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Thread: Black Squares on planet surface

  1. #76
    for me SMAA does the work, even if there are still squares they are much less dark almost invisible.. FXAA and MLAA clearly make me appear.

    ensure that FXAA and MFAA is disabled on the graphics card driver (by default this is the case), the driver has priority over the game.

    it must depend on other factors certainly.

  2. #77
    I've seen the HUD display sphere swatches black too. Seems to come and go infrequently without any effort on my part. I think it's best to keep the console free of food and beverages while flying. This seems to clear up the HUD projection and it's just a good habit to keep things nice and neat too.

  3. #78

  4. #79
    Wow Baton! Your progress it truly amazing!
    I'm looking forward to the day where you will show us a self-portrait made by dark squares...

  5. #80
    Lets keep this thread about bug reports, the other one is for fun

  6. #81
    Originally Posted by Baton View Post (Source)
    Bravo, that's the best one yet!

  7. #82
    To show how bad it is I recorded 40 minutes from my usual activity in the game at the moment which is finding the brain trees.
    I will mark the times I get the squares on my lunch break, but the big one is at 16 minutes mark.

    Squares at: 1:10 , 5:27 , 7:25 , 13:50, 16:05 , 19:17 , 21:05 , 23:24 , 24:50 , 34:30....

    PPL please keep this thread about bug reports to help and fix it - there is plenty of space elsewhere for comments and arguments.

  8. #83
    They do seem to fit with the theory they are tied to surface POI. Heres a very small low one, right on the edge of a barnacle... coincidence ?

  9. #84
    Hi folks, if you don't know, I've made a dedicated thread in beta forum about this, but totally forgot about this thread until MadRaptor pointed me back to this direction!

    Thread is here:!

    But for easyness, here's the post in a qouted box, below.

    I need volunteers!

    Also, systems + planets that you know of, please list them (with potential co-ords, matters not), I'll go check them, too, to see what result I get.

    Hello folks, I've decided to put this here in its own thread because I'm not sure if everyone keeps up with the Planetary Colours thread (it is, after all, about colours - not square bugs ).

    This thread is more aimed at Nvidia users, although if AMD has a similar shader cache feature, and the square bugs still happen, you could try to do this somehow aswell but you'd need to look into it.

    The Experiment:

    1) To disable the Shader Cache in Nvidia settings - and delete the Shader Cache saved on your hard drive (where the Nvidia drivers are installed).

    2) Visit planets to see if this makes a difference to your game; basically, do the bugged shader/texture squares still show for you on random planets or planets you visit often?

    3) Share your results (see 'My Experience', down below, for an example - give detailed information of your computer, such as: CPU, GPU, RAM, and Hard Drive - if the game or drivers is installed on a regular Hard Drive, not an SSD, please check how fragmented your Hard Drive is through Windows, plus whether or not you use Virtual Memory, and finally, what settings you use for Elite.

    4) If you have no planet to visit, but want to help, try out Leucos A 5 A at -36.128, -45.243 (by a crashed Anaconda where you can scan the datacore and it'll remain on your panel). I highly recommend this planet, since two squares normally show around these co-ordinates.

    Theory Behind The Experiment & Detailed Information:

    For those with Nvidia, whom are still plagued by the square problem, could you experiment and get back to me on this?

    I've been reading up on the "Shader Cache" option in the Nvidia settings - by default, this is on.

    Basically, instead of the game storing the Cache for textures in the RAM of the GPU, it'll store it on your Hard Drive - obviously, on a slow hard drive, this'll not help - on an SSD, you may not notice a difference (but you never know).

    However, merely switching it off may not help - so, go to the location on your computer below, and delete the Cache already saved on your Hard Drive after going into your Nvidia settings and switching off the Shader Cache first:

    C:\Users\*(YOUR COMPUTER)\AppData\Local\Temp\NVIDIA Corporation\NV_Cache

    *As stated, replace this underline with your computer's name.

    It even stored Cache for Firefox, and even the Blizzard Launcher I have o_0 ...

    If some cache files don't delete, just close the applications down that's tied to it (such as Firefox or Elite, etc) - this is safe to do, but if you really want to, you can make a backup. Anywho, if it prevents you from deleting, just close those program down first, then delete. It won't affect those programs.

    It is important to stress though as all PCs and playstyles and maintenance is different per PC - even if you want to keep the Shader Cache on, you may want to wipe that shader cache clean - especially if you've kept your old hard drive going yet put in new replacements (new GPU, new RAM, new CPU) - because, if textures are at fault in Elite (triggered by older hardware), despite having upgraded, you may keep getting the same re-occuring problems because the Hard Drive contains the OLD cache shaders that retained the errors.

    If you have a solid-state drive, this may also help - but hey, it may or may not work, but worth troubleshooting it if anyone wants to help.

    So, give it a go, report back - I switched off my Shader Cache, and I'll go flyby some planets now, but I'll especially check Alec's buckeyball planet tonight and tomorow once the comp's been off all night. I've wiped the Shader Cache from my computer, too.

    My Experience:

    Okay, here's what I personally noticed on my computer:

    GPU: GTX 970 (MSI)
    CPU: Intel 7700k (4.5ghz)
    RAM: 16GB (3200mhz)
    SSD: 250GB

    Game Settings: Ultra

    Noticeable differences when having the Shader Cache switched Off in the Nvidia settings:

    The Shader Preperation start is around 10 seconds (as opposed to a couple off the SSD), but I guess it is because the game has to Cache the data in GPU's memory - not on my Solid State - so yes, before you do the same experiment, defo make sure you delete your cache just to be sure. I can exit Elite and start it again and it'll still take 10 seconds, unlike before, so I defo know the shaders are being stored on the GPU because of the time it takes each start up. (The above time may take shorter or longer, depending on the strength of your GPU, since it's doing all the legwork - for once).

    On approaching a planet, I had no sudden drops in FPS, or the planet blinking in/out of existence in less than a 0.01 second.

    3) Upon reaching Leucos A 5 A (a planet used by Buckeyball racers) I headed to the crashed vessel at -36.128, -45.243, I saw no squares, and the FPS seemed much smoother when coming out of the glide.


    Way too early to tell until more people pop on and try this out for themselves, and I'll need to repeat tomorow and go to see more planets etc., but my theory is, at the moment:

    There may be a fault with Cached data on a hard disk and the timings between using those assets when the GPU calls for them (a Bus problem between the Hard Drive > CPU > Motherboard > then all the way down to the GPU).

    Of course, the above will be wrong if I get any more squares showing up...

    I'm hoping that because I'm forcing the game to dump its Cache into the GPU (where it can re-call what it needs instantaneously), and not the hard disk (despite it being an SSD), it should mean no more bugged shader squares.

    Just because the data in the cache is stored on an SSD, it doesn't nescecarily mean, when the data is re-called for by the GPU, that it'll be as fast as we expect it (or the game for that matter) - the data has to travel through your motherboard and is therefore limited bandwidth compared to an SSD (even if it's less than a tiny second) by the speed of said motherboard - the GPU can't wait for that data 100% of the time (this could explain the way the squares show up sometimes, but not in others), so it runs without all the detail - hence, a bug is created because the shaders for a particular part of a planet ran out of time to transfer that information from the cache to the GPU.

    Ordinary hard drives (such as an Xbox or PS4) will more than likely see more of these errors, simply because the data coming from the Cache on the hard disk is much, much slower.

    If squares are re-offending (like the 2 squares at A 5 A), then it could mean the calculations are slightly more difficult, therefore, take up more time alotted to them compared to the other texture grids on the planet (and this isn't limited to A 5 A, either - this is a re-occuring problem) - this could be an efficiency problem - therefore, these squares will always draw the short straw during the planet rendering and shaders.

    Hence, if you re-log at a location where the squares were present, they are now gone because they didn't draw the short straw for rendering or shading because they are needed first at your location (and the rendering if probably done slightly differently since your not approaching the planet, you're already on it). However, if approaching the planet, it seems it will try to render the whole of the planet at once (one would think this is normal), simply because it doesn't know which direction you are approaching from - so it renders/shades it all - so the least efficient squares will of course draw short straws, and the bug will appear.

    Another factor to realise is that the "steps" required to shade and render a planet could be out marginally - so despite all of this, a GPU recieving in-efficient data or time-constraint data, may still show these artefacts - so again, it could be an efficiency problem in the game itself.

    If they don't re-appear, despite all this, then it could be down to other factors, such as the Operating System and/or Superfetch on Windows 7, 8 or 10 systems. Second, with the Shader Cache turned on in the Nvidia settings, then a hard drive that is frequently used (along with virtual memory) could be further slowed down by a badly fragmented, and un-optimized, hard drive - so your mileage may increase if you regularly defragment your hard drive and keep it clean and optimized (either through the windows defrag program or other 3rd party cleaning/defragmenting software).

    Tis a long shot, I agree.

    In games like World of Warcraft, Counter-Strike, etc, the Shader Cache could be better turned on (or off) and not be noticeable at all as these games are not texture calculation shader heavy - Elite, on the other hand, is literally generating a whole planet as you approach it, with really intense code compared to those games (a lot more can go wrong) - it has to phase various things all at once - whereas in those two former examples of games, they are just simple, repeatable squares of grass, walls or dirt, that just get mindlessly duplicated. The planets in Elite have to account many, many textures and shaders of hills, flat areas, rocky areas, mountanous areas, crevices, etc., and procedurally generate them in stages on each approach.

    Anywho, that's my guess.

    Thank you for reading, and I hope you'll help try to unravel this bug to make planet's far more enjoyable

  10. #85
    Originally Posted by PanPiper. View Post (Source)
    They do seem to fit with the theory they are tied to surface POI. Heres a very small low one, right on the edge of a barnacle... coincidence ?
    In my opinion placebo effect, you see the square, you believe it means something, then you put more effort into searching this specific area, then inevitably you will find some kind od POI. I would love some comments from FD support on all of that.

    If I get places like this it would mean it indicates POI's on half of the moon

  11. #86
    Folks, Important!

    Link to thread here:

    Post #25:

    Okay folks, please state in your reports in this thread whether you tested this in Live 2.4 or in the Beta 3.0

    Important difference, as you can see in the shot below.

    The Square bugs may have been solved in 3.0, but the problem may re-occur and be carried over from 2.4 because of cached 2.4 shaders in the 3.0 beta - hence, I've tested this in Beta and had no problem with squares along with a couple of others, yet the problem has still been happening in 2.4...

    To clarify: those testing the Beta, who still got the Squares, but then cleared the Nvidia cache and switched off the Cache setting, saw the squares go. However, the same may not be for 2.4.

    Further testing needed, and we need to know whether or not you tried this in;

    a) Live 2.4
    b) Beta 3.0
    c) Both (any differences between textures? shading? lighting?)

    Post #26:

    Oh My God...

    *Important - Frontier, Wakey, Wakey*

    I just performed a simple experiment;

    1) Switched Nvidia's caching back on.

    2) Started the game in 2.4 Live.

    3) Closed 2.4 Live, shortly after Shader and Planetary Prep (took 10 seconds) once in the main menu.

    4) Opened the 3.0 Beta from the Launcher

    5) The Shader and Planetary Prep ZOOMED past... It did not compile or cache the new Planetary Shaders or Planetary Generation properly, by the looks of it.

    This is pretty big - this means that 3.0 will still error just as much as 2.4 does because the game is using the old cached 2.4 shaders, even if the problem has been solved in 3.0 - this could potentially lead the developers to assume what they did to fix the problem may not have been a fix, when really - it is.

    The game is not creating two seperate cache's in the Nvidia cache folder for both 2.4 Live and the 3.0 Beta - this will explain, whether you fixed the square bug or not, the bugs re-appearing in Live and Beta - It could even be possible that it's mixing both the codes together, hence, a soup of squares being stamped on one another - it may be making some changes or none at all, and retain the bad shaders.

    I don't remember the squares being around in 2.0, but I remember them in 2.1 onwards, and if each time you have been making changes to the textures and shaders, without forcing Nvidia to make a seperate cache for the changes you have made, then it'll eventually create anomalies.

    Some people have stated the squares are even worse now in this 3.0 Beta - this could be possible if someone has used the same machine over the last year or two, and the game has been updated multiple times - so yeah... I think you get the picture.

  12. #87
    Originally Posted by CMDR Dreamstate View Post (Source)

    Some people have stated the squares are even worse now in this 3.0 Beta - this could be possible if someone has used the same machine over the last year or two, and the game has been updated multiple times - so yeah... I think you get the picture.
    Or it is coming from the fact nobody was flying over beige bodies for long periods of time (or like me mostly ingnoring this bug) but now rocky bodies look so much nicer, they draw more attention, inevitably you get more black squares, because there is so much more eyes on them

    I think it is good that we are making noise over this subject, even for a moment I do not think that this is unfixable, I have trust in FD.

  13. #88
    Oculus Rift, black squares are doing fine in VR:

  14. #89

    Terrain UV map bug


    All of the time (100%)

    Time of occurrence
    14:41 GMT

    Date of occurrence

    None / N/A

    LHS 3479 B 4


    Ship Type
    Cobra MKIII

    Commander Name

    When approaching planet surface there is a obvious terrain bug. Looks like a UV Map error.

    Steps to Reproduce
    Approach terrain tile

    Additional files?

  15. Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread. #90
    Hey Cmdrs,

    Thank you for all your information regarding this issue. We're currently looking into this and require the following specific information:

    - What is the planet and your location on the planet?
    - Is it always the same planet?
    - Is it the same area of the planet?
    - Does it recover if you log out and back in again?
    - What GPU are you using, and how much VRAM does it have?
    - What are your graphics settings and have you set any GraphicsConfig parameters manually?
    - *EDIT* What graphics card driver version?