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Black Circles, z-fighting and texture shimmering


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#1 torminater

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 10:57 AM

NEW UPDATE:

I have tried the Skyrim Special Edition, and there seems to be no more z-fighting for me. As if that is linked to the fixes towards the shadow processing or has something to do with the new 64bit engine, I cannot say for sure. If you have further insight, please share below.

 

OLD post:

I am still working on my fix, as it does not solve all of the z-fighting and there is a performance drop of about 0-8 FPS. Further testing is therefore welcomed!
For the original little fix head over here !


For the guide (WIP) against z-fighting head over here !


Hey folks,
at the moment I'm fiddeling around with nvidia inspector, skyrim ini and prefs to get rid of black circles on mid-distant terrain, reduce z-fighting as much as possible and eliminate texture shimmering if possible.
I don't remember if z-fighting has been such a big problem for me before the last drivers update, but now it really gets on my case. It's only visible on very distant mountain sides but in a large area. The good thing is, if it's cloudy I don't notice it as much. The bad thing is, if it's sunny all of the great graphics cannot overshine the flashing mountains in the Background.
Texture shimmering is annoying but it's on the very end of my 2dolist.
What annoys me know the most is this black circles glitch. I just can't find the setting that causes me all that trouble. :wallbash:
It is very prominent and extremely disturbing. Reading through this forum I stumbled upon a lot of threads that were highly interesting and revealed that there are a whole lot of bright minds around.
I guess if STEP tries to make Skyrim an unforgettable experience, then it should include some details about very common bugs and glitches as those three I'm referring to. If anyone of you guys knows any tricks considering them I would be too glad to try them out!
I have had problems with artifacts probably caused by too much graphic mods and ini tweaks (no ugrids changes whatsoever...)
My rig is the following:
Crucial m4 SSD 128GB, 2.5"
Samsung EcoGreen F4 1500GB
Intel Core i7-2600K, 4x 3.40GHz
Kingston ValueRAM DIMM Kit 8GB
2 x Gainward GeForce GTX 570 Phantom, 1.25GB GDDR5 SLI
ASRock P67 Extreme4
Corsair Professional Series Gold AX750 750W
All drivers are absolutely up2date. By all means I should be able to run Skyrim without problems. So far that doesn't work out...
EDIT: Those Black Circles seem only to pop up in the lower half of the screen o_O but somewhat diagonal... maybe cuz of the Sun angle?
I found out how to remove them:
fShadowBiasScale=0.1500 revert to fShadowBiasScale=0.2500 in SkyrimPrefs.ini
There are still black stripes on some rocks and mountainsides. they disappear from the center the closer you come...


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#2 stoppingby4now

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 05:12 AM

I haven't experienced the black circles, but will keep my eye out when I start getting ready to tweak my install again. The z-fighting issue is annoying, but I have yet to see any working fix. I've tested several combinations of AA, and at the moment I'm using 4XMSAA (set in Skyrim Launcher), and use nVidia Inspector to enhance the configuration and add 4XSSAA, and then use 4XTRSSAA. I get no texture shimmering at all, and while the z-fighting issue is still there, it seems slightly reduced at greater distances, and diminishes quickly upon approach.
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#3 torminater

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 06:17 AM

hey what are your settings in Skyrim launcher, inspector and did you change anything in skyrimprefsini and skyrim ini? I found out that I also have a problem concerning water reflections that vibrate extremely strong whilst I'm moving and all the movement in the water vibrates, too. with or without WATER... Also as soon as I enter a lake eg. near riverwood there is sth like a very dark bar across the water surface that vibrates and if I stand still it moves away from me and disappears after a certain distance... holy moly there are a whole lot of matters I need to fix before the next STEP comes about :/
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#4 stoppingby4now

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 06:39 AM

Here are my current nVidia Inspector settings.
Posted Image
I still need to go back through and tweak the Skyrim settings, and I haven't done that yet after a fresh re-install. But currently, I have 4xMSAA and 16xAF, and Ultra settings.

with SSAA, I do drop FPS, typically about 2-3 in cities, up to 5 out in the world. Currently using a single GTX580.
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#5 torminater

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:33 AM

How did you enable D3D? i went into regedit and hkeylocalmachine>software>microsoft>Direct 3D there I have one file called It didn't have any value. I gave it the value 1. But how do I know whether D3D is active??? EDIT: Found out that one cannot disable D3D and it's automatically enabled in Windows 7 ...
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#6 Nachtfrost

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:42 AM

Well, I also have a similar problem. Sometimes there's a strange flickering on distant mountains. (I don't know if this problem equals the one you were describing) I have only the official HD texture pack (so far, the issue also appeared without it) installed with settings on Ultra, 4xAA + 2xSSAA and Quality AO. Only ini-changes I made were taken from the last STEP release. Newest drivers (non-beta version) are also installed. I have a GTX580, too, combined with i7 2600k, 16gb RAM, 500gb HDD...
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#7 torminater

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:51 AM

What's kinda disturbing is that all of the z-fighting disappears on medium settings. I would also recommend a HD-DLC-Fix, cuz you're missing some textures eg. bloody wood block and fire afaik. @Nachtfrost: Deutsch? ;-)
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#8 stoppingby4now

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 08:06 AM

Well, I also have a similar problem. Sometimes there's a strange flickering on distant mountains. (I don't know if this problem equals the one you were describing)
I have only the official HD texture pack (so far, the issue also appeared without it) installed with settings on Ultra, 4xAA + 2xSSAA and Quality AO. Only ini-changes I made were taken from the last STEP release.
Newest drivers (non-beta version) are also installed.
I have a GTX580, too, combined with i7 2600k, 16gb RAM, 500gb HDD...

The flickering on distant mountains is the z-fighting that has been there since the release as far as I can tell, though it may have become more prominent with the HD DLC and patches. I can't remember back that far as to whether I noticed it on day one or not.
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#9 torminater

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 08:27 AM

I'm absolutely sure I didn't see it at all... but that was before 3 Nvidia drivers updates and before 5 or more Skyrim patches and before HD DLC Pack ...
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#10 stoppingby4now

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 08:35 AM

I'm pretty sure are right. I'm guessing a Skyrim patch started it, since the problem occurs for both nVidia and AMD cards.
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#11 torminater

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 09:36 AM

I found out how I can get rid of all most all of the z-fighting. The value that solves almost all the problems for me is changing fSplitDistanceMult=1.5000 to fSplitDistanceMult=2.0000 or fSplitDistanceMult=2.5000 in SkyrimPrefs.ini... Try it out
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#12 stoppingby4now

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 10:29 AM

Interesting. Just tired this out, and it is far less pronounced. For me, if there was a region on a mountain that was flickering, now it's more like the border of that region flickers rather than the entire area.
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#13 MontyMM

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 10:30 AM

Interesting. I believe that fSplitDistanceMult is related to the quality of the distant LOD, perhaps raising it beyond what the launcher sliders allow. Since the z-fighting seems to affect only the distant mountains, you could be on to something here. I would expect that there is a potential FPS hit for this, though it could be negligible. I will certainly experiment with this one.

The strange water behavior you described I think is linked to SLI. If it is not already set, try this tweak, which helps in some cases:

In NVIDIA Control Panel

Check to Enable stereoscopic 3D

Check to Hide stereoscopic 3D effects when game starts

EDIT: Also meant to say, I believe that using FXAA can exacerbate the shimmering.
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#14 stoppingby4now

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 10:45 AM

It's not just mountains that this affects, or at least I see it occur on buildings as well. In this image , I've circled wall-ends where I see the same type of flickering looking at Whiterun, though the setting above doesn't seem to help that much.

EDIT: The picture is from a fairly fresh install, I currently only have SRO and RCRN installed.
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#15 stoppingby4now

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 10:52 AM

EDIT: Also meant to say I believe that using FXAA can exacerbate the shimmering.

It definitely does. Castle walls and grass are particularly bad when it is enabled. Free looking with FXAA also causes excessive texture blurring, making some scenes unidentifiable briefly, when you need to turn around very fast.


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