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Witcher 3 downgrade arguments in here and nowhere else

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longdi

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Jun 7, 2004
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It is really the lighting engine. You can clearly see the break in where the light region ends and where the dark region begins in TW3. There is no fine granularity, it is very dull and very last gen.
 

Denton

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ACU looks amazing in the "afternoon" lightning preset. The other three ? Not so much. And of course it is not dynamic anyway.
 

Ishida

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Absolutely agreed. Every single sweet fx edit I've seen has literally drained the visuals of vibrancy.

The original colours look so much better.
Exactly. In fact, one of the biggest reasons that made me buy The Witcher 3 is because the art style seemed more colorful than the dull, boring-ass visuals of 99% of Western RPG's.

So far I'm loving the game and its vibrant style. I have no idea why anyone would want to murder all that vibrancy with instagram filters.
 

Jonm1010

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Feb 13, 2005
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Exactly. In fact, one of the biggest reasons that made me buy The Witcher 3 is because the art style seemed more colorful than the dull, boring-ass visuals of 99% of Western RPG's.

So far I'm loving the game and its vibrant style. I have no idea why anyone would want to murder all that vibrancy with instagram filters.
I disagree 100%. The best SweetFx presets give the game a more realistic tone without muting the palate too dull, add a more realistic color contrast and works better with the way the lighting and shadows interact with the foliage. And nighttime actually looks a lot better. Whereas in vanilla it is overly dark most of the time and color palate dulls, this change does a better job with matching the moons light to the surfaces and creating more vibrance.
 

rashbeep

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So I took a bunch of screens comparing the bog area from the 35 minute demo uncompressed footage and the final build. Tried to sync up the scene, ToD, and weather as best I could. Still not a 100% accurate comparison, but I'm definitely preferring the look of the older build. More atmospheric look to the swamp with the fog effects, better lighting (and shadowing) on the characters, stronger DoF in cutscenes, and imo still better foliage lighting.

I'm running a quest in this, so there will be spoilers if you haven't seen the old footage already!

https://www.flickr.com/gp/133468979@N02/1r5Ju9
 

m_shortpants

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Apr 10, 2014
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I disagree 100%. The best SweetFx presets give the game a more realistic tone without muting the palate too dull, add a more realistic color contrast and works better with the way the lighting and shadows interact with the foliage. And nighttime actually looks a lot better. Whereas in vanilla it is overly dark most of the time and color palate dulls, this change does a better job with matching the moons light to the surfaces and creating more vibrance.
Yup. I'm partial to project reality myself. Just removes the brownish haze on the screen.

https://sfx.thelazy.net/games/preset/3700/
 

Jonm1010

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Feb 13, 2005
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I just have to say that I got to a few of the scenes from the original 2013 trailer and my god! It is disgusting how horribly downgraded this was. A few of the cutscenes were just plan ugly to look at.

I have to say that this game goes from good looking to just awful at times. But I am yet to have a moment where I am actually in awe. Which is sad. I think I am going to have to commit to some sweetFX tweets for the rest of my play through.

I like color but the ridiculously oversaturated foliage mixed with the low texture quality is just not a good mix. Only at trick angles does it look good.
 

Replicant

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I love the color on this game (left the gamma at default). But those realistic color mode looks good too.

And yeah the guy 2 posts above me fucked up his gamma as my game doesn't look like that. The slider test thing was inaccurate imo. Leave it at default and see what you think.
 

Prophet Steve

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I love the color on this game (left the gamma at default). But those realistic color mode looks good too.

And yeah the guy 2 posts above me fucked up his gamma as my game doesn't look like that. The slider test thing was inaccurate imo. Leave it at default and see what you think.
They are not realistic colors.
 

Yasae

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Jan 1, 2009
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So I took a bunch of screens comparing the bog area from the 35 minute demo uncompressed footage and the final build. Tried to sync up the scene, ToD, and weather as best I could. Still not a 100% accurate comparison, but I'm definitely preferring the look of the older build. More atmospheric look to the swamp with the fog effects, better lighting (and shadowing) on the characters, stronger DoF in cutscenes, and imo still better foliage lighting.

I'm running a quest in this, so there will be spoilers if you haven't seen the old footage already!

https://www.flickr.com/gp/133468979@N02/1r5Ju9
No appreciable differences at first glance, but dat grass.

The grass, every frigging time, the grass.
 

AlterOdin

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Jan 20, 2013
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No appreciable differences at first glance, but dat grass.

The grass, every frigging time, the grass.
A mixed bag really, I am assuming that images tagged "vlc" is the old trailer/presentation, and images tagged "witcher3" is the actual game.

In my option the grass in this area is clearly better in the actual game : (But could be they haven't "finished" the area in the trailer)

Trailer: Grass
Game: Grass

But as said; a mixed bag, sometimes I prefer the current grass and lighting, sometimes the "old".




But other things like effects, lod, dof seems slightly better in the old trailer/presentation. Also the textures seems to have higher res in the trailer.
 

jim2point0

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Jan 23, 2013
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These have completely different ToDs!? Whats the point?/QUOTE]

Looks like someone needs to adjust their TV/monitor settings as mine doesn't look like that.
This is the closets I've seen to that ToD (and this is with a bit of desaturation from ReShade). Not the same area but you could probably match that scene up if the ToD is right.



Surprised to see this thread still having momentum...
This thread would be better off as a straight-up discussion on teh game's visuals and not-so-much the "downgrade." As someone that used to bitch about the downgrade quite heavily... I've changed my tune.

It's probably the most beautiful game I've ever played...



Not the most technically impressive, but it's giving me the most "wow" moments. The variety of settings is what really impresses me and puts it over Unity.

That said, it does fall apart in the interiors. They just look flat and uninteresting :(
 

kinggroin

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Sep 4, 2006
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If only there was a different engine for major indoor areas (taverns, castles, caves). Visually the game looks harsh in these areas, especially when coming from outside. The difference is so stark.
 

benzy

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These have completely different ToDs!? Whats the point?

Surprised to see this thread still having momentum...
I've tried all different times of day at this scene before posting those screens. The first PS4 screen is actually at a similar time of day, I've matched up the shadows and where the grass/trees are lit. It's the same TOD, the devs have changed the lighting. The second PS4 screen is just to show a brighter TOD and closer to the 2014 image where it isn't so dark.




 
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Removing that ambient light from the sky was probably the biggest loss. Made everything look more natural and vibrant, especially in the shade. It's just so flat looking now.
 

Skyzard

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Jun 3, 2012
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Finally got to Novigrad!
Those look really good that I had to go back to the trailer to check ha.



Obviously the colour and clarity of the image is better in your shot but otherwise it's a bit off, partly to do with sharpening but you can blur it (like I did below, and improved the color a bit). It's also pretty compressed (taken from a trailer).

 

BlackNinja

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Feb 1, 2015
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If only there was a different engine for major indoor areas (taverns, castles, caves). Visually the game looks harsh in these areas, especially when coming from outside. The difference is so stark.
It's not the engine. It's the asset quality and layout. They chose to concentrate on the environments instead. Which is understandable. No game can implement everything to 100% polish.
 

BlackNinja

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Those look really good that I had to go back to the trailer to check ha.



Obviously the colour and clarity of the image is better in your shot but otherwise it's a bit off, partly to do with sharpening but you can blur it and it's probably an improvement lol. It's also pretty compressed.
I actually prefer the color scheme that's in place now. The 2013 footage is too desaturated for my tastes.. And yes, the sharpen filter is available for the PC right now and I love it.
 

rashbeep

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This thread would be better off as a straight-up discussion on teh game's visuals and not-so-much the "downgrade." As someone that used to bitch about the downgrade quite heavily... I've changed my tune.

It's probably the most beautiful game I've ever played...

Not the most technically impressive, but it's giving me the most "wow" moments. The variety of settings is what really impresses me and puts it over Unity.

That said, it does fall apart in the interiors. They just look flat and uninteresting :(
Exactly how I feel. Game is pretty spectacular too.

Removing that ambient light from the sky was probably the biggest loss. Made everything look more natural and vibrant, especially in the shade.
Yep. The skylighting effect from ENB would do the trick for this I think.
 

DOWN

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Aug 2, 2011
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What's strange about it? It's gorgeous
It's strange because it seems to look worse to many people, including a large number on GAF who are posting color altered images that are more often than not similar to the old colors rather than the new ones.

The vanilla palette in combination with lighting that people frequently call "flatter" than previously, reminds people of dated visuals like Morrowind moreso than more modern graphical successes.
 

playXray

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The thing that really disturbs me about all this stuff is the way that it gets consolidated as fact by less tech-minded gamers who have no idea what has happened behind the scenes but get sucked in by a couple of idiots on YouTube making a big deal about a 'downgrade'.

I actually overheard two such people discussing this:

1: "Witcher 3 looks amazing, I'm definitely going to pick up a copy when I've been paid."

2: "Yeah, but it has had a downgrade."

1: "What do you mean?"

2: "The guys who made it decided to make the graphics worse."

1: "Oh really? That's pretty shit."

It's like, they think the devs all sat around in a circle and tried to come up with ways to ruin the graphics because, I dunno, consolez.

I love the way the internet opens up knowledge to anyone and everyone, but I find it equally frustrating when it just fuels bullshit arguments and conspiracies.
 

Momentary

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Jan 22, 2011
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqQ3LeBgGDM

Just saw this scene that plays at the very beginning of the trailer in game... Fuck man what a huge dip in graphical fidelity.

Game also needs tessellation bad. Especially on structures. Maybe they'll release an enhanced edition later on down the road. They had it in the original slices they showed.
 

nib95

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Feb 26, 2007
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some people think sharpening until your eyes bleed makes things look better
Or it might be some thing to do with the improved draw distance, NPC count, post process effects, lighting etc.

I hope the people who don't see the differences also think the PS4 and PC versions of the game are completely comparable…for consistencies sake….
 

SapientWolf

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Jul 4, 2004
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And where is the downgrade? It looks better than before.
The foliage is worse in the new version. The scene is obviously less dense, with a lower NPC count and less details on the buildings. The oversharpening makes it hard to do a fair comparison, but it looks like the new version of the scene has less texture detail. The time of the day differences make it hard to judge the lighting but it looks flatter in the new version. I like the bloom and color composition of the old pic but that's a personal opinion.

To me, the only thing that looks better in the new version is the lack of sharpening.
 

Aureon

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May 27, 2013
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Or it might be some thing to do with the improved draw distance, NPC count, post process effects, lighting etc.

I hope the people who don't see the differences also think the PS4 and PC versions of the game are completely comparable…for consistencies sake….
it's also that the, for example, the buildings are straight-up more detailed.
 

Dictator93

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Jun 29, 2011
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Or it might be some thing to do with the improved draw distance, NPC count, post process effects, lighting etc.

I hope the people who don't see the differences also think the PS4 and PC versions of the game are completely comparable…for consistencies sake….
What is different and better about the lighting and post processing?
 

K.Jack

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Mar 10, 2007
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqQ3LeBgGDM

Just saw this scene that plays at the very beginning of the trailer in game... Fuck man what a huge dip in graphical fidelity.

Game also needs tessellation bad. Especially on structures. Maybe they'll release an enhanced edition later on down the road. They had it in the original slices they showed.
I love how they even put IN-GAME GRAPHICS at the beginning.

I love the way the internet opens up knowledge to anyone and everyone, but I find it equally frustrating when it just fuels bullshit arguments and conspiracies.
CDPR created the conspiracies with their bullshit, the "there has been no downgrade" and "wait until you see the game on ultra" statements.

Oh but then they get all honest and admit it once the game has released.

It's all their fault, and they deserve all of the pessimistic criticism.
 

MaLDo

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What is different and better about the lighting and post processing?
I think the main difference between old footage and new footage (or the game) is than old footage doesn't have dynamic TOD. Instead, they added local light points to simulate a real global illumination the same way some old games did before (or crysis for add visual punch in cinematics where local light points subtly lit faces or important things of the scene). That difference is really big. In ACUnity, that global illumination info is stored into the textures and that's the reason why texture data is so big in the game and TOD is not dynamic. When The Witcher 3 shifted to a real dynamic TOD lighting system, those hand placed light points to simulate GI in those few parts showed in trailers had to be eliminated. I think CDPR thought that at some point during development they could incorporate light probes same way that FarCry 3 and 4 did, but when they realized that point will not come they started the slow PR spin about how the new lighting system is better for most but worse for a few.

Another thing changed is they added hand selected colorgrading for every scene in trailers. That artistic choice is really difficult to implement in a dynamic TOD open world. More so, the fullscreen bloom effect is really good for a trailer but people could complain if that effect is enabled for hours. You can see in trailers how white hair of Geralt has a lot of bloom (or armor shoulders).

Last but not less important, every trailer and gameplay footage before release as LODs and mipmaps disabled. This means that every asset is full quality no matter the distance. That is the main reason why sharpen filter affects so much to every pixel. There are texture aliasing in every inch of videos and screenshots, and grass is too sharpen too for that reason, the 2D assets with grass texture are more detailed in the distance than pixel density can show. Enabling mipmaps is a must to avoid texture aliasing and alleviate video memory but thin elements as grass textures have the risk to end being a plain texture loosing the gaps because the soft filtering that create the different mips.
 

Dictator93

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I think the main difference between old footage and new footage (or the game) is than old footage doesn't have dynamic TOD. Instead, they added local light points to simulate a real global illumination the same way some old games did before (or crysis for add visual punch in cinematics where local light points subtly lit faces or important things of the scene). That difference is really big. In ACUnity, that global illumination info is stored into the textures and that's the reason why texture data is so big in the game and TOD is not dynamic. When The Witcher 3 shifted to a real dynamic TOD lighting system, those hand placed light points to simulate GI in those few parts showed in trailers had to be eliminated. I think CDPR thought that at some point during development they could incorporate light probes same way that FarCry 3 and 4 did, but when they realized that point will not come they started the slow PR spin about how the new lighting system is better for most but worse for a few.

Another thing changed is they added hand selected colorgrading for every scene in trailers. That artistic choice is really difficult to implement in a dynamic TOD open world. More so, the fullscreen bloom effect is really good for a trailer but people could complain if that effect is enabled for hours. You can see in trailers how white hair of Geralt has a lot of bloom (or armor shoulders).

Last but not less important, every trailer and gameplay footage before release as LODs and mipmaps disabled. This means that every asset is full quality no matter the distance. That is the main reason why sharpen filter affects so much to every pixel. There are texture aliasing in every inch of videos and screenshots, and grass is too sharpen too for that reason, the 2D assets with grass texture are more detailed in the distance than pixel density can show. Enabling mipmaps is a must to avoid texture aliasing and alleviate video memory but thin elements as grass textures have the risk to end being a plain texture loosing the gaps because the soft filtering that create the different mips.
Fantastic post and I fully agree. I thought something similar based on that recent interview on Eurogamer where "dynamic lighting" was mentioned (I immediately thought he was referring to hand placed pointlights for GI, which wouldn't be surprising). I am not sure why they didnt just go for a far Cry 3 and 4 like system.

The game does have some form of GI that changes based upon environments (it isn't some global ambient value like in CE2). It could just be IBLs hand placed in certain map locations though:

 
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