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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

Lost Planet 2
NVIDIA: 3D Vision Ready, Good
Tridef: No profile

Although NVIDIA does have a profile for this title, which is moreover 3D Vision Ready, they only give it a rating of ‘Good’.

Two factors explain this. The first is linked to its brightness. Lost Planet 2 is the anti Bioshock! You get dark characters on an extremely light, often white, background, which makes for lots of ghosting.

High brightness levels on the planet EDN III make for extreme contrasts which makes the game susceptible to ghosting.

Note also that the scenes between the missions, in 3D, use another cinematic effect, the presence of objects in the foreground very close to the camera. Although the effect is ok, these scenes tend to make you squint because of the extreme contrast between objects.

NVIDIA (and Tridef) can’t do much to combat this type of effect.

With no profile, Lost Planet 2 can’t be played in 3D with the Tridef solution.

Mafia II
NVIDIA: 3D Vision Ready
Tridef: Profile (DX9)

Nothing to comment on here as support is excellent in both solutions.

The game is particularly good in stereoscopic 3D. There are no colours side by side which contrast too much with each other. A very good experience.

Contained contrast, the stereoscopic experience is excellent.

Mass Effect 2
Tridef: Profile (DX9)

Another game based on Unreal Engine and which doesn’t support anti-aliasing natively, the developers of Mass Effect 2 have made major efforts to give a cinematic rendering, with motion blur and depth of field and grain effects, in other words everything you should avoid for 3D.

If you disable all these effects, the game is still unplayable because of the lighting effects added in 2D. Here both the NVIDIA and Tridef solutions are affected with identically unplayable results.

The lighting is in 2D, its position is relative to the sight and not the scene.

There is however a solution from Tridef using Virtual 3D. Remember, this option attempts to recreate two images from a single rendering using the Z-Buffer. With this process, 2D textures are much less problematic and positioning is then okay. Is this a perfect solution? Yes and no, as while Virtual 3D resolves the 2D lighting problem, it creates others. By trying to move objects to create perspective, the software must recreate those parts of images “hidden” by the perspective of objects in the foreground, a bit like the ‘Content Aware’ option in Photoshop CS5. As the algorithm used by Tridef has to work 60 times a second, it’s bound to be less precise and creates artefacts. If you absolutely must play this title in 3D, it’s the least worst of the solutions.

The line of the door is deformed and around the head, you can see slightly false attempts here and there to reconstruct the door behind.

We’ve isolated four details which show the problems with Virtual 3D. Firstly, the edges of the image, represented by the first two. The software tries to recreate the diagonal on the right by extending it, while the lighting motif moves off to the right. Around the character, once again the software imagines what’s behind the character with more or less success. Although these faults are very visible on a still, in gaming it is certainly less disruptive than lighting in two dimensions.

Medal Of Honor (2010)
NVIDIA Not rated
Tridef: Profile (DX9)

In 3DTV Play at night, all the lighting effects are wrong in the latest version of MOH, making the game unplayable.

Different rendering for each eye.

With Tridef, which does have a profile, the surrounding lighting effects are OK, but those projected by the traffic lights aren’t. They stay in the foreground. Also, when you try and take a screenshot, the game crashes.

Metro 2033
NVIDIA: 3D Vision Ready
Tridef: Profile (DX 9), not supported in DirectX 11

The only graphics concession advised by NVIDIA is the removal of depth of field specific to DirectX 11. The game is okay with the NVIDIA solution, but there’s a lot of ghosting due to the high contrasts, which means that the gaming experience isn’t as good as we’d have hoped.

Tridef (again) doesn’t support the game in DirectX 11.

Resident Evil 5
NVIDIA: 3D Vision Ready
Tridef: Profile (DX9/10)

Unlike Lost Planet 2, the rendering here is excellent, with lower contrasts. There are no problems with the NVIDIA solution.

With the Tridef solution, the fog and smoke doesn’t appear at the right depth, a bug currently being investigated by Tridef.

The relative position of the smoke in comparison to the house, diverges too much from one to the next (Tridef).

Note also that the game uses “fast” auto-focus mode by default, which means that the virus’ in the menu backgrounds are rendered totally off-centre. Fixed 1 mode corrects the problem, as with F1 2010.

STALKER: Call of Pripyat
NVIDIA: Recognised as STALKER: Clear Sky
Tridef: No profile

The NVIDIA profile requests that the lowest quality rendering mode and static lighting be used and that anti-aliasing isn’t used. In these conditions, stereoscopy is okay, but the visual quality is really compromised.

Visual quality with static lighting is too compromised.

Tridef has a generic profile that can be used for DirectX 9 games. We created a profile for the latest version of STALKER, which is playable but with the same visual concessions as on the NVIDIA solution. A game to avoid in 3D.

World in Conflict
Tridef: Profile (DX9/10)

The NVIDIA profile requests that shadows and bloom be disabled.

In practice this doesn’t make any difference as the game is unplayable, like HAWX, because of the lines around units displayed in two dimensions. This problem is common to both solutions and linked to the game itself. Unplayable.

The points which represent the units are fixed in comparison to the screen, independently of the scene.

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