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Patch for better Anisotropic Filtering? (fix textures looking blurry at an angle)


Hector Hidalgo
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First of all, how are you all? I have been away for like 2 years, but this forum has been for me, one of the of the most welcome and good vibes forum ever for me!

I didn't know where to post this, but here we go:

 

If anyone knows me (and most of us) I have done everything to make my OG Xbox look amazing! I built my own Xbox Component cable with a 360 original component cable, and since then I have the most amazing looking image, plus using Xbmc4gamers, I remove the flicker filtering or put it very low (around 1 or 2) and I am seeing this console as sharp as it can be!

 

But from that I came to the realization that most games suffer from this horrible lack of anisotropic filtering (or very very low) as textures when seeing them at an angle, they become this blurry looking mess! All games suffer from this, and it is a shame, because all games have inherently VERY good textures! It is a SHAME!

 

So this is the thing, we have learned with time, that in actuality a "good" or higher amount of anisotropic filtering DOES NOT tax the GPU much, if at all. Couldn't we FORCE games to run at a higher level of anisotropic filtering on the OG Xbox??

 

Thing is, the console should be powerful enough to make its textures look better!! I am testing the Prince of Persia games for instance, and on my PS2 and Gamecube, textures look pristine on them, AT ANY ANGLE! And those console are far weaker than the mighty OG Xbox!!

 

A good game to check this out is Indiana Jones, the game has fairly good looking textures, but the bad anisotropic filtering makes it all blurry whenever textures are at an angle, but they are there! And they are very good textures!

 

Is there anything like a patch for this, or is this in the works maybe? Also if I am posting in the wrong sub forum, please guide me to a place where my question can be analyzed.

 

My best regards to all of you guys, and thanks for your time and good disposition.

Hector H.

 

 

 

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I use a Retrotink 5x with MS component cables, the image is fantastic and I can upscale to 1440p if I wish (I usually do lol). 

I am in the market for a HDMI mod tho but NOT STELLAR OR HD+, MakeMhz will not get a penny outta me lol

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On a GeForce 3/4 style GPU, like the XBox,  anisotropic filtering does have a substantial performance hit. So does using trilinear filtering.  Some games back then didn't even use mip mapping and this causes texture aliasing.

 

Edited by tiertop
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19 hours ago, tiertop said:

On a GeForce 3/4 style GPU, like the XBox,  anisotropic filtering does have a substantial performance hit. So does using trilinear filtering.  Some games back then didn't even use mip mapping and this causes texture aliasing.

 

This seems to be exactly the problem I was describing. I am continuing to check other games and it is true, all of them have this issue, is like all textures that are 1 meter away from the character become a blurry mess (if they are in an angle that is). Mostly textures on the floor and such. I checked on the PS2 and Gamecube and there is no such thing, textures look good no matter the distance.

So if it is what you say, then oh well, I guess it would be impossible to fix it. It is quite a shame, because otherwise the Og Xbox would reign as the supreme choice in that generation of consoles. Gamecube could then indeed be the better one, if using a good component cable that is.

 

Thank you guys for your feedback, still if anyone wants to add more information into this post, please do, it is always interesting to learn more and know more about the Og Xbox. Thanks again.

Edited by Hector Hidalgo
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2 hours ago, Hector Hidalgo said:

This seems to be exactly the problem I was describing. I am continuing to check other games and it is true, all of them have this issue, is like all textures that are 1 meter away from the character become a blurry mess (if they are in an angle that is). Mostly textures on the floor and such. I checked on the PS2 and Gamecube and there is no such thing, textures look good no matter the distance.

So if it is what you say, then oh well, I guess it would be impossible to fix it. It is quite a shame, because otherwise the Og Xbox would reign as the supreme choice in that generation of consoles. Gamecube could then indeed be the better one, if using a good component cable that is.

 

Thank you guys for your feedback, still if anyone wants to add more information into this post, please do, it is always interesting to learn more and know more about the Og Xbox. Thanks again.

Actually, from what I've seen, a lot of Cube/Wii and PS2 games forgo mip mapping and have lots of texture aliasing in the distance. This saves memory.  It looks sharper but it's actually a lot of noise. I could see it being a matter of taste though yeah because it is sharper.

XBox games that were built for Xbox specifically often use at least bilinear filtered mip mapping, sometimes trilinear filtered. This is supposed to be an improvement in graphics quality. :)  I don't know if I've seen anisotropic filtering but it would be a lot to ask of it. It's memory bandwidth intensive and the Xbox is already starved there. Go look up reviews of GeForce 3 or 4 and look for the anisotropic tests.

If you observe XBox 360 games you will find examples of only bilinear filtered mip mapping there too. 

It's all about tradeoffs. They want to spend the performance and RAM budget only on things they feel people will  notice.

Edited by tiertop
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5 hours ago, tiertop said:

Actually, from what I've seen, a lot of Cube/Wii and PS2 games forgo mip mapping and have lots of texture aliasing in the distance. This saves memory.  It looks sharper but it's actually a lot of noise. I could see it being a matter of taste though yeah because it is sharper.

XBox games that were built for Xbox specifically often use at least bilinear filtered mip mapping, sometimes trilinear filtered. This is supposed to be an improvement in graphics quality. :)  I don't know if I've seen anisotropic filtering but it would be a lot to ask of it. It's memory bandwidth intensive and the Xbox is already starved there. Go look up reviews of GeForce 3 or 4 and look for the anisotropic tests.

If you observe XBox 360 games you will find examples of only bilinear filtered mip mapping there too. 

It's all about tradeoffs. They want to spend the performance and RAM budget only on things they feel people will  notice.

I see better looking textures in games on the distance, I don't see any aliasing ( I play all my consoles with component cables on a 2007 Sony CRT), so I could not think developers would choose this as a "feature". Probably to save RAM budget as you say, but to me this was going backwards, even PS1 games look better, even if textures were very low res.

This in fact could explain why the PS2 framerate struggles in some games (one of the reasons), as in the PS2 is where I have noticed the sharpest textures, no matter the distance, the GameCube on the other hand has a form of mip-mapping as textures tend to blur out when very far, which I think is the intended purpose, not as in the og Xbox where the textures blur out ridiculously close to the character.

 

In summary I think that to "fix" this problem, we would have to truly name it correctly, maybe someone very savvy knows what exactly is what we are dealing with here, because maybe this is just mip-mapping done wrong? And could eventually look better by just tweaking something in each game through patching?

 

To me this makes sense, because when I see textures, let's say on a wall, I can see tons of textures, but because they are not at an angle, they look all really good, all really sharp, and never I have seen the Xbox struggle when doing that on a game with lots of textures. I don't know if I am making sense here, but I truly believe this is something done wrong, instead of being truly effective at saving RAM.

So if anyone could find a fix, it probably wouldn't hurt performance at all.

 

My best regards and thank you all.

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3 hours ago, Hector Hidalgo said:

I see better looking textures in games on the distance, I don't see any aliasing ( I play all my consoles with component cables on a 2007 Sony CRT), so I could not think developers would choose this as a "feature". Probably to save RAM budget as you say, but to me this was going backwards, even PS1 games look better, even if textures were very low res.

This in fact could explain why the PS2 framerate struggles in some games (one of the reasons), as in the PS2 is where I have noticed the sharpest textures, no matter the distance, the GameCube on the other hand has a form of mip-mapping as textures tend to blur out when very far, which I think is the intended purpose, not as in the og Xbox where the textures blur out ridiculously close to the character.

 

In summary I think that to "fix" this problem, we would have to truly name it correctly, maybe someone very savvy knows what exactly is what we are dealing with here, because maybe this is just mip-mapping done wrong? And could eventually look better by just tweaking something in each game through patching?

 

To me this makes sense, because when I see textures, let's say on a wall, I can see tons of textures, but because they are not at an angle, they look all really good, all really sharp, and never I have seen the Xbox struggle when doing that on a game with lots of textures. I don't know if I am making sense here, but I truly believe this is something done wrong, instead of being truly effective at saving RAM.

So if anyone could find a fix, it probably wouldn't hurt performance at all.

 

My best regards and thank you all.

Specifically which XBox games do you find unacceptably blurry?

Mip mapping is adjustable. The full detail mip map level can remain in use further out.  People used to tweak this on PC when they found the near textures too soft. For Nvidia, it's in the control panel as "LOD bias".  ATI and Nvidia also used to tweak this a bit in their drivers as it's faster to transition to the lower detail mip maps sooner.  Perhaps on the Xbox it's an intentional performance tweak or maybe a default recommended setting.

Edited by tiertop
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3 hours ago, tiertop said:

Specifically which XBox games do you find unacceptably blurry?

Mip mapping is adjustable. The full detail mip map level can remain in use further out.  People used to tweak this on PC when they found the near textures too soft. For Nvidia, it's in the control panel as "LOD bias".  ATI and Nvidia also used to tweak this a bit in their drivers as it's faster to transition to the lower detail mip maps sooner.  Perhaps on the Xbox it's an intentional performance tweak or maybe a default recommended setting.

All games that I have tried have this! Is like only one square meter near the character the textures look correct, anymore distance, textures are blurred out. I have been trying prince of persia sands of time, Blood Omen 2 and Indiana Jones. Mostly games that have also come out on other consoles. When compared, these issues really come out like a sore thumb! In fact now I know why the standard filter being use by Xbox games is so high! To make everything a blurry mess, so people wouldn't notice this very low mip map level (or anyway is called).

These things I have only being able to see because of how clear my games look with component cables and because of the very low flicker filter that now you can adjust in Xbmc4gamers.

It would really be amazing if it could be tweaked! If you know any place in this forum, or a member who knows how to make patches for games, please let me know, maybe I could convince someone to try to help in this.

Thanks again for your feedback.

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8 hours ago, Hector Hidalgo said:

All games that I have tried have this! Is like only one square meter near the character the textures look correct, anymore distance, textures are blurred out. I have been trying prince of persia sands of time, Blood Omen 2 and Indiana Jones. Mostly games that have also come out on other consoles. When compared, these issues really come out like a sore thumb! In fact now I know why the standard filter being use by Xbox games is so high! To make everything a blurry mess, so people wouldn't notice this very low mip map level (or anyway is called).

These things I have only being able to see because of how clear my games look with component cables and because of the very low flicker filter that now you can adjust in Xbmc4gamers.

It would really be amazing if it could be tweaked! If you know any place in this forum, or a member who knows how to make patches for games, please let me know, maybe I could convince someone to try to help in this.

Thanks again for your feedback.

 

I loaded up Sands of Time and Indiana Jones.  Those look like typical mip mapping with trilinear filtering and the floor textures in particular are switched to a lower detail level quite close to the camera.

If you want to see something much different, try Headhunter Redemption or Breakdown.  This appear to lack mip mapping and textures are very sharp into the distance, but there is a lot of texture aliasing.   Headhunter uses a fairly heavy classic bloom effect to soften the entire picture.

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1 hour ago, tiertop said:

 

I loaded up Sands of Time and Indiana Jones.  Those look like typical mip mapping with trilinear filtering and the floor textures in particular are switched to a lower detail level quite close to the camera.

If you want to see something much different, try Headhunter Redemption or Breakdown.  This appear to lack mip mapping and textures are very sharp into the distance, but there is a lot of texture aliasing.   Headhunter uses a fairly heavy classic bloom effect to soften the entire picture.

So this means this is a choice by the developers ah? I guess the only problem is that this mip maping is done too close to the camera/character. Because like I mentioned before, in Gamecube games, this also happens, but much further away.

Personally I don't mind some aliasing, I mean these consoles didn't use antialising (though I think Beyond Good and Evil on the Xbox uses some form) in 99% of their games, so a bit more doesn't matter ahahaha.

Also, you were right I was watching some videos form a Need for Speed game from those days, and on PC the mip mapping of textures is done also very close to the cars in this case! And it looks quite blurry, even though it runs better than any console at the time of course.

 

All in all I am starting to get used to this, I would take it as a feature hahahah, some kind of a "poor man's" depth of field effect ahahha. I guess GPU makers and developers were experimenting at the time, trying to get rid of the excess of texture aliasing and came up with this, but still wasn't implemented well enough sadly.

 

Still, if there is a way to enlarge the radius in which this mip mapping occurs I would be willing to patch it into the games. I will keep searching, thanks again Tiertop, take care. 

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