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 Left4Dead 2 S-3D Game Review 
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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Hi Guys!

MTBS' official Left4Dead 2 review is up, and can be found here:

http://mtbs3d.com/cgi-bin/rss_gamerevie ... news_id=70



I tried merging Christophe's review post, but it didn't work out. Thought this would be cleaner.

Regards,
Neil

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Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:27 am
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Certif-Eyable!
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I do not agree with your remarks about the gun separating too much, and the recommended use of the iZ3D "simple separation method" in Source engine based games, including in Left4Dead 2 (i only played the demo so far but i guess the gun positionning is identical in the full game).

The gun separation is accurate when not using the iZ3D simple separation method, what this option does is that is makes the gun much bigger, and displays it farther than where it should be.
This option allows the user to use much higher convergence values without getting the gun poping out like crazy, but it comes at a price : instead of sticking in your face, the gun constantly flies through the walls of your surrounding environment. This produces almost constant severe artefacts (wrong depth object) that bug me a lot and which i would like to warn about.

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Last edited by BlackShark on Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:22 am
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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Hi Blackshark,

The review is based on a combined depth and pop-out experience which is a scenario that would cause the big gun problem. Can you share some screenshots so members can see the problem?

Regards,
Neil

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Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:32 am
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How about the very same screenshots you posted in your review to show the issue ?
Both the iZ3D and DDD shots have the issue.

In this iZ3D shot (in which i guess simple projection is turned on), the entire gun and hand are displayed as behind the road and the wall to the the right
http://mtbs3d.com/gallery/albums/left4d ... 230081.jpg
It's a phenomenon i could see everytime in source engine games before the new projection method was introduced.

In this DDD shot (in which i guess you tweaked the gun size), the gun is displayed as behind the zombie (it's even behind the fallen zombie visible just left to the hand lying in blood on the ground).
Even more obvious (i didn't notice it at first) : the hand is located at depth while the zombie is popping out !
http://mtbs3d.com/gallery/albums/left4d ... 927-ab.jpg

By comparison, since you cannot oversize the gun, the nvidia shots show proper proportions with the gun being displayed at the correct depth relative to the scenery and where zombies are actually located.
http://mtbs3d.com/gallery/albums/left4d ... 206_50.jpg
http://mtbs3d.com/gallery/albums/left4d ... 223_50.jpg
The iZ3D driver looks just like nvidia when not enabling the simple projection method.

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Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:10 pm
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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Interesting!

The iZ3D, DDD, and NVIDIA results are indentical if you don't play around with stuff. In the case of DDD, I thought it looked better with the gun going into the scene. I obviously went overboard with the settings here. :D

Regards,
Neil

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Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:24 pm
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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Hi Guys!

Check this out:

http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/s ... ?t=1122671

Is it just me, or are people suddenly a lot more familiar with the various solutions on the market? Also, check out how most of the respondants are positive towards S-3D gaming. I find this very interesting.

Regards,
Neil

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Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:09 pm
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Yeah. Definitely a promising turnaround compared to comments in similar forums one year ago. :lol:
Time to seek the tombraiderforums again i think. But it stagnates between the games. Lol. Think they're talking about thaiwooking noodles right now... o.O We already handled stereo3d though but it had mixed receptions. Seems like it's more welcome now but people in general is also more aware than before.

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Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:46 pm
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)
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I haven't read much about 3D lately. Moreover I played L4D2 in er... flat style for speed reasons :roll:. It seems that the drivers finally get realy good and competetive. 2 Out of the box drivers with great results and the DDD drivers which seem to have some flaws.

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Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:09 pm
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In the nVidia section you wrote:
"While NVIDIA’s current Left4Dead 2 profile suggests poor skyline rendering and 2D reflections on water surfaces, they actually do much better than they claim. It’s possible that their profile description is out of date...I couldn’t really find a skybox problem, but our members may be a bit sharper in spotting this. For me, these issues weren’t distracting."

...and in the IZ3D section you wrote:
"The results are almost on par with NVIDIA’s solution, with the exception of the first outdoor scene in the first chapter. When you look in the distance, the polarity or the left/right view of the buildings are in reverse compared to everything else in the scene. It is very distracting. Fortunately, this anomaly only happens on this level. If this can be corrected, iZ3D’s score can easily go up."

With regard to the water, try looking at the legs of a team mate who's standing in it (or who's standing between you and some water) and you'll see a very ugly artefact caused by the game only rendering water effects on those parts of the water which would have been visible in 2D. This causes problems because in 3D each eye can see areas of water on either side of character models (and objects) which couldn't be seen in 2D. The resulting graphical mess makes much of the Swamp Fever campaign almost unplayable in 3D, at least for me personally.

As for the "very distracting" issue you're seeing with IZ3D and DDD in the first scene, this is the 3D skybox problem which we discussed in the L4D1 thread, and if you look more closely you'll see that it's present on just about every L4D2 map to some degree -it's just that it's particularly obvious in that first scene. (It also affects the nVidia solution just as much as the other two so I'm not sure how you could have missed it with their driver).

It's not caused by reversed polarity or anything the drivers are doing wrong, rather it's a result of Valve modelling the 3D skybox objects too small. In 2D this doesn't matter, as the engine scales them up until they appear to be the correct size (and always draws the contents of the actual map on top of them).

In 3D, however, we get extra visual information which reveals, for example, that we're looking at an object that's 100 yards high and half a mile away rather than a 200 yard high object that's 1 mile away, even though they'd both look the same to someone with only one eye. (For a clearer explanation, see this clip from Father Ted).

When this results in distant 3D skybox objects being rendered as if nearer the player than foreground objects which occlude them, the result is a glaring immersion-shattering visual brain-twister (and tragically the game is littered with examples). Unfortunately driver or profile updates will never be able to rectify this issue -it can only be fixed by Valve recompiling the maps with the objects scaled correctly (although this would be a very quick fix for them to make if only they could be persuaded of its importance).
Cheers,
DD


Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:07 am
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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I'm working remotely right now. When I get back, I'll share some screenshots. It would be helpful if we could compare notes for future reference.

Regards,
Neil

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Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:28 am
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One Eyed Hopeful

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Okay m8 - would be happy to help. It might be easiest if you add me as a friend on Steam so we can hop on a L4D2 server together and look at (and chat about) the issues. My Steam name is also DickDastardly.
Cheers,
DD


Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:15 pm
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