TomsHardware did an informal article on The Witcher 3: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/witcher-3-wild-hunt-gameplay,29139.html
" We ran two quick tests with the FRAPS benchmark to get an exact framerate count for my settings (High, VSync On, SSAO, Nvidia HairWorks Off). Each test lasted five minutes, with me playing through multiple scenarios such as walking through a town, combat, riding through the countryside, and interacting with other characters.
The first test had an average of 41 fps, with the highest count at 61 fps and the lowest at 24 fps. The second test had a slightly higher average of 46 fps, with the highest count at 61 fps and the lowest at 20 fps."
That's using a R9 280 and an i3-4160, a fairly solid midrange system. The monitor he uses is a 1920x1080 display, so I assume it was that resolution. Given how it works now on AMD cards without a specific driver release...Crossfire only has to have 50% scaling to get 60FPS.
You guys know there's a windows 10 driver made to work on 8.1 right? It gave massive fps improvements in Gta 5 and it's doing amazing in Witcher 3.. It's a lil pain to install but worth it. AMD Catalyst 15.x Win Mod (15.200.1023 April 28) - Guru3D.com Forums
Also you can enable hairworks and get little to no performance hit , by using CC or Radeon pro and turning tessellation to 8x or 16x depending on your card.
You'll also need to go to C:\Users\whatever your account name is\Documents\The Witcher 3 Dir and edit the user.settings file. Go to the line Hairworks= and i'd assume if you have a 285 or above try 4 it defaults at 8. people with lesser cards may need to play with the setting idk.
I've personally dropped the whole hairworks thing 8x tessellation doesn't make the world look bad or anything and ya know you get nice hair, but it is noticeable on certain objects statues, shops, logs ect.. So went back to 64x and am also using Radeon Pro to make some minor tweaks here and there.
If any of you are using in game AA turn it off. It was a new AA method (or so I hear ) CD Project Red made for their engine. Works well.. but if you Force 4X EQ in CC or Radeon Pro looks amazing. on lower cards use 2X EQ
Another biggie is sweetfx https://sfx.thelazy.net/games/game/970/ I'm currently using K-Putt's preset it's gorgeous, though try Omni Fx's also I can't decide between them. Great work on their part.
I've been tweaking the game a lot to get it to look amazing and stable 60 fps on a 290 with sweetfx.
Anyway I hope I helped you cats out. I'm new to the forum and just trying to pass knowledge. If anyone needs any help or hell know something I don't plz post. I'm always looking to make the game better I'll be with it for the next month or so.. May as well look the best it can.
Wait wait wait. Doesn't SweetFX use it's own AA? Also, i can't seem to spot the difference by using Radeon Pro. Does AA 16x EQ make a difference as well? I must be blind. Also, do you know if we're supposed to turn of sharpness while using Sweetfx? Thanks!
Yes SweetFx profile (made by users) Generally turn on Smaa or Fxaa. These methods are much cheaper Gpu wise than your traditional Msaa (what CC or Radeon Pro use). You can just run them together I tend not to fxaa is really light performance hit honestly pretty minimal but idk using AA methods together cause they go at it different ways is just odd to me. Depends on game engine also, Sometimes Fxaa is beautiful sometimes it's just not enough. Like in this case.
I forgot to note a Radeon Pro fix, for the new sweet fx 2.0 if that's what your using (will say reshade on game bootup) Top of Radeon Pro 3rd icon looks like gears (settings tab) select compatibility list choose the witcher 3.exe and select ignore D3d 11. Sweetfx seems to get pissy if something is messing with it's .dll's . Fraps won't work with it either if you try to use that, just use the on screen fps built into Radeon pro.
Also if you're running you game as admin and are not running Radeon pro as admin it won't have rights to access it's files. You can tell if it's running if you use the on screen fps..you'll get a little yellow fps overlay in corner.
Now as far as AA settings.16 EQ...idk you may have that option.. I only go to 8 EQ and that's a massive fps drop. and unnecessary less your running on a 60 inch plus tv. I'm on a 55 inch and 4xEQ and 1920x1080 @ 60 fps is what I shoot for. It's lovely. Going higher on AA I'd honestly downsample you'd get a better picture if your running a dual gpu setup for the same drop in performance .. or less.
Now if you mean 16 AF that's entirely different... yes you should use 16 AF.
As far as sharpness generally it's a user pref thing, like I turn off vignette cause all it does is make the sides of the screen dark.. It's suppose to emulate a "cinematic feel" , but I just see a darker boarder around my game annoys me..but others love it. If the user's profile for sweetfx says to turn it off,, I mean I guess try it see how it sits with you..
I'm curious about something: why are people so keen on using SweetFX for every game they play instead of just using the game's default saturation, brightness, and contrast settings as meant by the developer? It's not that vanilla-TW3 is ugly or something. And TW3's custom AA is some sort of mixture between MLAA/SMAA and Temporal AA.
I never understood "as meant by developer" argument, it's all about taste. You perhaps prefer the pink and polkadot car yet I would like it in lime green.. In this instance we both get what we want (and apparently we both have bad taste). It's a great time to be a Pc gamer..
But yeah man... you should really look back into Sweetfx and Gemfx...they go well and above Saturation and brightness levels they can implement DOF even..By that logic though why does ones have those controls on their TV...Game of thrones was meant to be seen in this contrast, brightness ect..(no one says this)
Reason it's popular is 1. How easy it is to install...copy files to the dir with game's .exe in it and 2. copy a person's preset to the sweetfx folder you just made.. (download a lot and try out different looks)
A person's preset can make a game look like a cartoon.. or in the Witcher's case at least for me have a more realistic tone. Enb's do it better but then your talking massive fps hit, BUT Gem guys figured out a way to get a lot of Enb fx into their suite and reshade (sweet fx 2.0) have done that with DOF and are working on lighting like SSAO which is insane to me..Point is..it's not just a saturation control with user presets. It's not about it being ugly either. I personally think CD Project Red did a FANTASTIC job creating a world I am very happy to play in. It's about making it look the best for me personally for the 100+ hours i'll be putting into it. Best for me isn't probably best for you (or maybe it is who knows) but that's why it's so lovely.You actually can have your cake and eat it too.
As far as the AA goes..Yeah as I said their AA is good not great. It's kinda the same thing if you can pull 4x EQ (or higher) and it looks better, but you don't want to cause the dev's made a AA? I don't get that. You understand that AA was made with consoles in mind right.. compared to console AA I'm sure it stacks up if isn't way better, but it doesn't scale well with beefy pc.
Look if you have 10 mins throw 4x EQ on and a sweetfx profile, if you don't think that does wonders for your Witchers world turn it right back off. No harm no foul.
I don't mind 'enhancing' the way games look by high res texture packs, higher poly models, alternate hair meshes for your custom-made characters. Or a higher quality of Anti-Aliasing (more on that below). But I don't like outright CHANGING the way a game looks, what most 'sweetFX' presets seem to do. Take Skyrim for example: okay I must be the only person in the whole wide world who spent 300 hours in the game with no mod at all, but it goes like this: I like the way vanilla-Skyrim looked, I like the gritty atmosphere, the greyish sky during the day like it could start to rain at any momen, the lighting, it reminded me of Wales and Scotland (which is a good thing in my book). I'm not talking about the low-res textures in game, the UI system, or the not-so-great dynamic shadows, I'm talking about the overall look. Then came all these ENB and SweetFX mods and make it all bright and colourful.
I once installed a sweetFX for Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth. It made the game look 'warmer' which I personally didn't think it was very fitting for the setting.
And about your cake comparison: it's actually more like having someone else's cake and pour jelly and chocolate sprinkles over it because you like it better that way
But you're right: it's a matter of taste! I have no intention of installing these tools/injectors however.
But to come back to the 'what devs have envisioned' part: I personally hate it when a PC-game('s VSync) is locked at 30fps or having a forced letterbox screen (at 16:9!). I don't really like 'vignetting' since that made me believe my screen was wearing out... So yeah you're right about this in a way. Sometimes devs don't appear to have the gamer's best interest in mind, and sometimes they listen to gamers too much, kinda like politics...
My AA comment was actually not necessarily pointed towards SweetFX in general, but more to say the in-game solution is already similar to SMAA, AND has Temporal AA, so why the need for an external tool to apply just that, and forego the Temporal AA?
By the way I'm a SSAA-junkie so to speak, I don't like jaggies much, but I hate FXAA for making everything so blurry. I love the overall sharpness SSAA brings, especially since MSAA doesn't cut it anymore. Probably an OCD-deficiency on my behalf... However there are several games with no support for MSAA (and thus SSAA), like The Witcher 3 as I read, just like the Enhanced Edition of it's predecessor (I wonder if you can actually see much of a difference between EQAAx8 or none at all, I don't think so. But you CAN change the AA-sample amount in CCC in the 15.x drivers? It's not possible in the 15.3 and 15.4's, so I was curious!).
So with the lack of proper AA-support (personally I think post-process AA solutions are suitable as an extra option over MS/SSAA or the following solution, instead of the 'main-AA-method'), the next best thing would be downsampling/VSR.
Keep in mind that I'm currently not in the possession of The Witcher 3, so I can't try any suggestions anyone offers. At least I don't have to tear my heart out waiting for a working Crossfire profile...
I actually think you right on a lot of fronts (although I probably spent 100 hours or more alone modding skyrim so take some of it with a grain of salt). I have actually dropped 4xEQ and any AA from sweetfx (4xEQ was coming from CC profile) I tend not to use Sweetfx AA cause it's either Smaa or Fxaa, if you have a lower end system and in game AA is only Msaa this can be a huge deal is generally why I post about it.
In those first drivers I posted for Gta 5/ Witcher 3 performance it enables VSR so I switched to 2550x1440p with no AA needed on a 1080p tv. I always prefer downsampling, but with a game giving shoddy performance I didn't figure it was gonna happen. if however you do drop the tessellation to 8 or 16x you can achieve downsampling AND enable hairworks..
Now as far as sweetfx yeah I'm still using it, though I switched to OmniFx's profile, here's a on/off picture
As you can see at least for me these are small changes, though imo characters look more realistic, note skin tone obviously, but also note the shading on the leather and how the small patches on Ciri's (the girl left) pop out, the leather work on the older gentleman's armor is also very noticeable. Note the grass shading, it's small changes like this High res texture packs would be much more drastic.(Although I can't wait for them either ).
This is why I love Omni Fx and K-putt's work they Never change the game's tone, they almost always just make small changes to make things look better. When one puts 100+ hours into something Idk things like this matter to me.
Going left is sweetfx on and right is off obviously, but now that I have seen it I can't unsee it..you know. The default characters now have peach face going on in terms of skin tone.
Plus I just think it overall makes the game look a lot better.
Well I have to agree with you there: with the slider to the right (so the left screen so to speak) to colour setting is too high (so skin gets too orange), and it appears less sharp (but maybe the in-game sharpness setting can change this too?).
I think, when I have the game and there's a Crossfire profile, I might try and see how VSR to 1800p performance is going to be, and try to tweak the hairworks settings to see if I can improve it's performance. I'm not going to lower Tesselation just to improve some Gameworks stuff which isn't going to perform well on Radeons whatever we try (the Hairworks, it seems HBAO+ has the same performance hit on nVidia cards according to benchmarks)