[BUG LOGGED] Shimmering/AA downgrade since SU5 (in-game, not menus/overlays)

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Agreed with all this, I wonder if it could be actually something to do with the sharpening filter trying to do too much even at native resolution? Complete speculation though.

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Hi again everyone,

I wanted to update with what I have to be a practical FIX for this problem on my system (GTX 1080 AMD 5600x 32gb ram htc vive steam vr 1080p monitor). This fix works for both 2D and VR.

  1. Set nvidia global and MSFS settings back to default.*
  2. Set sharpening values to 0 in userconfig file (this is more a matter of visual preference, but including this step for completeness).
  3. Disable GPU overclocking ← this is the significant one.

*I have since turned back on “Prefer Maximum Performance” without detrimental effect.

Theory: Overclocking can cause graphical artifacts, and in this case it was almost certainly the cause of the shimmering in my game. I hypothesize that either SU5, a Windows update, or an nvidia driver update (or any mix of the above) didn’t play nice with my overclock settings resulting in the graphical artifact we call “shimmering.”

Test: So how did I come to this conclusion? With overclocking on, I parked my C172 on the runway and shut everything off. No motion in the scene whatsoever and, just as importantly, no high-contrast horizontal lines which typically cause shimmer and we associate with aliasing. And yet! the runway texture itself still seemed to “shimmer”. This is what led me to think that what I was seeing was not an aliasing issue, but rather a graphical artifact caused by overclocking. So, without changing any other settings, I exited the game, turned off overclocking, restarted the game, returned to the runway, shut plane down and… the texture shimmer was gone.

Conclusion: This does not mean that there are no aliasing issues in the game-- there still are, just like in any game and yes they are most noticeable on high contrast, horizontal lines viewed at an “angle” while in motion. BUT the specific shimmering effect where static objects appeared to be constantly dancing around was eliminated by turning off overclocking.

To get the best fidelity in 2D, I render the game at 150 TAA with settings on High (1080p monitor). For VR, I go for Low settings and able to run the game at 30fps with motion smoothing. This is notably BETTER performance than pre-SU5 and I expect I still have some overhead in both 2D and VR.

Finally, this post isn’t to dismiss the shimmer as a non-issue. It kept me from playing for a month! Nor is it to suggest that this fix will work for everybody (obviously, if you experience shimmer and are not overclocking, this won’t help). But I expect there are some users like me who will find that this returns them to “pre-SU5” fidelity with post-SU5 performance. Good luck!

I did some more research and testing today and agree that it might not be an issue related simply and solely to AA (although it’s hard to ignore the issue appeared at the exact time time the major AA issues on menus etc. appeared.)

  1. I noticed that in 2D, it does not appear to be an AA issue but rather “shimmering” and “flickering” of distant objects, mostly what seems to be thin lines. This is even apparent while stationary on the runway and not moving the aircraft/view a single pixel. I have recorded a video of this on my iPhone (not that the movement is caused by my movement of the phone in front of the screen. There is no movement whatsoever in the sim:
    Pay attention to the marked areas in the video.


  2. I found some older articles online where people experienced similar issues related to shimmering/flickering (some in other games). And some explaining possible sources of such issues
    a) This link provides an image that shows clearly an issue that is similar to what I am seeing in MSFS
    "Shimmering" with HP Reverb - #5 by roberteker - XR Development - Unreal Engine Forums
    b) Here is an explanation of temporal flickering and temporal antialiasing
    antialiasing - What is the relation between Aliasing and Flickering? - Computer Graphics Stack Exchange
    c) an old Nvidia thread with users describing similar issues.
    https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/forums/gaming-pcs/8/250636/all-games-to-flickershimmer-when-moving/

I have also tried switching between WMR and SteamVR to see if the AA/shimmering/flickering is only present in either of the two VR modes. At first I thought SteamVR was slightly better (I usually use WMR) but after comparing back and forth a few times, although it might (or might not) be slightly better in SteamVR (potentially due to different render settings), the issue is still clearly visible in both VR modes.
I also checked again that I have the following up-todate:

  1. Nvidia Driver (RTX3080)
  2. BIOS (Z490i Aorus Ultra) with Raytracing enabled
  3. Windows Updates

Finally, I also compared a few screenshots from before SU5 and now. Of course the shimmering/flickering cannot be seen in screenshots as an image needs to be “moving” for it to be seen. However, I noticed how absolutely beautiful the sim looked before SU5 (both in 2D and VR). It’s noticeable how the overall graphics experience was much better. I believe this is mainly due to the AA/shimmering issue and the clouds pixelation.

Before SU5:



Now:



Horrible Cloud graphics


(Above image shows shimmering/AA on runway and taxiway markings, but not visible in just a screenshot)

That’s not to say it’s all bad now… at least in 2D sometimes everything matches well to produce beautiful views.

I really hope the AA/shimmering/flickering issue can be identified and fixed. It definitely wasn’t there before, and it definitely appeared together with the menu AA issue in and overall graphics degradation in SU5. I could also imagine it is the result of some sort of general performance “optimisation” introduced due to the Xbox compatibility. Asobo just needs to find it, and solve it. My PC is definitely not an Xbox and my RTX3080 would certainly be insulted being compared to such.

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I appreciate your effort, but my GPU is not overclocked. Everything on default including settings in the NVIDIA CP.
I never had such bad shimmering (or AA) before SU5. I still think it is a issue with the simulator itself.

Edit: Just to clarify, I am not using VR. (2D)

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My GPU is not overclocked either. Everything is set to default as well. I don’t OC because of the artifacts.

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But I do have pre-SU5 videos clearly showing the nature of the shimmering, and I believe Asobo must know what are the type of optimisations they are doing with their rendering engine which is the root cause of this.

Here is to help…
[BUG/FEATURE] TAA is transforming road traffic into ghosts (self-cancelling moving pixels) - #3 by CptLucky8

Look closely at the trees in the 1st video in full screen (don’t look the cars):

No AA:

Then with TAA:

To me this looks quite obvious:

It seems they’re using the principles of PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) to trade spatial into temporal, that is displaying alpha blended pixels as opaque pixels instead, in selecting which to display per frame using a jittering pattern over multiple frame (hence the repeating cycle I’ve mentioned). This is not supposed to be visible when compensated with the TAAU accumulating pixels over time. However even pre-SU5, on the trees in these videos, you can see some jittering still with TAA. Now with SU5 they’ve changed the TAAU accumulation spread (and maybe thresholds) per Lionel’s video, and this most likely to me is the reason from the look of it, but just from the look of it of course and I can be 100% wrong as well.

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One thing that I think this user-end testing shows is that what the eye perceives as shimmer/jaggies/artifacts etc. can be produced by multiple things. It’s kind of a straw-that-broke-the-camels-back scenario: whatever happened between SU4 and SU5 broke the back for several of us-- But maybe the specific “straw” was different for each.

For me, on my relatively low-end rig, something happened with the update that caused shimmer-like artifacts when overclocking my GPU (or that were exacerbated when OCing). So by turning off the overclock, the overall cohesion of the image returns to something that looks “normal.” That’s because while SU5 took some shortcuts with fidelity, it gives much better FPS and that also helps my immersion (esp in VR). Today was the first time since SU5 I actually got to enjoy a flight and get that “wow” feeling.

But I do very much still have issues with aliasing: there are definitely more jaggies in the cockpit and in menus than in SU4 2D and VR. There is still vibration/shimmering on tightly packed, high contrast horizontal lines (e.g., runway stripes viewed on the perpendicular). There is still some shimmering on distant objects like rivers and some buildings. And finally, as per CptLucky’s post, the trees look like they’re at a rave or something. [And this is not even talking about all the other issues, which I feel are OT for this thread].

So I think it’s important for us to keep posting our straws as they come, so to speak. Never know what might help.

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To me it is way more shimmering on buildings, trees etc. outside, but also inside cockpit, especially on EFIS displays.
It looked ok before SU5…

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Hi guys, I was able to take some footage directly from my headset. The resolution does not seem to match exactly 1*1 but is close to what I perceive through the lens if you put the resolution to 4k in youtube.

In order to make exact reproduction as easy as possible I used a flight training scenario (the landing challenges such as Dusseldorf and Rio have much more obvious shimmering but in those I am unable to use active pause to hold aircraft stationary). The shimmering in this location is not as severe as shown in other videos above but it may have some value when compared to footage captured by camera phone as there should be zero additional movement introduced by moving the capture camera or lens effects - therefore the slight twinkling/shimmering of the buildings is purely coming from the rendering. Headset is stationary on the floor. Note there is no twinkling/shimmering at all on other parts of the image such as the aircraft, sky, hills etc.

Reproduction: Flight training - Take off and landing - Downwind - Use active pause to hold plane stationary

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I believe you are 100% right there are different types of shimmering. However there is the type which is expected due to the physical nature of computer graphics and there is the other type which only appeared since SU5 and which I personally find perfectly illustrated in its effects (my video at Santiago Chile) and in its root cause (my video with the cars).

For example:


These are most likely and specifically for a totally different reason than the shimmering I’ve posted videos about. Here is:


And this is another type of visible consequence of the effects of the sample theorem, in a form which is known as Moiré pattern

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1 month to wait … until they fix this issue

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Don’t get your hopes up, not gonna lie I expect it to be like this for years to come lol

It would be greatly appreciated if we can get a fix asap to resume our hobby. With the pandemic going on, flying is stress relief (when it works) for many of us.

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For devolopers:

You can clearly see what we’re talking about on this stream at 4K and 2D.

Exactly same issues happening on our displays (Default settings on Nvida and Win side + All ultra w/4K@100 MSFS + RTX 3080 ti)

Look for the far distance buildings and surfaces of the plane, you may see the shimmer and jaggies (or whatever the technical term you name it)

** This streamer have set render scale to 80 but on my system I have set 100 and have the same visuals. Please don’t assume it’s related to reduced render scaling.

By the way his videos are cool to follow major news regarding the sim so I suggest to have a look on his effort and channel.

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I see this only in the Display of the Reverb G2 in VR, not in the non-VR Mode. See the Video, it was captured with WMR recording. I see the same in the Display, Buildings in medium range are shimmering. It is much more visible in the Display, than on this video because of the Pixel size.

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Clearly visible here. It can’t stop blinking, like: reflection, no reflection, reflection, no reflection, as if a spot light is moving around a big circle causing the reflection to appear and disappear more or less because of the change of its incidence angle.

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Video taken using my iPhone filming through the lens of my Reverb G2.
Apologies for the slight blur, its hard to align the phone in the perfect sweet spot.
The dark vertical bands are also caused by the iPhone filming through the G2 lens.

And here is another one showing a scene on the ground, with taxiway and runway markings directly in front of the aircraft. Same scene both in VR and in 2D. Shimmering on taxiway and runway markings clearly visible!

VR (filming through HMD):

2D (VR completely switched off, filming directly from the flat panel monitor)

For clarification:
RTX 3080 FE
Reverb G2 (WMR & OXR)
All settings were unchanged from pre-SU5, where this issue did not exist, = perfect picture.
I tried resetting settings, Nvidia CP default, OXR50, OXR100, OXR150.
Render-Scale 100, all settings Ultra, etc. The issue persists regardless of settings.

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In case you guys have something to add…

Really good examples, especially the first one of the autogen buildings! That’s what annoys me the most.

Replying to @CptOveurOver

@CptOveurOver It makes more sense to have this discussion here.

I don’t disagree with you. But many have the issue and have documented it.
Hardware and Software (incl. drivers) was completely untouched and the issue appeared with the release of a SU5 hot fix. It’s interesting you do not have the issue though! Did you check out the videos above? As you can imagine, seeing this ruins the experience completely.