HDR Looks "Dim" and "Washed Out"?

I also have this issue with Hitman 1, to a lesser extent. Enabling HDR lowers the contrast (“washes out”) the game, and makes everything look dim as well (bright lights are not bright, etc.).

I have taken comparison screenshots with Windows game bar. The HDR version is tonemapped, but it gives an idea of the issue.



As you can see, the version with HDR looks dim and undercontrasted. I can confirm that it is not a bandwidth issue, as I have a DisplayPort 1.4 cable. Regardless, I have tested RGB Full, RGB Limited, YCbCr444, and YCbCr422. I have also tried lower resolutions (native resolution is 1440p) and lower refresh rates (native refresh rate is 144, but I have tested with 120 and 60).

Does HDR work on other games? Which display and GPU do you have?
You need a 10bit RGB setting for sure afaik.

Yep HDR does work on other games. Other games I have tested where HDR looks good: Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, Final Fantasy XV, Far Cry 5, Destiny 2. Some games unfortunately have the same “washed out” issue, but usually aren’t dim. The HDR image I posted has been tonemapped down to SDR (which reduces the contrast of the image), so that is not an exact representation of what I see. However, the dimmed effect stays, it’s just the contrast isn’t lowered as much as you see in the image. And I am currently using RGB Full.


i7 7700k
1070 Ti
Monitor: CHG70 (27" Version)

Looks all good so far.

Do you have a HDMI cable just for testing?

What I can tell is that the HDR screenshot is what a HDR picture looks like when HDR itself is not working. You might want to google for issues people generally had with HDR, less about Hitman and more about your Display or GPU.

I would suggest you check the color settings in the Nvidia Control Panel (accessible in right-click dropdown on desktop) but if HDR works on some games, this seems to be not the solution.

I have tested on an HDMI cable, in fact, the entire reason I got a display port is because some games weren’t looking good with HDR and I thought it might be the cable.

Yeah, I have probably looked through every forum post that is actually about my issue (both with this and other games and the monitor) that Google indexes, and have not actually found a fix.

It does seem like an issue with Hitman itself. Some other HDR games work and look fine, as do SDR games, so configuring color in the NVIDIA Control Panel is a very specific fix for that game only, and it’s only mitigating the issue, not actually fixing it. The HDR screenshot isn’t actually that low contrast in-game, just dim (with a slightly lower contrast than SDR).

I have tried to take more accurate screenshots to better demonstrate the effect I am talking about using NVIDIA Ansel’s Super Resolution screenshot mode and saving in the HDR (.exr) image format. I was quite surprised when I loaded it up in photoshop to find a bright (and in my opinion, amazing) looking image, it seems that NVIDIA Ansel had captured the HDR as what it is supposed to look like. I have converted it into a .png file the best I can, but being a 32 bit .png file instead of an .exr file, there was quite a bit of black crush. In addition, I lowered the resolution by half to reduce the size.

You can find the file here (I have uploaded it to Google Drive to try to preserve the 32 bit color, using Irfanview the colors are converted into 8 bit fine for me, but Google Drive’s image viewer may not work properly): https://drive.google.com/file/d/1r7ElsxW-sU5GZukv-R-U4QGrlhU8wDJo/view?usp=sharing

I have also tried to edit that .png file to best represent what I am seeing in game, but of course, it’s not exactly correct (the shadows are darker than what I see and the highlights are clipping slightly): https://drive.google.com/file/d/1U2WZ6K_kxvWdxJ-hdImIBCPlyy381T6L/view?usp=sharing

Here is an SDR version I have captured for reference (EDIT: May not actually be the normal SDR version, I think I got them mixed up): https://i.imgur.com/pUzZGLS.jpg

And lastly, here is the original .exr file (be warned, it’s very large): https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tnbH6vZ4VXMJGIpDqAVxL5m1SI3kbvdJ/view?usp=sharing