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Diablo Bloom and HDR Patch
12-30-2013, 09:47 PM
Post: #1
Diablo Bloom and HDR Patch
Genin32 has uploaded a patch for Diablo and Hellfire which adds some shine and shimmer to the game. It's based off of Josh of StrangeBytes' Vista/Windows ddraw.dll patch and adds Bloom and HDR effects. It's quite the effect and adds to the classic gothic style of the original game.

You can see screenshots and download the patch from here:

I thought I'd share it here as well.

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12-31-2013, 09:51 AM (This post was last modified: 12-31-2013 09:55 AM by Belix.)
Post: #2
RE: Diablo Bloom and HDR Patch
Interesting, in theory. I have some problems with it, but before I get to that let me attach a proper screenshot; I think the ones offered are rather underwhelming and don't show the effect very well.

EDIT: Adding a second screenshot so you can see a proper 'before' and 'after' comparison. Smile

[Image: k7u0.png]

[Image: alnu.png]

I played with this a little bit with both Diablo and Hellfire, and it sadly seems unstable even following genin's suggestion of enabling debug mode in the .ini file. Diablo can crash randomly, though Hellfire did not crash for me yet, both seem to always crash when you quit. The exit crashes are fine, but the random crashes preclude any desire for me to actually play the game with this.

It lets you play in a window (on by default, you can adjust the window resolution or you can change the default to fullscreen in the INI - alternatively if you're playing Diablo simply press ALT+Enter to go fullscreen, but ALT+Enter doesn't work in Hellfire for some reason), which is neat.

From a technical standpoint this is quite impressive, but at present with its default settings, I think it creates some serious contrast issues. Things are both too dark and too bright; you'll probably initially want to increase the game's brightness because of how dark everything is, only then later to find your spell icons harshly bright, among other effects you might see in the play area.

There also seems to be some auto-adjustment going on that makes the glowing effect more or less prominent; moving through the Caves I noticed the light levels flare up and down a bit depending on how much lava was on screen. This makes getting a consistent effect quite difficult. I'm uncertain if this modification is responsible for that behavior, though, as this could be normal for Bloom and/or HDR (I haven't used these in awhile in newer games).

It also causes some minor graphics artifacts in the main menu, but I can overlook those.

If the author can iron out the stability issues and provide better default settings, the mixture of soft glows and deep shadows could certainly be attractive.

Thanks for sharing!
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12-31-2013, 12:32 PM
Post: #3
RE: Diablo Bloom and HDR Patch
It is pretty unstable. It's really cool to show a proof of concept of something that's new and cool for this game. I had to increase the gamma as soon as I started. Hellfire seems to have a better luck than Diablo but even with debug=1 it still crashes, seemingly for no reason.
Part of the issue is from the Vista/Windows 7 Patch from Josh at StrangeBytes which hasn't been updated since 2012. I've attempted to contact him previously and also recently with no response. There's no other ddraw.dll patch that works with this Bloom HDR patch.
I'm hoping for stability too.

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01-01-2014, 07:43 PM (This post was last modified: 01-01-2014 07:52 PM by Slayer_X64.)
Post: #4
RE: Diablo Bloom and HDR Patch
Nice stuff!!! I'll have to give it a try!!!

As for the StrangeBytes Patch, It itself is relatively unstable, but I have found ways to make it act much more stable (at least for playing the game for 4+ hours at a time, I've managed to avert crashes). And its a good thing because its the only way i've found yet to make Diablo run properly on say, an AMD R9 280X (because newer graphics cards like this are simply not compatible, even with the previous colorfix methods - part of me thinks this is some sort of driver issue. Hopefully it will be corrected in the future, but there's no telling if it will or not, so until then I came up with a solution for it). Here's what I do:

1) I set Diablo's compatibility options to run as administrator.
2) I edit Diablopatch.ini and set fullscreen to 1. for best stability I will also choose a 4:3 resolution, like 640x480 or 800x600 (though you can get the game stable with a widescreen resolution, its just a little bit more of a hassle - I've done this for myself personally, but more for the fact that whenever my monitor changes resolutions, it pops up an annoying message telling me such. If you do run it widescreen, VSYNC MUST be turned on, or else the screen tearing will be awful.)
3) I make a batch file to run the game with the following code:

start /affinity 1 Diablo.exe

the reason for this is because this patch doesnt seem to have taken Diablo's multicore issues into account, and that is what causes most of the crashes (the other half being caused by ddraw access violations, which can be averted through a combination of the resolution thing above, and rebooting your computer every so often.)
4) I restart my computer. This is probably the most important step, because if you dont do this, you will run into access violation errors, and will get crashes galore. With a fresh start though, the game still gets these errors on occassion but seems to recover from them as to not crash. But everytime I want to play diablo with this patch method, I always restart my computer first and then boot up the game - after that everything works fine.

As for Debug mode, I dont think that has any effect on stability - all it does is tell you why the game crashes. I dont believe I've had it turned on ever since I got things working properly.

Perhaps give that a try? Hopefully it helps you guys out a little bit.

Also, running screen capture software such as fraps can make the game unstable, especially if you leave the frame counter on. Turn off your frame counter, and if you are going to make a video recording, start off by "warming up" the game with a couple of 2 second dummy recordings in game before you actually start playing. Also I've found the game doesnt seem to do well if you try recording video on the main menu screen. Just something to note for future reference I suppose - If you want to record anything now, you'll likely have to do it from in-game in order to get any good results.

I will test this way and see how it works. Let me know if this helps!

I can see what you see not
Vision milky, then eyes rot
When you turn they will be gone
Whispering their hidden song
Then you see what cannot be
Shadows move where light should be
Out of darkness, out of mind
Cast down into the halls of the blind
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