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HBAO+ Compatibility Flags Thread

Discussion in 'Videocards - NVIDIA GeForce Drivers Section' started by MrBonk, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. jorimt

    jorimt Member

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    Because VXAO has a small radius with extremely selective coverage in FFXV, and a very disproportionate performance hit for what little coverage it does offer outdoors:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. dr_rus

    dr_rus Ancient Guru

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    It actually has a big radius as it's world space volume based shadowing and thus it just doesn't work for smaller details. It's a mystery really why SE decided to cut off the HBAO+ part from ShadowWorks library as generally VXAO is supposed to work with HBAO+ as each method provide contact shadowing for different scales of world geometry.
     
  3. JonasBeckman

    JonasBeckman Ancient Guru

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    The engine also has HBAO+ support but I'm not really sure it works in the current version of the game, there's actually a couple of different options after one dumps the text strings via for example Microsoft's own Sysinternals utilities or Process Explorer specifically. :)

    [NVIDIAGameWorksSettings]
    NvidiaHairWorks
    NvidiaVXAO
    NvidiaHBAO
    NvidiaTurf
    NvidiaShadowLibs
    NvidiaFlow
    NvidiaAnsel
    NvidiaHighlights
    NvidiaSLI

    For the full thing for the NVIDIA settings.

    Hairworks, VXAO, TurfFX, ShadowLibs these are in-game options already.
    Ansel, Highlights these are likely controlled by GeForce Experience or the Ansel utility rather than the game itself.
    SLI, unknown but I assume it's somewhat supported depending on the driver used with the game or just a custom flag via inspector.

    Leaving HBAO and Flow with Flow having been a separate option but it now appears to be part of the screen effects which also affects other shaders and for HBAO it's probably part of the game engine but it might not be implemented currently or it's disabled for unknown reasons such as compatibility with the way the game renders or not being fully implemented or configured currently.

    For whatever reason the developers went with their custom AO instead (SSAO of some sort I assume.) and then VXAO if toggled on. I can't really be certain if HBAO works since I'm on AMD and the shadow libs are grayed out but with the right in-game areas it should be more easily comparable. Meaning chapter 3 and some grassier terrain I'm thinking.


    EDIT: Rooting around in the dumped text strings also provides other hits on HBAO. :)

    Black.Sequence.PostEffect.SequenceActionSetNVHBAO
    Black.Sequence.PostEffect.SequenceActionSetNVHBAO.BLUR_RADIUS_TYPE
    Black.Sequence.PostEffect.SequenceActionSetNVHBAO.DEPTH_CLAMP_TYPE

    .?AVSequenceActionSetNVHBAO@PostEffect@Sequence@Black@@

    For VXAO there's these.

    Black.Sequence.PostEffect.SequenceActionSetNVVXAO
    Black.Sequence.PostEffect.SequenceActionSetNVVXAO.BLEND_MODE_TYPE
    Black.Sequence.PostEffect.SequenceActionSetNVVXAO.VOXEL_RESOLUTION_TYPE
    Black.Sequence.PostEffect.SequenceActionSetNVVXAO.VOXEL_DIMENSION_TYPE

    NVVXAO_
    NVVXAO_.pinName_
    NVVXAO_.name_
    NVVXAO_.connections_
    NVVXAO_.pinValueType_

    .?AVSequenceActionSetNVVXAO@PostEffect@Sequence@Black@@

    (And some voxel settings.)

    The pin things don't exist for HBAO though whereas they do exist for Flow, Hairworks and Shadow LIbs in addition to VXAO.

    Which might mean it's not currently functional but it was either planned at one point or it's coming in a later patch. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018
  4. jorimt

    jorimt Member

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    Yes, my usage of "radius" was a casual reference to what VXAO visibly applies to in that scene; if you look at the AO off vs. VXAO in my comparison image, VXAO coverage appears to entirely stop just past the closest middle-right cluster of trees.

    VXAO does have greater coverage in other scenes, but said increase in coverage seems to be mostly limited to interiors. They obviously reigned in it's usage for performance purposes (alternately, that may just be how VXAO is; don't know enough about it to say myself), because it's demanding enough as is.

    Their default AO solution appears to be temporal, and pretty integral to the original look of the game (those distant tree models do not look like they were intended to go AO-bare, for instance), so maybe HBAO+ implementation proved to too problematic (as you say, for whatever reason) to be worth implementing? Because I can't see another reason, especially this being a GameWorks title.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018

  5. dr_rus

    dr_rus Ancient Guru

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    This is a perfectly obvious performance optimization as running world space ray marching without any Z limit will result in non realtime fps most likely.
     
  6. jorimt

    jorimt Member

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    No doubt, which brings us right back to HBAO+ as supplement, as it usually is with other GameWorks titles featuring VXAO.

    Ah well, seeing as none of us likely know any of the devs, it not like we're going to get a direct answer as to why HBAO+ isn't a feature. We'll just have to wait for a flag to eventually show up, wait for it to be patched in, or resign to the fact that it may never be supported in this game I suppose.
     
  7. dr_rus

    dr_rus Ancient Guru

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    AFAIK, HBAO+ has similar distance cut off optimization although I'd imagine that it can be further than VXAO's as it's less expensive in general.
    One thing to remember though is that VXAO is res independent while HBAO's cost goes up considerably with resolution increase.
     
  8. jorimt

    jorimt Member

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    All things considered then, we've probably answered our own question; it was likely a mix of artistic and performance purposes that HBAO+ ultimately wasn't implemented, because even systems with the minimum requirements can easily afford the default AO, imperfect as it is.

    Time will tell, I guess.
     
  9. JonasBeckman

    JonasBeckman Ancient Guru

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    Yeah higher draw distance is possible but it's not something you see often in games due to I assume it's from the performance trade-off, far as I know I think Assassin's Creed Syndicate is one of the few games that really push the distance of the effect when the user enables the HBAO+ ultra setting though it also has other advantages including using a second sample for correcting occlusion errors and it increases the resolution of the ambient occlusion too though all this in turn means it requires a pretty good GPU to run well although VXAO would likely be far more severe on the framerate if a similar method was attempted.

    From my understanding VXAO is pretty optimized but still quite costly. - https://developer.nvidia.com/sites/...s/vxao/atatarinov_alpanteleev_advanced_ao.pdf This covers a bit of both HBAO+ and VXAO in more detail.
    (And the GeForce.com guide for AC Syndicate goes into more detail on the changes brought by HBAO+ Ultra.)

    I think Fallout 4 could also be a sort of unofficial example of this since the console commands allows users to tweak several variables related to the GameWorks settings that game uses, HBAO+ and the volumetric tessellated sun-rays for example.

    And I guess NVIDIA might be showcasing ray-tracing this Monday if the current rumors are accurate, wonder how they have solved that considering it's a very costly effect rarely used in real-time such as games and on consumer hardware.
    https://www.resetera.com/threads/ru...ameworks-in-partnership-with-microsoft.30042/


    And temporal huh, that might explain things if the default AO is using something like that, shouldn't be too hard to check either.

    EDIT: Yeah it seems so, there's some factors for it at least.

    temporalNearThreshold_
    temporalFarExpFactor_

    Or to take the full list from the text strings.

    Black.Sequence.PostEffect.SequenceActionSetSAO
    contrast_
    bias_
    falloffRadius_
    spiralTurns_
    blurThreshold_
    blurThresholdNormal_
    blurFalloff_
    blurDistFalloff_
    numSamples_
    temporalNearThreshold_
    temporalFarExpFactor_
    skinAOStrength_
    eyeAOStrength_
    backscatterAOStrength_
    directionalLightAO_
    directionalLightAOStrength_
    directionalLightAOMultiplier_
    directionalLightAOContrast_
    directionalLightAOFalloffStart_
    directionalLightAOFalloffEnd_
    enableNewFoliageAO_
    foliageAOStrength_
    foliageAOMultiplier_
    foliageAOContrast_
    foliageAOFalloffStart_
    foliageAOFalloffEnd_

    (And a lot more.)


    Doesn't really help with ambient occlusion though, if that's what they are using it might be the other way around and it'll be difficult to implement HBAO+ instead due to this requirement.

    AA appears to be a variant of SMAA from what I'm seeing too but that's unrelated to AO or HBAO+ support. :)

    Depends I suppose, VXAO in world space and then the games default AA in screen space which is also where HBAO+ would be. Temporal HBAO+ then? (Which I don't think exists at the moment.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018
  10. jorimt

    jorimt Member

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    Yup, that was my assumption from the beginning also; temporal element may make HBAO+ implementation impractical. This game seems to rely heavily on frame blending for a number of its effects as well.

    The default AO in this game reminds me of the solution used in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, which is also temporal, and has a lot of the same artifacts.

    [offtopic]
    And not to get too off topic, regarding TAA, I'm a bit disappointed in this game's specific implementation; while it's decent (and better than nothing), for all the blur and ghosting it adds, it has some pretty poor subpixel coverage, especially with specular highlights. I've seen much better, with less blur and more stability in other games (the recent AC: Origins comes to mind).
    [/offtopic]
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018

  11. MrBonk

    MrBonk Ancient Guru

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    Nvidia added to hbao+ for distance with syndicate didn't they┬┐Maybe if enough people ask they will add it. As the in game ssao is pure garbage and the TAA doesn't help it at all and causes some smearing in some sections of overlap. When I played the demo I disabled ao completely as it is just so obscenely bad for the performance hit. The trade off just isn't worth it. I couldn't try VXAO in the demo but I imagine the performance on my 980 would not be adequate.


    Also I don't think the ao is being filtered by the ao. Not that I can see anyway, not like the ground dithering or the shadows.
     
  12. gold333

    gold333 Member

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    Thanks for this.

    But do you select the Bioshock 1 profile in NVInspector 1.9.7.8. and then apply this modification? Or do you just apply the modification to a bland (generic) profile?

    Sorry, also... how do you edit and input these flag vales? (sorry for noob question)

    Or does someone just have a Bioshock 1 remastered .nip file?
     
  13. wisebear

    wisebear Member

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    @JonasBeckman : Is there a way to find out what's the current value assigned to the dumped variables? VXAO is potentially good enough, but their current implementation is so subtle that it's really not worth the fps drop, which is a shame. If i was able to tweak its values i could get rid of their terrible SSAO which is atm somewhat necessary, especially in interiors where there seems to be no shadowcasting light source whatsoever and without it everything appears horribly flat.

    On a side note, i'm fairly sure shadowlibs is not doing anything at all, except stealing fps. I did my tests and i can't find any difference with it turned on/off: shadows look exactly the same.
     
  14. JonasBeckman

    JonasBeckman Ancient Guru

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    Possibly although probably not very easy to do.

    There's a mod for the dither effect for masking certain texture seams in the terrain which alters the shader and increases the samples. - https://github.com/drdaxxy/ffxvDitherPatch
    In effect doing the same to ambient occlusion might be doable but the utilities for this can vary in how compatible they are depending on the feature set the game it's used in. 3D Migoto for example.

    SpecialK is technically capable of viewing the shaders but editing is unsupported for D3D11 and only partially possible with D3D9 due to API differences though yes it would be doable to increase the parameters in this way though it might not be very easy. :)
    (SpecialK allows for toggling and setting wire frame mode but it's uses are a bit limited though viewing gives some insight into how these effects work and what parameters they are using.)

    Shadowlibs in this game is for self shadowing by the way, it's subtle and somewhat expensive as well but it adds some depth to how the shadows in the game work. :)
    https://www.resetera.com/posts/5277218/

    I had assumed it would be PCSS style filtering but no it's this instead.
     
  15. wisebear

    wisebear Member

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    I was looking for contact hardening shadows or some other implementation on the ground/environement. I can see the effect now, very subtle indeed :(
     

  16. silly7722

    silly7722 New Member

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    I modified the 0x00F0000 flag to stop the random on/off flickering when using it for path of exile in dx11.

    Original: 76 58 00 82 73 40 5D 07 01 00 00 00
    Modified: 76 98 00 82 73 40 5D 07 01 00 00 00

    Tho only issues that some people might not like are it bleeds through the ui and some things like torches get a little dark. It also might be to strong for some people, but you can modify the strength through hex editing (see OP) so thats fixable.

    Im using Windows 10 so I edited the nvwgf2umx.dll file in C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\nv_dispi.inf_amd64_048172e9d7cc483d.

    I dont really feel like recording and uploading a video of the flickering in action because im too lazy :D, but so far i the modified flag seems to have fixed it. Also screenshots dont seem to be picking up the AO so it seems like its being applied as some type of overlay? :confused: Maybe a video wont show it either because of that? idk

    Edit: I'll probably tinker with it some more because i will get annoyed its not perfect, but so far im satisfied i made some progress, the game looks so much better with AO imo

    Edit Edit: Seems like there are still some flickering issues, but it seems to have improved since i modified the flag.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
  17. MrBonk

    MrBonk Ancient Guru

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    You can try to use Print Screen and paste them into a program to get screenshots. Could try different screenshot methods as well. (As you using Afterburner or an in game screenshot function for example? If the game has one, you can try that too).

    One other option that may work is using the Steam Screenshot method. In my experience, this will pick up any forced AA, AO and even SweetFX/Reshade while not capturing any on screen OSD like Afterburner.


    In my A/B tests Shadow works DOES do something, but it's subtle to pick up on in this game. Because it doesn't seem to be bypassing whatever the heck they are doing with the shadows on their own to begin with like most games do when they use Nvidia shadows.
    They are still being filtered by the game seperately and then also filtered by the TAA. Which masks the contact hardening quite a bit.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
  18. MrBonk

    MrBonk Ancient Guru

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    Yeah,you have to

    1. Make a new profile for Bioshock remastered, add the .exe (or absolute application path)
    2. Set the flag mentioned and enable HBAO for the profile.
    3. Then find the appropriate driver .dll depending on what version of windows you use and copy that to the game directory where the .exe is . (If you upgrade drivers you have to redo this and remodify the .dll)
    4.Open the .dll in a hex editor, use the quoted values for the original flag to find them, and then change the values to match the modified values posted. (You cannot copy paste it, you have to type it manually). Then save the .dll. If done right it should work.
     
  19. MrBonk

    MrBonk Ancient Guru

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    Resident Evil Revelations

    This post is long overdue. The original flags mentioned are not suitable at all in reality. None in the driver are, and require significant modification to get it to good quality and to fix major issues.
    Some things that cannot be helped are things like the seemingly low precision of whatever buffers the HBAO is interacting with. (Where as the game uses heavy dithering on the 3DS, the HD versions did not, but also did not increase the precision of many buffers. Resulting in a large amount of banding. And this results in the AO having banding as well. Luckily my TV has a decent debanding option that can blend much of it)

    But in summary without modification HBAO+ either
    A.)Causes a garbage artifact on the ground at certain angles.
    B.)Is far too strong with lots of overshading.
    C.)Turns off in certain blocks of the ship. (Like the bridge/deck area. It will disable as you take the elevator to these sections).
    D.)Bleeds through alpha effects like smoke, fog and water. The water in particular is very significant as large portions take place underwater.
    E.)Bleeds in snow levels
    F.)Angle bias causes clouding issues with thin geometry and geometry in the distance (Beach area specifically. Which causes and aliasing crawling effect)

    Modification fixes the majority of these problems with some caveats.
    1.)The snow levels are impossible to fix. (The problem is mostly in the caves of those however)

    3.)Fixing the bleeding through alpha effects, fog and water has the side effect of causing AO to turn off in very specific areas of the game or sometimes based on the camera angle (Far less common). One case is where you are in the same area as a body of water, the AO disables as you go under water, which is seamless. But as you resurface it turns back on, and depending on the camera angle for a split second you can see the effect draw in under the water.
    In one area, the AO is working with a large body of water present, but as you move between that and the next, the effect turns off. A subtle problem based on what is happening at this specific moment.

    3.)There is still some minor overshading problems, however they are nothing quite as heavy as the SSAO in Revelations 2, which when characters occlude certain geometry it casts a thick haze between the two that looks quite bad.

    4.)AO does not apply in the menus on characters.

    5.)If the 2nd issue bothers you more than having the effect work absolutely everywhere with bleeding problems, there is a second set of values for that. (This was the values I initially played the game through with as I didn't realize I could fix the bleeding until after the fact. )
    In one specific area late in the game, there are a few instances of AO being applied everywhere, but some specific objects will have the effect turn on and off based on camera angle while the rest of the AO is fine.

    But here's how not disabling the bleeding can look at it's worst.
    http://u.cubeupload.com/MrBonk/22248020180103002558.png
    http://u.cubeupload.com/MrBonk/rerev201801171818251.png
    http://u.cubeupload.com/MrBonk/22248020180110001513.png
    http://u.cubeupload.com/MrBonk/22248020180110001841.png
    http://u.cubeupload.com/MrBonk/22248020180112194325.png
    http://u.cubeupload.com/MrBonk/22248020180112194439.png
    http://u.cubeupload.com/MrBonk/22248020180112195204.png
    http://u.cubeupload.com/MrBonk/22248020180112201756.png
    http://u.cubeupload.com/MrBonk/22248020180113001518.png
    http://u.cubeupload.com/MrBonk/22248020180113001344.png
    http://u.cubeupload.com/MrBonk/22248020180114223103.png
    http://u.cubeupload.com/MrBonk/22248020180114223851.png
    http://u.cubeupload.com/MrBonk/22248020180114222900.png
    __________________________________________________________________

    0x00000026
    Original values
    Modified values that disable bleeding
    Modified values that don't disable bleeding
    ____________________________________________________________________

    Another problem this game has, is that it is resolution limited to 1440p. And has the problem that all current RE games have (minus VII), low resolution bloom. So getting perfect image quality is not possible. (The low rest bloom is always distracting when it is very strong in specific areas. However you can get very close by using 4xSGSSAA+In game FXAA level 1. Which has the drawback of a small loss in sharpness that is easily fixed with sharpening. With the benefit of much better edge gradients and overall image quality.

    8xSGSSAA, at 1080p60 for my 980 just wasn't feasible and that is probably the better option if your GPU can handle it. (While GPU usage wasn't an issue, I was getting lots and lots of stuttering and hitching.). Disabling motion blur may help with performance for you. Like in RE5 and RE6, the motion blur causes a big performance hit.

    MSAA is available to force via 0x00400041, but it almost requires as much performance as SGSSAA and doesn't handle the aliasing as well. However it is fine for what it is if you prefer sharpness.

    If sharpening the game you might as well make some other changes as well, as the dynamic range here doesn't seem to have ever been really properly adjusted beyond the 3DS. The Gamma/brightness set up feels wrong, dark areas are very grey and not at all close to black. And the top end is just as dull. (Then there is the removal of dithering, leaving lots of banding.) (RE5, 6 and revelations 2 do not have this problem. Only Revelations 1)
    Personally I recommend setting the in game brightness minus 3 or so and then applying my SweetFX/Reshade presets that push the low end down just enough to make it darker without crushing the low end, while pushing the high end out with very minor clipping on specific areas. Overall it looks much better IMO.

    To use AA with Reshade you have to use 0x004000C1 for AA rather than just C1. Either way the AA does affect the PP effects injected, so the sharpening for example has to be used at higher than normal values. Typical when forcing AA over reshade and sometimes SweetFX.

    I've included 3 presets here.
    • A basic SweetFX set. (Which originally I had the film grain with my custom texture turned on enabled. But the RNG of the shader or some other part of it causes the effect to break after about 30 minutes of continuous use. Causing the effect to look like macroblock compression artifacts. It does this even with the original texture from Jorge Jimenez)
    • 60FPS Reshade config (For my 980 anyway. This is mainly for the use of the film grain shader. Though it is disabled in the preset)
    • And a 30FPS Reshade config that adds film grain, DOF and Ambient lighting. (Because my 980 can't hold 60FPS with 4xSGSAA, HBAO+ and this on top)
      The DoF get's AA'd properly for the most part as well, which looks great and with the auto DoF turned on it feels totally natural and works way better than the in game DoF present in Revelations 2 and Resident Evil 6. However the DoF can occasionally break, especially if you alt tab. And it can break specifically in the main menus. Fiddling with turning motion blur on and off and alt tabbing again, and or restarting the game or some combination thereof can fix it. I only ran into this when initially configuring the effect so YMMV.
    They are all tuned to the nearly same lift gamma gain and sharpening settings.

    https://www.mediafire.com/folder/22aqks3tbnx3s61,6jpy0afo49zv6ni,epqe2ph8ego5o8o/shared

    _________________________________________________________________________________

    Pictures:
    The pictures are set up in succession with each one adding the stated effect to the chain.
    HBAO+ is the modified config without bleeding.
    Enabling a negative LOD adds aliasing back into the game. But does minorly help with sharpness. YMMV depending on your tastes.

    No AA | With HBAO+ | 4xSGSSAA | FXAA level 1 in game turned on | Reshade 60FPS config enabled
    No AA | With HBAO+ | 4xSGSSAA | FXAA level 1 in game turned on | Reshade 60FPS config enabled
    No AA | With HBAO+ | 4xSGSSAA | FXAA level 1 in game turned on | Reshade 60FPS config enabled
    No AA | With HBAO+ | 4xSGSSAA | FXAA level 1 in game turned on | Reshade 60FPS config enabled
    No AA | With HBAO+ | 4xSGSSAA | FXAA level 1 in game turned on | Reshade 60FPS config enabled (There is a pulsating set of light sources here. Which is causing the difference in visible detail around the fountain here)
    No AA | With HBAO+ | 4xSGSSAA | FXAA level 1 in game turned on | Reshade 60FPS config enabled
    No AA | With HBAO+ | 4xSGSSAA | FXAA level 1 in game turned on | Reshade 60FPS config enabled

    Those are just my preferred settings and and am just sharing. Feel free to not at all follow it, or even change it or sharpen it even more. (Which with newer Reshade versions, there are much more varied options for sharpening.) It would be nice someday if we could unlock the resolution and get the best of both worlds. As downsampling would improve the bloom massively as it does in RE5,6 and Rev 2.

    Here's some shots of the 30FPS config
    http://u.cubeupload.com/MrBonk/rerev201802062012435.png
    http://u.cubeupload.com/MrBonk/rerev201802062011056.png
    http://u.cubeupload.com/MrBonk/rerev201802062010279.png
    http://u.cubeupload.com/MrBonk/rerev201802062008586.png
    http://u.cubeupload.com/MrBonk/rerev201802062008550.png
    http://u.cubeupload.com/MrBonk/rerev201802062008271.png
    http://u.cubeupload.com/MrBonk/rerev201802062006286.png
    http://u.cubeupload.com/MrBonk/22248020180201015509.png
    http://u.cubeupload.com/MrBonk/22248020180204010025.png
    http://u.cubeupload.com/MrBonk/rerev201802010132092.png
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  20. jedi93

    jedi93 New Member

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    I can't force HBAO for CoD Black Ops. I tried different compatibility bits, enabled and disabled HBAO (all via Profile Inspector) but nothing changes. I also made screenshots every time, they're identical. There is definitely no AO in the main menu.
    Does it not work because I'm on a laptop with Optimus? Because I forced HBAO in two other games I think but it didn't seem to do anything there either. Can someone help?

    btw: I'm on Win 10 1703, with an i5-7300HQ and a 1050Ti, specs here: http://speccy.piriform.com/results/ejLuKGvqLhUYaF4IVpWQbou
     

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