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oktane

oktNoBlur - Signed Blur Remover Addon

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For Original ArmA2 or ArmA2 Operation Arrowhead (with or without DLC)

General Info:

This addon removes the blur shader which causes performance and headaches/sickness issues for people. It was created because BIS has not addressed the issues with the rotBlur shader which provides the whole screen blur effect. At low FPS, the issues in this shader make the game unplayable. Turning off Post Processing will fix it but then you lose some effects that are actually nice. This addon allows you to have the best of both worlds.

Framerate Improvement:

This modification substantially reduces the number of instructions in the rotBlur pixel shader, essentially making it do nothing, just short of removing it. (can't do that) It may increase performance installed compared to identical video settings with it not installed. (FPS gain depends on the power of your GPU, how strained it was
with blur
prior to installing) More details in spoiler:

As a side effect of disabling the rotBlur shader, the patched shader only has 1 gpu instruction vs the 107 instructions it had before. Shaders have a direct impact on the time it takes to render a frame. While different GPUs have different #s of shader pipelines they must all write out to the final framebuffer. That frame buffer can not be displayed until it is full and finished. Shader speed is a function of shader code instruction count and the number of pixels on screen it affects in any given frame. Since the rotBlur shader operates on all pixels displayed, and must be completed before the image is displayed to you, the performance increase is substantial when disabled.

Changelog: (newest on top)

Download:

Note:

If you have an old version of the noBlur installed, always delete it's modfolder before installing the new one.
Delete old versions completely, do not overwrite.

Normal Retail Patch

If you have previously installed @okt_noBlur, delete the old modfolder!

Beta ArmA2

If you don't know if you have the beta, or don't know what it is, you should ignore this. Beta downloads are in the same location but are marked 'beta'.

The mod folder is named differently so that you can have both non-beta and beta installed, and access them via different shortcuts. When updating, delete the old @okt_NoBlurBeta folder and drop the new one in. (don't copy/overwrite! There should only be ONE pbo and ONE bisign file in the @okt_noBlurBeta\dta\ folder!)

Never use the wrong noBlur on a newer or older beta patch. Your game may crash on startup or you may cause other people to crash in MP!

Installation:

In this example, my ArmA2 directory is D:\Arma2\

  1. Extract the modfolder @okt_noblur from this archive into the ArmA2 folder.

  2. Verify that there is now an '@okt_noblur' folder in D:\Arma2\ Inside that folder will be a 'dta' folder and a readme. Don't rename the dta folder or mess with the pbo & key inside of it. (see FAQ if you don't want it in here)

  3. Add the @okt_noblur folder to your -mod line in your ArmA2 shortcut and launch the game. Example:
    arma2.exe -nosplash -mod=@okt_noBlur

  4. Turn on Post Processing to the 'low' setting in the ArmA2 video options and you are done.

If you are having problems, like the game is crashing on startup, delete the @okt_NoBlur folder. Be sure you have the right version of noBlur for your game patch version.

Notes:

*Now with Operation Arrowhead, you will see the version you have loaded at the main menu. You can also enable/disable the noBlur via the Expansions menu if you are not using the command line -mod. You will notice there is a different colored icon that is displayed when using the beta patch noBlur. Regardless of retail/beta, always be sure you are running the correct version! The version in the main menu list when enabled should match the game version in the lower right.

*The 'retail' noBlur only works with that specific version noted in the folder/zip file name. It does not work with beta patches. The noBlur for beta's is released separately above, but the instructions are the same, just exchange the modfolder name @okt_noBlur with @okt_noBlurBeta. You can have them installed side by side. (you cannot use the at the same time though)

* Inside the modfolder is a dummy addons folder. This is just so Arma Launchers will detect the folder.

* If you had the old non-signed noBlur test version I made a looong time ago, remove it first by deleting your whole "\Arma2\bin\" directory. Normally that directory should not exist.

FAQ:

Q:
My modline is already too long OR I want to put your noBlur in a combined folder with other misc mods, can I do this?

A:
Yep, just drag the dta folder out of the @okt_noBlur folder and into your @whatever mod folder.
Drag the whole dta folder, not the PBO's.

Please note: The noBlur pbo cannot be put in an @whatever\addons\ folder, it will not work. Instead it must be in @whatever\dta\
Keep the pbo+key file in the 'dta' folder!

Q:
Does this modify my game files? Can I still patch the game?

A:
No it does not modify anything, it is just like a mod folder. To uninstall it, delete the @okt_noblur directory. Yes you can still patch the game fine while it is installed. However since the noBlur is only compatible with a certain version of the game, you'll have to uninstall or remove it from your mod line until I release a new version.
Don't run the noBlur on a version of ArmA2 it wasn't made for.

Q:
What could BIS do to fix this so this isn't needed?

A:
The full screen 'rotBlur' shader should scale down blur amount based on FPS. If the FPS is low, the blur amount should be toned down since the blur and FPS are coupled. Right now: More FPS = Less Blur. Low FPS = Too Much Blur. In my opinion, this is a performance BUG, not a feature request.

Q:
How are the addons made, what do they contain?

A:
They are actually a modified bin.pbo file, which is why they go in a 'dta' folder instead of an 'addons' folder. Inside of the file are all the normal files except one modified Shaders_DefPP.shdc file which has binary modifications to it. Unfortunetly, I have to include ALL shaders as well as the original binarized config.bin (which is the main game configuration) with the addon or it will not load my modified shader. So think of it as a slightly altered and renamed bin.pbo which normally lives in /dta/. This is why you have to get the right version of noBlur depending on what game patches you have installed.

Q:
What is the point of this? You can already turn off Post Processing in the menu.

A:
Some of us like the really great shaders that BIS has made (explosion glow/NVG Noise, glare, lens simulation) but can't turn them on because the shader 'rotBlur' makes it a blurry mess when the FPS is low. This makes people feel sick, get headaches etc.

Q:
This is unfair in competitive games.

A:
This doesn't hurt you, nor does it provide an advantage. Multiplayer servers cannot force post processing modes, they only force grass, view distance and difficulty. If a player couldn't stand the blur before, he likely had Post Processing OFF entirely, which gives more of an advantage than with this modification. This modification is similar to if BIS added a 'very low' option for Post Processing or a full screen Blur Enabled/Disabled option.

----

Old thread for test non-addon version here.

Very technical shader info here

Cheers to Leopotam for technical assistance, writing a shdc packer/unpacker based on the binary format reversing.

Edited by oktane

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Hi Oktane,

Any chance of something that will only disable the blur after running?

Also when post is set to HIGH disabling the blur in the distance.

Cheers,

ED

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Hi Oktane,

Any chance of something that will only disable the blur after running?

Also when post is set to HIGH disabling the blur in the distance.

Cheers,

ED

Trust me, I looked really hard for this shader by disabling every single shader in defPP (replacing the binary code in each with one that does nothing) and could not get rid of it. It appears that it is actually downsampling the image by one pixel or something. It isn't like you can go to the Biki and read about Arma shaders (like you can about making addons), there is no information and the system is complicated/hard to understand. So no, the tired 'haze' is not removed yet. But it also keeps me from overusing the sprint key because I want my vision to be clear. In that regard, it does what it was intended to do, give you indication that you are tired.

And as I mentioned in the first post, use the low PP setting. Higher is not better in this case, even if you have some uber video card. I can't see any difference on high except the exact thing you refer to, the overall hazyness which makes it look like crap. If you know of some other difference between high/med and low, I'd like to hear it to know what I'm missing! I compared a lot of scenes, even at night w/ explosions.. (I love the fire glow) the higher ones just made it look like someone put a piece of wax paper on my monitor. (like a console game often looks :))

Cheers

Edited by oktane

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oktane, which do you personally prefer - bloom on or off?

And I cannot thank you enough for making this. I'm about to go test it right now. Will this still work with the beta patch BI just released today?

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oktane, which do you personally prefer - bloom on or off?

I like it, it's the reason I turn post processing on. Especially at night, the explosions look nice.

Will this still work with the beta patch BI just released today?

No, because there are new config.bin changes I must merge tomorrow, and they recompiled the shaders. (yet didn't update anything in defPP)

So I will have to make a new beta setting for 69645 and resign it.

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Shame about the new patch but thanks for letting us know. I've been using it until now.

Can the mod folder name be changed or is it needed as is? I always cut Mod folder names to 3 letters so I can pack them in the shortcut target line, no launchers for me.

I just want to make sure I wont screw anything up if I change the name when the new version comes along.

Thanks for the performance bump!

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Shame about the new patch but thanks for letting us know. I've been using it until now.

Can the mod folder name be changed or is it needed as is? I always cut Mod folder names to 3 letters so I can pack them in the shortcut target line, no launchers for me.

I just want to make sure I wont screw anything up if I change the name when the new version comes along.

Thanks for the performance bump!

Concerning mod folder names, that should be no problem. I designed the batch files with that in mind, the base mod folder name can be anything and they will still function correctly.

I'm working on the update now, for that beta. It will just replace the other, so no upgrade worries. Be ready in a few hours.

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Oktane, you are so dang awesome. I am so glad I get to use PP again :yay:

No problem. Wish the new beta was a bit more stable though. Plus the ground keeps disappearing in it... (others have been having this issue too) Kinda gotta use 1.05 final if you want to play stable for a while without glitches. Too bad because the new beta has good streaming engine fixes apparently.

None of this has anything to do with the noBlur though, had problems with the new beta even with it disabled.

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Thank you for this mod. I have one issue. My basic 1.05 works perfect, but with this new version for the beta I can not get it to work. The blur/bloom is still there.

I am running the Steam version. PP set to very high. I have just the beta and the okt beta selected as my mods. Any tips?

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Thank you for this mod. I have one issue. My basic 1.05 works perfect, but with this new version for the beta I can not get it to work. The blur/bloom is still there.

I am running the Steam version. PP set to very high. I have just the beta and the okt beta selected as my mods. Any tips?

Did you see the instructions in the first post? The things that need to be done are:

Config: Run one of the batch files to configure the mod, for you it is the beta ones. Choose one, I prefer to leave the glow on, it looks nice.

Shortcut: -mod=beta;@okt_noBlur (beta must always be first btw)

Game: Turn PP to Low, High isn't required.

If you go from 1.05<->beta, you still have to reconfigure the mod with the batch files inside the mod directory, every time you go back and forth between 1.05->beta or beta->1.05.

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