Hey folks! If you’re using DX11, you may have noticed that certain lighting can cause blocky/geometric shading on characters in cutscenes, and make eyelashes look a bit solid. After some fiddling around with settings, I narrowed down the cause–SSAO!
If you have it set to High, it applies extra shadows where edges meet–which looks nice on the environment, but can have weird effects on characters in cutscenes. All you have to do is turn SSAO to Low or Off, and character shading will look much more natural! Check out the differences on the shoulders and eyelashes between these two screenshots:
You will lose deeper shadows in places like the inner corners of buildings, where rocks meet ground, and where other sharp concave areas are created. You can either choose which of the two mean more to you, or switch SSAO to High while running around in the world, then Low before starting a cutscene. In any case, no other settings need to be changed–no need to switch to DX9 or turn down overall GFX to increase cutscene quality in those particular instances when lighting goes pure bonkers.
Other things I found out while fiddling:
- As a reminder, you can move the advanced sliders by decimals via clicking on the bar, instead of dragging the arrow indicator. If full 4 gives your computer problems, try clicking once to get the sliders to 3.8. It moves by .2 each click, and that slight nudge can give a noticeable increase in performance with only a very minor decrease in quality. It does turn off water reflections (examples in the fourth post of this thread), but that appears to be the most noticeable change.
- Turning down GFX appears to turn off antialiasing entirely (reflected in the menu only after closing and reopening it). If you have trouble turning it back on (if you use TXAA), try turning on FXAA first. That appears to “warm up” antialiasing, allowing you to turn on TXAA without having to relog.
- Turning down GFX appears to switch SSAO to Low, while turning it up switches it to High–but this is not reflected in the menu. Don’t forget to manually switch back to your personal preference. (It will presumably turn back to what you last set it to, after relogging–thus, turning down GFX appears to fix blocky shadows if your default is High, but it is a lie. They will come back to haunt you if you do not manually switch SSAO.)
- Changing GFX settings appears to turn off depth of field (which causes things that are further away to appear more blurry). It turns back on with relog.
Go forth and enjoy pretty cutscenes, sweetlings!