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Unlock RAGE Hi-Rez Textures

An article on GeForce offers a guide to how users with at least 1.5GB of VRAM can unlock higher resolution textures in RAGE, id Software's new first-person shooter, and users with a video cards with at least 3GB of VRAM, can unlock even higher resolution textures. This applies to both ATI and NVIDIA GPUs, and they offer screenshots to show the difference these changes make. They indicate that the reason tweaking is necessary to force these texture improvements seems to be the result of errors in the auto-balancer that's supposed to handle this stuff automatically:

Based on our observations there does appear to be an error or two with the Auto-Balancer - though disabled for the screenshots, the on-screen frame rate display never moved below Rage’s sixty frames per second cap with 8k textures enabled, so why does the Auto-Balancer need to utilize lower-resolution assets? Perhaps it's overly-conservative to ensure that the frame rate never fluctuates? Regardless of the reason, the lack of detal is especially noticeable on the speed limit sign to the right and the ‘Loft Finder’ billboard above the collapsed building.

As mentioned, we visited other areas of the game also, primarily to judge the veracity of our results and observations. In outdoor areas packed with detail the results were identical, but in enclosed areas, such as the Mayor’s office in Wellspring, there was absolutely no difference between any of the three detail levels. In larger enclosed areas there was a difference in visual fidelity, albeit to a far lesser extent.

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75. Re: Unlock RAGE Hi-Rez Textures Oct 7, 2011, 10:28 The Pyro
 
I'm guessing that the 60 fps target framerate is not just for aesthetics; the physics engine may perform poorly, particularly in the racing portions of the game, if the framerate drops significantly below 60 fps.

It appears that the greatest strength of the megatexture technology is also its greatest weakness. The artists feel liberated, of course, since they can paint unique textures over every square inch without worrying about memory constraints. But the technology doesn't magically increase available VRAM, so when the volume of texture data grows large they must rely on the technology falling back on low-res textures as needed.

When artists are forced to deal with memory constraints up front then they can make artistic decisions about how to reduce memory usage. They could intelligently decide, "Yeah, we probably need to reuse or repeat some textures here," or perhaps, "This element of scenery looks nice but we don't have the memory budget for it, so let's cut it out." But when these decisions are given to the cold, unfeeling algorithms of the megatexture engine then the results aren't always up to modern standards of visual quality.

 
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