Replay Lighting Different From Race Lighting

The other day I recorded a video of me lapping Spa at night, but I recorded the video off of my saved replay. While watching it, I was surprised by how dark it was, darker than I remembered, and not seeing how I was able to run what I had run with such low visibility.

Earlier today I took mental note of what I was capable of seeing while I was racing and then immediately comparing that to what was visible during the replay. Clearly the game renders headlights very differently during replays. For one thing, in replay you can’t see nearly as far ahead and it seems to illuminate only surfaces very near to the headlights, while during the actual race you can not only see farther but light illuminates surfaces much farther from the car, like distant rails, signs, and lines painted on the track that during replay are only visible within a stone’s throw from the car. It’s like high beams during the race and low beams in replays. Further, the cone of light is dramatically dumbed down versus the more sophisticated light beams in the race, and look more like we’re rendering the replay headlights on the original Xbox.

It’s not a big deal. It’s not really hurting anything except the quality of night race videos. It just seems bizarre. I’m not sure what the need for dumbing the lighting down in replays would be. During the live race and replay the same hardware is rendering all the same stuff. If anything, it seems like more hardware resources should be freed up in replay because, at the very least, replays don’t have to handle AI like it does during the race.

I’m not really complaining. I’m basically just sharing a perplexing observation. I couldn’t find this mentioned anywhere so I guess either nobody has noticed or nobody wanted to bring it up.


Yeah, it’s quite easy to notice this.

For example, when driving a night race at LeMans, right after Arnage corner, there’s the big Porsche banner over the track… when racing using cockpit, it gets very well lit by the car’s headlights, but on photo mode and replays, it’s completely impossible to see it. It’s a shame, because I wanted to take some nice pics using the 919 Hybrid in a race.


Spectate mode does this too. I watched a mate run a night race around the full ring the other night and I could only see about 3m in front of his car. I couldn’t even tell what part of the circuit he was on.

Would this difference be noticeable on a capture card?

I’ve noticed things like this in various replays myself. Often wondering, “how the heck did I get through that track without hitting everything…”

I’ve tried to take some night shots based on my recollection of what area and position I’m in.mwhen I jump into photo mode, it’s almost impossible to see the view I had when playing.

Unless of course I play with aperture, brightness and sharpness etc. but in doing that, one loses certain aspects of the shot. Certain "atmospheric differences that make or break a photo.

My only thought us, that during replay, the more is using less of the CPU than when in actual race mode. It probably foes that to allow quick replays, rewinds, change of view points etc all rapidly. But in-game, that could well be slower, as such actions are not available.

Much like the ‘lag’ that exist in the ‘Rewind’ function in-game. There’s often a lag between hitting ‘Rewind’ and it starting, especially after the 10 rewind, where it no longer ‘Rewinds’ persee, but shifts the game back several seconds.

Notice how there’s a significant delay when in-game compared to when in the Replay Mode. Try it and see what I mean.

So, that being the case, one could assume that there’s definitely more CPU use in Replay Mode. So, to enable it to operate more efficiently, they’ve wound back certain assets, and one that would consume a lot would be lighting.

As it affects so many aspects on the track & surrounding areas. It must also take into account each playable POV, and each one uses more or even less than others.

It’d be a complicated piece of work to give full depth of field that we experi nice in-game.

Just my five cents worth…

This is true and I believe they’ve done it with good reason - replays use higher FSAA which kicks the fps down to 30. They have to use other compromises to keep the fps locked at 30 while rendering the track, cars, the entire environment etc. during replays. It is for this reason you will notice texture pop-in more in replays, and not so much while racing.

Ahhh, thought something like that was occurring- which makes perfect sense. And also explains the draw rate differences I’ve noticed in replays…thanks for the clarification…