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8Mikey
21st May 2006, 15:59
Yes, another "I can't see the hidden" thread...but how about approaching it from a technical stand point...
First things first, LOVE the mod!
So, I've been trying to experiment with some of the Advanced settings under Video to help see the hidden a little better...but I figure there has to be some expert knowledge out there, rather than my hit-or-miss changing settings method.

- We know that Shader Detail HAS to be set on High (right?)
- What about Model and Texture? Would lowering these help any in making the hidden stand out?

- Water, Shadows and Color - anything here that might help? Does the hidden have a shadow? What about Color Correction - would this force the engine to make the hidden MORE hidden?

Now the biggies (at least in my mind, from a technical stand point):
- AntiAliasing - if this makes the jagged edges less jagged, should it be turned down? To simplify, if it 'blurs' edges, that would NOT be a good thing. If the hidden's look is 'smooth', would sharper edges in the world make it a little easier to spot the hidden?

- Filtering - It seems that on some maps (Sewers) there is so much blur, every wall texture looks like it could be a hiding hidden. Would maxing this out create better textures, thus less 'false' hiddens? What's better, Bi-, Tri-, or Anissotropic?

Obviously a lot of these answers depend on the muscle of your vid card, but assuming you could just pick the optimal settings, what would be best? I have a feeling maxing everything would actually be a BAD idea.

I finally had to max out the gamma/brightness to get a little help on the darker maps (monitors already cranked up to max).

I've chatted with other players, and the general opinion is the hidden is easier to see on an LCD - any idea why?

I think it would be better to maintain the look and feel - I remember some tweaks to the various Quake engines that made the game look awful, but you could spot players super easy. That's NOT what I'm looking for...

On the other hand, I don't want my card and/or the engine making it harder by blurring textures, blurring hard edges, or in any other way making the hidden HARDER to see!
Thanks!

Night Raider
21st May 2006, 16:10
Make sure you are running DX 9, since it makes the Hidden easier to see than in other DX levels. Anisotropic makes the textures look sharper, which I guess makes the Hidden easier to see agianst certain textures. Antialiasing will help reduce jaggies, which I guess could help, since the hidden wouldn't be as pixelated.

Chas0r
21st May 2006, 16:20
- We know that Shader Detail HAS to be set on High (right?)

No. Others will do as well, it's all about personal preference.

- What about Model and Texture? Would lowering these help any in making the hidden stand out?
Not directly. But if there's more detail BEHIND the hidden, it's easier to spot the inteference. So high details work best.

- Water, Shadows and Color - anything here that might help? Does the hidden have a shadow? What about Color Correction - would this force the engine to make the hidden MORE hidden?
The hidden has NO shadow. At least it shouldn't have. And the far I know, color correction applies on the frame as a whole, so there shouldnt be any difference in the visability of the hidden.

- AntiAliasing - if this makes the jagged edges less jagged, should it be turned down? To simplify, if it 'blurs' edges, that would NOT be a good thing. If the hidden's look is 'smooth', would sharper edges in the world make it a little easier to spot the hidden?
AntiAlaising doesn't blur anything, it adjusts pixel colors for the impression of more smooth edges. From my experience I can tell that AA rather helps spotting the hidden than making it more difficult.

- Filtering - It seems that on some maps (Sewers) there is so much blur, every wall texture looks like it could be a hiding hidden. Would maxing this out create better textures, thus less 'false' hiddens? What's better, Bi-, Tri-, or Anissotropic?
That's the good old filtering and mip-mapping issue. If mip-maps are too big, lines are visable, which are distracting you from more important things, such as the hidden's shader. If they are too small, distant or beveled textures appear blurry. You gotta find a medium course.

In my opinion, performance goes over all aspects. 10 more frames per second are way more important than any filtering. Besides, the best settings differ a lot, depending on your hardware.
I've been struggeling with settings too much, and I'll stick with what I have :)

M_C
21st May 2006, 21:27
Yes, another "I can't see the hidden" thread...but how about approaching it from a technical stand point...
So you *KNOW* you're not supposed to start yet another thread about the same thing but you did, why? :confused:

8Mikey
21st May 2006, 22:51
... another thread about the same thing but you did, why? :confused:

In the other threads, all I saw was bitc**ng about not seeing the hidden, as well as "run DirectX 9". I (still am) curious how settings like AA and Filtering effect the hidden. I posted this hoping for some input from the developers, or other folks with technical knowledge of what's going on in-engine. I've spent time trying to test, but making a change, then finding a game to test the changes has proven to be difficult. Heck, half the time I make a change and login to a game, onlyt to get drawn in for an extended period and forget my original plan of 'testing' a new config! (starting a local server with bots is not a very good way to test either, since bots don't do much - even when freaked out).

Let's say I've got Anisotropic filtering set at 16x, imagine a developer saying 'hey, the way the code works, that setting will just wipe out the 'hidden' effect at XX distance away - you won't see a thing!' I'm not asking for an un-fair advantage, and I certainly don't need to add any type of handicap either.

Also, I've still (post B3) heard from some of the 'pros' that DX9 is NOT the way to go, if you really want to see the hidden. However, I'm not willing to go down that road.

8Mikey
21st May 2006, 23:04
Not directly. But if there's more detail BEHIND the hidden, it's easier ... So high details work best.)
That makes sense...


The hidden has NO shadow. At least it shouldn't have. And the far I know, color correction applies on the frame as a whole, so there shouldnt be any difference in the visability of the hidden..:)
I can't find it, but somewhere I thought I read the hidden had X amount of shadow, and that could be one method of spotting it, or I could be way off base...color correction is interesting, I wonder where would it apply or be beneficial?


AntiAlaising doesn't blur anything, it adjusts pixel colors for the impression of more smooth edges
Yeah, blur is not the right description, but the 'blending' it accomplishes at edges/transitions seems like it could possibly mask the borders of the 'hidden-effect' - I've tried different settings, but couldn't decide on an answer.

I've always been equally concerned with quality versus fps, in this case I'd gladly give up a few fps (while running in the 76-80 range) for a little better look at the hidden! Thanks for the input!

I mentioned in the relpy to M_C, I'd also like to make sure I've NOT got something set that will make it more difficult to spot the hidden! The fact that I move like I'm having an epileptic fit makes it pretty hard to see as it is...

Anyway, thanks for the input!

T-bone
22nd May 2006, 10:22
Make sure you are running DX 9, since it makes the Hidden easier to see than in other DX levels


Somehow that quote sounds more like a person who hates the people using the other DX levels and will lie by using such a statement to make people use DX9. (you might simply not know this cuz you might not have played with DX7 nor 8 cards before) DX7 and 8 the hidden is so clear hes is almost dusty like a guy covered in flour running thru the map not fair though but atleast you can see him. DX9 has that nice shader support making the hidden extremely difficult to see but the entire game is changed. i just bought a monster machine and the game is 10 times better now than before, that shader is so good you can eat it, and burn your tounge on it. I would clearly buy a DX9 supported Vid card for this game.

8Mikey
22nd May 2006, 12:33
I also had to laugh at Night Raider's response - defintiely not what others are saying! Although I think I've read in the forums that dx8 DOES make it harder to see (never tried it), dx9 IS better than 8, but dx7 is what many people have talked about online.

I tried it on my local machine, using bots - it did seem to make it a little easier to see the hidden, but not as much as some people have said.
What it did do was make the game crash a LOT. I guess that's why there are so many threads on how to fix the "crashing" bugs! ;)

off-topic side note: using the 'flipout' setting for the bots, I 'tuned' my speakers so it's much easier to hear the hidden and use sound to figure out where he's coming from. Previously I'd hear 'hidden' sounds, but couldn't tell where they were coming from (too much front/center channel). Spending time tweaking my sound so I can clearly hear left/right/rear sounds has done more for my than my graphics settings!

I wonder if they'll ever be able to offer a 'DX9 only' switch - something server-side, that admins could set just like Random Hidden or PigStick Off...

Ging
22nd May 2006, 14:32
We'll be 'shafting' DX6/7 by taking his visibility back to B2 levels, if not lower...

8Mikey
22nd May 2006, 15:15
Any chance on adding some more Hidden sounds?
Scratching noises while moving crouched, heavy run sounds, flappy walk sounds, sound based on the surface, etc...

(hey, it's not a 'make the hidden more VISIBLE request!' ;) )

hutch
22nd May 2006, 16:38
We'll be 'shafting' DX6/7 by taking his visibility back to B2 levels, if not lower...
praise god


oh yeah and ging too.

Veon
22nd May 2006, 17:28
Any chance on adding some more Hidden sounds?
Scratching noises while moving crouched, heavy run sounds, flappy walk sounds, sound based on the surface, etc...

(hey, it's not a 'make the hidden more VISIBLE request!' ;) )
It will make him easier to kill. The crouched mode is the only mode where the hidden is completly quiet, eliminate that and the sneak attack is worthless.

Seph31
22nd May 2006, 22:34
We'll be 'shafting' DX6/7 by taking his visibility back to B2 levels, if not lower...

amen..if you have HL2 and dont have a card thar can do dx9 (come on its an $80 upgrade) then shame on you

Purecheese
26th May 2006, 15:58
amen..if you have HL2 and dont have a card thar can do dx9 (come on its an $80 upgrade) then shame on you

yeah, but there are those of us who keep our desktops well updated, but also want to play on a laptop when mobile (Hidden makes hotel stays fly by), or as a second system for friends to use on a visit without lugging a full rig, and cannot upgrade past the hardware it was supplied with (at least until some clever bunnies at nVIDIA/ATI come up with a PCMCIA GFX upgrade!-hint,hint ;) )
With this in mind I'd be well grateful for DX7/8 support to be kept, but with a more "hidden" Hidden. Currently, the hidden runs fine on my laptop, but the hidden model himself looks like a weird white shadow :(
Thing is, water looks ace...may be a silly suggestion, but could the hidden not be drawn at DX7/8 the same as the DX7/8 water is? I only ask because this seems that it would be a closer approximation of the luvvly DX9 Shader-tastic Hidden I see on my desktop. Please shoot this down if it's unfeasible:D