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Graphic setting and what they means?


Sirine
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Terrain Detail: This affects the detail level of the planet meshes and the oceans. Lower setting is faster, but will look more jagged and rough, less "real", so to speak.

SM3 Terrain Shaders: This setting is here primarily for compatibility with older video cards. Disabling it allows it to use the older Shader Model 2.0 terrain shaders. Only have it off if the terrain displays excessively glitchy or not at all with it on.

Terrain Scatters: Enables and disables the terrain scatters, as well as setting the general density of scatter meshes and sprites. Trees, rocks, bushes, etc., are all scatter meshes. Disable these entirely for best performance.

Render Quality Level: As the name implies, this simply affects a bunch of things at once. Below the middle level (Default, or Normal, I think), shadows may appear very glitchy, if they appear at all. General game detail as a whole goes down as you lower this slider, but speed will also increase.

Fallback Part Shaders: Similar to the Terrain Shaders option, except it's better to have it disabled unless necessary. This option should only be activated if parts and ships appear glitchy, or lack textures, etc.

Aerodynamic FX Quality: This affects the look and performance of the reentry and supersonic flight shaders. Lower settings will make the effect all but invisible, but the performance difference should be negligible on everything but the most monstrous of crafts. Some older cards may require it to be left at lower settings, as they may not support the newer shaders the higher settings use. You'll know if you need to lower this setting when parts that should be experiencing the reentry effect turn pink or black instead.

Screen Resolution: Fairly self-explanatory. Changes the size of the game window when windowed, changes the screen resolution when in fullscreen. Lower settings = better performance.

Full Screen: Depending on your graphics card, you may find that the game runs better or worse in fullscreen as opposed to windowed mode. Use Alt+Enter to switch modes whilst in-game, if you wish to test which one works better for you.

Anti-Aliasing: As with every other 3D game out there, without antialiasing you'll see jagged edges on objects a lot of the time. However, Unity's AA is known to be rather unreliable and not super useful. It's better to rely on your graphics card's built-in AA support, which can be controlled through the app that comes with your card (e.g., the Catalyst app for AMD cards). As such, you can safely leave this option completely off entirely.

V-Sync: In a sense, a frame-limiter. If you allow the game to run too hot, it will render frames faster than necessary. Most modern monitors display at roughly 60 FPS, regardless of what your card is sending it; it simply won't be able to show any more. As such, enabling V-Sync allows you to conserve your graphics card's energy. Every VBlank limits it to the monitor's refresh rate (usually 60 Hz, or 60 FPS). Every Second VBlank limits it to half of your monitor's refresh rate (commonly this will result in around 30 FPS). V-Sync will also ensure that there is no partially-rendered frames (i.e., no visible tears on the screen). However, I've noticed that enabling VSync can seem to be rather useless and even a bit damaging to performance when your card is not already rendering the FPS limit or higher anyway. If you experience lag issues, this should be one of the things you try disabling, possibly in favour of your graphics chip's built in app setting for V-Sync.

Frame Limit: Allows you to set a more specific frame limit than the VSync setting does, however it will not prevent possible screen-tears. Can be used both independently and in conjunction with V-Sync. If you get FPS spikes to really high levels which then often drop back down, you can use the frame limit to strike a bit of a more stable middle ground by forcibly limiting the framerate.

Pixel Light Count: This alters the maximum number of light sources that have their light rendered on individual pixels. Additional lights will display glitchy, with a tendency to illuminate entire faces of an object, as opposed to a collection of pixels that make up that object.

A spotlight within the limit will have a fairly concentrated, obvious circle of what it is illuminating, whereas the same light that is pushing the engine over this set limit (i.e., there are a great many other lights around as well) will actually illuminate an entire object if any part of it falls under the light's usual beam. In addition, with more lights than this set amount, the additional ones will tend not to illuminate terrain at all.

Raising this setting too much will likely deal a huge hit to your performance, but if you're fond of using lots of shipboard lights, it might be worthwhile raising it from the default a little. However, it's difficult to predetermine exactly which lights are calculated first and which are considered over the limit and thus calculated "lazily".

Shadow Cascades: This changes the detail level of shadows. Low settings are better for performance, but will take away the smooth edges of shadows, instead showing more obvious regions of gradual lightening towards the edges of shadows. If you've got the three kerbals in orbit on the Main Menu, fiddle with this setting and switch back to the main menu to see the difference. You'll notice it mostly on their faces inside their helmets. You'll also see it on the other main menu screens, but it's a little less easy to spot.

Edited by vexx32
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Better graphics = Looks better at the cost of performance

Worse graphics = Better performance but looks like a toilet...or the contents thereof

If you want the former, move stuff to the right.

If you want the latter, move stuff to the left.

As simple as that sounds, that's pretty much it. Also vsync on for highest quality, vsync off for highest FPS potential. And for anywhere in between, the pixel light count and shadow cascades should be a power of two for best results I believe. I might have just read that on a milk jug though.

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I must say that the fact that Render Quality Level affects shadow rendering was a very unpleasant surprise to me. Ship shadow is an important landing clue and at lowest setting it is not visible unless the ship is right above the ground. Just for this thing it would be better if shadow rendering distance had its own slider.

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I must say that the fact that Render Quality Level affects shadow rendering was a very unpleasant surprise to me. Ship shadow is an important landing clue and at lowest setting it is not visible unless the ship is right above the ground. Just for this thing it would be better if shadow rendering distance had its own slider.

If you have a slow computer, set the Render Quality to good and sacrifice other settings to get an acceptable frame rate while rendering shadows at a distance.

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If you have a slow computer, set the Render Quality to good and sacrifice other settings to get an acceptable frame rate while rendering shadows at a distance.

Thank you, I figured that much quite a long time ago. The matter is, I used to have everything on minimum and even with that my graphics card was dangerously overheating. But I also upgraded since then.

I still think the shadow distance should have a separate setting, though. Shape is irrelevant, even if it is just a dark blob on the surface it tells you a lot if you have all other graphics settings low. Landing without it was a nightmare.

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Aye, it probably should. The entire Settings screen needs an overhaul; I think the options that are there are actually Unity's default configurable settings. Sooner or later Squad will have to delve into the deeper parts of the code and build their own list of settings, preferably prioritising the ones that have the most impact on performance. It'd be nice if any that really drain the performance are marked as such, just to make it easier. Some tooltips to explain the options so people don't fiddle with the fallback shader options and break things when they don't need to would be awesome too.

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The way I understand it is most of Unity's graphics settings are set using presets that are defined when the player is built, and that's your Render Quality slider. Apparently, the most important shadow quality settings are part of those presets and the only way around that is through creative (ab)use of the presets to provide all the different possible option combinations. All the other options in the settings screen are what's exposed outside of the presets and can be changed on the fly.

At least that's what I found when I tried to find what possible "undocumented" config tweaks there might be. I imagine if Squad has a source license for Unity (do they?) they would be able to get around the odd preset system.

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You don't need a source license to create new presets or control each setting individually; you can do that in the free version of Unity, which looks like this:

DR4IQvg.png

You can already control most of the options in the KSP settings, but not the shadow distance.

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You don't need a source license to create new presets or control each setting individually; you can do that in the free version of Unity, which looks like this:

http://i.imgur.com/DR4IQvg.png

You can already control most of the options in the KSP settings, but not the shadow distance.

Yes, but I meant to let the user choose their own shadow resolution and to disable soft shadows. Those settings don't seem to be adjustable via script. Since in most cases the CPU is the bottleneck, it would probably only make a difference on low end/onboard GPUs and even then I doubt it would help much.

But shadow distance is available in script, since we don't have a slider for it I wonder if a plugin could override that to avoid the problem Kasuha mentioned.

What should I adjust for to kill the ocean effects as this affects my frame-rate during launches and take-offs, unless I set my camera looking up at ground level?

Pretty sure this still works for 0.23 (disregard OceanPQS entirely): http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/20983-Kellven-Fixes-your-FPS-Round-2-Kerbin-Lag-Fix

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I'd appreciate an update too. I was all happy with performance until I built my first space station. 370 parts and approaching it gets quite laggy. Still playable but not great. Turned AA off, dropped shadows and lights down to 4 and it is better again, but doesn't look nearly as nice. Would give good to have info on which items have the most imoact on performance, maybe with some benchmarks.

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Hello,

I have one noob question.

Shadows in my KSP 'blink' disappaer and glitch constantly.

I have tried changing most of the graphic settings, also reinstalled nvidia drivers.

So I decided its not worth it and turn shadows off...however I was not able to google out how...

Can anyone pls advise how do I turn off shadows completely in this game?

I have KSP 1.0.4 on Windows.

Thx

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Pixel Light Count and Shadow Cascades (you can see them in the lower right of the OP). Although I've found that turning them up slightly can alleviate some flickering. I think I was fiddling to reduce lag and set 4/2. Turned out horribly, and was better at 8/4, though I could probably be happy at 4/4. The first setting controls the number of lights, the second controls shadowing. If you have lots of lights and low light count, that can cause some flickering, as can low shadow cascades.

Cheers,

-Claw

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