New Ships Low FPS

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New Ships Low FPS

ucrjedi
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Post by ucrjedi » Tue May 05, 2020 3:10 am

Hello,

I haven't been on here in awhile I do check in every once in awhile. I love the work!

I've noticed some of the ships since the release of the latest craft pack, particularly Dunari's Casino just completely lag on my PC. They look great, I don't know much about OPT making but from what I can tell, perhaps a LOD is missing?

My PC is as follows
AMD FX 8300
GPU R9 380
16 GB of RAM

I know I do need to upgrade, but I don't think this is it since most seem to run fine. Any tricks? Or do I need to get a better CPU?

Thanks again for the great work!

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Ace Antilles

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Post by Ace Antilles » Tue May 05, 2020 3:39 am

Can't really go into it myself now but the whole XWAUP has had a major upgrade and sadly that is causing lag on some stuff.
The problem is now the game is old it won't use the new Graphics Cards to take the 3D loads that it used to do on old models.
There are many things in the works that can help but it's a bit trial and error.
Things like the Super Backdrops, Dynamic Cockpits and the Effects for example make the game look amazing but can add to the FPS.
Look at the readme files for things to adjust detail settings and work from there. There's a lot of variables to give a simple answer.

Try stripping the game back to only the XWAUCP and then add other upgrades to it slowly. Test the same mission, then add another upgrade, and work out what's causing you the main issues.
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Driftwood

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Post by Driftwood » Tue May 05, 2020 4:36 am

I would also probably say don't use the anti-aliasing options with the graphics updates. I'm hoping further optimization will occur as we figure out what the new limits, within our expanded limits are most viable to maintain looks and stable gameplay on modern systems, and that ideally new things are figured out that increase performance as a baseline.

Regarding the Casino I think we need to implement the "fix" GT used on the VSD, that probably will resolve some of the issues.

Further discussion and testing needs required going forward.

Also yes, as an aside personal hardware specs and install configurations do seem to play a significant factor in how stable performance is.

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Vince T

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Post by Vince T » Tue May 05, 2020 6:55 am

Check this thread for more info on how to optimize performance:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=12490
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Mark_Farlander
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Post by Mark_Farlander » Tue May 05, 2020 9:30 am

Driftwood wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 4:36 am

Regarding the Casino I think we need to implement the "fix" GT used on the VSD, that probably will resolve some of the issues.
What's the fix used for VSD?
I don't judge tactics. The Battle is the best and only Judge.

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Vince T

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Post by Vince T » Tue May 05, 2020 9:46 am

I did a few things.
1. I set shorter LOD distances to the small greeblies and details so those disappear at some distance.
2. The VSD's main issue was that it totally killed FPS if you targeted it, because the target display loaded the fully detailed model and ignored the LOD distances. For this, Jeremy's released an update to the Exterior hook, which allows you to load the LOD into the CMD instead of the HD model. If you installed the latest version of the VSD (after yesterday at around 8pm GMT) you should have it. To enable it, one needs to add the following line into the specific OPT's ini file in the XWA\flightmodels\ folder:

Code: Select all

[Exterior]
LodDistance = 0x7fffffff
I assume with this new OPTion we'll need to update some of the more detailed models to update the .ini files so the users don't have to manually do this.
Your ship, Captain. I need a drink. - Vince Trageton

szoreny
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Post by szoreny » Tue May 05, 2020 9:00 pm

Been awhile since I had XWAUP material installed, I can't believe what the newest downloads are getting the engine to do, I mean - dynamic cockpits, TrackIR and VR support? Holy fuck. And the new backdrops patch with all that amazing transparency work - what is this even.

But I'm too getting insane performance impacts on my 6700k 2080ti system running at a modest 1920x1200. I've got XWAUP 1.6, Blue Max's effects 1.1.3, Super Backdrops 2.1 and both of the latest dynamic cockpits for Rebels and Imperials.

Set up Blue Max's effects to use no AA, medium high bloom and SSDO. interestingly enough I'm not seeing a performance benefit to lowering SSDO samples or straight just using Deferred Shading or toggling SSAO .cfg off in game with the hotkey combo.

Using Rebel Rendezvous as a test bed I hit a lot of stutter at times when the Brint-Wo colony is in view. Then at the Hospital sometimes fps is alright other times when the station and ships are in view fps feels like its cycling in and out of single digits. I haven't proceeded to the battle yet.

Gonna try stripping out various packs - so far have tried some of the dinput.dll's jeremy posted viewtopic.php?f=10&t=12488 with similar results.

Its also interesting that if I don't have v-sync enabled in ddraw.cfg, when launching from the family hangar my craft get stuck during takeoff and won't animate properly even though the hangar animations themselves run at the proper speed and camera control remains smooth in the cockpit, after waiting or hitting the space bar again the game will proceed to normal flight, enabling v-sync allows launching to animate as normal...

Also what are the recommended in-game graphics options these days, besides toggling off XWA's lighting options in favor of Blue Max's are there any settings in the 'hardware only' menu that should be set or are all those options pretty much non-functional.

ucrjedi
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Post by ucrjedi » Wed May 06, 2020 2:48 am

Ace Antilles wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 3:39 am
Can't really go into it myself now but the whole XWAUP has had a major upgrade and sadly that is causing lag on some stuff.
The problem is now the game is old it won't use the new Graphics Cards to take the 3D loads that it used to do on old models.
There are many things in the works that can help but it's a bit trial and error.
Things like the Super Backdrops, Dynamic Cockpits and the Effects for example make the game look amazing but can add to the FPS.
Look at the readme files for things to adjust detail settings and work from there. There's a lot of variables to give a simple answer.

Try stripping the game back to only the XWAUCP and then add other upgrades to it slowly. Test the same mission, then add another upgrade, and work out what's causing you the main issues.
So my steps are installing XWA

Then XWAUP 1.6 craft pack

Then the Dunari Casino. I noticed it is also the biggest OPT of terms of file size in my FLIGHTMODELS folder.

I've also upgraded my DDraw.dll and config, i'll play with the config a bit too.

I'll find out later, and I will poke around a bit more with hooks and such. It's a learning process, and its not easy considering the game is 21 years old.

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Ace Antilles

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Post by Ace Antilles » Wed May 06, 2020 4:08 am

I can confirm Dunaris Casino is a FPS killer like the VSD was in our initial tests.
So if you have that in game it's going to cause issues, better to experiment without it.

There is actually a targeting issue we are starting to discover. The target screen can show the high version of the Opt.
So if a ship doesn't have a LOD or a low LOD than you see everything in it's glory.
If you take the Casino off the target screen or Alt C everything you will get some improvement with the station.

I went from 88 fps off screen to 14.5 targeted and 11 looking at it on screen too. 12.5 with no cockpit on.
If I was over it with it not targeted I got about 30FPS.

Jeremy has just released a new Hook and with that it looks like things can be improved.
It's going to take working out and obviously there's a lot of OPTs so it's a new WIP for everyone to experiment with.
viewtopic.php?f=33&t=11772&start=250
JeremyaFr wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 1:01 pm
UPDATE
Hello,
I've updated the exterior hook.
Now you can set a lod distance for MFD target on a craft basis.

Suppose that the craft is "FlightModels\[Model].opt".

To set the MFD lod distance, create a file named "FlightModels\[Model]Exterior.txt" or create a section named "[Exterior]" in "FlightModels\[Model].ini".
The format is:
LodDistance = value
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ucrjedi
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Post by ucrjedi » Fri Sep 04, 2020 12:42 am

The newest Patch helps a lot! It is a lot smoother now!

Thank you soooo much!

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Trevor
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Post by Trevor » Fri Sep 04, 2020 2:47 pm

JeremyaFr wrote:
I know that XWA supports 2 Levels of Detail (Hi and Lo) but is there maybe a way to support another?
I'm thinking that 2 LODs have always been a bit limiting for people on the low end whilst maintaining the goal of XWAUP of Hi-Quality models.
If an MLOD could be implemented (even as a selective resource stripping measure or taking parts from the other LODs (eg, keeping the hi-poly base structure and using the lo-poly guns)) then it may help for low-end people to still enjoy updates without being stuck using 1.6.
A new setting could be made in the ini similar to that of the ingame option that sets the distance at which MLODs are used beginning from 0 - i.e. always use MLOD and LLOD
Ingame LLOD distance can overwrite this value if its less than ini value.

Trev

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JeremyaFr
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Post by JeremyaFr » Fri Sep 04, 2020 2:59 pm

Trevor wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 2:47 pm
I know that XWA supports 2 Levels of Detail (Hi and Lo) but is there maybe a way to support another?
Hello,
XWA is not limited to 2 LODs.
An OPT model can have any LOD count as you want.
The limitation of 2 LODs is a limitation of OPTech. You can define more LODs with XwaOptEditor.

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sedenion
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Post by sedenion » Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:14 am

Hi,

I speak here to devs and modelers/Opt makers. Did you tryed to reduce the texture count by creating few big texture atlas (one big texture that gather multiples parts) intstead of multiple small or medium textures ? I don't know how XWA engine works, and maybe there is no way to optimize that, but a well known bottleneck of 3D rendering (drivers related) is the texture switching. In the drivers side, binding a new texture "block" the rendering pipelines, which has a huge impact on overall performances. It is also true for material properties. Currently, most XWA models usent multiple small textures instead of one big, wich may have a negative impact on performances.

I also see in the VSDII mesh that it remain many non-triangulated faces. Quads primitives was authorized in old engines and maybe XWA support it. I don't know if the quads are triangulated at some stage or if the engine take them "as this" to draw quad primitives, but my advice is to take care to triangulate all within the OPT.

First the new drivers are no more designed to support quad primitives, the native primitive is (was always in fact) the triangle. So, the drivers are probably using an old not-optimized-at-all "compatibility" mode to convert quads to triangles. Secondely, by mixing triangles and quad, the engine may be forced to switch primitive type (you cannot mix two primitive types within the same draw command, you have to make two draw commands using two buffers) or triangulate quads "on the fly", who known what happen inside, but this may be very dirty...

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Vince T

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Post by Vince T » Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:47 am

Yes we did. Since the Introduction of HD textures we aim to reduce the texture count and combine textures where possible and reasonable. There is one catch to this however: If you apply the same texture to textures that are at an angle, even if it's a 90° one, and dispite running the OPT through XWA OPTer, the game engine will try to apply smoothness anyway, which causses some nasty shading errors, like you see on the new ISD2's shield Generators.

However, it's not the texture count allone. Matt's old ISD1 used the former maximum number of 100 textures ranging from 16px to 256px and today it causes no FPS loss at all. From my observations it's a combination of face count, texture count, texture resolution, material effects and shader effects.

The game allows Quads and from my experience it benefits performance. I tested that during VSD's development. The quad-faced VSD ran a lot smoother than the tri-faced one.
Your ship, Captain. I need a drink. - Vince Trageton

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sedenion
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Post by sedenion » Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:00 am

Vince T wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:47 am
Yes we did. Since the Introduction of HD textures we do that indeed. There is one catch to this however: If you apply the same texture to textures that are at an angle, even if it's a 90° one, and dispite running the OPT through XWA OPTer, the game engine will try to apply smoothness anyway, which causses some nasty shading errors, like you see on the new ISD2's shield Generators.
Ok, Is see. You can acheive the same effect - using same texture - by creating separated faces within the same mesh under your modeling software. In fact, this is exactly what happen "automatically" when you apply two diferents textures on the same mesh: some vertices are duplicated with same positions but with diferent UV coordinates and texture/material assignment.
Vince T wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:47 am
However, it's not the texture count allone. Matt's old ISD1 used the former maximum number of 100 textures ranging from 16px to 256px and today it causes no FPS loss at all. From my observations it's a combination of face count, texture count, texture resolution, material effects and shader effects.
I see. The engine is very old, it is probably not even designed to optimize texture switching, which may explain that texture count doesn't really matter.
Vince T wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:47 am
The game allows Quads and from my experience it benefits performance. I tested that during VSD's development. The quad-faced VSD ran a lot smoother than the tri-faced one.
Amusing, I thought it was the opposite.

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Vince T

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Post by Vince T » Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:11 am

sedenion wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:00 am

Ok, Is see. You can acheive the same effect - using same texture - by creating separated faces within the same mesh under your modeling software. In fact, this is exactly what happen "automatically" when you apply two diferents textures on the same mesh: some vertices are duplicated with same positions but with diferent UV coordinates and texture/material assignment.
Mmmm that's an interesting aspect. I think I involuntarily or unknowingly "undid" that, when using OPTech's "Coincident Vertices" function which effectively reduces duplicated vertices. It might have improved performance by reducing the vertex number but caused those shading errors. I'll keep that in mind for any future projects.(like a potential ISD2 v3)
sedenion wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:00 am
I see. The engine is very old, it is probably not even designed to optimize texture switching, which may explain that texture count doesn't really matter.
Certainly not. Like I said, the largest textures that engine had to deal with were 256x256px at 8-bit color depth and I don't think even the most detailed vanilla ships had more than maybe 20 textures. Also the maximum possible screen resolution was 1600x1200, although I'm certain most people played it at 1024x768 or 1280x1024.

It all comes down to one thing DTM (or Driftwood?) said a while back. We're in a state of learning at the moment. Hooks have opened up countless possibilities and with some of the recent releases we were kinda testing the limits of what is possible and what's reasonable. OPTs like the ISD2 and the VSDs are sort-of case studies of what is possible. Going forward we also need to consider what's reasonable.
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