Special K v 0.11.1 has made significant changes to its HDR processing, and while I think it’s more suitable now than ever to just set the Peak Luminance Slider to max and call it mission accomplished, if you are willing to put in a little bit of work tuning things the picture is much more capable of “popping” than ever.
Where Did The Actual Guide Go?!
That info is out of date, and you’re better off ignoring it. A revised version of this guide will be released before Special K v 0.11.1 is.
Draft Revision to Calibration Guide
Terms and Settings Explained
|Paper White||Controls mid-tone luminance
+ Parts of the scene dimmer than this receive minor desaturation
|Middle-Gray Contrast||Adds or subtracts contrast from typical flesh-tone content
+ Lowering will increases the dynamic range, but decreases contrast
|Bypass sRGB Gamma||If your game appears absurdly dark, it probably uses sRGB gamma
@ When Special K encounters an sRGB SwapChain in HDR, it will give you a
|[Reset]||Resets the currently selected HDR Preset to the software default
+ Said default often changes between releases
These control luminance response when processing HDR
- No tonemap is applied, only luminance gets scaled from SDR source to your target luminance
- No control over saturation or middle-gray contrast is possible in passthrough
- Passthrough tends to over-saturate and over-brighten, but … some people really like that
- Applies a modified ACES Filmic tonemap
- Very slightly dims the scene
- Also applies a small desaturation
- To counter-act the dimming and desaturation: tweak middle-gray and saturation
- Use only in games that are native HDR to begin with
- Intended to analyze HDR quality in games, but has some potential for image adjustment
You may apply a small tweak to a (Native HDR) game’s Paper White level using this
- Special K v 0.11.1 has disabled all of the render pass remastering options by default, since that was a source of many compatibility issues.
HOWEVER, remastering is important for image quality and, in some games, required for the UI.
- VRAM Allocation Statistics for Remastered Render Passes
- Ratio of Passes that Could have been Remastered to those that Were
With these two additions, you know:
A. How many, if any, render passes each option is responsible for
B. How much VRAM you are on the hook for by remastering
The only gray area that remains with remasters, is how much performance impact they have.
Remastering -DOES- have a performance impact, but it is difficult to measure. You will have to figure this out on your own, unfortunately. The underlying SDR -> HDR process w/o remastering has virtually no performance overhead.
Tips and Tricks (SK v 0.11.1 Edition)
Special K v 0.11.1 introduces global default INI value support, and that has a lot of potential in HDR.
Have you dialed-in a really good calibration and wish you did not have to do it again, or could use it as a starting point for other games in your library?
Special K v 0.11.1’s got your back!
To define default HDR values,
- Create Documents\My Mods\SpecialK\Global\default_SpecialK.ini
- Place select INI tidbits from the game you just configured in default_SpecialK.ini
If using a local DLL (e.g. dxgi.dll) to inject Special K, the default INI is called default_dxgi.ini
Default INI that will Enable HDR in all Games Automatically:
(how good an idea this is, is up for debate)
[Render.DXGI] UseFlipDiscard=true [Render.OSD] ;HDRLuminance: 1.0 = 80 cd/m^2, 9.375 = 750 cd/m^2 HDRLuminance=9.375 [SpecialK.HDR] scRGBLuminance_=18.75 scRGBGamma_=1.0 ToneMapper_=1 Saturation_=1.0 MiddleGray_=1.25 Use16BitSwapChain=true AllowFullLuminance=true Preset=0
That works for any other aspect of Special K configuration as well, so if you wanted SK’s framerate limiter everywhere, that is how you would do it.
Applying Default Values to a Game Already Played:
Press and Hold: Ctrl + Shift while starting the game
Press [Reset Config]
Gold at the End of the Text
Special K v 0.11.1 (Release Candidate):