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Getting Rid of Ugly Shadows And Increase Your FPS

ssao shadows ambient occlusion fog fps

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#1
Goatroach

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I recently stumbled upon purely by chance the solution to getting rid of those ugly, fake looking shadows.

Go to your graphics card's control panel, and simply turn off ambient occlusion (SSAO). Done. Now your

shadows look more natural, and you'll get a huge FPS boost (mine was a 15 FPS gain).

 

Here's a reference image so you can see the difference:

 

431863_617309831615610_1667493750_n.jpg

 

Waaaaaay better looking, and runs smoother. Yay!

 

Note the weird shadow the bow causes with AO on (you've all wondered about that):

425286_617330711613522_595183167_n.jpg


Edited by Goatroach, 30 May 2013 - 08:45 AM.


#2
FiftyTifty

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If you turn off the shadows in Skyrim by editing the .ini files, you can bolster your FPS by an even greater margin.

 

Of course, things will be awfull grey; Realistic Lighting Overhaul and More Colorful Lights will actually make everything look better than if they had shadows.



#3
Goatroach

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You need shadows, just not fake SSAO/HBAO/HDAO shadows. Without actual shadows, the lighting wouldn't matter because everything would be lit.

 

Turning off AO has also sped-up my load times from about 30 seconds to less than 5-10 seconds. Plus, I run a lot of scripts (about 20 mods running that implement their own scripts plus the vanilla scripts), and it used to be when I performed an action that initiates a script, ie renting a room at an inn, I'd have to wait up to 15 seconds before the gold would be removed, and the dialogue would continue. With AO turned off, my scripts run with less than 1 second of lag vs. the 10-15 seconds of lag. I'm no programmer, so I have no idea why AO was affecting script run times. I would have thought scripts would be run by my i7 quad core processor, not my GPU. Who knew?



#4
Goatroach

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I took this picture today to illustrate the difference between reality and what shut-in gamers call "realistic."

ei4.png

So many ENBs say "Realistic" yet they look like Gears of War's fake looking contrast and fake shadows (ambient occlusion).

 

Sure, the second picture looks neat, but not realistic in any sense of the word.


Edited by Goatroach, 26 June 2013 - 02:42 AM.


#5
myztikrice

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I took this picture today to illustrate the difference between reality and what shut-in gamers call "realistic."

ei4.png

So many ENBs say "Realistic" yet they look like Gears of War's fake looking contrast and fake shadows (ambient occlusion).

 

Sure, the second picture looks neat, but not realistic in any sense of the word.

6l0tPAo.jpg



#6
prod80

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If you dont know how to do proper natural lighting with ENB, dont even install it. How about that guys? Blaming ENB for your own incompetence in programming it is a bit low, if you have any idea how much work was put into it by Boris, for so many games.

6440158-1371159543.jpg



#7
Goatroach

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If you dont know how to do proper natural lighting with ENB, dont even install it. How about that guys? Blaming ENB for your own incompetence in programming it is a bit low, if you have any idea how much work was put into it by Boris, for so many games.

 

So you get mad, call us incompetent, and show us a picture of your character with mesh and texture mods that are irrelevant to this topic. Great job.

The only thing I even remotely like about ENB is the DOF, and even that doesn't work correctly most of the time.

 

Oh, and transparent swords next to walls. Don't forget that.

 

Supposedly CoT is among other things an ENB, but when combined with RLO, you get a very natural slightly desaturated picture with shadows that aren't pitch black out doors during the day.

Too many people think if the sun isn't shining directly on a surface, it should be pitch black. This is not how sunlight works. Sunlight is a diffuse light, and refracts in the atmosphere as well as reflecting off of many objects until the light particles lose momentum. This means sunlight can light surfaces in a very even manner that are not facing the initial light source. This is also true with fire and light bulbs, but not to the same degree of candle power as the sun. In other words, a fire pit will illuminate a decent sized area, but the refraction and reflection of the light dissipates far more quickly due to the emitted particles having less momentum from a combustion source rather than the sun or nuke (fusion and fission sources).

 

To me, "realistic" is what it would look like if I was actually standing there, NOT through a camera.


Edited by Goatroach, 26 June 2013 - 08:13 PM.


#8
prod80

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I don't get mad - but putting pictures up with ENB, suggesting it looks like crap is not very nice... it's just how you configure it. It's not ENB's fault the image is not realistic, it's the person who configured it (which is not the ENB developer either). And besides that, most aren't made to be "realistic" as in compared to real life images, but realistic as in "it's a fantasy game".

 

That ENB doesn't work perfect in some situations, fine, it has to work with directx and ever changing videocard drivers and hardware - not to mention the lighting mod(s) you use. How does the normal game look like with RLO+CoT for that matter? There are a billion light sources in RLO that don't make sense but have been left that way to improve the gameplay or because the engine has limits, skies in CoT are far from realistic as well. There is no way to get "Realistic" lighting in Skyrim because the hardware wouldn't even be able to do it, not even talking about the huge limitation the Skyrim engine has. Still. ENB combined with good lighting mod(s) like RLO + CoT to have interior and exterior light can give you the best results. It just takes a lot of tweaking to get there.

 

And CoT is not an "ENB" ... CoT is a weather and lighting mod for Skyrim and has absolutely nothing to do with ENB Series developed by Boris.

 

EDIT:

Btw - I use AO with ENB, and I don't have any of those issues from those screenshots in your OP - so whoever set that up, either didn't set the settings right or simply didn't care. It can also be you didn't set your own Skyrim.ini files correct and are pointing fingers to the wrong person(s)... So you might wanna try and add

 

[Display]
fNear1stPersonDistance=0.0000

 

Into Skyrim.ini

 

To get rid of the shadows around your bow and other close person objects which start to look weird when using AO (water, for instance) - If that works you can post on the Bethesda forums as to why oh why, instead of posting here that ENB and/or AO is junk while it certainly is not.



#9
DOGamer

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i particularly do not use ENB since my computer just cant handle it, but i have seen many that look wonderfull not just like some oversaturated ones, but AO is essential in realism simulation, if you check correctly in the reality picture you showed, you can see some shadow under objects (like bushes) that is slighly darker than the actual shadows generated by the ambient ilumination, those litle slightly darker spots, in a cgi are generated with ambien oclusion, withotu it the 3d models look plane and with no depth they are not just fake shadows, AO is a way to sumulate a surface to be touched by various elements like dust, dirt, and light, in the ingame pictures you showed, you can see the diference in the swadows under the crates, if you go outside and put an object on a pavement floor, under a well defined shadow, in a well iluminated day you can se that slightly darker shadow under it, that is what the AO tries to simulate, in the image without ambien oclusion you can see that it looks like the crates are floating over the floor and not right in contact with it. you can see a more detailed comparison if you look at the grass on a field w/wo AO.

 

Is known issue that AO and near fog in skyrim doesent go along well since AO tries to draw the shadows over the fog and that way you can see a gray object with shadows on it, so it looks like your first pic.

 

i hope there is a way to solve that 'cos some times is realy anoyig :sad:


Edited by DOGamer, 30 July 2013 - 06:08 AM.


#10
Sigurd44

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High quality ambient occlusion is a waste in this game, quality is already sufficient and the two settings made a difference of 20 fps with 4 NPCs present indoors and the visual gain was pretty mediocre. In addition to that - with my lighting mod (RCRNv36) - already shadowy parts of a texture surface appear even darker (and much too dark in my eyes) if selected high quality. So I decided AC quality is enough, the loss of 20 fps in an indoor area (outdoors my game might be even unplayable) isn't worth it.

 

The performance loss between those two settings is such drastical for me, because I play on a 27'' screen with 2560 x 1440 resolution. Each grafical tweak has much more performance impact in comparison to a 24'' display with only "simple" HD (1920 x 1080) resolution.

 

...and yes, prod80 is about right, if he mentions that your lighting mod plays a big role for displaying a proper ambient occlusion effect and he is about right that he posted a NPC, because the effect is mostly visible on NPCs - especially faces or if you use normal athletic body maps for example - and it does make a big difference grafical and immersion wise there.

 

Playing Dawnguard and Soul Cairn for example without ambient occlusion = immersion loss for me.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: ssao, shadows, ambient, occlusion, fog, fps

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