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captain420

HDR screenshots being washed out

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I use the sim primarily in HDR mode and it looks absolutely beautiful. However, one thing that bothers me is whenever I take a screenshot and then quit the sim, turn HDR mode off in Windows and then open the screenshot that I just took, it looks overexposed and washed out. I would love to post screenshots here for those to see, but don't know why this happens. The only workaround for me is to not enable HDR mode, both in Windows and the sim. But then I can't capture the image in it's full dynamic range.


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3 minutes ago, captain420 said:

I use the sim primarily in HDR mode and it looks absolutely beautiful. However, one thing that bothers me is whenever I take a screenshot and then quit the sim, turn HDR mode off in Windows and then open the screenshot that I just took, it looks overexposed and washed out. I would love to post screenshots here for those to see, but don't know why this happens. The only workaround for me is to not enable HDR mode, both in Windows and the sim. But then I can't capture the image in it's full dynamic range.

am trying HDR tonight and yes you cannot take screenshots..saddly.


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That's why I posted actual photos. HDR screens can't be taken.


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Standard image formats do not have the support needed to capture (or display) the extra data in an HDR image.  You can capture them, but you need to use a screenshot tool that supports an HDR image format like EXR or JXR.   The best way to do this is with the Windows Gamebar, which will capture an HDR image into both a JXR and a tone-mapped JPG, so you get both.

Alternately, if you have an NVidia card, you can use GeForce Experience for your screenshots, and it will take a JXR, too, though no JPG.

The images can be viewed with an HDR image viewer like this one.

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I thought it would look more 3D and dark it does not, clouds are very bright and its far from dark.


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It would be interesting to get opinions on the differences between HDR and SDR.

My view using SDR is not great and I was wondering if that was the reason why it wasn’t looking as good as others were reporting- were they all HDR users, and had MSFS been optimised for HDR monitors?

After reading the above, perhaps that’s not the case. 

Would be useful for those who have the ability of HDR, is there is a dramatic difference and if one is preferable over the other

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Well HDR resembles what your eyes is capable of seeing in real life. Your eyes can see a much higher dynamic range than your display. HDR mode, if your display supports it, will closely match this, depending on the quality of your display it may look subpar or it can look amazing, But overall, yes, HDR mode looks stunning.

SDR looks good too, for me at least. But for the full effect, HDR is better.

Edited by captain420

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Just bring back SU4 visuals - why do we have to go through this word not allowed.

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48 minutes ago, chickster25 said:

It would be interesting to get opinions on the differences between HDR and SDR.

My view using SDR is not great and I was wondering if that was the reason why it wasn’t looking as good as others were reporting- were they all HDR users, and had MSFS been optimised for HDR monitors?

After reading the above, perhaps that’s not the case. 

Would be useful for those who have the ability of HDR, is there is a dramatic difference and if one is preferable over the other

Yes HDR makes it look great. In SDR everything is over bright and washed out. You can make it look better but HDR is the winner for me. After a night of testing I will stick with HDR for now.

I did think it would look more dramatic.


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Reviving this thread. Anyone got a method for capturing HDR screenshots? I've been using the Xbox game bar and the images in .png format, but I think they look way too dark compared to how it looks in the sim. 

As for the .jxr format, a HDR image viewer is needed if I understand correctly, so they will not be suitable for posting on a forum. 


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well, this is something I can never figure out ! is it HDR on in sim, or HDR on in windows or HDR on on my TV , or all three ? i cant get my head around it  lol


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15 minutes ago, sonny147 said:

well, this is something I can never figure out ! is it HDR on in sim, or HDR on in windows or HDR on on my TV , or all three ? i cant get my head around it  lol

For HDR to work correctly in MSFS, HDR has to be set to ON both in Windows display options AND in MSFS graphics settings. In addition to that, it probably has to be activated on your monitor/TV, unless it’s on by default.


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2 minutes ago, Cpt_Piett said:

For HDR to work correctly in MSFS, HDR has to be set to ON both in Windows display options AND in MSFS graphics settings. In addition to that, it probably has to be activated on your monitor/TV, unless it’s on by default.

I will give that a try , my TV has an HDR option but it is set to gaming , thanks


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41 minutes ago, Cpt_Piett said:

but I think they look way too dark compared to how it looks in the sim. 

This thread is somewhat operating on a premise gained from the misunderstanding of what HDR is.

Let's say normally your screen can display pixels, and let's say those pixels have a brightness that goes from 0 to 100. This is SDR, the normal display format. Now, let's say instead we make those pixels go from 0 to 1000. Now you can store 10 times brighter pixels than before, great! This is HDR.

The problem is, a screenshot format like PNG or jpg is meant for display from 0 to 100 and not 0 to 1000. So what can a viewer do? You can't just have 900 values that are all too bright to be displayed (aka white). This is where HDR formats like JXR come in.

They hold 0 to 1000 and give you a way to map that back to 0 to [insert what your monitor supports], through all kinds of curves in the brightness values and lookup tables. But you'll never be able to display the raw 0 to 1000 on a thing that only goes to 100.

Hopefully that makes things a little clearer for folks. There are tools for taking that value conversion, and then saves a regular image file. But it can't be totally automatic, because every image has brightnesses that cluster in different parts of the bigger range.

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11 minutes ago, MattNischan said:

Hopefully that makes things a little clearer for folks.

It makes sense, thanks for explaining. Based on this, I guess there's no sensible way of posting HDR screenshots and have them look like MSFS on a HDR monitor. 


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