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Weird Shadows/ Anti-Aliasing

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October 7, 2009 11:51:39 PM

Hello,
I'm having a problem with my newly built pc, built it about 2 weeks ago, shadows on some games, and anti-aliasing doesn't seem to work, or it's maybe me that can't notice much difference between 8x AA and no AA lol
I tried everything possible, uninstalled drivers and tried different versions, cleaned up the hardware (though it's new) tried different tweaks in catalyst & ATi Tray tools, tried different OS's (xp pro & win7 x64), tried repairing DirectX, tried different games, but nothing seems to work
shadows are a bit jaggy/glitchy like that on crysis @ maximum settings(fairly smooth game play though)




and I have another issue with shadows, it's drawn as I walk towards the object, and erased while I move back, and I just can't get why it does that, this issue only happens with crysis & assassin's creed

and even on older games, like half life 2, anti aliasing seems to make no difference whether it's none or 6x,

is something wrong with my card? should i return it ?

please, any suggestions are welcomed, I'm losing my mind right here
thanks for your help,

My specs are

ATi Radeon HD4670 1GB - 2GB kingston DDR2 - AMD Athlon X2 7750+ - MSI Mobo K9A2GM AMD 780g chipset
October 8, 2009 1:42:27 AM

I don't know about the AA issue, but the grainy shadows are caused by "jittering" to make it appear soft from a distance. Play with r_ShadowJittering (decimal values from 0-1 work best, 0 is disabled). If you disable it you'll notice the shadows appear blocky though, which means you need to increase the shadowmap size using e_shadows_max_texture_size (values are usually 256, 512, 1024, 2048, 4096 etc, 0 crashes the game and anything over 2048 will cause pretty substantial performance drops).

There's some settings for controlling how far away shadows are drawn, but I don't remember it. Check out tweakguides.com and you'll find how to change everything.
October 8, 2009 1:52:12 AM

randomizer said:
I don't know about the AA issue, but the grainy shadows are caused by "jittering" to make it appear soft from a distance. Play with r_ShadowJittering (decimal values from 0-1 work best, 0 is disabled). If you disable it you'll notice the shadows appear blocky though, which means you need to increase the shadowmap size using e_shadows_max_texture_size (values are usually 256, 512, 1024, 2048, 4096 etc, 0 crashes the game and anything over 2048 will cause pretty substantial performance drops).

There's some settings for controlling how far away shadows are drawn, but I don't remember it. Check out tweakguides.com and you'll find how to change everything.



dude, that's awesome thanks, I've been looking all over for that, I'll try it now
but still the AA problem persists, dunno what's causing that, it's quite frustrating really
Related resources
October 8, 2009 1:55:03 AM

Have you tried forcing AA through CCC?
October 8, 2009 2:00:41 AM

yeah, tried that & tried forcing it through ATi Tray Tools, didn't work though :/ 
October 8, 2009 3:11:14 AM

At what resolutions you play those games? If you play on a high resolution AA doesn't make that much of a difference.
October 8, 2009 3:15:01 AM

That is a very subjective statement. Some people will want 16xAA or more even at 2560x1600.
October 8, 2009 3:16:08 AM

BigBurn said:
At what resolutions you play those games? If you play on a high resolution AA doesn't make that much of a difference.


usually I play @ 1152*864 but I tried 1024*768 & 1280*1024(my monitor's maximum resolution) and those resolutions aren't that high I guess...
October 8, 2009 3:21:44 AM

randomizer said:
That is a very subjective statement. Some people will want 16xAA or more even at 2560x1600.


lol unfortunately, I can't afford a new monitor that can adjust to that resolution at the moment, so my 4 year old "17 is all I can have for now...
October 8, 2009 3:22:22 AM

Indeed. AA is very important for you then :D 
October 8, 2009 3:27:05 AM

If you're playing full screen but outside your monitor's native, you may just have a bad scaling engine in the LCD, and you would see bad interpolation issues which would also affect edges that are trying to fit pixels into different groupings.

The the appear/disappear issue sounds like a loading issue, either from draw distance settings or some auto settings like LOD, it's been so long since I had crysis on this I don't remember what settings I used to tweak for the HD2600.
October 8, 2009 3:38:43 AM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
If you're playing full screen but outside your monitor's native, you may just have a bad scaling engine in the LCD, and you would see bad interpolation issues which would also affect edges that are trying to fit pixels into different groupings.

The the appear/disappear issue sounds like a loading issue, either from draw distance settings or some auto settings like LOD, it's been so long since I had crysis on this I don't remember what settings I used to tweak for the HD2600.




I'm quite sure I tried the game on my native resolution, in fact, I tried on every single resolution available :D , with different refresh rates as well, still nothing changed,
and about the LOD settings, tried messing with those in crysis system.cfg, but still to no avail, I'll try looking them up again in google, tweaking them up & see what happens,
but really thanks for your suggestions, man, I LOVE this site.
October 8, 2009 5:07:02 AM

Make changes using the console in game so you can find out what works best quicker, then add those settings to the CFG. Add con_restricted 1 to the top of the CFG to ensure all console commands are unlocked when you're in game.
October 8, 2009 5:41:28 AM

randomizer said:
Make changes using the console in game so you can find out what works best quicker, then add those settings to the CFG. Add con_restricted 1 to the top of the CFG to ensure all console commands are unlocked when you're in game.


used to do that before i installed natural mod (got nothing to do with these issues btw) but I'll try again, thanks for the tip bro ;) 
October 8, 2009 4:46:20 PM

about the anti-aliasing issue, I tried today to remove my HD4670 & test run some games on my integrated HD3200, and it was just more of the same, then I re-installed the 4670, and took a screen shot of burnout paradise on high settings & 8x AA,
it looks awful

I've resized the pic btw,,

anyway, I noticed that with no AA, all textures aren't anti aliased, but with 8x, only some textures are,
and btw those "magnetic field" looking textures are quite annoying 'cuz they change when you move, and they're present in every game I play ~X(, lines seem to be drawn on objects & move as I move, maybe shader problem, IDK,,
so, does anyone know if it's a hardware issue or a driver issue or what?
thanks in advance, and I'm sorry for my English, it's not my native language :) 

that's another topic I found addressing one of the issues I have (or maybe all my issues lol) but to no avail as well so far

http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?s=b1a22d7111f4c18e50...
October 8, 2009 9:04:30 PM

I think I've found where the problem lies, its the freakin' drivers :/ 
I tried uninstalling my new drivers about an hour ago, and Installed the ones that came with the card (version 9.1), now the lines on objects are almost unnoticeable, and shadows are 10 times better, but still there's an issue with anti aliasing(very annoying when you move around), some objects just can't be anti aliased,


also, I've found this page,
http://www.oldapps.com/ati.php?old_ati_drivers=86
and now I'm trying every single driver available on it:D  it's gonna take a while, but I'll post back what I've found out when I'm done.
October 9, 2009 12:41:11 AM

Enable Adaptive Antialiasing in CCC (if there's an option for it). That will allow you to antialiase textures with transparency. It may help with fences and things.
October 9, 2009 12:45:12 AM

randomizer said:
Enable Adaptive Antialiasing in CCC (if there's an option for it). That will allow you to antialiase textures with transparency. It may help with fences and things.


CCC can't force anything into games, tried it but it refuse to do anything, maybe cuz I'm running windows 7 ?
I tried running 9.1/9.5 with no issues(except for the anti aliasing thing), tried 9.8/9.9/9.10 beta again and the glitches appeared yet again
those drivers I'm installing (and have no issues with) are for vista btw
October 9, 2009 12:48:30 AM

I forgot, CCC is a load of crap compared to the NVIDIA CP. ATI Tray Tools should allow you to set it in a profile for the game though.
October 9, 2009 12:50:53 AM

randomizer said:
I forgot, CCC is a load of crap compared to the NVIDIA CP. ATI Tray Tools should allow you to set it in a profile for the game though.


Alright, I'll retry ATi Tray Tools after I finish trying cats 9.6, I'll post the results after a few minutes...
October 9, 2009 3:35:37 AM

OMG I FINALLY DID IT !!!!
randomizer, truly, you're the man, God bless you

here are the steps for anyone having this issue

1st, remove any ATI drivers via uninstall programs&features and then open device manager, right click on your display adapter and click uninstall, and remember to choose delete driver files
2nd, restart your computer, and install catalyst drivers 9.6 (the most non-buggy drivers pack so far) I hope they fix it soon :( 
3rd, To install ATi Tray Tools on Win 7 x64, you've got to download this program first, follow the instructions right here
http://orestech.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/ati-tray-tools...
and 4th, if you want to clear the watermark, select remove watermark and follow the instructions in the web page provided

I've tested these programs myself, and everything is working fine now thank God

Thank you guys, I mean it really, and if anyone has issues with these instructions, IM me, I'd be happy to help :) 

now I can finally get some sleep :D  .....
October 9, 2009 3:43:51 AM

Cool, glad to help.
October 9, 2009 3:57:56 AM

Sweet, nice to see it work in the end !

The Pain and Joy of new hardware. :sol: 
October 9, 2009 10:50:13 AM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
Sweet, nice to see it work in the end !

The Pain and Joy of new hardware. :sol: 


Yeah:D , I think I'll be keeping those stuff for a very, very long time, I don't wanna be doing this all over again anytime soon:D 
October 10, 2009 2:17:25 AM

%#$#&$, the problems are back again, dunno how, or maybe it didn't work at all, the problem is still there
my issues were
1) there was lines drawn all over objects (like magnetic field lines), Fixed PARTIALLY by increasing "texture LOD" in D3D settings in ATi Tray Tools
2)Shadows were jagged/pixelated, like the photos above, Fixed PARTIALLY as well by installing previous versions of drivers (9.6 & earlier are more reliable), shadows now aren't that Jaggy, but still very annoying/blocky,
I installed tomb raider underworld today, and it looked like that on MAX settings & 8x AA 16x AF (tried forcing through CCC & ATT and to no avail as well)


3)anti aliasing issues, some objects can't be rendered, tried forcing AA through catalyst/ ATi Tray Tools(after installing 2 other programs to get it working on windows 7) and still, can't force AA, and by changing AA modes only I can get a noticeable yet ineffective AA,


so, the main question here is, does all ATi cards run those games like that ?(Crysis, Burnout Paradise, Tomb Raider Underworld) or is my card faulty ?
I was thinking of going green & replacing it with a new nvidia card(since I just bought it 3 weeks ago), but I'm afraid that even when I replace the card I'll end up with the same graphical issues,

also, I've found two new threads about same issues as mine but stil with no solutions, one discussing ATi cards
http://www.rage3d.com/Board/showthread.php?t=33921769
and the other is discussing nvidia & ati cards
http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=17996

I'm running windows 7 x64 with cats 9.1 at the moment, I'll try installing another OS (windows XP pro SP3) on another HDD, and see what happens, I'll post back with results as soon as I'm done
I'm sorry guys if I thought that I fixed it, but I really need some help
Please, if you have any suggestions, just tell me 'cuz at my wits end here...
October 11, 2009 4:00:25 PM

still the same on XP, I'll try to replace the card with a 9600 gt...
October 12, 2009 12:07:45 AM

Yea give that a go and see if it's certainly a driver or hardware-related issue. It could just be the game, as some don't use very high resolution shadowmaps and end up with blocky shadow edges.
!