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[Tech Help] Guide to set better picture quality (no scale for legacy art)

Discussion in 'UO Enhanced Client Discussion' started by R Traveler, Jul 18, 2009.

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  1. R Traveler

    R Traveler Babbling Loonie
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    I spent 2 hours struggling with "My Documents\EA Games\Ultima Online Stygian Abyss\User Data\UserSettings.xml" file, paint and calculator to get world art to have 1:1 picture quality like 2D/classic client have. And 30 minutes to write this guide - I'd like to get some comments.

    Since zoom level not (yet) saved, you have to stick with default zoom level. First of all, world art scaling is tied to vertical window size only. The magic window size to have 2D quality of image without any scaling/blur is anything*809. Write down this number - 809. If your vertical monitor resolution less than 809, you can't have best picture quality (for now).

    How to use this number? There are some scenarios.

    You have 1280x1024 monitor and you like windowed mode
    1. Close SA client, go to My Documents and find your UserSettings.xml file
    2. Open UserSettings.xml using notepad or any other text editor
    3. Find and set listed options to
    Code:
    <Mode window_frame="true" fullscreen="false" />
    <Windowed width="1200" height="809" />
    <Viewport sizex="1.00" sizey="1.00" posx="0.00" posy="0.00" />
    
    4. You may change width="1200" to anything you like to have best fit.
    5. You may change sizex="1.00" to 0.90 or less if you need black area. For example
    Code:
    <Viewport sizex="0.85" sizey="1.00" posx="0.05" posy="0.00" />
    make you tiny area on left for vertical hotbars and larger area on right for other stuff.

    You have 1280x1024 monitor and you like fullscreen mode
    1. Close SA client, go to My Documents and find your UserSettings.xml file
    2. Open UserSettings.xml using notepad or any other text editor
    3. Find and set listed options to
    Code:
    <Mode window_frame="true" fullscreen="true" />
    <FullScreen width="1280" height="1024" />
    <Viewport sizex="1.00" sizey="0.79" posx="0.00" posy="0.00" />
    
    4. You may ask: what is 0.79 and where is 809? The answer is: 1024*0.79=809 (after some rounding)
    5. You may change sizex, posx and posy to change width and move game area to your favorite location.

    You have 1920x1200 monitor and you like windowed mode - its me!
    1. Close SA client, go to My Documents and find your UserSettings.xml file
    2. Open UserSettings.xml using notepad or any other text editor
    3. Find and set listed options to
    Code:
    <Mode window_frame="true" fullscreen="false" />
    <Windowed width="1600" height="1024" />
    <Viewport sizex="1.00" sizey="0.79" posx="0.00" posy="0.00" />
    
    4. You may change sizex, posx and posy to change width and move game area to your favorite location.
    5. You have room to see windows taskbar on bottom, ICQ contacts on right side and some desktop icons on left side.

    You have other monitor and you like other mode
    You should do your math to get height*sizey=809 and set all other corresponding options as above.
     
  2. R Traveler

    R Traveler Babbling Loonie
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    SA default mode
    2D client
    SA modified settings (see below)

    Code:
        <Graphics>
            <Mode window_frame="true" fullscreen="false" />
            <FullScreen width="1920" height="1200" />
            <Windowed width="1600" height="1024" />
            <Shadows environment="false" />
            <VSync enabled="false" />
            <Viewport sizex="1.00" sizey="0.79" posx="0.00" posy="0.00" />
            <Gamma Value="0.50" />
            <MobAnimCache Value="24" />
            <Particles lod="1" filter="3" />
            <Effects filter="1" />
            <Art foliage="true" />
            <Framerate max="60" />
        </Graphics>
    
    Aww... quality loss due jpeg compression.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    Well, for fun, I gave this a shot. I can say with out a doubt I can not get it to save the settings that I am writing. Not sure why but it messes up the settings real bad. lol

    I think after I set it to something like 1024x809 (not sure that is what I put or not) it made it so that the height some how was the entire height of my screen, and the width was like 1/4. And when I opened the file to check the settings it was not 1024x809. Since it keeps writing the same number there no matter how many different numbers I input I can easily tell you what it was changed to, 1680x1030.

    That is all I have to report for now, going to try and figure out why it is re-writing the file every time. o.o
     
  4. R Traveler

    R Traveler Babbling Loonie
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    What are you using as editor?
     
  5. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    Just notepad. I guess I could use something more worthy of the xml file...but really should work in notepad. =\
     
  6. S.P.A

    S.P.A Journeyman
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    Very useful tips, thanks, I've used this technique on my 1280x1024 and 1680x1050 monitors successfully this morning.
     
  7. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    I know I'm dense, but what exactly are you achieving when altering these settings?
     
  8. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    The "blur" of the SA clients default settings. Or you could say the Sharpness, I think the Sharpness is a better word if you are into graphic design...If you look closely at the jpg he posted, the first image and the last image, take a look at the book cases specifically you will see that in the top image the books have extreme levels of sharpness (blurry) and in the bottom one they are much smoother and less blurry. :)
     
  9. R Traveler

    R Traveler Babbling Loonie
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    Look at display case frames.
     
  10. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    it seems to me, that something that affects things that way should be a modification to the client as a whole, not the individual user's copy?
     
  11. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    Err...It has to do with everything being scaled, so it would have to do with the system you are running it on, the SA client innately tries to mimic your Display settings, but it "seems" to do a poor job for some people, honestly the original settings it had for me were no where near as bad as the original settings in the picture that traveler posted. In any case, the modification would only be useful on a base by base scenario since everyone does not run the same display with the same display settings.
     
  12. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    ah!! I told you I was dense :p
     
  13. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    Well, its a good thing I (or we) Don't mind explaining things then. :p
     
  14. Thangorodrim

    Thangorodrim Guest

    Thanks for this tip.

    HUGE!!! :thumbsup:

    I am finding some other settings which have similar quality.

    For instance, a full screen 1920 x 1200 with x/y viewports both at 1 renders the similar (its a hair pixelated) quality if you zoom out 12 steps.

    Same thing for full zoom in with y viewport at .31.

    Eyeballing it, the absolute bitmap size is the same. A damn shame a vector graphics scheme for the tiles cannot be implemented at this time.

    It would be helpful if zoom level could be stored.
     
  15. Thangorodrim

    Thangorodrim Guest

    I think the team needs to think about adding some check boxes to the UI to remove the vertical scaling, whether via resizing or zooming.

    I can't find any scaling other than 0 that is not incredibly repugnant.

    I would like think even scaling intervals would produce a better result, but if so, I cannot make it happen.
     
  16. Fink

    Fink Guest

    Code:
    <Windowed width="1200" height="809" />
    By this, do you mean that the actual game client window (not the play area) is to those dimensions? With your desktop/etc showing underneath? ie: windowed but not maximised.
     
  17. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    I am pretty sure it is the play area that is those dimensions. In either case he is showing the file, and the only accurate way to change it is through the file.

    I can not think of any way to change the Play window Resolution with out changing your display resolution, only the play area resolution changes (I could be mistaken on this but it would seem this way to me since the proportions of black space to play area do not stay the same as your resolution changes)
     
  18. Thangorodrim

    Thangorodrim Guest

    The viewport (playwindow) size is configured as a factor of the window size.

    What you need is to have the play window a size relative to resolution so that the 2d art frames are not interpolated.

    You *can* do the same thing by moving the playwindow vertical border up and down and make a visual judgement.

    A stack of crates makes it very easy to determine, i.e., you need no jagged lines.

    What it boils down (simplified with made up numbers) to is that the game uses an art tile of, say 40 x 40 pixels. You want that 40 x 40 pixels to be displayed over a 40 x 40 pixel area on your screen. If you display it over a 35 x 35 area or 50 x 50 area the game uses an (apparently quite crappy) algorithm to stretch or shrink the bitmap.

    So, the variables are native resolution, viewport size (expressed as a factor of total window size) and zoom.

    What I think SA really needs is a 'snap-to' option that for any given native resolution and zoom will adjust the viewport to a 0 vertical scaling.

    On my 1920 x 1200, at default zoom, the result is a playwindow as wide as the screen and about 65% of its height. My field of view, therefore, is different in N/S and E/W planes, but I can live with that as both are considerably larger than 2d. Hell, E/W I have about three times the amount of game tiles displayed. This also allows a lot of room for other windows.

    If they cannot figure out a better scaling technique, this is a major drawback (proper looking art requiring reduction in window size) but I am switching to this client anyway because it has so many other features.

    My main concern is that any players trying out the client for the first time with a goofy viewport size are going to be repulsed. You cannot expect non-technical people to edit config files to achieve baseline aesthetics.

    The least that should be done is that the default viewport should always be adjusted to the native resolution so that there is no vertical scaling.
     
  19. Magnus

    Magnus Journeyman
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    Just a small comparison of KRs graphics to SAs graphics. Quite a shift indeed. :(

    Its quite a bit more obvious when you're in game. Overall, SAs graphics look incrediblely lowres in comparison.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Basara

    Basara UO Forum Moderator
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    I'm more inclined to think it's a video/driver setting problem. I get the exact opposite effect - my SA with minimal adjustment looks less blurry than my optimized KR...
     
  21. Magnus

    Magnus Journeyman
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    I've been using SA for a few months now. Its always looked like this, and from the other shots I've saw through this time - its generally similar to mine.
     
  22. Thanks to your guide, I have settled on the following for my native resolution.
    Code:
        <Graphics>
            <Mode window_frame="false" fullscreen="false" />
            <FullScreen width="1440" height="900" />
            <Windowed width="1440" height="900" />
            <Shadows environment="true" />
            <VSync enabled="true" />
            <Viewport sizex="1.00" sizey="0.89" posx="0.00" posy="0.05" />
            <Gamma Value="0.60" />
            <MobAnimCache Value="24" />
            <Particles lod="3" filter="3" />
            <Effects filter="0" />
            <Art foliage="true" />
            <Framerate max="60" />
        </Graphics>
    
    It looks fantastic! Thank you!
     
  23. R Traveler

    R Traveler Babbling Loonie
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    For height="900" I suggest sizey="0.90", resulting 810 its closer to 809, not tested myself.
     
  24. Fink

    Fink Guest

    As plain as you've explained it, it took me a while to figure out. :wall:

    It looks great, however, and should be a standard setting or at least one we can easily set in the client. "Optimize Pixel Scaling" or something. If we had manual control over the V-scaling independent of the viewport height (zoom lock?), that would be ideal. At my resolution I can only fit 3 standard-size hotbars between the window and the menu bar. I did have four until I resized all my viewports and squished things down some. It's a trade-off but the benefit is a better looking world. I can live with memorising a few more keystrokes if it means things look better.

    Awesome contribution, thanks. :thumbsup:
     
  25. the 4th man

    the 4th man Lore Master
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    I, for one, can't stand the fuzzy lettering....I can't read what anyone's saying.

    I want to give your idea a shot, but, without sounding like a moron.....how exactly did you open this file?? I know you say go to my documents.....but from there....what did you open......did you access it using windows explorer??

    Appreciate the help man.
     
  26. IanJames

    IanJames Certifiable
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    I'm not on my PC but will give a best shot from memory.

    My Documents->EA Games->Stygian Abyss

    open the file by right clicking and choose "open with. . ." and choose notepad
     
  27. the 4th man

    the 4th man Lore Master
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    Thanks, pretty sure I found it.
     
  28. dupadupa

    dupadupa Guest

    what would be good settings for a 1280 x 800 laptop

    currently at

    <Graphics>
    <Mode window_frame="false" fullscreen="true" />
    <FullScreen width="1280" height="800" />
    <Windowed width="1280" height="800" />
    <Shadows environment="false" />
    <VSync enabled="true" />
    <Viewport sizex="0.73" sizey="0.86" posx="0.00" posy="0.00" />
    <Gamma Value="1.00" />
    <MobAnimCache Value="128" />
    <Particles lod="3" filter="3" />
    <Effects filter="0" />
    <Art foliage="false" />
    <Framerate max="60" />
    </Graphics>
     
  29. R Traveler

    R Traveler Babbling Loonie
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    Without altering zoom level you can't set window height to get 1:1 art scale. No guide yet, sorry.
     
  30. R Traveler

    R Traveler Babbling Loonie
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    Onece zoom level saved again, there is an update.

    For 1024 game window height you should alter CameraZoom to 16.45 like this:
    Code:
            <CameraZoom Value="16.45" />
    
    I'll post new thread with new guide in a few days, stay tuned.
     
  31. Mapper

    Mapper Crazed Zealot
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    This is fantastic, I have a resolution of 1680x1000 ish and Traveler suggested I use CameraZoom Value o 15.87, I have never seen the items so clear in EC!

    Disabling the Zoom In/Out via the mouse wheel helps to stop you accidently knocking out the zoom!

    Thanks again.
     
  32. R Traveler

    R Traveler Babbling Loonie
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    The formula is heigh/62,23
     
  33. lucitus

    lucitus UOEC Modder
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    Clear view and working!

    Thanks!:thumbup1:
     
  34. R Traveler

    R Traveler Babbling Loonie
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