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Sudden "shadow acne" on modern hardware

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#1
Edit: new video just because. Rail textures scrambled even in the lowest graphics settings.
Location: The Pit of Judgement.

Striped shadows on Lara's hair and all kinds of horrible pixelated effects on the water. 1080p fullscreen or you won't get a clear picture.
Distorted textures and aliased/shimmering vegetation sampled on other videos.

Start reading at this point to rule out any skepticism (then read the OP): https://linustechtips.com/main/topi...d-and-jagged-aa/?tab=comments#comment-8243204

If you still don't believe it, browse that thread's media, especially when it comes to actual comparisons (f***ed up vs normal graphics on the same game).

Has anyone else suddenly started experiencing such issues with state-of-the-art setups?

I mean, my system was working like a self-evident charm, but several games began looking somewhat messy after a major windows update.

I tried to perform rollbacks and clean W10 installs to no avail. MS seems to have gone real low level with the stubborn auto-update thing.

Shimmering textures and reflections, crazy shadow mappings, lighting coming out of the blue, highest anti-aliasing settings still aliasing an awful lot etc. Take a look (maxed out including AA), pick fullscreen 1080p or download the videos.

Not everyone notices it. Regardless, devil is in the details and people should pay extra attention to them after having paid premium for their GPUs.

My DDR4 is working great, so is my CPU (all instructions cleared). Tested them with OCCT (AVX enabled), Sandra, Prime95 and some bootable tools for about a day each.

Any ideas on how to get rid of this most annoying shadow acne?

_________


Updates:

All my OpenGL games are looking great.

It's only happening on directx games, even on fresh Windows installs.
_________

Attempted solutions

Ruled out:

-Earlier drivers
-Regular monitors
-All cable connections
-Mobo chipset drivers
-GPU bios
-Reinstalling Directx < 11.x

Yet to be tried out:

-GPU in another build
 
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#2
Ah so Linus has acne !
 
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#3
Your answers are all in that linus thread, and I really do hope it stays there.

This is a similar occurence to Z-fighting really, and nothing very special or possible to fix with one specific workaround - or even prevalent enough to worry about.

Please gamers, keep in mind that rendering is not error free as all sorts of techniques are plastered on top of each other to create a nice image. These artifacts happen, they're normal, and they are engine/code specific. This also explains why they can pop up in a series of games within a frame of two-three years, because these games are all handled by similar APIs, similar engines, or coded for similar hardware and render paths.

Bottom line with all these youtube hypes is that you can spend all day watching youtube to learn about all sorts of imperfections in gaming, or you can rest assured that this is always going to be the case, and actually play some games.

You choose
 
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#4
Ah so Linus has acne !
:lovetpu:

This is a similar occurence to Z-fighting really, and nothing very special or possible to fix with one specific workaround - or even prevalent enough to worry about.

Please gamers, keep in mind that rendering is not error free as all sorts of techniques are plastered on top of each other to create a nice image. These artifacts happen, they're normal, and they are engine/code specific. This also explains why they can pop up in a series of games within a frame of two-three years, because these games are all handled by similar APIs, similar engines, or coded for similar hardware and render paths.
My DX games were working as fine as OpenGL ones about a week ago. Now, take a look at this (1080p or download it) - not happening on my friends' builds, wasn't happening on mine either.

That's only one example. Another one is Lara's hair (maxed out) getting striped shadows under the sun, which is way more annoying as it's often shimmering balls in your face. Also not happening on my friends' builds - mine was doing great a week ago too as mentioned.

Bottom line with all these youtube hypes is that you can spend all day watching youtube to learn about all sorts of imperfections in gaming, or you can rest assured that this is always going to be the case, and actually play some games.

You choose
So enlightening and unthinkable. Thanks, I'd never think of that after decades of gaming.​

You can also choose to accept whatever issue starts happening overnight, like AA at 8x looking like pixelated crap.


The issue is: specific aspects of how the image is rendered has changed from a higher to [much] lower quality, without having changed anything (to the user's knowledge), seemingly "overnight".

I sincerely hope it never happens to you, but here you go a memento for when you start realizing things have actually gone weird, as in worse than acceptable/normal rendering issues, which's the whole point of this thread (the pics below are not mine but I can post stuff as beautiful as that):





Your answers are all in that linus thread, and I really do hope it stays there.
Bottom line, I'm only asking it here as a last resort. I barely post anything. Looking for help really. My DX games were looking glorious on the very same setup, now they're looking like shit. Gaming should be pleasing, but now I'm always distracted by the imperfections popping around which weren't there in the first place.



Thanks for the kind answers as usual.
 
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#5
Have you tried your system on a regular monitor yet to rule out your 60" tv? Borrow a 24 or 28 " monitor and test everything. Your tv could be crapping the bed. What make and model tv do you have? I just watched your videos and looking at you recorded I think the issue is the tv. Try a gaming monitor or have your friend bring his over for you to try.
 
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#6
Have you tried your system on a regular monitor yet to rule out your 60" tv? Borrow a 24 or 28 " monitor and test everything. Your tv could be crapping the bed. What make and model tv do you have? I just watched your videos and looking at you recorded I think the issue is the tv. Try a gaming monitor or have your friend bring his over for you to try.
I only tried it on another TV (Philips 42" 1080p @ 120Hz, can't recall the model).

How about the video I just edited into the OP? If it's strange, maybe it's not my displays, but I definitely gotta try my build on a regular monitor.
 
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#7
I know you have a 1080ti which is overkill for 1080p but have you also tried lowering your settings to high or medium. Definitely try a regular monitor
 
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#8
Have you tried your system on a regular monitor yet to rule out your 60" tv? Borrow a 24 or 28 " monitor and test everything. Your tv could be crapping the bed. What make and model tv do you have? I just watched your videos and looking at you recorded I think the issue is the tv. Try a gaming monitor or have your friend bring his over for you to try.
How would the display have anything to do with this ?

This issue looks 100% like it stems form incorrect shading passes in the rendering pipeline. Which basically can happen because of 3 things :

- bad programming ( sort of unlikely since this happens in such few select cases )

Or

- somehow , somewhere , the driver fails to translate correctly the commands to the GPU due to some really obscure bug which screws things up at runtime.

This detail backs up this possibility :

All my OpenGL games are looking great.
Or

- the GPU is the one who might be starting to crap the bed causing these artifacts ( very unlikely since I couldn't possibly imagine what sort of specific defect could cause this )
 
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Solaris17

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#9
This looks like a VRAM issue, or possibly game or driver related.

I am assuming you have tried to reinstall the games themselves? any oddeties you remember? power outage forcing a disk check maybe?
 
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#10
I know you have a 1080ti which is overkill for 1080p but have you also tried lowering your settings to high or medium. Definitely try a regular monitor
Textures at low will only solve this. But anything from medium up will cause the issue.

I wouldn't say 1080ti is overkill for 1080p, especially with supersampling on (which could be 4k downsampled) and/or all in-game graphics settings cranked up to max, meaning a lot more eye candy than the regular Ultra/Very High profile. Rise of The Tomb Raider and Watch Dogs 2 still suffer from sub 60fps drops under such conditions.

I'm considering trying a regular monitor but my OpenGL games are doing fine on my TV (Doom, the whole modern Wolfenstein series etc).


How would the display have anything to do with this ?

This issue looks 100% like it stems form incorrect shading passes in the rendering pipeline. Which basically can happen because of 3 things :

- bad programming ( sort of unlikely since this happens in such few select cases )

Or

- somehow , somewhere , the driver fails to translate correctly the commands to the GPU due to some really obscure bug which screws things up at runtime.

Or

- the GPU is the one who might be starting to crap the bed causing these artifacts ( very unlikely since I couldn't possibly imagine what sort of specific defect could cause this )
Maybe I should RMA the GPU to rule it out, I'm afraid I'll only waste time though :(

This looks like a VRAM issue, or possibly game or driver related.

I am assuming you have tried to reinstall the games themselves? any oddeties you remember? power outage forcing a disk check maybe?
I did reinstall the games (and W10). No power outage as far as I remember. I'll probably RMA the card to rule out VRAM issues.

Hey, you also own a 1080ti... If you play Rise of the Tomb Rider, could you run it in 1080p max settings (Pure Hair at Very High) on Geothermal Valley for a min? If it's not too much to ask, check whether Lara's hair gets striped shadows under the sun while moving the camera. Also, zooming in on barrels should scramble their textures.


Thanks, pals!
 
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#11
Hey, you also own a 1080ti... If you play Rise of the Tomb Rider, could you run it in 1080p max settings (Pure Hair at Very High) on Geothermal Valley for a min? If it's not too much to ask, check whether Lara's hair gets shadow stripes under the sun when moving the camera. Also, zooming in on barrels should scramble their textures.


Thanks, pals!
sure my native display is 2k though. where exactly is that taken? i can try and replicate got a SS of your map?
 
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#12
sure my native display is 2k though. where exactly is that taken? i can try and replicate got a SS of your map?
I guessed so from your specs, but you can probably replicate it well... Hey my main display is also AOC 60Hz despite being 1080p

Any sunny Geothermal Valley spot will do for the hair, about the same goes for barrels. Here you go where I shot the OP video:




I guess this base camp is the closest fast travel point:



Thanks a lot!
 
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#13
It's a free choice what people use to play Games, a Gaming Monitor it's designed/optimized to play Games and a TV it's not, that said maybe this is the answer:
Your tv could be crapping the bed.
 
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#14
It's a free choice what people use to play Games, a Gaming Monitor it's designed/optimized to play Games and a TV it's not, that said maybe this is the answer:
Why are OpenGL games working fine then?

My display can't record videos though, so you shouldn't be able to see anything wrong in this (click "vimeo" and try it in 1080p fullscreen):

The question is... Don't you see anything wrong in it?
 

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#15
if the tv has any form of fake refresh doubling and isn't a true 120hz panel then that would explain all of this ( would wager that its not true 120hz as those are prohibitively expensive)

effects like this are not rendered in a single frame they are rendered in multiple frames that are composited by subtlety changing the shaders and lighting from one frame to the next and swapping mip/lods

when you take a input of 60 or more frames per second and attempt to double and interpolate them the result is very ulgy when a game uses those techniques (banding and screen door effects are common artifacts of the type of processing done to get the fake 120hz rate)

the tv should have a way to disable the processing

the opengl rendering pipe is a completely different beast then dx which is why ogl is unaffected
 
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#16
if the tv has any form of fake refresh doubling and isn't a true 120hz panel then that would explain all of this ( would wager that its not true 120hz as those are prohibitively expensive)

effects like this are not rendered in a single frame they are rendered in multiple frames that are composited by subtlety changing the shaders and lighting from one frame to the next and swapping mip/lods

when you take a input of 60 or more frames per second and attempt to double and interpolate them the result is very ulgy when a game uses those techniques (banding and screen door effects are common artifacts of the type of processing done to get the fake 120hz rate)

the tv should have a way to disable the processing

the opengl rendering pipe is a completely different beast then dx which is why ogl is unaffected
Sure, I'll try a regular monitor as mentioned, possibly to no avail.

Did you watch the main video in full quality though?

The TV won't affect PC video recording at all.
 

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#17
roll back your graphics drivers to last year possibily. it isn't the monitor which should be clear if people read what you have said
 
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#18
roll back your graphics drivers to last year possibily. it isn't the monitor which should be clear if people read what you have said
I've tried and rolled back to the earliest 1080ti compliant drivers but I'll try even older versions to rule it out. I won't mind rolling outdated in case it happens to work out :toast:
 
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#19
Have you tried a monitor yet instead of TVs?

Also, I would love to see your NVCP settings
 
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#20
Have you tried a monitor yet instead of TVs?

Also, I would love to see your NVCP settings
Have you watched the videos properly?

My displays can't affect the recordings, but as I said I'll try a very special regular monitor whenever possible.

As a side note, I don't believe OpenGL (doing great on my setup) works so significantly different than DX in low level calls as to display everything perfectly fine on my TV.

Regarding NVCP, I've fiddled with it towards my goals exhaustively, aiming recommended Lod Bias (clamp), AA (FXAA off) and Texture Filtering (disabling any kind of optimization in order to get the best quality possible) - I can only list those options off the top of my head, but I'll post my current settings when I get home.

Also, I've tried most of the other "recommended" NVCP settings combinations for my problems, but I would love to get your wise suggestions... Seriously.
 
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#21
Have you watched the videos properly?

My displays can't affect the recordings, but as I said I'll try a very special regular monitor whenever possible.

As a side note, I don't believe OpenGL (doing great on my setup) works so significantly different than DX in low level calls as to display everything perfectly fine on my TV.

Regarding NVCP, I've fiddled with it towards my goals exhaustively, aiming recommended Lod Bias (clamp), AA (FXAA off) and Texture Filtering (disabling any kind of optimization in order to get the best quality possible) - I can only remember those options off the top of my head, but I'll post my current settings when I get home.

Also, I've tried most of the other "recommended" NVCP settings combinations for my problems, but I would love to get your wise suggestions... Seriously.
Yes, I have looked long and hard especially at your Tomb Raider video (fullscreen 1080p) and to be fair, the only error I can distinguish is the 'acne' (for lack of a better term..., it still doesnt sit well with me, call me stubborn) in Lara's hair, specifically between the strands of hair and even more specifically, ONLY when you turn to look around, which to me is an indication that this is very likely game specific, or driver related.

The water? I don't see an issue, its not pixelated, its just the way water is rendered, with several transparent flat textures that move over each other, the lowest layers being low-res texture. A perfect example of how developers use all sorts of trickery to save resources.

The reason to try monitor is because you can distinguish for yourself if there are other artifacts caused by the TV's refresh rate trickery, which is a very common issue. Call it education of sorts, for yourself and this thread ;)
NVCP settings are interesting because you 've gone through clean installs and it may be worthwhile comparing settings combined with several Nvidia drivers, most notably, comparing same settings on an old one that gave you no issues and the most recent.

I've seen a fair share of graphical anomalies in my gaming years and I do know that a vast majority is very simply just engine/game related, OR attributable to how the engine and the API work together. Given the fact that DirectX is undergoing active development, well... 1+1

As for the set of screenshots with ultra low graphics quality on dated games with huge anomalies - that is another issue entirely, and yes, if you get this, it needs work.
 
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#22
Most TVs shut off any processing once it displays an HDMI signal , including the refresh rate interpolation thing. If it doesn't do that automatically you can try and disable them manually to be sure.

But again this issue looks nothing like the artifacts that the TV can produce and I am unaware of any way that it could alter the frames themselves. The driver never does any kind of interpolation with anything , it's down to the game itself to employ such techniques and we know for sure this game doesn't. What I would advise is trying a different GPU , slower or faster it doesn't matter and see what happens then.
 
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#23
My younger brother is having very similar issues with his 4k TV being used as a monitor. Try a real monitor. TV's do all sorts of fancy image enhancing stuff, and not all of it can be disabled most of the time. I think the rest of the discussion is a moot point until we rule out the obvious oddity, which is using a TV for a monitor.
 
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#24
By the way I had this in Crysis 3 too , sometimes the ground textures would exhibit artifacts exactly like these but since I've actually seen it across different types of hardware and displays I can pretty much pin it down to the game engine itself.

I am still convinced this is just some sort of a bug with the driver and this particular configuration.
 
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#25
Artifacting from tile based rendering, welcome to the tradeoff for performance and visual accuracy.

I saw sprites and shadow errors when the 1xxx series card were released.