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TL;DR: FS2020 is supposed to be implementing the AMD FidelityFX CAS Shader already, but it seems there is a bug which is preventing the use of its superior “sharpening” properties in some cases.
NB: AMD CAS Shader is one component which is also used with AMD FSR Shader but it is not the same thing.
There are numerous reports of lower effective LOD ring distances. Besides the shorted distance beyond which objects are no longer drawing, ground textures are also very often cited as being directly affected by this and many a resorting to using Terrain LOD 200 at least to restore some of the texture sharpness in the distance, and some others are even manually changing the TLOD value in the UserOpt.cfg file to unprecedented values. I’ve seen 600% and more already since 1.18.13
In short, the game maybe shortening the LOD ring distances and therefore is displaying a lower res ground texture, which inherently shows as a more blurry ground texture and not too far from the aircraft, but it also shows right beneath the aircraft once above 20,000ft.
The main problem here to me is two fold:
- There might be a real reduction of LOD ring distance causing this, but…
- FS2020 is not fully using the CAS Shader either.
In effect, FS2020 is now using the AMD FidelityFX CAS Shader since a few versions ago. “CAS” means “Contrast Adaptive Sharpening” and it is a new technique used to enlarging lower res renderings into higher res displays, but unlike a simple bilinear filtering it also embeds an innovative CAS technique to restore crispness in the process.
Although there is a Sharpen setting in the UserCfg.opt file, I’m not certain it is either working, or if it is strong enough, in both these cases:
- render and display at native resolution
- render at a lower res (Render Resolution FS2020 setting) then display at native resolution.
To illustrate this, I’ve picked up a screenshot which was recently posted and I’ve used the FidelityFX-CLI app
NB: this screenshot is not native size but was taken with render scaling 110%. I’m still trying to get a screenshot in VR showing how the fuzziness is even more disturbing than 2D, nevertheless, this topic is also about offering the means for the end user to adjusting the CAS Shader sharpening strength, and to show give an example of how it could look like.
PS: I’d suggest you view these images in full res for better results
CAS 0.5 (no resize)
CAS 1.0 (no resize)
It is clear to me just applying 0.5 CAS sharpening makes the visual much more appealing even with the loss of LOD distance ring. However at 1.0 this might be creating too much noise artifact (I’ve seen some when testing with other screenshots).
The FS2020 CAS Shader is only used when Render Res. is lower than Display Res. (i.e. render resolution < 100%). Otherwise when rendering and display res. are the same, it seems the Sharpening mode of the CAS Shader is not used.
To wrap up, I’d like to suggest the following:
I’d suggest FS2020 uses the CAS Shader for its SHARPEN filter, even if render res. and display res. are the same
→ <= 100% instead of just < 100%
I’d also suggest FS2020 is letting the user adjusting the CAS Shader SHARPEN strength
→ there is 1 shader parameter value meant just for this in the AMD CAS Shader code.
I’d also suggest to repurpose the UserCfg.opt Sharpening setting from integer (0 or 1) to float ( [0…1] ).
I’d also recommend the default CAS Sharpening strength be 0.5 by default
→ edit: 0.5 by default when rendering at or above display res - i.e. same res. or downscaling
→ edit: otherwise AMD recommended sharpen strength by default for the upscaling cases.
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