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Serious Sam tweak guide

Graphics (continued)

Once more select Options, then Advanced Options. Now select the Advanced rendering options button.

Normal/Animation/Effect size. This sets the maximum resolution allowed for textures seen in the game, e.g. Wall textures used on Buildings. Given the great use of high-resolution textures in Serious Sam I'd recommend setting this as large as possible. If you have 64MB of Video memory, or 32MB & use Texture compression then I'd highly recommend setting this to Huge to enjoy the greatly improved textures. NOTE Ė Normal textures are static, non-animated, Animation textures are used for animated textures (obviously), while Effect textures are used for procedural textures such as the Water.

Normal quality. This setting sets the colour depth used for qpaque/transparent textures in the game. Select 16-bit/Compressed for best performance (Reduces Video memory requirements), with reduced visual quality (More apparent colour banding in textures). Select 32-bit for best visual quality (Less apparent colour banding in textures), although performance will be reduced Ė especially on older Graphics cards with Low Video memory. Using 32-bit textures will also consume a greater amount of Video memory. You can also use different combinations, e.g. Compressed/Optimal, which Iíd recommend selecting if your Graphics card has 32MB Video memory only & supports Texture compression.

Effect quality. This setting sets the colour depth used for Effect textures in the game. Select 16-bit for best performance (Reduces Video memory requirements), with reduced visual quality (More apparent colour banding in textures). Select 32-bit for best visual quality (Less apparent colour banding in textures), although performance will be reduced Ė especially on older Graphics cards or those with Low Video memory. Using 32-bit textures will also consume a greater amount of Video memory.

Filtering method. Using this slider you can make normal textures appear sharper or blurrier. This is quite useful & can enhance texture quality greatly. There is no noticeable performance hit when using also. Hereís what the LOD bias does (Thanks Reverend). LOD bias modifies the calculation of texture level of detail parameter LOD. Often a texture is oversampled or filtered such that the texture is band limited at lower frequencies in 1 or more dimensions. The result is that texture-mapped primitives appear excessively blurry. LOD bias provides biases in the LOD calculation to compensate for under or over sampled texture images. Mipmapped textures can be made to appear sharper or blurrier by supplying a negative or positive bias respectively.

If you are using FSAA then you should move this slider to the Right to offset the texture blurring that can occur when using FSAA (How far you move this should depend on what level of FSAA you intend to use), although if you arenít using FSAA you should leave this set to Normal to avoid any unnecessary texture artifacting. Unless you are desperate for performance you shouldn't want to move this slider further to the Left.

Effect filtering method. This setting controls the same filtering method as specified above, only this changes the filtering technique used for opaque/transparent textures.

Filtering boost. Set this to Enabled to allow the filtering method to be enhanced. This may be useful if you find that one filter method doesn't provide great enough texture sharpness, although a higher setting causes too much texture aliasing. In which case you may find that using the lower filtering method & setting this to Enabled increases texture sharpness sufficiently.

Dithering method. This option modifies the dithering method used for 16-Bit textures in the game. This can give the appearance of greater colour depth to textures, although it can make them appear speckled upon closer inspection. As you can guess dithering is no substitute for using higher depth (32-bit) textures.

Donít compress. This setting sets the minimum texture size that may be compressed (Small, Medium, Big & Large) - assuming you intend to use texture compression. Ignore this setting if you donít intend to use any texture compression (Not recommended). If you have a Graphics card which a large amount of Video memory (64MB) then you should have enough Video memory to leave some textures uncompressed for improved texture quality, with only higher resolution textures being compressed (Reduces Video memory requirements, although can make banding more apparent & increases level loading times). Iíd recommend setting this to Big if you have a 64MB Graphics card & Small/Medium if you have anything less than this.

Promote to 32-bit. This sets the minimum Texture size that will automatically use 32-Bit colour instead of 16-Bit. Larger textures will generally gain more from the increased depth than Smaller textures would, e.g. The sky. For a good performance/visual quality trade-off I'd recommend setting this to Large, although if you have a Graphics card with 32MB Video memory or more then try lowering this setting for improved texture quality.

Revert to 16-bit. This sets the maximum size of Textures that won't be downgraded to use 16-Bit colour. Smaller textures generally have less to lose from such downgrading than Larger textures would, e.g. the sky. For a good performance/visual quality trade-off I'd recommend setting this to Large, although if you have a Graphics card with 32MB Video memory or more then try increasing this setting for improved texture quality.

 



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