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Shadow Optimization

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#106 DoubleYou


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Posted 08 September 2015 - 07:38 PM


I'm a little confused by this iShadowMapResolution setting, so I'll ask a few questions.

  • Which textures are influenced by this setting? Terrain only? Do you see the same issues in cities as in the wild?
  • What happens with systems with a mixture of 1K, 2K or 4K textures?
  • How does this interact with the fShadowDistance setting?
  • Does it make a difference if you are near a cell boundary?


  • It isn't related to the textures being used on objects, say, the wall texture. I've seen this all over the place and thought it was just a bug in the shadow system until TechAngel's observation. What I believe was happening was that, due to the value being the wrong size, it would flicker between the set size and the nearest correct size.
  • Shadows and textures being used don't matter.
  • fShadowDistance doesn't affect iShadowMapResolution (I believe). There is a bug with vanilla shadows where there is an obvious change in the shadow quality at low fShadowDistance values that I believe is hardcoded (the shadow LOD settings appear to be non-working). The solution is to move fShadowDistance out farther to 4000 or more. See the videos showing this effect here: http://wiki.step-pro...fShadowDistance
  • Good question. Testing this with the cell borders on might prove useful.

#107 SparrowPrince


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Posted 08 September 2015 - 08:09 PM

I updated the OP for ENBs:
;Somewhere between 0.1 and 0.6 is best for fShadowBiasScale
;Somewhere between 0.4 and 1.0 is best for fShadowBiasScale
This is going to be user preference on how they want the shadows look and could change depending on the ENB Preset used, but going too far down causes shadows to start covering entire surfaces which is not desired. I currently have mine set to 0.6 as a happy place. Some shadowing on the face of the rocks is natural and desirable but too much doesn't look good. ENB used is Vividian Vanilla V7.
fShadowBiasScale=1.0 >> fShadowBiasScale=0.4 >> fShadowBiasScale=0.15

Sorry, but is it your ENB or do those rocks usually look like burned plastic? What mod is that? AOF? The small rocks look fine.

Edited by SparrowPrince, 08 September 2015 - 08:10 PM.

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#108 Spock



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Posted 08 September 2015 - 08:21 PM

Cool. I'll set it back to 1024 and distance back to 4000. I've been playing with the distance to see just have far it is and 2800 was way too short a distance for exteriors.

I'm not too sure about that. If I remember right, it is the right distance for the lod switching bug (which is fixed by ENB). Even with an ENB I had a better experience when using a shadow distance of about 6500 then going all the way to 8000. Since Skyrim produces one shadow map, the larger the size the lower the quality.

Edited by Spock, 08 September 2015 - 08:22 PM.

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#109 Yakuza



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Posted 07 November 2015 - 02:19 AM

So like, what else is needed for vanilla shadows..? I'm pretty sure I just solved the case, Jones, and I need to know if you guys think you understand shadows yet. Didn't know about this topic beforehand, I just looked into it myself.

Edited by Yakuza, 07 November 2015 - 02:20 AM.

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#110 Yakuza



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Posted 07 November 2015 - 02:55 AM

Yeah I'm 99.99995% sure I know how to control shadows now. I have no problems running high distance shadows (8-12k+)
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