rendering you get in the morning with a completely different result for each eye. Unplayable.

A different lighting for each eye making Nico’s adventures unplayable too (Tridef).

NVIDIA: Excellent
Tridef: Profile (DX 9)

Another Codemaster game, GRID (Race Driver GRID), is supported by NVIDIA with two recommendations. The first one, standard, is the removal of Motion Blur, the second being the removal of the shadows effects. Without shadows, the game looks flat but it’s too uncomfortable to play it with.

With the Tridef solution, shadows are in fact always disabled (an original idea), even when you activate them in the game. You can see an interesting effect on the mini map below at the bottom on the left of the screen. The content is displayed very slightly behind the frame of the mini map (which is fixed and in the foreground), giving a very successful depth effect.

Look at the position of the road at the bottom of the circle on each eye. It’s different, giving a 3D effect (Tridef).

Tridef: Profile (DX 9), no DirectX 10 support

NVIDIA recommends removal of HDR and the DOF effect and these recommendations can also be applied in Tridef, which doesn’t support DirectX 10 mode.

In practice this doesn’t matter as two other common bugs make HAWX unplayable. The lines around targets are systematically in 2D, while the sun isn’t at the right depth. As things stand, we strongly advise you to avoid playing the title in 3D.

All the lines are at the same depth, independent of their distance from the target. NVIDIA pushes this plane back to limit the problem but you still can’t play in any comfort.

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
NVIDIA: Not rated
Tridef: Profile (DX 9)

Although the latest episode of Tomb Raider (only available via Steam on PC and DLC for consoles) isn’t recognised by the NVIDIA driver, this isn’t a problem as the game works fine. There is a profile for Tridef.

In both cases, you have to remove volumetric lighting as it only appears on one eye. We found stereoscopic 3D to be a real addition to this isometric arcade platformer.

Different lighting on each eye, a fault you can easily correct by removing volumetric lighting.

Left 4 Dead
NVIDIA: Excellent
Tridef: Profile (DX 9)

Used by NVIDIA for the first 3D Vision demonstrations at CES 2009, Left 4 dead is particularly convincing, notably on exterior scenes.

There are also no notable problems with Tridef support. Note that NVIDIA recommends removal of the grain effect, something to bear in mind for all games with this option, as we saw a little higher up.

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