Using SpecialK in native HDR games without altering HDR?

It’s amazing to introduce HDR to games that don’t support it, but I can’t get games with native HDR support to display correctly whenever SpecialK is working. It looks as if it interferes with the image at least in some games, even if the HDR widget is set to “none”. Soon as I disable SpecialK for AC origins for instance, the great of the base game is working correctly again, but then I lose out on the stutter addressing features of SpecialK which I need.

Is there something I’m missing? Thanks

There are two possibilities:

  1. You have bit depth enhancements enabled. You can disable them in HDR mode tab.
  2. The game was running in fullscreen exclusive and now is running borderless windowed with flip mode. You can change the flip mode checkbox in SpecialK settings.

Fullscreen exclusive games can use HDR10 metadata and/o PQ HDR mode rather than scRGB. This sometimes looks different to very different in games.

For example, see Mass Effect Legendary Edition in HDR mode. It is naturally rendered in PQ, but won’t use that mode unless it’s in fullscreen exclusive, instead converting back to scRGB, which will change primary handling as well as brightness and color peaks as metadata is not sent to the screen.
The metadata not being applied even when fullscreen optimization is active is probably an nVidia thing.

PQ mode (10-bit) is possible to force in SpecialK configuration file and should work still with borderless windowed, though not necessarily the same as in fullscreen exclusive. (Option Use10BitSwapChain=true)
Most games do not use PQ mode for output or if forced, do not detect it correctly.

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Flip model supports fullscreen, so there’s no problem there.
The game uses NvAPI for HDR though, and there’s a huge problem there.

For this game, it’s best to turn its HDR off and use SK’s instead. You can also use HDR10 Passthrough tonemap mode.

Open the HDR widget, select scRGB, then select Tonemap=HDR10, set whitepoint and maximum luminance to 80.0

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