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 TriDef Ignition Driver 2.1 impressions 
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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So I just downloaded the trial for the DDD TriDef Ignition drivers (v2.1). Previously DDD was only licensing profiles on a per-game basis and I wasn't interested in that pricing model. Now that they have a general driver for potentially any game I thought I would give it a go. I am testing this with a Zalman Trimon 22" with an 8800GTS 512MB on Vista 32-bit. So far I would say it was a mixed bag, but the driver definitely has some potential with a little work. Read on to hear my findings.

The first game I tried it with was COD4. I figured the support should be alright since it is with both iz3d and Nvidia. Once the game started loading it wasn't a pretty sight. For some reason the Ignition driver made the 2D menus really slow (I am talking 10% the normal speed maybe). Just clicking "start game" was a chore. Similarly when loading the level it took at least twice as long and was choppy all the way through (both video and audio). Once the game actually started though it went to a normal speed of what I would expect. At this point the actual stereo 3d rendering was very nice, at least on par with say the iz3d implementation. The HUD elements were correctly at screen-depth and there was a nice depth. The gun looked solid, zooming in on the scopes was not a problem. I saw no major glitches or anything out of the ordinary. Once leaving the game the 2D menus were slow again, so I am not sure what is up with that.

Next up I decided to try Half-Life 2 since I figured it had to have good support (if it didn't then the drivers were trash for sure). As expected, the Ignition drivers performed flawlessly on HL2. Performance was at full-speed, depth was very nice, HUD elements looked fine. So this was on par with the iz3d driver and maybe slightly better than Nvidia's version. I didn't try any other Source games but I imagine the other HL episodes, Left 4 Dead, Portal, Counter-Strike:Source, etc. should also play nice.

Next up, I loaded up Crysis. I knew my PC couldn't really handle it but I just had to see. Again there was some serious slow-down on the menus (almost to the point of not being usable). I would click a button a *maybe* 10 seconds later something would happen (other times it didn't register). Not a good start. I loaded up a game from one of the early jungle levels. The loading also took 3-4 times as long as usual (but it did eventual load). Finally I got into the game and I was surprised at how good it looked. Even with custom very high settings everything looked great in stereo 3d. Shadows were set at full, all the post-processing, motion-blur, etc. Also when going into scope mode the gun was just in the center and the cross-hair was accurate (and not doubled up or weird). It all looked fine (unlike the Nvidia driver where you have to turn everything off or the iz3D driver which don't even work on my computer). Unfortunatly the performance was really bad (maybe 5fps) but that is more of an issue with running Crysis at 1680x1050 at very high in stereo 3d. So I can't really fault DDD for that, clearly I need a better video card if I want to run Crysis like that. But the fact is that the images I was seeing looked good and if all I need is a new video card then I can't blame the driver.

After that I thought I would try to add a custom game to see how that would work. I went for "AaaaaAAaaaAAA!" since I just got it today. Adding the profile was easy enough but when I clicked "Launch" a big error message popped up on screen. Oh well, it was worth a shot.

Then I tried Need For Speed: ProStreet just to get a feel for the different compatibility. This game, on the other hand, played flawlessly in stereo 3d. I was very impressed and it was one of the best looking racing games I have seen in stereo 3d (compared to other racing games I have played with other drivers). The performance seemed a little slow for a game thats 2 years old, but still playable. I could see why Neil choose DDD to do the NFS:Shift demo since I imagine its running on the same engine.

Next up I tried UT2004, one of my old time favorites. Surprisingly there wasn't a profile and I had to add a custom one. After launching the game everything seemed to be at a normal speed. I loaded a level and then nothing happened. It was just 2D, no 3D at all. At least there were no weird errors, but I was almost sure that an old game like this would work. Not so.

Finally I wanted to try Bioshock since I have been unable to get this to work with either the latest Nvidia driver or the iz3d driver (even though both drivers supposedly support it). Again the 2D menus were slow, but not as bad as Crysis was. Once the game loaded I was in for a pleasant surprise: it actually worked. The stereo 3D looked pretty nice even at the default settings (I don't even know what the hot-keys are yet to tweak it). There was also some auto-convergence going on and that seemed to work ok but it took some getting used to. Overall there was a nice depth to the image, the guns looked really solid and 3d and I didn't notice any obvious anomalies. I am just testing with the 14-day trial but I may have to purchase this now if even just for Bioshock.

So all in all, I think DDD TriDef has something on their hands, but not quite on par with iz3d's solution. It did work nicely on the games that were officially supported however there were serious bugs (slowdown on the menus), low performance and weak compatibility otherwise. However it did work for Bioshock where the other drivers left me hanging and it did appear to have the most fully-supported implementation for Crysis. I think with a little work DDD could have a very nice quality driver and it seemed like they are moving in this direction. It is also very nice that users of interlaced or checkerboard solutions now have another choice in terms of driver support. It certainly wouldn't be my first choice, but it is another option and more support is always good. Plus, for only $50 including the picture/video player and 2D converter it seems like a pretty good package deal. So if I had to give it a rating I'd say 3 out of 5 stars and hopefully DDD can improve the issues I mentioned in future versions.

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Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:36 pm
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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Thanks for sharing your input! To improve performance, try:

1. Turn off AA to rule it out.
2. In the performance sub-menu, try toggling the texture copy feature. I find this makes a big improvement with some games.
3. Wherever possible, turn off the auto-convergence features. I find this eats up performance and is usually not necessary. I don't think it should be a default "on" feature.

See if this makes a difference for you.

Regards,
Neil

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Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:00 pm
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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Ok, I finally did get "AaaaaAAaaaAAA!" to work. I am not sure why but all I had to do was delete the profile I made and then start the game normally (through Steam) and then it worked. I also figured out how to use the OSD and there are a lot of options to tweak, I am impressed. After fixing the settings I was able to get a better experience than the Nvidia drivers on this game (and certainly better than iz3d since it didn't work). The stereo 3d in the game levels was at least on par with Nvidia (performance was full-speed on both) except the menu and level selection screen looked perfect (in 3d) while on Nvidia it was separated excessively. Otherwise they were pretty similar.

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Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:59 pm
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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I've done some more testing with the driver. In Crysis I had to set everything to low in order to get it to run at a decent speed (this also fixed the issue where the menus were super sluggish). At low settings I was actually getting respectable framerates in stereo 3d and it didn't look so bad. I'd say at least 30FPS, maybe as much as 45FPS. I didn't test with FRAPS, maybe I'll try that tomorrow. Also, the shadows don't work, I was mistaken. However the other stuff is supported (like motion-blur) but it brings the game to a crawl. It also might have been that I modded Crysis so who knows what kind of conflicts that could create. Will do more testing tomorrow.

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Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:32 pm
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Sharp Eyed Eagle!
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So far my impressions are good and here's my current system for testing games:

First, try nvidia. If that's not good enough, try iZ3D. After that Tridef. It seems like at least one of them should work. Maybe I'll change the order of those someday.

I think Tridef gives the user the most options for fixing problems because of their on-screen display menu system. I'm still learning about it but it looks very good for us. Here's the page for studying OSD terms:

http://www.tridef.com/ignition/control.html

Advice:
I suggest keeping autoconvergence off for starters but I think it should be explored later.

from another post: "If the rendering is completely wrong, toggle Row-Major Matrix."

YES! I think this is what helped me get Batman Arkham Asylum working as well as Mirror's Edge.
Very Important.

Sorry neil, I feel I must post a link to thier forum:
http://www.ddd.com/forum/

I haven't tested many games yet but Tridef is best for Marvel Ultimate Alliance and maybe Starwars Battlefront 2, but I think I need to find better settings for that to fix the bad-sky-depth problem. Usually I like to explain in more detail but I'm short on time.

see ya'

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Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:31 am
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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I've done some more testing with the DDD Ignition drivers and they are very powerful indeed. The OSD gives you *far* more control then any other driver I have ever used and does so without having to memorize a bunch of obscure hot-keys (it shows you on the screen what to choose). After messing with it a bit I was able to get Crysis running at 1680 x 1050 on custom Very High settings with EVERYTHING ENABLED in Stereo 3D WITH NO PERFORMANCE HIT WHATSOEVER. Let me repeat that: I was able to get Crysis running at 1680 x 1050 on custom Very High settings with EVERYTHING ENABLED in Stereo 3D WITH NO PERFORMANCE HIT WHATSOEVER. I have played (or tried to play) Crysis with a bunch of other drivers: Nvidia, IZ3D, Vuzix and DDD so far is the best experience. With Nvidia/IZ3D it will work in stereo but you have to set it at no higher than Medium quality and turn off all the fun stuff like shadows, post-processing and blur. And even then performance is sluggish. Vuzix has a nice implementation of Crysis which does support shadows and post-processing but you need to run on the VR920 (and thus at 1024 x 768 max). But with the DDD Ignition driver not only is Crysis fully supported but there is no performance hit!!!! I imagine if the driver works this good on Crysis then basically any other game should be ok. To get it working like this I am using the Virtual-3D mode. This mode uses the z-buffer in the game to interpolate a stereo image. So it does not have to render the scene twice. This is good because it has much better compatibility with modern post-processing effects and advanced screen-space based rendering techniques (like real-time self-shadowing, etc.). The downside is that you lose some control over the options and there are some inaccuracies compared to a true 3D render. However these are minor complaints compared to the increased compatibility and performance boost. I am going to record a video of Crysis this weekend sometime so you guys can see how good this driver works. Here is a screenshot for now so you know I am not full of it:

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Sat Sep 19, 2009 1:34 pm
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Cross Eyed!
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cybereality wrote:
I was able to get Crysis running at 1680 x 1050 on custom Very High settings with EVERYTHING ENABLED in Stereo 3D WITH NO PERFORMANCE HIT WHATSOEVER. I have played (or tried to play) Crysis with a bunch of other drivers: Nvidia, IZ3D, Vuzix and DDD so far is the best experience. With Nvidia/IZ3D it will work in stereo but you have to set it at no higher than Medium quality and turn off all the fun stuff like shadows, post-processing and blur. And even then performance is sluggish. To get it working like this I am using the Virtual-3D mode. This mode uses the z-buffer in the game to interpolate a stereo image.

We also plan investigate in generation of the stereo pair from game z-buffer, but we also know of serious limitation of that method:
  • Semi-transparent objects not render correctly, like the fence or the pane. Because we know only depth of opaque pixels.
  • When a dramatically change depth at the border between objects, we can not properly fill the gap between objects in the generated stereo pair

P.S. Sorry for my poor English

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Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:23 pm
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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Check out the Crysis video (YT3D): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3auOYN9EFQI

@KindDragon: Yeah, the Virtual-3D mode is certainly not perfect but its much better than nothing or a poorly supported implementation. I would still rather have a true stereoscopic rendering, but in some cases that requires making serious graphical sacrifices (disabling shadows, etc.) and a significant performance hit. In other cases the Virtual-3D could add a level of support that did not exist without it. Certainly it shouldn't be the only solution but its an acceptable fallback IMO.

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Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:10 am
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Sharp Eyed Eagle!
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hi guys,

Virtual 3d:
I don't really like the virtual 3d mode but I agree with cyber that it's a good fallback. What framerate would you play at in normal 3d mode?

a bad suggestion for kinddragon:
"When a dramatically change depth at the border between objects, we can not properly fill the gap between objects in the generated stereo pair" --- if this were only a still 2d-3d photo conversion, I would make the foreground object bigger to cover-up the gap but I guess that probably would be a bad idea for a video game.

offtopic cybereality trivia:
cybereality, what animation is your avatar/icon from? Captain Harlock? It looks like the guy has a headache. Why did you choose it? I'm not criticizing, it 's cool. I hope it is from Captain Harlock or Starblazers or something. Ghost in the Machine? (oops, I meant Ghost in the Shell) I haven't seen that one but it comes to mind as a guess. You should start a new topic... the "guess what cybereality's avatar is from" topic. :)

later.

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Last edited by iondrive on Sun Sep 27, 2009 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:13 pm
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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Lol! Its from the Animatrix, Kid's Story:
http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fusea ... d=42924811

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Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:07 pm
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