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PostPosted: 13 Jul 2011, 13:08 
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Visual explanation of the different ways games can behave in widescreen.

I've put this together to help out people unfamiliar with the terms used in our Detailed Reports understand what is meant when we describe a screen change.

Anamorphic
The key giveaway that a game is anamorphic in behaviour are the thick black bars that appear above and below the game screen in narrow screens like 4:3, thinner black bars as the screen gets wider, such as 16:10, and are or are almost non-existant on 16:9 screens. In surround, the behaviour that accompanies this is usually pillarboxed, but has sometimes seen to be Hor+.

The highest grade a game with Anamorphic behaviour can achieve is A.

4:3 Resolution - large black bars across the top and bottom


16:10 Resolution - thinner black bars than 4:3


16:9 Resolution - some games have thinnest black bars here, some have none



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Hor+
The best way to identify Hor+ behaviour is to check the top and bottom of the screenshots versus the side of the screenshots. What you should see at the top and bottom is exactly the same, but what you should see at the edges should be different, where more area is viewable on the wider screenshots.

The highest grade a game with Hor+ behaviour can achieve is A.

4:3 Resolution


16:10 Resolution - Same view on the top, extra view on the sides


16:9 Resolution - Same view on the top, even more view on the sides


Comparison Image



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Pillarbox
This behaviour results in widescreens having black bars on the left and right of the game screen. The black bars get thicker as the screen gets wider.

The highest grade a game with Pillarbox behaviour can achieve is D.

4:3 Resolution


16:10 Resolution - No extra view available on the side, it just gets filled with black


16:9 Resolution - No extra view available on the side, it just gets filled with black


Surround Resolution - Pillarbox makes gaming in surround resolutions pointless as the side screens are not used



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Pixel-Based
Usually associated with games that look down from above such as SimCity, this behaviour simply shows more or less depending on screen size. This means that although 1280x800 and 1650x1050 are both 16:10 resolutions, you would see much more of the gaming area on the larger screen.

The highest grade a game with Pixel-based behaviour can achieve is A.

4:3 Resolution


16:10 Resolution - Much larger viewable area due to large resolution


16:9 Resolution - Even though the aspect ratio is greater, due to a smaller resolution, less is seen than the 16:10 image


Comparison Image



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Stretch
The easiest way to identify this behaviour is that everything looks fatter in widescreen. The same things that are on all four edges in the standard screen are also on the edges in widescreen, nothing is gained and nothing is lost. It's just stretched.

The highest grade a game with Stretched behaviour can achieve is D.

4:3 Resolution


16:10 Resolution - No extra view on top, bottom, or sides. Image is stretched in width


16:9 Resolution - Image stretch in width is even more obvious


Surround Resolution - Stretch looks really bad in surround resolutions


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Vert-
This is where the same things are drawn on the edges of the screen, but bits are missing at the top and bottom. You get the feeling of being zoomed in when viewing the wider images, compared to the standard screens.

The highest grade a game with Vert- behaviour can achieve is C.

4:3 Resolution


16:10 Resolution - The tops and bottom are chopped off


16:9 Resolution - the tops and bottom are chopped off even more


Surround Resolution - Vert- makes games almost unplayable in surround resolutions


Comparison Image -



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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2011, 12:13 
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HUD Stretch

The HUD is the 2D overlay seen in games, and often contains ammo count or weapon, health, revs or speed, depending on the game. This can behave in a few ways - it can either remain the same size regardless of resolution or aspect ratio (this behaviour is considered ideal), or it can change size and stretch as the screen gets wider.

In multi-monitor setups, the HUD can either be spanned across all three screens or centered on the centre screen. Note that spanned HUD does not automatically mean stretched HUD - a spanned HUD can either retain the correct shape and size but simply be located on the edge, or it can be stretched in shape as well as being spanned. I'm not sure I have ever seen a centered HUD that is stretched compared to 4:3 aspect ratio - usually if the developers have taken the time to center it on the centre monitor, they have also taken the time to make sure it doesn't stretch.

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HUD: Stretched

Here is an example of HUD stretching. You can see that as the aspect ratio gets larger, the HUD starts stretching across the screen. Circles are no longer circles, they become ovals.

4:3 Resolution - You can see the circle components in the HUD are round.


16:10 Resolution - The circles start turning into ovals as the HUD stretches.


16:9 Resolution - The stretching is very evident as the aspect ratio gets wider.


Comparison of all 3 next to each other.


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HUD: Not stretched

Here is an example of a HUD with no stretching. You can see that as the aspect ratio gets larger, the HUD stays the same size.

4:3 Resolution - You can see the circle components in the HUD are round.


16:10 Resolution - Although there is more space between the HUD elements, the elements themselves retain their proper shape.


16:9 Resolution - Still the HUD elements retain their proper shape.


Comparison of all 3 next to each other.


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HUD: Multi-monitor

Here are some examples of multi-monitor HUDs.

Spanned


Centered


Stretched

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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2011, 14:04 
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Excellent thread, very easy to understand.


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 Post subject: Very Nice!
PostPosted: 18 Jul 2011, 00:02 
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Very Nice! :)

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 Post subject: +1 indeed
PostPosted: 18 Jul 2011, 03:48 
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+1 indeed


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 Post subject: Do like.
PostPosted: 18 Jul 2011, 23:09 
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Do like.

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PostPosted: 10 Mar 2015, 12:38 
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Fantastic explanation! Keep up the good work!


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PostPosted: 13 Mar 2015, 20:26 
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I knew I recognized that CSS screenshot from somewhere! Great write up.

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PostPosted: 10 Dec 2015, 13:30 
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What kind of Widescreen Behavior is to select when the Game is Optimized on 16:9 and 16:10 and 4:3 are just squeezed from 16:9 :?:

see here --> http://www.wsgf.org/dr/ionball-2-ionstorm/en

usually it is the opposite that the Game is streched from 4:3 to 16:9.

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PostPosted: 10 Dec 2015, 20:17 
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Good question. The game is definitely not deserving of an unsupported grade, for sure.

In this case, my gut feeling is to select Hor+ and then choose Minor Issues (B) in the Widescreen Issues: drop down, because 16:10 widescreen is still slightly squashed compared to 16:9. This should give it a B score, meaning still good but not absolutely perfect.

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