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Far Cry 4 Game Profile Xml Tutorial _HOT_

Having already received excellent reviews on consoles, Far Cry 4 is primed and ready to launch on PC later today, featuring a heavily upgraded and modified engine, PC-exclusive effects, and five far-reaching NVIDIA GameWorks enhancements that transform the game's appearance and increase image quality substantially.

far cry 4 game profile xml tutorial

Far Cry 4's official system requirements suggest a high degree of scalability, ramping down graphical fidelity to previous-generation detail levels for older systems, and cranking it up for the latest and greatest GPUs. With versions of the game also available on previous-generation consoles this certainly makes sense, but only testing will tell all.

By using this iterative model, Far Cry 4's Dunia 2 has a familiar look and feel, though that's no bad thing: Far Cry 3 and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon are highly-rated games with fast-performing engines, massive open worlds, dynamic foliage destruction, and lovely high-fidelity graphics that stay true to the tropical paradise aesthetic composed by the original Far Cry.

What we see in Dunia 2 then, is a beautiful-looking, tightly coded, mature engine that performs well with a new layer of polish, bringing Far Cry 4 up to modern day standards with additional headroom for exclusive niceties that give the PC edition of the game a clear advantage over versions found on current-generation consoles.

Safe houses allow the player to skip time, sell items, and buy new weapons. They're also one of the few indoor locations you'll visit in Far Cry 4, with the developers preferring to keep players in visually arresting rural environs. In this example from a safe house, we again see the improving quality of AO as we go from SSAO to SSBC, to HBAO+, but of more interest is the No AO image, showing just how flat and unrealistic games can appear when AO isn't an included option.

SSBC's results are surprising - given the gulf in quality between SSBC and SSAO, one would expect SSBC to be using far more than 12 samples (compared to SSAO's 8), and have a higher GPU cost. Looking deeper, we discover that SSBC is being rendered via a fast, efficient full-resolution pixel-shader pass, taking up to 12 occlusion samples from a half-resolution depth texture. The results on their own aren't spectacular, as you would expect from a maximum of 12 samples, so a 4x4 noise texture is applied to jitter its texture coordinates, followed by temporal reprojection and two blur passes that improve stability and smooth the gradients between AO shadows and help hide undersampling artifacts. An AO-only capture shows the final result, and while artifacting is clearly visible here, it is undetectable during gameplay.

HBAO+, in comparison, renders at an unprecedented 36 samples per pixel at full resolution, with interleaved rendering and other DirectX 11 secret sauce that avoids all artifacts, and greatly increases the quality of the AO effect. The GPU cost is 1ms higher than SSBC in Far Cry 4, though as many gamers will no doubt agree, the performance cost is well worth the increase in visual fidelity. An interactive AO-only comparison below demonstrates the quality and improved fidelity of HBAO+ as a result of its superior technology and sample count.

Performance: During gameplay with a mix of short, medium and long range views, lots of grass, many trees, and several objects, the impact of the three Ambient Occlusion techniques was measured on a GeForce GTX 980 PC at 1920x1080 with all other settings maxed out, and 4x TXAA enabled.

Innovatively rendered with DirectX 11 tessellation, NVIDIA Godrays improve upon existing solutions by reducing the performance impact by up to 4x, by eliminating aliasing (tessellated Godrays can be anti-aliased like any other game element), by accurately reacting to any game elements that intersect with a Godray, by being cast through the smallest of spaces if an artist or designer desires, and by being visible even when a light source is out of view or behind the player.

For Far Cry 4 we've updated our Godays, implemented their full range of abilities into the game, and integrated them tightly with the game's other graphical effects, emphasizing the bright sunlight of the Himalayas, and the appearance of light at high altitudes.

NVIDIA Percentage Closer Soft Shadows (PCSS) are an effective solution for developers wanting to add contact-hardening, realistic soft shadows to their games. As in real life, PCSS shadows progressively soften as the distance from the casting object increases, improving fidelity and immersion.

In general, the positive impact of NVIDIA PCSS is less pronounced in Far Cry 4 than in urban games like Assassin's Creed Unity and Batman: Arkham Origins. In city-bound games such as those, there are typically far larger shadows cast from greater range, enabling more visible progressive softening. In Far Cry 4, there are hundreds of overlapping, tiny leaves per scene, generally cast from close range, and thousands of blades of grass, making PCSS shadowing harder to detect at first glance.

At medium range, PCSS and Ultra render an identical number of shadows, and depending on the time of day the backdrop may be identically shadowed, too, unlike in our previous comparison. When you switch to lower settings, however, such as Very High, highly visible changes are found at all hours, at all ranges, in all locations. In this example, moving from Ultra to Very High results in the loss of mid-range tree shadows on the hillside. Switching to High reinstates the mid-range shadows, however, but disables the realistic time of day shadowing, resulting in the entire hillside appearing brightly lit, as if it were in direct sunlight. Across every option in Far Cry 4, this one change has the largest impact on overall fidelity, significantly harming the appearance of the game.

Note: To include Far Cry 4's other shadow settings in our comparisons we were forced to unpause the game. As a result, from this point forth our shadow comparisons are as close to identical as possible given the persistent wind simulation and 24-hour day-night cycle.

Focussing on the quality of mid-range shadows, this batch of images highlights the loss of shadow definition as the setting is decreased, most visibly on the large rock at the center of the screen, next to the stream. In wider views we also observed a reduction in the number of mid-range shadows, and in gameplay an increased degree of pop-in as we moved through the environment.

Performance: To summarize, at lower detail levels a number of reductions occur to shadows game-wide. At close range, the detail and sharpness of shadows is reduced; at medium range the general detail of shadows and the number rendered is reduced; and at long range the number of shadows rendered at any one time is reduced. Lowering the setting will unexpectedly improve frames rates, but be aware that dropping below Ultra introduces a noticeable degree of pop-in, fade-in, and LoD'ing of shadows, in addition to the loss of time of day shadows in many scenes, harming image quality considerably.

Performance: Aliasing, and temporal aliasing in particular, are big issues in Far Cry 4, with hundreds of moving game elements, thousands of alpha textures that can't be anti-aliased by MSAA, and fine detail that is visibly aliased in comparison to Assassin's Creed Unity, where lighting and post process effects helped obscure aliasing.

Far Cry 4's Kyrat is filled with animals, making it the perfect place for wide scale integration of NVIDIA HairWorks, a NVIDIA GameWorks technology that debuted on Riley, Call of Duty: Ghost's canine companion who sniffed out explosives and attacked enemies. In Kyrat, you'll come across hairy animals in cut scenes, cinematics, and general gameplay, where they're hunting you, and you're hunting them. With HairWorks enabled, animals are enhanced with hundreds of thousands of DirectX 11 tessellated hair strands that look real, and act dynamically to external forces.

The Far Cry 4 options menu has 13 graphics settings, giving gamers control over how the picture looks, and letting them enable and disable just about any feature. Below, we'll run through the options, show how the detail levels compare, and offer recommendations on how to gain a few extra frames per second with minimal loss of image quality.

Texture Quality operates differently in Far Cry 4 than in other games, both on-screen and under the hood. On screen, the quality of textures remain the same between detail levels in the majority of circumstances, with extra flourishes instead being added on top as the setting is raised. We highlight specific examples in our comparisons below, but in general we see the addition of normal maps and specular maps, simulated depth on surfaces, and shininess on reflective materials.

The use of additional VRAM in our tests is likely a modicum of texture caching, intended to accelerate the rendering of textures in the scene you're approaching, preventing stuttering while the necessary items are loaded from your hard drive into memory. If you've got a GPU with no additional headroom, such as the recommended GeForce GTX 680, it'd be wise to load Far Cry 4 onto a SSD to minimize the delay between the game requesting a texture and it being loaded. On a slow mechanical hard drive, there could certainly be stuttering that detracts from your experience.

Performance: From our comparisons we can see that there's no visible difference between High, Very High and Ultra, despite the ever-increasing VRAM usage. At Medium, however, certain game elements take a big hit, and there's a general loss of quality throughout the game, seen on every leaf, every gun model, and every surface, though as we've revealed the loss is one of specular and normal maps rather than of texture clarity as in other games.

If you lack the estimated 1.5GB of VRAM required to enable High, your experience won't be seriously impacted, and who knows, the game may be playable on High with a 1.2GB or 1GB card. If you test it out, let fellow gamers know in the Comments section at the end of this guide. 350c69d7ab


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