Game fixing: convergence value vs depth buffer w (z) values
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Hi, There is a kind of problem in some games, which afaik, is not shader related. It is related to bad placed objects relating to depth (z-buffer). Some time ago I did fix a game to be 99% 3D Vision compatible (Silent Hunter 3) by using only a memory scanner and correcting some depth values, but that was a special case, with some aspects that eased the task to find the correct offsets to patch. Now, I find difficulties finding these values in several other games. Currently I am working to fix another 'old' game (X-Wing Alliance, currently using DX11) which has some problems with the starfield backdrops (the planets, nebula, etc. decorating the starfield): they are too close to the screen plane so you feel as inside a box, and thus limiting the external view to very low convergence values. I have been looking for info on technical papers, trying everything I could to find the values, without success. The strategy is this. First it is needed to know the convergence value to put the bad-placed object at screen depth, this can be known using the on-screen overlay of 3DMigoto (if DX11) or simply removing permissions from the registry key (\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\NVIDIA Corporation\Global\Stereo3D) and trying to save (Ctrl+F7); this will show the current convergence value on-screen. Then looking for this value, or some value derived from this, in memory. Here comes the problem. I can't find it in this (and some other games), and this is what we would need to fix it. Convergence values start from 0 to infinite, but I think that the z-buffer (or w-buffer) is from 0.0f (screen plane) to 1.0f (backplane). Normally is 16bit, so I guess that this means there are 65536 values between 0.0f and 1.0f. Moreover, the distribution of these values is not lineal, they are 'closer' near 0 and farer near back plane, which imo it can be seen adjusting convergence with 3dmigoto overlay on: near 0 it changes slightly, and with great convergence values, they change in big steps. Now, I would need to know the relation between the displayed convergence value of 3Dvision and the real position in z-buffer from 0.0f to 1.0f. Here I have found a wall. It must exist some relation, without doubt. But how to 'translate' from one to another? Maybe it would help to know from where comes the convergence value and how it is calculated... Please, could someone, sure more expert than me in these matters, help to clarify or correct me if I am wrong? If we could know this, there would be a lot of things that could be corrected.
Hi,

There is a kind of problem in some games, which afaik, is not shader related. It is related to bad placed objects relating to depth (z-buffer).

Some time ago I did fix a game to be 99% 3D Vision compatible (Silent Hunter 3) by using only a memory scanner and correcting some depth values, but that was a special case, with some aspects that eased the task to find the correct offsets to patch.

Now, I find difficulties finding these values in several other games. Currently I am working to fix another 'old' game (X-Wing Alliance, currently using DX11) which has some problems with the starfield backdrops (the planets, nebula, etc. decorating the starfield): they are too close to the screen plane so you feel as inside a box, and thus limiting the external view to very low convergence values.

I have been looking for info on technical papers, trying everything I could to find the values, without success.

The strategy is this. First it is needed to know the convergence value to put the bad-placed object at screen depth, this can be known using the on-screen overlay of 3DMigoto (if DX11) or simply removing permissions from the registry key (\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\NVIDIA Corporation\Global\Stereo3D) and trying to save (Ctrl+F7); this will show the current convergence value on-screen.

Then looking for this value, or some value derived from this, in memory. Here comes the problem. I can't find it in this (and some other games), and this is what we would need to fix it.

Convergence values start from 0 to infinite, but I think that the z-buffer (or w-buffer) is from 0.0f (screen plane) to 1.0f (backplane). Normally is 16bit, so I guess that this means there are 65536 values between 0.0f and 1.0f. Moreover, the distribution of these values is not lineal, they are 'closer' near 0 and farer near back plane, which imo it can be seen adjusting convergence with 3dmigoto overlay on: near 0 it changes slightly, and with great convergence values, they change in big steps.

Now, I would need to know the relation between the displayed convergence value of 3Dvision and the real position in z-buffer from 0.0f to 1.0f. Here I have found a wall. It must exist some relation, without doubt. But how to 'translate' from one to another?

Maybe it would help to know from where comes the convergence value and how it is calculated...

Please, could someone, sure more expert than me in these matters, help to clarify or correct me if I am wrong? If we could know this, there would be a lot of things that could be corrected.

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#1
Posted 04/10/2018 07:48 AM   
[quote="Darkblueskies"] Now, I find difficulties finding these values in several other games. Currently I am working to fix another 'old' game (X-Wing Alliance, currently using DX11) which has some problems with the starfield backdrops (the planets, nebula, etc. decorating the starfield): they are too close to the screen plane so you feel as inside a box, and thus limiting the external view to very low convergence values.[/quote] I assume that you already know about the shaderhacker school https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/766890/ There are some tidbits in this thread https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/896196/3d-vision/-simplified-guide-quick-n-easy-shader-disabling-fixing-static-objects-depth-if-rendered-wrong-/post/4726320/ A similar skybox problem is discussed in this thread https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/882500/ In that thread, bo3b links to the wikipage http://wiki.bo3b.net/index.php?title=Skybox_notes I hope this helps, until someone more knowledgeable replies.
Darkblueskies said:

Now, I find difficulties finding these values in several other games. Currently I am working to fix another 'old' game (X-Wing Alliance, currently using DX11) which has some problems with the starfield backdrops (the planets, nebula, etc. decorating the starfield): they are too close to the screen plane so you feel as inside a box, and thus limiting the external view to very low convergence values.






I assume that you already know about the shaderhacker school

https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/766890/


There are some tidbits in this thread

https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/896196/3d-vision/-simplified-guide-quick-n-easy-shader-disabling-fixing-static-objects-depth-if-rendered-wrong-/post/4726320/



A similar skybox problem is discussed in this thread

https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/882500/


In that thread, bo3b links to the wikipage

http://wiki.bo3b.net/index.php?title=Skybox_notes


I hope this helps, until someone more knowledgeable replies.

#2
Posted 04/10/2018 05:00 PM   
I'm also curious, are you using the DLL from here https://github.com/rdoeffinger/xwa_ddraw_d3d11 for dx11? GL, looking forward to playing this with your fix Anyone interested, search youtube for X Wing Alliance in DX 11 + HDR??!??
I'm also curious, are you using the DLL from here https://github.com/rdoeffinger/xwa_ddraw_d3d11 for dx11?

GL, looking forward to playing this with your fix

Anyone interested, search youtube for X Wing Alliance in DX 11 + HDR??!??

#3
Posted 04/10/2018 05:24 PM   
Yes! I use the last version. I have already fixed the HUD text which was misaligned and done a patch for the EXE, but I still need to fix two things: backdrops and engine glow. I use also ReShade 3 with a customized profile by me (of course imho better than the one of YouTube :-D), which imo makes the game awesome, specially if you play it in 3D and with xwaupgrade improvements: it makes it a dream, I love it. Because of this I try to solve the remaining problems. BTW, thank you very much for your links, it seems I could fix these remaining things. For the moment I am having problems with 3DMigoto shader editing; it seems that it has problems saving the marked shader and reloading it (FAILED to copy marked shaders to ShaderFixes / Error X3506 unrecognized compiler target ' vs_2_x'. Could be due to the DDRAW D3D11 file?). I keep trying.
Yes! I use the last version. I have already fixed the HUD text which was misaligned and done a patch for the EXE, but I still need to fix two things: backdrops and engine glow.

I use also ReShade 3 with a customized profile by me (of course imho better than the one of YouTube :-D), which imo makes the game awesome, specially if you play it in 3D and with xwaupgrade improvements: it makes it a dream, I love it. Because of this I try to solve the remaining problems.

BTW, thank you very much for your links, it seems I could fix these remaining things. For the moment I am having problems with 3DMigoto shader editing; it seems that it has problems saving the marked shader and reloading it (FAILED to copy marked shaders to ShaderFixes / Error X3506 unrecognized compiler target ' vs_2_x'. Could be due to the DDRAW D3D11 file?). I keep trying.

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#4
Posted 04/10/2018 07:21 PM   
Yah, sorry, my shader hacking knowledge is about at first grade level. masterotaku recently fixed some older games by using DgVoodoo 2, Gothic 2 was one of them and there was one or two others. He could probably offer some insight into whether or not, the wrapper you are using, could be causing issues with 3Dmigoto. [url]https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/820749/3d-vision/gothic-ii-can-now-be-played-in-3d-vision/post/5239751/#5239751[/url] Also, if the skybox doesn't fully expand, I recall that the mx2 fixed Risen and stretched the skybox due to it not fully expanding. Here's the link https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/883903/ He mentions stretching the skybox either in his read me or on his github, I can't remember which.
Yah, sorry, my shader hacking knowledge is about at first grade level.

masterotaku recently fixed some older games by using DgVoodoo 2, Gothic 2 was one of them and there was one or two others. He could probably offer some insight into whether or not, the wrapper you are using, could be causing issues with 3Dmigoto.
https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/820749/3d-vision/gothic-ii-can-now-be-played-in-3d-vision/post/5239751/#5239751

Also, if the skybox doesn't fully expand, I recall that the mx2 fixed Risen and stretched the skybox due to it not fully expanding. Here's the link

https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/883903/

He mentions stretching the skybox either in his read me or on his github, I can't remember which.

#5
Posted 04/10/2018 08:22 PM   
Good luck that I have this game :). The game on GOG comes with this DX11 wrapper pre-installed. But I have that same problem of 3Dmigoto complaining about Shader Model 2 shaders. Maybe they are shaders so old that 3Dmigoto doesn't accept them. So I installed dgVoodoo instead, set StereoTextureEnable to 0x00000001, saved a very low convergence value, destereoized the background stars because they showed only in one eye (this is the backdrop you talk about, right?) and then stereoized it myself from the vertex shader (targeting only that pixel shader)... and this is the result (not embedded here because it's a 2.1MB png): http://u.cubeupload.com/masterotaku/XWingAlliance005.png The HUD, lens flares and the sun share the same pixel shader. I'll try to filter it per texture, if possible. The HUD is convergence dependant, being at screen depth with 1.00 convergence. But playable convergence in cockpit view in this game is very low, like 0.02, so even leaving it dynamic wouldn't cause much trouble. Similar for the other things, but they may be easier to make better. It's a shame that this game is limited to 30fps. It's the fist time I play it, so I almost don't know how to even control it, lol. My dualshock 4 works for analog controls by default, yay. I'll try to polish this more and release something for you (and everyone) tomorrow, Darkblueskies.
Good luck that I have this game :). The game on GOG comes with this DX11 wrapper pre-installed. But I have that same problem of 3Dmigoto complaining about Shader Model 2 shaders. Maybe they are shaders so old that 3Dmigoto doesn't accept them.

So I installed dgVoodoo instead, set StereoTextureEnable to 0x00000001, saved a very low convergence value, destereoized the background stars because they showed only in one eye (this is the backdrop you talk about, right?) and then stereoized it myself from the vertex shader (targeting only that pixel shader)... and this is the result (not embedded here because it's a 2.1MB png):

http://u.cubeupload.com/masterotaku/XWingAlliance005.png

The HUD, lens flares and the sun share the same pixel shader. I'll try to filter it per texture, if possible. The HUD is convergence dependant, being at screen depth with 1.00 convergence. But playable convergence in cockpit view in this game is very low, like 0.02, so even leaving it dynamic wouldn't cause much trouble. Similar for the other things, but they may be easier to make better.

It's a shame that this game is limited to 30fps. It's the fist time I play it, so I almost don't know how to even control it, lol. My dualshock 4 works for analog controls by default, yay.

I'll try to polish this more and release something for you (and everyone) tomorrow, Darkblueskies.

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#6
Posted 04/10/2018 09:25 PM   
Wonderful masterotaku. All you say, afaik, is exactly correct, same convergence in cockpit (0.02) and HUD convergence is 1.00...except for HUD text, which is at screen depth (convergence 0). I did patch the EXE to put the text at convergence 1.0, though, which is a bit hard to read/focus, but is what I was able to do. The HUD at screen plane would be very nice (conv 0), but would put also the aiming reticle/crosshair at convergence 0, which would render it useless for aiming, I'm afraid. Regarding the starfield, what you have done is very nice, as it was showing only in one eye, but the backdrops I refer to, are, for example the planets, nebula, etc, they are bitmaps that are placed much closer than infinite (where they should be). Moreover, if the backdrops are above and below the player (relative at the position when you start a mission), then they are still much closer to viewer than the backdrops placed in front, behind, right or left of the player, which are not at infinite neither but not so close to the viewer... I hope I have explained myself :) If not, tell me, please. It is true that the max convergence is 0.02 or so in cockpit, and with this value, the bad-placed backdrops are bearable (until you see them once, then you see them always), but it is unbearable for higher convergence in external view: if the backdrops problem could be fixed, then in external view (/ key of numpad for external view, plus * of numpad to move the view around the ship WITH joystick stick, not mouse) we could use a higher convergence, which is just amazing. BTW in this external view and higher convergence (1.0-1.5 or so), you will see the engine glow which is bad placed too...I have not checked this yet. Regarding the max fps I have been trying to catch the limitation in the EXE without success, a real pity, but still it is pretty fps stable so it is very enjoyable -for me- even at low fps. Thanks a lot for your help, I have been getting crazy, as I saw only two vs shaders with 3Dmigoto and they were not working neither. If you need some test, data or help, tell me please. If you want I could edit a test mission with backdrops around the player to check better.
Wonderful masterotaku. All you say, afaik, is exactly correct, same convergence in cockpit (0.02) and HUD convergence is 1.00...except for HUD text, which is at screen depth (convergence 0). I did patch the EXE to put the text at convergence 1.0, though, which is a bit hard to read/focus, but is what I was able to do. The HUD at screen plane would be very nice (conv 0), but would put also the aiming reticle/crosshair at convergence 0, which would render it useless for aiming, I'm afraid.

Regarding the starfield, what you have done is very nice, as it was showing only in one eye, but the backdrops I refer to, are, for example the planets, nebula, etc, they are bitmaps that are placed much closer than infinite (where they should be). Moreover, if the backdrops are above and below the player (relative at the position when you start a mission), then they are still much closer to viewer than the backdrops placed in front, behind, right or left of the player, which are not at infinite neither but not so close to the viewer... I hope I have explained myself :) If not, tell me, please.

It is true that the max convergence is 0.02 or so in cockpit, and with this value, the bad-placed backdrops are bearable (until you see them once, then you see them always), but it is unbearable for higher convergence in external view: if the backdrops problem could be fixed, then in external view (/ key of numpad for external view, plus * of numpad to move the view around the ship WITH joystick stick, not mouse) we could use a higher convergence, which is just amazing. BTW in this external view and higher convergence (1.0-1.5 or so), you will see the engine glow which is bad placed too...I have not checked this yet.


Regarding the max fps I have been trying to catch the limitation in the EXE without success, a real pity, but still it is pretty fps stable so it is very enjoyable -for me- even at low fps.

Thanks a lot for your help, I have been getting crazy, as I saw only two vs shaders with 3Dmigoto and they were not working neither. If you need some test, data or help, tell me please. If you want I could edit a test mission with backdrops around the player to check better.

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#7
Posted 04/10/2018 09:45 PM   
[quote="masterotaku"]3Dmigoto complaining about Shader Model 2 shaders.[/quote] Ah yes that makes sense. This is also a problem with the DLL by Helix. There is a solution, well several. One by Mana84 and another by DSS. https://helixmod.blogspot.com/2017/03/converting-shaders-to-sm30.html I had messed around with Risen for days, not understanding why I was having trouble getting anything to work. I was so glad to see that mx-2 fixed it. Looking at his fix and notes is how I found out about Shader model 2 being the issue. At first, I couldn't figure out for the world, why most of his shaders had a completely different structure than the ones I was trying to alter. LOL Anyhow, this could give you the option of using xwa_ddraw_d3d11, if it has any advantages
masterotaku said:3Dmigoto complaining about Shader Model 2 shaders.


Ah yes that makes sense. This is also a problem with the DLL by Helix.

There is a solution, well several. One by Mana84 and another by DSS.

https://helixmod.blogspot.com/2017/03/converting-shaders-to-sm30.html

I had messed around with Risen for days, not understanding why I was having trouble getting anything to work. I was so glad to see that mx-2 fixed it. Looking at his fix and notes is how I found out about Shader model 2 being the issue. At first, I couldn't figure out for the world, why most of his shaders had a completely different structure than the ones I was trying to alter. LOL

Anyhow, this could give you the option of using xwa_ddraw_d3d11, if it has any advantages

#8
Posted 04/10/2018 09:53 PM   
Also, Blacksmith [url=https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/1004765/3d-vision/native-3d-vision-support-in-unity-games-via-injector/post/5314661/#5314661]told me that DHR [/url] set the weapons in Prey to a fixed depth, perhaps the same could be done for the cockpit?
Also, Blacksmith told me that DHR set the weapons in Prey to a fixed depth, perhaps the same could be done for the cockpit?

#9
Posted 04/10/2018 09:58 PM   
[quote="Darkblueskies"]I hope I have explained myself :) If not, tell me, please.[/quote] I understand, I have put planets, sun, etc to correct place :). Engine glow is currently at full depth so I have to investigate tomorrow. [quote="D-Man11"]Also, Blacksmith [url=https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/1004765/3d-vision/native-3d-vision-support-in-unity-games-via-injector/post/5314661/#5314661]told me that DHR [/url] set the weapons in Prey to a fixed depth, perhaps the same could be done for the cockpit? [/quote] Probably, if I use geometry depth as a condition.
Darkblueskies said:I hope I have explained myself :) If not, tell me, please.


I understand, I have put planets, sun, etc to correct place :). Engine glow is currently at full depth so I have to investigate tomorrow.

D-Man11 said:Also, Blacksmith told me that DHR set the weapons in Prey to a fixed depth, perhaps the same could be done for the cockpit?


Probably, if I use geometry depth as a condition.

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#10
Posted 04/10/2018 10:32 PM   
Very nice! Just to confirm, if I understand correctly you have replaced the ddraw dx11 wrapper with dgvoodoo? If so, then to use the fix will need to use dgvoodoo, right?
Very nice!

Just to confirm, if I understand correctly you have replaced the ddraw dx11 wrapper with dgvoodoo? If so, then to use the fix will need to use dgvoodoo, right?

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#11
Posted 04/10/2018 10:54 PM   
Exactly.
Exactly.

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#12
Posted 04/11/2018 05:03 AM   
So dgvoodoo I guess that converts old Shader model 2 shaders of game in Shader Model 3 so 3dmigoto does not have problems, is this correct? Just to understand.
So dgvoodoo I guess that converts old Shader model 2 shaders of game in Shader Model 3 so 3dmigoto does not have problems, is this correct? Just to understand.

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#13
Posted 04/11/2018 05:39 AM   
Shader Model 4, I think. I'm not sure if I've ever seen SM3 shaders in a DX11 game. I only remember SM4 and SM5.
Shader Model 4, I think. I'm not sure if I've ever seen SM3 shaders in a DX11 game. I only remember SM4 and SM5.

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#14
Posted 04/11/2018 06:11 AM   
Tx! This is not really important nor urgent but just to test and learn I was trying to use dgvoodoo instead of the DDRAW that came with the game, and I can't make it work. I mean I use the last one 2.55 but when the game starts it flickers badly, I got the red message of nvidia 'Attempted to use 3dvision in a device not supported...' and when I try to load a mission, it simply crashes (little message window 'Game could not start'). I have configured it with the exe dgvoodoo control panel and checked the dgvoodoo.conf file in game folder, with fullscreen setting on (both, General and DirectX tabs). BTW if I use Output API as DirectX 11 MS WRAP the red Nvidia message and the flickering is gone, but the game automatically reverts to windowed (regardless of settings) and it still 'crashes' when trying to load a mission. Can't see why really. Tested also with a clean install of the game. I use 1.3.8 of 3DMigoto, but found this problem even uninstalling it. Is there some dgVoodoo config I am missing?
Tx!

This is not really important nor urgent but just to test and learn I was trying to use dgvoodoo instead of the DDRAW that came with the game, and I can't make it work. I mean I use the last one 2.55 but when the game starts it flickers badly, I got the red message of nvidia 'Attempted to use 3dvision in a device not supported...' and when I try to load a mission, it simply crashes (little message window 'Game could not start'). I have configured it with the exe dgvoodoo control panel and checked the dgvoodoo.conf file in game folder, with fullscreen setting on (both, General and DirectX tabs).

BTW if I use Output API as DirectX 11 MS WRAP the red Nvidia message and the flickering is gone, but the game automatically reverts to windowed (regardless of settings) and it still 'crashes' when trying to load a mission. Can't see why really. Tested also with a clean install of the game.

I use 1.3.8 of 3DMigoto, but found this problem even uninstalling it. Is there some dgVoodoo config I am missing?

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#15
Posted 04/11/2018 07:54 AM   
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