Glossary:High dynamic range (HDR)

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For a list of games, see games with high dynamic range support.

Key points

Expanded color space allows for more vibrant colors and greater contrast in supported games on HDR-compatible displays.
Not always supported in new games.

General information

High dynamic range at Wikipedia

HDR Display[edit]

High Dynamic Range Display or High dynamic range is a technology that enables the monitor to display image with a greater range of colors. This is done, by extending the color range from standard 8-bits per color to 10-bits per color or more (similar to a way it was extended between High color and True Color). This technology requires both software, hardware and a monitor capable rendering and displaying with an image increased amount of colors. Because of that, many games (mostly released before 2016) are incapable of rendering and outputting HDR image. According to Ultra HD Alliance announced their certification, HDR displays must have either a peak brightness of over 1000 cd/m2 and a black level less than 0.05 cd/m2 (a contrast ratio of at least 20,000:1) or a peak brightness of over 540 cd/m2 and a black level less than 0.0005 cd/m2 (a contrast ratio of at least 1,080,000:1).

HDR Rendering[edit]

High-dynamic-range rendering (HDRR, HDR rendering or high-dynamic-range lighting), is the rendering of computer graphics scenes by using lighting calculations done in high dynamic range (HDR). This allows preservation of details that may be lost due to limiting contrast ratios, by mimicking the way cameras and even eyes handle light exposure. It is especially helpful when rendering scenes with multi-layer surfaces, especially when the surface is using normal and specular maps or even highly reflective surfaces (like the water), which can not be rendered correctly in Standard Dynamic Range. [1] Another important area where HDRR is useful are exceptionally dark and exceptionally bright areas as well as transitions between them. Using a dynamic tonemapping, HDRR can adjusts the exposure of a scene based on the amount of light in the scene, to simulate camera adjusting to the light.[1] The games that use HDRR doesn't necessarily output the image in HDR Display compatible range.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Half-Life 2: Lost Coast Developer Commentary