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  1. #1

    Default Force Ambient Occlusion for PSO2 on NVidia cards

    Ambient occlusion works for PSO2!

    For those who don't know how it works, see this article. If you've never forced ambient occlusion on for any game before, note that it has a massive performance impact on lower-end cards; as such, I don't recommend enabling it if you're already having performance issues.

    Enabling it is simple:

    1. Download Nvidia Inspector

    2. When Nvidia Inspector is open, click on the wrench-and-screwdriver button to the right of the "Driver Version" field

    3. Go down to the Phantasy Star Online 2 profile (note: it should already be there if the drivers are up-to-date; if it is not there, either create one for yourself or update your drivers)

    4. At the top under "compatibility", you will see a field called "Ambient Occlusion compatibility" with a large drop-down list. Don't be intimidated by it and go down to the option marked "0x00000026 (Warmonger)" and click on it to enable it. Alternatively, you can use any of the Unreal Engine 3 bits (Mirror's Edge's is recommended for how well it meshes with the game's aesthetic, though you can also use Mass Effect's, Unreal Tournament 3's, Gears of War's, and so on and so forth, with varying results).

    5. Go down to the section titled "Common" and set "Ambient Occlusion usage" to "Enabled", and if "Ambient Occlusion setting" isn't already set, set it to either "Performance" or "Quality" (depending on preference and the performance of your PC) - do NOT set it to High Quality, as your frame rates will drop below reasonably smooth levels, unless you have two high end video cards in SLI.

    6. Click "Apply Changes" in the upper right corner. You're done!

    You will notice that characters now shadow themselves, as well as make contact shadows on the ground and walls, and areas where light is being occluded will also see some shadowing (most notable on any 90-degree angle contact points, like the corners of rooms). IMO, this is a major improvement as the flatness of the lighting was just driving me bonkers.

    Example screenshots:
    Spoiler!


    Before and after (open them in separate tabs and switch between them):
    Spoiler!
    Last edited by Zyrusticae; Mar 8, 2013 at 11:07 PM.

  2. #2
    That thing in the corner
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    Ohohohoho~~~ /spasm


    I hit log-out to set this up immediately when I read this.
    Thank you very much, Zyrusticae.

  3. #3

    Default

    You're welcome.

    Side note, it's kind of noisy/pixelated and there are some minor glitches (to be expected - this compatibility profile is intended for an Unreal Engine 3 game, after all). Most notably, there are a couple spots on the camp ship where the occlusion just glitches out and covers the screen in darkness for a split second. Nothing big, just felt like pointing it out.

  4. #4
    Hildetorr Hunter
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    It was looking great on my SLI 460's until servers went down, Thanks a bunch!!

  5. #5
    Phantasy Star Dad Online Dragwind's Avatar
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    Hm, that looks nice. Added to the floating sticky.
    -My PSO, PSU, PS:Po series, and PSZ characters-

    Forum Rules - Read it! | PSO2: Jergraw (All classes 75)

  6. #6
    That thing in the corner
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    As Zyrusticae already mentioned, some glitches and artifacts are to be expected, but I thought I'd share this rather funny graphical happening.
    It would seem my 560Ti decided to splatter the AO over the ambient fog, resulting in a rather quirky effect:
    Spoiler!

    This was using the 0x00000026 (Warmonger) compatibility profile and the performance setting. I'll be messing around with the settings some more when the server goes back up. >:3

  7. #7

    Default

    It's kinda hard to see from these screenshots whether it actually looks better or not....
    any chance of showing some screenshots of the forest / caves? Or maybe some before / after comparison pictures?

  8. #8

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    Thanks for this guide. I thought I'd try it, and I got annoyed by the minor glitches overall. My card also can't handle normal quality, so that's a shame

    I'll try tweaking with lower settings to see if I can get some better balance for the slight improvements. Thanks again for this.

  9. #9

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    I think my framerate dips a little too much for my liking but perhaps when I upgrade :P.

    Too spoiled by constant 60+ FPS.

    #1 International MAG+ TA Champion in PSU. Co-Founder of Royalz
    Playing BB again.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by zgnumu View Post
    As Zyrusticae already mentioned, some glitches and artifacts are to be expected, but I thought I'd share this rather funny graphical happening.
    It would seem my 560Ti decided to splatter the AO over the ambient fog, resulting in a rather quirky effect:
    Spoiler!
    I should note that this happens in every game you force Ambient Occlusion on - the drivers do not have access to the information necessary to account for fog and similar effects, so you'll see the occlusion show up in front of objects (it's just a post-process, and a bit of a hacky one at that).

    Fortunately, the fog is only one of the possible weather effects, and tends not to last very long. It is pretty jarring when it does happen, though.

    I'm going to try to get some comparison shots for the camp ship now. It'd be too difficult to do comparison shots from the forest or caves due to the randomness and the fact that I have to restart the game to get changes to apply.

    Edit: Put up comparison screenies. It's a very subtle effect, but it certainly helps in reducing flatness, especially in where the terminals meet the walls. Also note the character shadowing.

    Edit #2: Hmmm, it appears that setting ambient occlusion to "quality" actually does account for the fog. I must admit, I am surprised, especially considering this is not an Unreal Engine 3 game...
    Last edited by Zyrusticae; Jun 23, 2012 at 02:06 PM.

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