So about those shadows....

stormyuk

Volunteer Moderator
I almost fell out of my chair today when I came across the "Elephant Butt Nebula" while exploring. A second later I realized it was TRUNK, but(t) I think I need to go visit this nebula in honor of these "wonderful" shadows on PS4 :p
Take some nice screenshots. ;)
 
Anyone with a base PS4 or Slim own Rise Of The Tomb Raider? I started playing this again, and I noticed that shadows in this game are a bit pixelated and "flashy", especially those cast by Lara (both on the ground and herself). I don't think this is normal, so for the first time in awhile I'm starting to wonder if either 1) this is a result of a recent firmware update, or 2) there actually is something wrong with my hardware...

I would appreciate if someone could check this game on their PS4 (not Pro) and tell me if they notice the same thing - jaggy, pixelated shadows that "flicker" with movement. Check Lara's shadow on the ground and the shadows of her hair on her face and shoulders. She needs to be moving in sunlight to really see the effect if it is indeed universal. Thank you!!!!
 
Anyone with a base PS4 or Slim own Rise Of The Tomb Raider? I started playing this again, and I noticed that shadows in this game are a bit pixelated and "flashy", especially those cast by Lara (both on the ground and herself). I don't think this is normal, so for the first time in awhile I'm starting to wonder if either 1) this is a result of a recent firmware update, or 2) there actually is something wrong with my hardware...

I would appreciate if someone could check this game on their PS4 (not Pro) and tell me if they notice the same thing - jaggy, pixelated shadows that "flicker" with movement. Check Lara's shadow on the ground and the shadows of her hair on her face and shoulders. She needs to be moving in sunlight to really see the effect if it is indeed universal. Thank you!!!!
Don't have a base PS4 or slim. But worth checking out, is it less noticeable or gone when you turn down sharpness to 0 on your TV? Assuming you have a TV connected... I've had similar issues with flickering and micro dimming with my Samsung TV.
 
Don't have a base PS4 or slim. But worth checking out, is it less noticeable or gone when you turn down sharpness to 0 on your TV? Assuming you have a TV connected... I've had similar issues with flickering and micro dimming with my Samsung TV.
I'm pretty sure it's game / console specific. I did some testing yesterday, and shadows in Horizon Zero Dawn remain flawless, and weirdly enough Lara's shadow in Definitive Edition (which came before ROTR) is better. I'm not sure why this is except perhaps due to the more complex scenery in ROTR requiring some concessions to be made in character shadow quality.

And FWIW, it's usually not distracting because the cut scenes amp up character shadows, and the action and camera angle in ROTR is such that Lara's shadow is usually not the focus. The main reason it grabbed my attention is it's the same blocky, flickering type of shadow that I see in ED, except on a much smaller scale. Also, a flickering shadow from moving hair or foliage in the wind is much more "realistic" than the horrible flashing disco shadows that have plagued ED since the 2.4.n update. A tree is casting a flickering shadow through my RL window as I type this, but the chair's shadow is nice and sharp (unlike ED), though not crazy-sharp. Blurry shadows are okay, pixelated flashing shadows from solid objects are not.

All that said, I'll check if the sharpness setting can have any positive effect at all.
 
I'd check all image post processing options on your TV as well. These can really mess with the image quality. Smart LED was another one on my TV. It messes with the brightness a lot. For example I'd had small embers flying through the air in Sekiro and even at low setting it would cause flashing due to the sudden brightening and then darkening of the screen again. Those options together can be detrimental to the image quality, especially with moving objects. It's best to turn all of that stuff off.
 
I'd check all image post processing options on your TV as well. These can really mess with the image quality. Smart LED was another one on my TV. It messes with the brightness a lot. For example I'd had small embers flying through the air in Sekiro and even at low setting it would cause flashing due to the sudden brightening and then darkening of the screen again. Those options together can be detrimental to the image quality, especially with moving objects. It's best to turn all of that stuff off.
I play on a computer monitor, not a TV, so I don't have much in the way of post-processing. Sharpness might be the only "image-modifying" setting I have, outside of color options (brightness, gamma, etc).
 
Call me insane (I'm running a PC with a less than awesome GT 1030) but could FD give consoles the PC visual quality options? What do the console versions have tweak wise?
In terms of graphics, pretty much just FoV and Gamma sliders IIRC.

I actually suggested this in the PS4 "suggestions" thread a few days ago. It's ridiculous because you shouldn't need graphics quality options on a console, games should be programmed and optimised for the best quality/performance balance but ED has got to a state now where I would rather give up a bit of graphic quality for consistent smooth gameplay.

It's the inconsistency that's the problem for me personally. Nothing rips me out of the game like my smoothly flying spacecraft suddenly popping, stuttering and freezing just because a particularly dense patch of stars have dared to cross into my field of vision - and that's where ED seems to be on PS4 at the moment.
 
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The other issue will be (in theory I guess) in the future with the PS5, at some point games as a service (i.e. those that launch on one platform, but evolve out of it) will become unworkable on 'lower' tiers of console hardware that are still compatible.
 
Call me insane (I'm running a PC with a less than awesome GT 1030) but could FD give consoles the PC visual quality options? What do the console versions have tweak wise?
The PS4 Pro has two options - Performance Mode and Quality Mode. I did some testing during the short time that I owned a PS4 Pro, and I'm convinced that Frontier locks non-Pro PS4s into Performance mode, which sacrifices graphic fidelity (shadows look just as crap on the Pro in this mode as they do on PS4 Slim) for framerate. My Slim often hits 60 FPS, so I'd much rather that the PS4 Slim have its own "in-between" mode where we sacrifice some FPS (aim for 30) in order to bump up things like shadow quality and texture detail.

The sad irony is that these terrible shadows may be a result of the first major visual bug I reported - the "Minecraft Textures" that hit PS4 when update 2.4 hit. I think Frontier decided to drastically "nerf" shadows in order to easily fix this bug, but I had both decent shadows and textures when 2.3 first released. Whatever Frontier did when they released 2.4 broke the Cobra Engine on PS4, and it's been getting worse ever since.

BTW, I just checked a DF video on ROTR, and it looks like its blocky shadows are just how the game was designed to maintain a constant 30 FPS even with complex scenery. Even so, it's nowhere near as bad as ED, which looks absolutely horrible. Someday I'll grab SOTR on sale (once I finish ROTR) and see how a more modern version of this game looks. Of course the exclusives look insanely good, so I'm confident that my hardware is just fine after all.
 
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