1. #1

    Shadow Rendering Update in 1.4

    Update to how Shadows look in game, not how the Shadow Class looks

    Originally Posted by SWTOR
    Developer Update: Shadow Optimizations in Game Update 1.4

    Before After

    Hi Ewen Vowels, Senior Client Optimization Engineer here.

    Recently the engineering team completed a complete rewrite of the shadow technology used for Star Wars™: The Old Republic™.

    For those interested in the nitty-gritty details, here they are! The old shadow system used an incremental cascaded shadow algorithm – this system was primarily designed for older machines with slower graphics cards and had limitations with the number of dynamically moving objects it could handle. The replacement system is using a Fit To Cascade (FTC) shadow algorithm, which allows all objects to cast shadows and have them updated every frame.

    Before After

    The new system provides full dynamic shadows. Simply stated, all characters, trees, and moving objects cast shadows onto the game world in Game Update 1.4. The previous system only generated dynamic shadows for characters. Moving through heavily treed planets such as Tython, the player will now see the subtle moving shadows cast by the leaves and trees.

    The new system supports realistic self-shadowing. As the player runs around in the game world, they will see their arms, Lightsabers, or blasters casting shadows onto themselves. Droids and gun turrets also cast realistic shadows as they animate in the game world.

    The new system has been also upgraded to generate softer-edged shadows. The shadows (particularly those around the player) will be far less blocky and pixelated than in the previous system.

    Before After

    In addition to these functional changes, there have been numerous optimizations made to the underlying core technology to reduce the load on the player’s computer. In most cases, players should notice an improvement to framerate compared to the previous system. Players with high-end AMD CrossFire or Nvidia SLI machines should notice a large improvement when running the game with the new shadow system.

    If you have been running with shadows disabled, please try re-enabling them with the new patch and let us know what you think! We hope you’ll enjoy the improved visuals (and performance)!

    Ewen Vowels
    Senior Client Optimization Engineer

    Last edited by chaud; 2012-09-28 at 08:37 AM.

  2. #2
    For a second there I thought they were going to address the indicator for shadow/assassin duplicity/infiltration tactics.

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  3. #3
    Yea me too... trying to come up with ways to make it clear in the title without making a really long title was difficult ><

  4. #4
    "Shadow Rendering Update"?
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    (Neverwinter) - Trickster Rogue -
    (Vindictus) - Vella -

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by hk-51 View Post
    "Shadow Rendering Update"?
    Oh thanks! I'll use that.

  6. #6
    I'm happy with this update too!

  7. #7
    The Patient Slugfest's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    In your fridge, drinking your beer
    I like this too. I've been noticing the blocky shadows during the agent story quest scenes and it's been driving me crazy. Hopefully these changes will extend to the cinematic's as well.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Slugfest View Post
    I like this too. I've been noticing the blocky shadows during the agent story quest scenes and it's been driving me crazy. Hopefully these changes will extend to the cinematic's as well.
    They will, since the cinematics are based off of in-game rendering.

  9. #9
    I will be the devil's advocate and say meh....

    I rather they worked on a faster loading system, the shadows dont bother never did because I even have them off after I upgraded to a 680
    Warlock / IA Operative / Wizard / Engineer

  10. #10
    I am actually very happy about this. Not just because I'll get nicer looking shadows, but because I appreciate the fact that they still at least try tu tune the engine. its still one of the biggest faults of the game and if they actually managed to improve load times and the framerate that is very good news.

  11. #11
    I love it, before the update my rig could only handle low quality shadows, now the game runs great with shadows enabled.

  12. #12
    It's nice, however I was running everything on high even before without any problems.

  13. #13
    Maybe I just never noticed because I have settings so low but I noticed last night in the new op but it seems like they also made it so that when you jump in water it actually splashes up. Small thing I know but it was just one of those things that really bothered me.

  14. #14
    Pit Lord
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Orlando, FL
    This was a welcome change. I'm running with all settings maxed at 1920x1200. This game looks really amazing, especially on industrial planets like Corellia and Quesh.
    ^ The above should be taken with two grains of salt and a fistful of "chill the F* out".

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