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thunderclam

Graphics/Shadow Issues: Desperate for Help!

Question

Hi. I've been around the forums on this subject already, around 8 months ago the last time I tried to install Skyrim w/ STEP and other mods. I am hoping to get some more definitive solutions or ideas or troubleshooting on the graphics related problems I have. I have searched the forums, google, and Nexus for updated information on these sorts of issues and have found very little besides solutions Nearox tried which did not work for me.

 

These are the details as clear as I can give them. Please let me know if there's anything I've left out:

 

SPECS:

 

AMD Radeon 6950 w/ BETA driver 13.35 Catalyst 14.3

Intel i5 2500-K (4 core 3.30ghz)

8gb RAM

Using a Samsung 32inch LCDTV as monitor (60hz refresh, 1360x768 native resolution)

 

HOW I AM RUNNING SKYRIM:

 

Resolution at 1920x1080

 

Step Extended 2.2.8 install including a few extra gameplay-related mods but NO GRAPHICS OR LIGHTING MODS AT THIS TIME.

 

All STEP graphics mods are run with BASELINE/LOW quality options but are NOT OPTIMIZED.

 

.ini settings AS PER STEP but with a few tweaks to iShadowBiasScale to fix the weird crap that goes on with field of view (where a halo of shadow surrounds and moves with the player in-game).

 

Card settings and in-game graphics options (including AA, VSYNC, etc) AS PER STEP 2.8

 

ENBoost and Memory Patch 3.0 are enabled.

 

uGrids are at SKYRIM DEFAULT.

 

PROBLEMS:

 

ALL LISTED PROBLEMS OCCUR PRIMARILY WHEN CAMERA OR PLAYER IS MOVED IN GAME.

 

There appears to be an issue with certain textures at this resolution. Certain "ground" textures strobe badly in such a way that it looks like a refresh problem. By this I mean there's a kind of "lightening" effect when you move. It's headache-inducing but difficult to describe. Lowering the resolution eliminates the issue but also kills the AA making everything else flicker and swim on screen. It also manifests on trees.

 

EDIT: This video shows (roughly) the issue I'm describing. I don't know that mine is this bad, but this will give you an example. Consensus online is that it's a TV-as-monitor issue or a cable issue:

 

 

AA is still pretty bad. I learned last time around that AA was likely responsible for problems I've been having with flickering/twinkling transparency. I've noticed on other PCs that this is just a Skyrim thing, but it seems to be more pronounced if I use lower resolutions. The AA problems manifest themselves in things like texture and shadow shimmer as you move around or move the camera in game. This is especially apparent a certain distance away from the player, about middle distance.

 

Camera Stutter usually occurs when I pan the camera diagonally, but can happen in some areas without this. I was told in another thread to try using ENB settings to fix. This did not work, I reported it, and there's been no response as yet so I'm folding into this general help request. Anyway, using Borderless Window and such also doesn't work as it kills AA the same way lowering resolution does. This is the least bothersome of the problems I've been having.

 

WHAT I HAVE TRIED/NOT TRIED:

 

I haven't tried using a different monitor and I haven't tried any ENB profiles or custom weather (RCRN) to see if it helps. I have tried tinkering with ENB effects and AA but have not been able to reliably fix the problem without introducing other graphics issues.

 

MY THEORIES:

 

I think it may be my monitor and the resolution settings, which perhaps this TV can't properly do for Skyrim or something. I think it's POSSIBLE that I could get a combination of settings I like by overriding STEP's recommendations for game/GPU settings and tinkering with the .ini even more than I have lately or in the past. I am loath to buy a new monitor if this is not REALLY the issue. And honestly, going down the route of testing 3rd party programs like RadeonPro, rolling back drivers, playing with .ini and the STEP recommended settings, etc DROVE ME AWAY from Skyrim for over half a year now. I really hope some ground has been gained in solving issues like this.

Edited by thunderclam

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Hm sadly i cannot see anything wrong in this video exept the screen goes dark as soon you move the cam.

But your native Resolution is 1360x768 , why do you let skyrim run on Full HD wich your monitor then can't handle?

 

Well anyway, as i also use a LG 32 Inch TV as monitor for skyrim (real full hd that is ::):  ) the first thing i had todo was disable auto brightness in the tv settings.

Also try let skyrim run on your native's resolution also at real fullscreen, not windowed and have a look at my skyrim prefs:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ealhwl36l95z5zq/KvC2ltQLk7/Optional%20Files/Skyrim%20Prefs

 

maybe they help. If not, try to switch to another ENB like. uhhhmmm Vividian :lol: 

 

 

 

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Hmmm that is a tricky one to be sure! Kinda difficult to diagnose without actually being in front of it! :S 

 

As it has already been suggested make sure to test out using fullscreen mode, and not any windowed stuff.... anything related to refresh issues can often be traced back to windowed modes not functioning properly for all given setups. 

 

The best thing to do would be to test on another monitor ofc. to make sure the issue is isolated. If it also happen on a PC monitor then it is most likely some setting that is just wonky with your driver choice etc. If it does not then it is something related to your TV. 

 

 

On the ENB side of things I can only recommend that you try out one that have adaptation disabled or severely limited. It might also help reduce issues related to tone variation... which some TV`s are not fond of even in the best of cases. Quite a few ENB presets do have this, since skyrims native adaptation is super weird. 

 

 

As for the AA then what you describe is basically what happens when you have AA or not AA at low resolutions, and the main reason why AA is even a thing. You could try not using any ENB and then force 8x MSAA through drivers, and that might provide you with the best option for you. If there are still any flickering issues at that stage, then it is not because of AA related stuff, but rather driver, cable... GPU not powerful enough stuff. 

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There appears to be an issue with certain textures at this resolution. Certain "ground" textures strobe badly in such a way that it looks like a refresh problem. By this I mean there's a kind of "lightening" effect when you move.

 

Are you using parallax-ed textures and/or Temporal AA? Just suggesting that some, if not all, of the things in your quote could be caused or exacerbated by certain parallax issues or TA side-effects.

 

Also, the whole non-native resolution thing is just begging for ripple-effects in your visuals...just think about all those horribly distorted pixels!

Edited by Kuldebar

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Thanks for the responses everyone!

 

@Mangaclub

But your native Resolution is 1360x768 , why do you let skyrim run on Full HD wich your monitor then can't handle?

I tested it. When I do this, my AA doesn't work correctly and every single texture shudders like GTA5 on a 360. It's brutal and I'm not sure how to fix it. The last time I tried w/ driver tinkering and tinkering with Skyrim, ENB, and .ini files just kept trading one problem for two more or else a worse problem. By the time I was at my wit's end, I had no idea how to go back to normal.I almost always run at fullscreen. I just tested borderless windowed because STEP suggests it for AMD cards. 

 

Also, your prefs.ini seems to have a lot of changes and additions that I've never seen approved anywhere. Can you explain some of them in a PM before I go tossing them into my game?

 

@Aiyen

 

Yeah I'd say it isn't the borderless thing. I am running in Fullscreen and getting these problems.

 

I don't think I have access to another monitor. I guess I could go buy one and try and then take it back if it doesn't fix the issue?

 

On the ENB side of things I can only recommend that you try out one that have adaptation disabled or severely limited. It might also help reduce issues related to tone variation... which some TV`s are not fond of even in the best of cases. Quite a few ENB presets do have this, since skyrims native adaptation is super weird.

 

As for the AA then what you describe is basically what happens when you have AA or not AA at low resolutions, and the main reason why AA is even a thing. You could try not using any ENB and then force 8x MSAA through drivers, and that might provide you with the best option for you. If there are still any flickering issues at that stage, then it is not because of AA related stuff, but rather driver, cable... GPU not powerful enough stuff.

 

 

 

I'm sorry, I don't really follow. Tone variation? I don't use ENB, just the hack without effects. I have tried ENBs in the past and had problems. I don't know how to force 8x MSAA through drivers without using Radeonpro which I've had nothing but problems with. It's likely that I simply don't understand any of these elements of the issue well enough?

 

@Kuldebar

 

No parallax textures. No temporal AA. I've tried temporal AA via ENB before from suggestions made on this forum, but it never worked for me. What it seems like is that certain ground textures and textures with "transparency" elements just hate the camera moving. When I move the camera in any way, the world twinkles/glimmers/flickers just a bit in some places and very dramatically (the ground strobing in grassy dirt areas like around the path from Helgen to Riverwood) in others. 

 

It's similar to the effect of a strobe light. The textures seem to brighten/darken so rapidly that it's almost imperceptible except that it hurts the eyes to look at it. It's very much like when you have a monitor or TV with its refresh messed up.

Edited by thunderclam

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I feel your pain...I had this also...

 

For a long time i tried so many different things....its like Ghosting, if you move the mouse (camera) really really slow and stop n start a lot you can watch the colors change also?

 

 That was using a 32" TV with a bunch of different cables, HDMI, DVI - HDMI,  and DVI-d . I never got rid of it. It actually seamed to get worse when i started to play Skyrim again. So i gave in and bought a real Monitor, (not a TV) 100% Fixed. What i am told is, its the MS time?...my new monitor is 1 MS, my TV  was something like 5 MS (could have been higher) , also going from 60 Hz refresh to 144 Hz is amazing. 

 

Things to try....in your TV settings look for things like GAME mode. That turns off all the built in processing the TV has. it really does help. Using any kind of Adapter on your cable is not advised. Say your tv is HDMI and your GPU is DVI-d you have to get the more expensive hybrid cable that has the correct ends built in.

 

This problem limited my time in front of the computer, the "Strobe" effect is so bad it can make you nauseous.

 

EDIT: to add ....Drop your Screen REZ (while Gaming)  to match the native resolution of that TV.>>1360x768 native resolution

Edited by camaro_69_327

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Things to try....in your TV settings look for things like GAME mode. That turns off all the built in processing the TV has. it really does help. Using any kind of Adapter on your cable is not advised. Say your tv is HDMI and your GPU is DVI-d you have to get the more expensive hybrid cable that has the correct ends built in.

I believe my card is HDMI, it's got the port. The TV does not have a GAME mode, but the picture modes are STANDARD, MOVIE, and DYNAMIC (which is bright, like a monitor, and the mode I use). 

 

EDIT: to add ....Drop your Screen REZ (while Gaming)  to match the native resolution of that TV.>>1360x768 native resolution

Welp. The trouble with that, as I've said, is the loss of AA features. The whole world goes wavy/shimmery when I drop to 1360x768. It's REALLY odd because back in the day, I played Skyrim exclusively in 1280x760. It's only when I started having all kinds of AA problems that I upped to 1920x1080.

 

Anyway, I am going to buy a flipping monitor. All sources seem to confirm that it'll fix the issue.

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Well, personally if I had to go with a new monitor right now (glad I don't since I just had to upgrade my other hardware and probably woudn't be able to) on personal preference alone I would go with something like this.

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Thanks guys. Phazer, that monitor is gorgeous but too rich for my blood. My 32inch TV, which cost $700 when I got it, is still awesome except for this crap so I'm not sure I want to turn around and spend another $500. That said. I need something close to the same size. I bet I'll end up with a 27" monitor from frigging Best Buy.

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UPDATE:

 

I purchased a 1920x1080p Acer monitor and the issue persists. That is... very disappointing.

 

FURTHER UPDATE:

 

I've narrowed it down to a mod. I'm not sure which one but it's definitely a STEP mod. I thought I had vetted them all thoroughly but now I'm going through them again to make sure. When I find the source of the issue, I'll report again.

Edited by thunderclam

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