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Thread: Externally Improve Istaria's Looks (nVidia)

  1. #1
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    Default Externally Improve Istaria's Looks (nVidia)

    So say you just came back from running a modern game at high graphics and you come back to our good old Istaria. Immediately, you're hit with its age. The textures, while not horrible by any means, are a small resolution, there's no normal maps or specular maps, and, the worst offender - the lack of anti-aliasing. Here is an unmodified screenshot of Istaria on absolute max settings including shadows...

    THE HORROR! THE PIXELS!

    Sadly I can't help with the first two, but I can definitely help with the last! Introducing.. the nVidia Control Panel.

    Aw yeah.

    So to get here, just...

    1. Search your PC for "NVIDIA Control Panel"
    2. Choose "Manage 3D Settings"
    3. Find "istaria.exe" or "Istaria" under the drop down list. If it does NOT show up, click "Add" and choose istaria.exe in your install path.

    Now you're here on this wonderful screen! Let's get started. The techy of you can figure it out from here, probably, but these are my settings:



    Anisotropic filtering doesn't seem to really do anything that I can visibly tell, so I had turned that on/off and made it bold by accident. Whoops. Ignore that.

    The rest is purposeful. The gamma correction might not be needed, but the others are important.
    Set Antialiasing - Mode to Override any application setting.
    Set Antialiasing - Setting to whichever setting your computer can handle. 8x is max, which is what I have.
    Set Antialiasing - Transparency the same - you'll get jagged edges on the edge of transparent textures otherwise. (Ex. dragon frills)
    Make sure to hit "Apply" in the bottom right! It's easy to miss.
    Do NOT use Antialiasing - FXAA! This causes your UI and text to blur out.

    Now.. what did you do all of this for? The heck did it change?
    Take a look:


    Those pixely edges smoothed out gives the game a much smoother and more modern feel to it than those horrid jagged ones.

    Now go out there and enjoy your smoother game!

    I'll say this now - I have absolutely no idea how to do this for any other brands than nVidia cards. If anyone knows how, please post below!

    Thank you Scaleeth for making me aware of this ages ago! <3

  2. #2

    Default Re: Externally Improve Istaria's Looks (nVidia)

    Thanks for posting this!

    Does it have any effect on FPS? Or just in video quality?


  3. #3

    Default Re: Externally Improve Istaria's Looks (nVidia)

    For AMD (at least the older HD cards), you open up the AMD VISION Engine Control Center. Go to the Gaming tab and create an Application Profile. It will let you override the Anti-Aliasing, Anisotropic Filtering, Mipmap Detail, Vertical Refresh, Adaptive Anti-Aliasing and OpenGL settings.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Externally Improve Istaria's Looks (nVidia)

    The supersampling (Antialiasing - Transparency) can kill FPS if you set it too high. Anti-aliasing can also hurt your FPS.

    For me, I have a powerful computer and it didn't matter, but if you average 20fps right now, I can't imagine it'd play nice with your computer. :P Your best bet is to go through the 2x/4x/8x versions, restarting your game, until you see an FPS you can tolerate/see how much your computer handles.

    Edit: Ah, thanks Amon! There you go, AMD users

  5. #5

    Default Re: Externally Improve Istaria's Looks (nVidia)

    For AMD Cards:


    Note: It is assumed that you are running the latest version of the AMD Catalyst Control Centre (Now called AMD Crimson). If you are not, it is strongly recommended that you do so via the AMD driver website: http://support.amd.com/en-us/download


    The first thing you should do is add istaria.exe the RADEON Settings screen. This can be done by going to the main screen as is here:

    Then, click the "Gaming tab" -> then "Add" (looks like a little folder with a plus on it - top right: -> Click browse (Scan does not work as AMD have not added Istaria as a game to their database) -> add istaria.exe (not the launcher).

    Here are the default settings for Istaria on an AMD 7970 (once added):


    To enable Anti Aliasing , first click on "Anti-aliasing mode" and select "Override application settings".

    For the Anti - Aliasing Method , select ether "multi sampling" or "Super Sampling". Super Sampling looks best but is a massive draw on performance.

    For Anti-Aliasing level, Choose the level that balances performance with looks, depending on your resolution. I went for 8x here.

    Keep anti aliasing filter on standard! Edge-Detect causes the UI to be put though the anti-aliasing process, with ugly results. You have been warned! D:

    Leave everything else alone - for Istaria at least they provide no effect while having an impact on performance.

    With this in mind, here are my settings after making these modifications:


    And in game:



    BONUS:
    If your system has two or more cards running in a crossfire/sli configuration, the game will run in AFR FRIENDLY mode. This give a ~25-30 FPS boost within the game while running in full screen only. Please note that it's unlikely that Vi support running the game in sli / Crossfire x mode, so do not submit submit bug / crash reports if you are running the game this way.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Externally Improve Istaria's Looks (nVidia)

    this works. Istaria looks better then it's ever been, and runs so smoothly with current hardware. good job Racktor. i recommend everyone do this.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Externally Improve Istaria's Looks (nVidia)

    For some reason, this isn't working for me. It's really weird because I've used the NVIDIA control panel to make some of the other games I play look nicer. Istaria still looks just as pixely as it always does though. Changing the settings is having no effect at all.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Externally Improve Istaria's Looks (nVidia)

    Nevermind. It isn't just Istaria. I tried to play another game I used these settings on and found out that they aren't working there either anymore. Not sure why my settings don't work anymore, but it's getting really frustrating.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Externally Improve Istaria's Looks (nVidia)

    Unfortunately since TinyPic shut down, my images on this were outright nuked. I've reinstated them to the best of my ability.

    ----

    So say you just came back from running a modern game at high graphics and you come back to our good old Istaria. Immediately, you're hit with its age. The textures, while not horrible by any means, are a small resolution, there's no normal maps or specular maps, and, the worst offender - the lack of anti-aliasing. Here is an unmodified screenshot of Istaria on absolute max settings including shadows...

    THE HORROR! THE PIXELS!

    Sadly I can't help with the first two, but I can definitely help with the last! Introducing.. the nVidia Control Panel.

    Aw yeah.

    So to get here -

    1. Search your PC for "NVIDIA Control Panel"
    2. Choose "Manage 3D Settings"
    3. Click the 'Program Settings' tab.
    4. Find "istaria.exe" or "Istaria" under the drop down list. If it does NOT show up, click "Add" and choose istaria.exe in your install path.

    You may also be able to open the control panel by right-clicking your desktop and choosing it from the menu. I've had times where it's not shown up, though, so the 100% guaranteed way to reach it is above!

    Now you're here on this wonderful screen! Let's get started. The techy of you can figure it out from here, probably, but these are my settings:



    Set Antialiasing - Mode to Override any application setting.
    Set Antialiasing - Setting to whichever setting your computer can handle. 8x is max, which is what I have.
    Set Antialiasing - Transparency the same - you'll get jagged edges on the edge of transparent textures otherwise. (Ex. dragon frills)

    (Anisotropic filtering doesn't seem to really do anything from my testing - feel free to let me know otherwise if you notice a difference.)

    I originally had written "Make sure to hit "Apply" in the bottom right! It's easy to miss." but it appears this button has been removed and it now auto-saves.
    Do NOT use Antialiasing - FXAA! This causes your UI and text to blur out.

    Now.. what did you do all of this for? The heck did it change?
    Take a look:


    Those pixely edges smoothed out gives the game a much smoother and more modern feel to it than those horrid jagged ones.

    Now go out there and enjoy your smoother game!

    I'll say this now - I have absolutely no idea how to do this for any other brands than nVidia cards. If anyone knows how, please post below!

    Thank you Scaleeth for making me aware of this ages ago! <3
    Last edited by Racktor; March 21st, 2020 at 05:49 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Externally Improve Istaria's Looks (nVidia)

    I wish to give a word of warning here. I have a nVidiia 1080Ti card. I made an Istaria listing just like above. I set everything up as listed above. Last night it seemed to work great. The game ran great and looked better. This morning I started the game and it went to 640 by 480 with all key bindings gone. My HUD was gone, my hotkeys were gone, nothing showed but the 640 by 480 screen (I normally run in 1080 mode). I have the map mod and it was a brown square. My mouse no longer worked in the game. The only thing I had was alt-F4. I logged out and removed Istaria from my nVidia listing. I logged back into game and went to options and placed everything back to default. This gave me my sound back and default key bindings which allowed me to use my mouse again. I had to completely rebuild my game and hotkeys. The map I had to uninstall and then reload it. I am still trying to get my game back to were it was. Beware. Slimey on Order

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Externally Improve Istaria's Looks (nVidia)

    I've done this many times - and seen many others use it - and have never had that happen. Istaria does tend to have an issue with wiping prefs which I've had happen to me before (with and without this). It's why I always try and back them up every few weeks or so.

    I'm sorry to hear that happened though, I hope you can fix it as smoothly as possible!

  12. #12

    Default Re: Externally Improve Istaria's Looks (nVidia)

    More Nvidia control panel tips: Turn on adaptive/dynamic V-sync in your graphics card drivers - Turn V-sync and Framerate Smoothing off in the game if applicable. Drop these pre-rendered frames down from the default 3 to just 1 and you’ll get a big boost.

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