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how to make the game beautiful on a modern PC[message #361052] Sat, 29 August 2020 04:01 Go to next message
Tengu_1

 
Messages:19
Registered:July 2020
Hi,
since Asdow was so nice to walk me through it on Discord and I think not everyone is aware its possible, here is a quick guide how to update the graphics of JA 2 to make it look absolutely amazing on modern PCs and HD monitors.
It is easy and transforms the graphics to a more 2020 look on Windows PCs.

This is especially useful on large 4K screens where the game can get tiny or blurred depending on your settings.
Requirements: a somewhat modern PC with a dedicated graphics card. It runs on onboard graphics too but may slow down your framerate. On a Geforce 1050 or better card you won't have any problems.

1. clean install of JA2 or 1.13 or mod of your choice

2. download and extract DxWrapper
https://github.com/elishacloud/dxwrapper/releases
(dgvoodoo or dxwnd work too, all these tools make the game use current DirectX)

Copy ddraw.dll (from dxwrapper/stub/ folder), dxwrapper.dll & dxwrapper.ini into JA folder (where the .exe is)
In the dxwrapper.ini, set 'dd7to9' and 'DdrawUseNativeResolution' from 0 to 1.

3. download ReShade
https://reshade.me/
Just double click the program, select the jagged alliance exe file and download and install all filters.
In the final step, you can select or deselect the filters to use. Deselect all except for lumasharpen, magicbloom and hq4x (you can also select/deselect later from inside the game, but it will look weird on startup this way)

4. compatibility settings
ReShade doesn't require WindowsXP compatiblity mode. In fact it won't start with it on. I only use compatibility settings 'Reduced color mode 16-bit' and 'Change High DPI settings = System Enhanced'

Start the game and enjoy beautiful graphics.

In game, hit the Home-key (Pos1-key in some countries), to fine tune the graphics. It brings up the reshade menu and a short introduction how to change and save settings.


Advanced:
The filter 4xBRz is a little prettier then HQ4x but it is not included in the standard download. Get it here:
https://reshade.me/forum/shader-presentation/4416-4xbrz-filter
Place the file 4xBRZ.fx into \reshade-shaders\Shaders\
You can switch from HQ4x to 4xBRz using the Home-key in game.
Default setting on 4xBRz is 4 which is to high, setting it to 3 looks better.

Any input or questions is appreciated, just post it here or send me a PM.

[Updated on: Sat, 29 August 2020 18:29]

Re: how to make the game beautiful on a modern PC[message #361053 is a reply to message #361052] Sat, 29 August 2020 04:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Tengu_1

 
Messages:19
Registered:July 2020
https://www.dropbox.com/s/hk2exa9iz9peq9m/ja2vr.png?dl=0

Here is a dropbox link with a screenshot. It looks ten times better in game.
Re: how to make the game beautiful on a modern PC[message #361056 is a reply to message #361053] Sat, 29 August 2020 13:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
crackwise

 
Messages:113
Registered:April 2013
Thanks for sharing your knowledge! What exactly does this software do and in what respect does the game look nicer? I could not understand it from the screenshot.
Re: how to make the game beautiful on a modern PC[message #361057 is a reply to message #361052] Sat, 29 August 2020 16:02 Go to previous message
Tengu_1

 
Messages:19
Registered:July 2020
The wrapper makes the game run on directx 11, which allows you to use filters to enhance the picture quality.

Magicbloom makes colors more vibrant and enhances glow effects like tracer rounds.
HQ4x or 4xBRz scale up low resolution graphics to high resolution graphics by calculating what the high res picture would look like.
This is especially noticeable on big monitors where the game can look pixelated.
Lumasharpen works well in combination with the upscale filters. The filters can make it blurry especially when on a high setting. The sharpener makes the game picture crisp.

Here is a screenshot from OpenXcom with SABr filter that shows the effect
https://www.dropbox.com/s/2qp59jfqbm9j93w/OpenXcom.png?dl=0
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