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Old 12-10-2011, 03:10 PM   #1
KubanitoS
 
 
 
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Thumbs up Low quality textures fix for Mass Effect

If you are here, then you are probably also suffering from those nasty low quality Mass Effect textures. Some textures in the game (like character clothes or spaceship parts) for some reason are displayed in really low quality, even in maxed out settings. I can say from my own personal experience, that looking at those crappy textures all the time can really ruin the gameplay experience.

Here is the issue and the affection of the workaround:

Before the fix - After the fix

Many thanks to Phoenix210 for providing the sample pictures!


Note: Some people have claimed that this fix hasn't improved their game, or the graphics simply didn't look that bad like in the sample pictures, even without applying this method. It seems this texture bug is affecting every PC differently. No one really knows what causes this issue, but many think that it has something to do with the new, and probably unsupported hardware or drivers that were unavaliable back in 2008, when Mass Effect was originally released. I agree with this statement, since the game was fine when it was released and - for me - the graphical problems first appeared in 2010. A simple patch would probably solve this issue, but we can't expect EA/Bioware to release an official fix for a five year old game.


Here is what you have to do:

Quote:
1. Go into the My Documents--Bioware--Mass Effect--Config folder and open the BIOEngine notepad file.

2. MAKE A BACK-UP COPY OF THIS FILE. In case the config doesn't work for you, you can easily restore default settings. Good to keep a backup of any Ini changes anyway.

3. Scroll halfway down to the section entitled "[SystemSettings]" (without the quotations). Change "Trilinear=FALSE" to "Trilinear=TRUE" (again, without the quotations).

4. Two sections further down the document you will see the "[TextureLODSettings]" (without the quotations). Replace the top 11 lines (12 including the section title) with the following:

[TextureLODSettings]
//TEXTUREGROUP_Character=(MinLODSize=1024,MaxLODSize =4096,LODBias=0)
//TEXTUREGROUP_CharacterNormalMap=(MinLODSize=1024,M axLODSize=4096,LODBias=0)
//TEXTUREGROUP_Effects=(MinLODSize=1024,MaxLODSize=4 096,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_LightAndShadowMap=(MinLODSize=1024,Ma xLODSize=4096,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_RenderTarget=(MinLODSize=8,MaxLODSize =4096,LODBias=0)
//TEXTUREGROUP_Skybox=(MinLODSize=1024,MaxLODSize=40 96,LODBias=0)
//TEXTUREGROUP_UI=(MinLODSize=1024,MaxLODSize=4096,L ODBias=0)
//TEXTUREGROUP_Vehicle=(MinLODSize=1024,MaxLODSize=4 096,LODBias=0)
//TEXTUREGROUP_VehicleNormalMap=(MinLODSize=1024,Max LODSize=4096,LODBias=0)
//TEXTUREGROUP_Weapon=(MinLODSize=1024,MaxLODSize=40 96,LODBias=0)
//TEXTUREGROUP_WeaponNormalMap=(MinLODSize=1024,MaxL ODSize=4096,LODBias=0)

5. Save the file and load the game. You should immediately notice an improvement in the textures.
Kloreep posted the following additional tweak. Many thanks for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kloreep View Post

BTW, another good .ini change is if you change these three lines:

TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Diff=(MinLODSize=512,MaxLOD Size=512,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Norm=(MinLODSize=512,MaxLOD Size=512,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Spec=(MinLODSize=256,MaxLOD Size=256,LODBias=0)

To look like that. (Minsize raised to equal maxsize.) You'll get consistently high character detail - albeit some lowered performance, of course, since it's using high-res textures everywhere. This is the only way I know of to fix Garrus' buggily low-res face without resorting to Texmod.
Animositisomina has also posted some sample pictures of the tweak. The screenshots are pretty dark, but you can see the difference easily. Just look at the characters and their clothes. Thanks for your support Animositisomina.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Animositisomina View Post
I am absolutely amazed at how much of an improvement this fix has made. +Rep to you, OP. Thanks so much for posting this. Here are some comparison screenshots for anyone that hasn't tried this yet:

Before the fix:
http://i44.tinypic.com/14mcpi0.jpg

After the fix:
http://i39.tinypic.com/2553xbs.jpg

Before the fix:
http://i43.tinypic.com/2hye6o.jpg

After the fix:
http://i39.tinypic.com/35a51ld.jpg
Enjoy.

Last edited by KubanitoS: 06-16-2013 at 03:21 AM.
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Old 12-11-2011, 05:53 PM   #2
Kentucky_Fried
 
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This is interesting and I will try it.. But..

what about environment textures? In the first mission planetside I noticed the area rocks and terrain are low quality also.. to me anyway.

I want everything to be high resolution. tried to search for ME 1 high resolution texture packs but it looks like no one made any.
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Old 12-12-2011, 05:28 AM   #3
KubanitoS
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kentucky_Fried View Post
This is interesting and I will try it.. But..

what about environment textures? In the first mission planetside I noticed the area rocks and terrain are low quality also.. to me anyway.

I want everything to be high resolution. tried to search for ME 1 high resolution texture packs but it looks like no one made any.
I don't have any links or any other "proof", so what I'm going to say is just my own personal experience.

The first mission of the game is pretty crappy. I'm talking about the first planet, where you find the first obelisk so the story can really begin. That planet looks pretty bad and looks like it is made of low textures. I don't know why this is, I know that a lot of my friends stopped playing the game, because they thought the rest of it will be as bad, as the first mission. I do not know if the solution in the first post helps the textures on that map or not, however you won't return to that planet later in the game, so basically it doesn't really matter. It is just the first twenty minutes of the game. The real adventure starts after that.

Let's skip that map and forget about it.

However, I can honestly say that this workaround helps the game's textures look better. I have already mentioned the clothing, it is 100% that it fixes that problem. I have applied this fix two days ago on my friend's new PC, because the game looked like crap for him and I can honestly say that the game looked much better overall, so in my opinion this fix helps the textures also.

Give it a go, you won't regret it!
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:56 PM   #4
Kentucky_Fried
 
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Thanks.. I gave it a Go and I'm not sure it's helping.. you see the seams on the NPC clothing? They are still wide blurry seams with no hard definition. Perhaps that's just the way they are designed?

I should have taken before and after pictures and I may still do that.

It looks like clothing from the online game Second Life. (you'd just have to see it to know what i;m talking about)

Last edited by Kentucky_Fried: 12-12-2011 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 12-12-2011, 01:30 PM   #5
KubanitoS
 
 
 
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I have tried this solution on three PCs and it worked all the time. I'm not sure what you did, but you should be able to see the difference instantly.
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Old 12-14-2011, 01:46 AM   #6
Valladin82
 
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Excellent KubanitoS. This worked like a charm. Looks even more fantastic. So glad I traded in my 360 version a long time ago and got the PC one. lol
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:04 PM   #7
Kloreep
 
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Thanks for the post KubanitoS, I'll have to try it out next time I play. BTW, do you think all the //ed lines are actually doing something? Usually that sort of syntax disables things.



BTW, another good .ini change is if you change these three lines:

TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Diff=(MinLODSize=512,MaxLOD Size=512,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Norm=(MinLODSize=512,MaxLOD Size=512,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Spec=(MinLODSize=256,MaxLOD Size=256,LODBias=0)

To look like that. (Minsize raised to equal maxsize.) You'll get consistently high character detail - albeit some lowered performance, of course, since it's using high-res textures everywhere. This is the only way I know of to fix Garrus' buggily low-res face without resorting to Texmod.
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:33 AM   #8
Valladin82
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kloreep View Post
Thanks for the post KubanitoS, I'll have to try it out next time I play. BTW, do you think all the //ed lines are actually doing something? Usually that sort of syntax disables things.



BTW, another good .ini change is if you change these three lines:

TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Diff=(MinLODSize=512,MaxLOD Size=512,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Norm=(MinLODSize=512,MaxLOD Size=512,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Spec=(MinLODSize=256,MaxLOD Size=256,LODBias=0)

To look like that. (Minsize raised to equal maxsize.) You'll get consistently high character detail - albeit some lowered performance, of course, since it's using high-res textures everywhere. This is the only way I know of to fix Garrus' buggily low-res face without resorting to Texmod.
Ooooo. I was looking for something like this for Garrus's face. I don't understand how the textures can be so horrible even on the 360 version. I mean ME2 is on the same systems and it looks fantastic.
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Old 12-15-2011, 04:27 AM   #9
KubanitoS
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kloreep View Post
Thanks for the post KubanitoS, I'll have to try it out next time I play. BTW, do you think all the //ed lines are actually doing something? Usually that sort of syntax disables things.



BTW, another good .ini change is if you change these three lines:

TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Diff=(MinLODSize=512,MaxLOD Size=512,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Norm=(MinLODSize=512,MaxLOD Size=512,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Spec=(MinLODSize=256,MaxLOD Size=256,LODBias=0)

To look like that. (Minsize raised to equal maxsize.) You'll get consistently high character detail - albeit some lowered performance, of course, since it's using high-res textures everywhere. This is the only way I know of to fix Garrus' buggily low-res face without resorting to Texmod.
Very nice stuff mate, I'll post this in my first post for everyone to see it!

I know what you mean with the "//" lines. These lines are usually used to disable stuff, but I don't think this is the case with Mass Effect, since the game looks better after replacing those lines.
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:30 PM   #10
Valladin82
 
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Very much appreciated guys. Every few months I get the urge to blast through ME1 and 2 and its nice to keep making it look better.
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:26 PM   #11
Megaxtar
 
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You deserve this rep+
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:26 PM   #12
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Noticed any impact on performance though?
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:38 AM   #13
KubanitoS
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erkel85 View Post
Noticed any impact on performance though?
For me, the game run the same as before the "fix". It is likely however that the framerate may drop if you have a low end PC.

I didn't have any problems with my old C2D E6850; 4 GB DDR2; HD 4850 rig. It runs fine on my new i7 PC also. lol
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:14 PM   #14
spengbab
 
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Usually, after you've switched the textures all you need to do is restart the game.

Unless of course you've done that. For me I've noticed that the textures didn't swap until I restarted. And for awhile I was like "what the crap the textures stink" on high...
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Old 12-23-2011, 02:01 AM   #15
KubanitoS
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spengbab View Post
Usually, after you've switched the textures all you need to do is restart the game.

Unless of course you've done that. For me I've noticed that the textures didn't swap until I restarted. And for awhile I was like "what the crap the textures stink" on high...
Yeah, naturally you have to restart the game after applying the fix.
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