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LightDragon25

Minion in need of help: LODs not changing into regular textures [Low draw distance]

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Hello all,

I've recently run into a problem on my current Skyrim playthrough. Landscape and building textures have stopped loading. They only load if I get very close to them. In other words: my draw distance has suddenly decreased dramatically. The image illustrates the problem.

I have not messed with my ini settings recently and I haven't (un)installed any mods in a long time either. I normally use uGridsToLoad=5 (default), changing this value does not solve the problem. Reinstalling my graphics drivers did not help either and I haven't been able to find a solution for the problem anywhere on the internet.

Please help out a minion in need. Even the faintest guesses at what the problem might be are appreciated!

Skyrim_pls.thumb.jpg.a879e418d9c68d24ac5

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Thanks for your reply.

Although my ini values exceed the vanilla maximum slider values, I tried your suggestion anyway. As I suspected, the sliders (object fade, grass fade, etc.) were all at their maximum level. I tried bringing them down to the minimum, which worsened things even further, then upped them to the maximum slider values again, which didn't fix the problem.

So unfortunately that didn't work.

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Hi LightDragon,

I am new to modding and mostly joined the discussion to learn. I will toss out a couple ideas please don't get too mad if I am way off base.

Maybe something I post will jog your memory or give someone who knows about these things an idea. Oh welcome to the forum fellow minion.

Could the ini file be corrupted with an incorrect value. Like a decimal point moved?

COuld a weather mod (snow, rain, fog) be loading messing with the LOD update?

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Could you tell us all the things you've tried so far? Would be helpful. Apart from that, please post your load order. I know that you said you didn't get rid of or get any new mods recently, but I've had issues happen to me to do with mods even if they've been running for ages. Also, have you tried fast  travelling? Sometimes the scripts just need a refresh (might not work for this case, but everything's worth a try.)

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Hello OutandBack,

Thanks for your suggestions. Of course I won't get mad at you, I'm asking for help after all!

I tried removing my ini files so Skyrim would generate new ones, just in case. That didn't solve anything though.

I don't have any weather mods like CoT or Pure Weathers. The only thing I have is the volumetric fog from the Serenity ENB's mod page. I tried disabling the .esp, but that didn't solve my problem either. Regrettably, the issue still persists.

 

Aj-M1A2X,

Aside from the things I've already named in this thread, I've tried going back to older saves, back when the issue wasn't there yet. The problem appears there too now. I've tried coc'ing to different places in the Skyrim worldspace. The issue appears everywhere. I haven't tried starting a new game yet, so I'll do that in a bit, although I doubt that will solve anything.

Here's my load order. I know it is quite.. full. But I have tested everything extensively and have never run into any problems before with this setup.

Edited by LightDragon25

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Ok so here's another question from the newbie.

I just looked thru your mod list. Very nice by the way. Could you just be running out of memory or having some kind of memory(hardware) issue? 

I know you said you replaced your graphic card drivers I'm sure you checked your GPU control panel setting to make sure something their did not get changed?

EDIT: Although I don't think LOD is a graphic card setting. Is there any kind of game/your system monitor you could run in the background just to see how much memory is being used and given back? Again if these are really dumb ideas just consider my post a free bump. :-)

Edited by OutandBack

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Alright, so, I don't usually use monitoring programs so I don't really know if I did this the proper way.
Skyrim loaded in the background, standing in the middle of Whiterun market square, gave me these numbers with the utility HWinfo.HWiNFO_screenshot.thumb.png.7b277686be5f

Well, as you can see, my VRAM is apparently being used very intensively. Although I haven't run into any issues before, this VRAM usage might have to do with the problem nonetheless. Perhaps uninstalling some of those 2k textures is a good idea? Or testing without ENB running?

What are your thoughts on this?

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Are you using utilities like TES5LODGen or DynDOLOD ?

I am not an expert in this question - I just thought it might be relevant to the problem.

btw, is ELE in stable and playable state already? I tried to follow its development from almost the very beginning on enb forums - but at some point I've just stopped playing Skyrim (

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Hello Arjy Yu,

I have not used TES5LODGen or DynDOLOD. Should I be? Thing is, the LODs themselves are correctly displayed. The problem lies in the conversion from LOD to regular textures (draw distance).

 

About ELE, I installed it a long time ago, from back when it was not on the Nexus yet. I used it in multiple playthroughs already, so I suppose it is playable. Please try to stay on topic though.

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Alright, so, I don't usually use monitoring programs so I don't really know if I did this the proper way.
Skyrim loaded in the background, standing in the middle of Whiterun market square, gave me these numbers with the utility HWinfo.HWiNFO_screenshot.thumb.png.7b277686be5f

Well, as you can see, my VRAM is apparently being used very intensively. Although I haven't run into any issues before, this VRAM usage might have to do with the problem nonetheless. Perhaps uninstalling some of those 2k textures is a good idea? Or testing without ENB running?

What are your thoughts on this?

Well it is simple enough to turn off some of those memory hog mods and see if it helps.

I hope you will keep posting your testing and results even if they don't help. I love this stuff just wished I knew more about it.

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My internet died on me earlier today, so that's why I couldn't post any earlier. My apologies.

So I've tested a couple of things. I tried reducing the VRAM usage by removing my ENB. That led to CTDs so I reinstalled ENB and instead only disabled it (UsePatchSpeedHackWithoutGraphics=true). This reduced the amount of strain on my GPU core and such, but only reduced VRAM usage by 1%. Then I tried uninstalling some of my HD texture mods, which reduced the VRAM usage by about 20%. However, the draw distance issue wasn't fixed.

TL;DR: Reducing the VRAM usage didn't help.

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Well that is a bummer to hear. It doesn't sound like this is a hardware problem.

I'm running out of easy suggestions.

Have you tried launching another games to see if this issue shows up? Modded FO3 might be a good choice.

Thinking out loud. Looking at your picture very closely I can see the dividing line but something about it is bugging me and I think its the fog or cloud cover.

Do you get the same issue on a bright sunny day?

Have you tried turning off some of the mods that effect weather or come into play when the LOD textures are suppose to update like wet and cold, dynamic snow, unique flowers and plants there maybe others. Could the LOD script be getting dropped because a bunch of other scripts are trying to run.

 

 

Edited by OutandBack

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I'm afraid I don't have any other games that use the Creation Engine, so I can't test in any of those. However, I think it might be possible that the issue would appear there too, since I do not have a clue what might be causing it in Skyrim specifically.

I've already tried disabling weather(ish) mods, as I've said earlier. I might try disabling more mods, but it's a lot of work with a high risk and I'm fairly sure that disabling random mods won't do the trick. Unique Flowers and Plants, Better Dynamic Snow and Wet and Cold all have nothing to do with LODs (as far as I know). Are you sure that LODs get loaded by a script? I am slightly doubtful about that.

I've tried with different types of weather and at different times of day, yet the result remains the same.

I appreciate your help very much, even though nothing has worked so far.

Edited by LightDragon25

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Please do not assume I know what I am talking about.

I am very new to PC gaming and mod use. I was a sony PS gamer for years but decided to join you big boys when PS4 came out with no games I wanted to play.

I have spent the last year researching and building my own gamingPC and learning how to mod Skyrim, FO3/NV. This was how I found Gophers channel and why I became a minion in hopes of learning more.

I have had to do a lot of troubleshooting on my own games mostly from installing mods wrong. I'm just tossing out things I would be trying if I had this issue.

To be honest I have never come across anyone that has been able to run the number of mods you are running without big game stability issues if it would run at all I applaud you.

 

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OutandBack, your suggestions have been very good up till now, so don't belittle yourself! And thanks for the compliment on the load order, I invested a lot of time in it (weeks).

Aj-M1A2X, perhaps it's difficult to see on the screenshot, but it's not just the grass. Fort Greymoor is also showing as just an LOD, which can, for example, be seen by the blackness of the door in the tower of the right (openings in buildings are often rendered fully black in LODs) and by the textures on the walls. The landscape is also an LOD, as there are many ledges and variations in the landscape, as well as the ground texture itself, that are not loading until you get very close. Again, the picture is probably a bit unclear, so I apologize for that.

I use MO, which is, in my opinion, the only viable mod manager when running a loadorder as heavy as mine.

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snip...

 Unique Flowers and Plants, Better Dynamic Snow and Wet and Cold all have nothing to do with LODs (as far as I know). Are you sure that LODs get loaded by a script? I am slightly doubtful about that.

I've tried with different types of weather and at different times of day, yet the result remains the same.

I appreciate your help very much, even though nothing has worked so far.

I honestly have no idea if LOD gets loaded by a script. But something triggers it and in your case that is not happening. What mods might be running or trying to run/ load in the game at the same time. Better plant textures, weather(wind snow dust leaves,etc) I'm just thinking that some mod is trying to do its thing and preventing the vanilla games LOD to trigger.

EDIT: additional thoughts. Just to see if you have any control over LOD have you tried to make any adjustments in your Skyrim Options/Advanced/Details and Viewing distances that would move your LOD even if it was closer? I assume you have everything in Details and viewing distance maxed. What if you set everything to min. Does the LOD line move closer to you?

EDIT 2: Even crazier thought.

Are there any console commands that would alow you to set the LOD min/max?

Is the LOD values in an *.ini or other program file that you could check and or edit?

Please forgive me if that is what this [UsePatchSpeedHackWithoutGraphics=true] or [ I normally use uGridsToLoad=5 (default), changing this value does not solve the problem.] did. I am unfamiliar with those adjustments.

Edited by OutandBack

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Although my ini values exceed the vanilla maximum slider values, I tried your suggestion anyway. As I suspected, the sliders (object fade, grass fade, etc.) were all at their maximum level. I tried bringing them down to the minimum, which worsened things even further, then upped them to the maximum slider values again, which didn't fix the problem.

So, I've already tried adjusting the viewing distances. Yes, the LOD values are set in the ini files. When you adjust a slider in the launcher or in-game, that slider edits a value in one of the ini files. The values in my ini files either match ultra settings or exceed them. As I've already tested using vanilla ini files, I'm fairly sure that the problem is not in the ini files (can't ever be 100% sure, but still). You can adjust ini values in the in-game console, but that doesn't have any other effect than editing them by hand, as far as I know.

UsePatchSpeedHackWithoutGraphics is a setting in the enblocal.ini file, that enables (false) or disables (true) the ENB lighting effects. uGridsToLoad is a setting in the Skyrim.ini file that adjusts how many cells in a grid around you are actively being loaded at a time. Beyond this radius, the cells are rendered as LODs. Increasing uGridsToLoad from for example 5 to 7 will increase the distance you can see objects in detail, yet it also decreases performance and has the potential risk of game instability.

You could say, that my problem resembles a very low (lower than 5) uGridsToLoad setting, since only cells within a very small radius of my character are being fully rendered, all things beyond that are LODs. However, as I've said before, my actual uGridsToLoad value is 5 and changing it to, for example, 7, does not fix my issue.

I'll try some things with disabling mods, starting with the ones you suggested, to see whether that yields any positive results.

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Thank you for taking the time to explain what those do. Good info I have copyed and pasted them into my Skyrim Troubleshooting book.

Disabling mods, one at a time, does seem like the next logical troubleshooting step.

You have verified the two .ini file that have LOD values are set correctly.

You have made adjustments in the Skyrim Options/Advanced/Details and Viewing Distances and changes in the game were noticed. Which means that system is somewhat working.

I think we are back to mods and trying to figure out if any of those effect the LOD.

Have you tried removing the uGridsToLoad=5  command since it is not a vanilla command maybe one of the mods has an issue with that? I know I'm reaching, haha

Have you posted this issue over on the Bethesda Forum? There are two fellows over there that have always come to my aid when I was having issues with my PC or Bethesda games. Their handles are Mark42 and Jasper1979 both of these fellows really enjoy troubleshooting and I own all i know to them which isn't much but I take good notes. You might want to post or PM them since we aren't getting any help here.

This might be a thread to join in:

http://forums.bethsoft.com/topic/1526052-what-causes-and-improves-plant-popins/

I'm probably preaching to the choir here but this Nvidia page has a lot of good info.

http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/guides/the-elder-scrolls-v-skyrim-tweak-guide#14

Something that really stood out was:

uExterior Cell Buffer=36 - This variable controls the number of world cells (controlled by the uGridsToLoad setting) that are buffered to RAM to provide smoother transitions and improve stability. The general rule for the optimal value to assign to this variable is to take your current uGridsToLoad value, add one to it, then multiply it by itself. For example, if you set a uGridsToLoad value of 7, change uExterior Cell Buffer to 64.

I am still very interested in your troubleshooting I hope you will keep this thread updated, if you have the time.

 

Edited by OutandBack

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Alright, so, a few things.

First of all, the line "uGridsToLoad=5" is not actually in my ini files, I just mentioned it in my post for clarity's sake.

Secondly, thanks for the info on the Bethesda Forum, I might try that. The Nvidia page had nothing on it that I did not already know about. The uExterior Cell Buffer variable is directly related to uGridsToLoad, and like it says, the formula for the optimal value of this variable is considered (<uGridsToLoad value>+1)^2. Since my uGridsToLoad is not altered, this would make the formula (5+1)^2=36, which is the value that I have uExterior Cell Buffer at.

Now, for the main news on my side. My issue is most likely not related to mods.

I figured this out by performing a test in the vanilla game (since I use Mod Organizer, I was able to run the game completely vanilla after removing the ENB files from my Skyrim folder). Both the vanilla ini files and my personally edited ini files yielded the same result: the issue is still there.

http://imgur.com/a/21YlK

There you can see some examples. As you can see, just the LODs can be seen. When I take a couple of steps forward, the landscape is suddenly rendered (pop-in).

I've got kind of mixed feelings about this new discovery. On the one hand, I'm glad my mod list is not the problem. On the other hand, this means the issue might be harder to fix.

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