Mass effect 1 Texture Overhaul, shadow engine fix, and visual effects enhancements.

Report abuse M.E.U.I.T.M. Readme and Troubleshooting
Filename
Readme.5.zip
Type
Tutorials
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CDAMJC
Date
Jul 29th, 2013
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0.00mb (3,790 bytes)
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Description

PLEASE READ the full version by downloading or for a nicer version by clicking the read more+ link.



Readme and troubleshooting:

Let's get Started:
Pre-Install:
Apply LAA patch to MassEffect.exe (This will allow higher ram usage and prevent crashes)

LAA Link

Download, extract, and run. Now browse for MassEffect.exe and apply Large Address Awareness Patch

Tweak the bioengine.ini:
(This will  fix many normal maps in the game without requiring TexMod.)
This file is located: "
x:\Users\xxx\Documents\BioWare\Mass Effect\Config"

**Note any typos will break the game and cause crashes so be careful here**
All mistakes can be fixed but if you avoid typos it will save a headache in the long run.

Find the following 3 entries:
TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Diff=(MinLODSize=32,MaxLODSize=512,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Norm=(MinLODSize=32,MaxLODSize=512,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Spec=(MinLODSize=32,MaxLODSize=256,LODBias=0)

And change them to:
TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Diff=(MinLODSize=512,MaxLODSize=4096,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Norm=(MinLODSize=512,MaxLODSize=4096,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Spec=(MinLODSize=256,MaxLODSize=4096,LODBias=0)

DYNAMIC SHADOW FIX:

Find the following 4 entries:

ShadowFilterRadius=2.000000
DepthBias=0.030000 or(0.012 pre-official 1.2 patch)
MinShadowResolution=32
MaxShadowResolution=512
ShadowFilterQualityBias=0

And change them to:
ShadowFilterRadius=5.000000
DepthBias=0.008000
MinShadowResolution=16
MaxShadowResolution=4096
ShadowFilterQualityBias=4

These tweaks combined with the clearing your shader cache will give you much better dynamic shadows in game.

Now we are ready to download the mod:
DOWNLOAD ALL 7 PARTS of the mod from Moddb. Now EXTRACT ALL 7 PARTS into the same place of your choice and run the ME1UITM.exe. Follow the instructions of the installer.  In 5-10minutes, once the installer has completed, run Mass Effect like you always have and enjoy the mod :)


Mass Effect Troubleshooting:

Mass Effect with or without the mod can crash and have issues!!!!!!! The most prominent issues and crashes are:
1 Hardware sound issues. These will cause random rendering thread exceptions and crashes. There are pages and pages online of people with this issue back to 2008. Google is your friend here. Usually a fairly simple bioengine.ini fix, which will vary depending on your audio hardware.

2 AMD processors (bulldozer or later chipsets) this is because Mass Effect is seeing AMD and looking for 3D now instruction sets that existed when it was made. AMD has ditched these instructions in their latest processors causing miss timings and faults in communication between Mass effect and the CPU. Due to this you will see black textures for characters and have potential crashes/general instability.
link to the bug:
Link
video of the issue on un-modded game with workaround fix:
Link


Mod Troubleshooting:

1. RANDOM CRASHING:

SEE MASS EFFECT TROUBLESHOOTING FIRST!
If all is well, check your bioengine.ini for typos as they will cause rendering thread exceptions, missing mip level/lod/texture loads and many other random crashes. Or delete your Bioengine.ini and run the game, this will create a new one and will guarantee its free of errors.

If you still have errors, make sure you have applied LAA to MassEffect.exe

If you have a 32-bit OS LAA can help, but you need to allow 3gb usage in 32-bit Windows:
"Run Command Prompt in the Accessories program group of the Start menu. Make sure to run as Administrator manually even if you are an admin on the computer, it requires extra admin rights granted by right clicking and running as an admin).  At the command prompt, enter: "bcdedit /set IncreaseUserVa 3072" (without quotes)
Restart the computer"

Now LAA will work properly on 32-bit systems :).

2. MY SHADOWS ON FACES ARE BLOCKY, I DON'T LIKE IT:
Set shadowdepthbias to 0.03 to turn down the facial shadows. Many people prefer this look.

3. BLACK/MISSING TEXTURES (not the black character bug on Noveria):
This is a result of an incomplete install: Check your "CookedPC" folder after installing the mod it should be at least 16.7 GB (some languages/regions may be larger) anything less means you will have missing textures, usually this happens as a result of not running the installer as administrator or using a previously modded Mass Effect as a base install. If you cannot get the install to the full 16.7GB or more, there is a work around.  When the installer asks for your Mass Effect folder instead, point the installer to a new folder you have created, run it, and then copy/cut and paste all installed folders, should be 10.7GB, into your Mass Effect folder and say yes to overwriting.

4. SHIMMERING TEXTURES:
To get these to work I had to force some textures to load at full lod 4096x4096, since no one has released affordable 4k monitors I'm guessing your running resolution will be lower than the source texture, and due to this you will see shimmering unless very close to the texture. A fix is to force SSAA (ATI/AMD cards) and SGSSAA (Nvidia) these options with high enough setting should stop the shimmering or at least minimize it.  Texture affected: Garrus face, Garrus' visor, Wrex's face.  Without these fixes their textures would be black, missing, or extremely low res in certain and/or all parts of the game. 

5. BLURRY FEMSHEP ARMOR/FACE TEXTURES IN CHARACTER CREATE MENU:
This is a trade off, currently ME3Explorer has trouble with a few textures in ME1 (which isn't surprising as ME1 was after thought for the program), this issue directly relates to the shimmering texture issue, however I had so many complaints about the N7 armor that I decided to leave the mips in.  The low res in the character create menu is the reason for the mipmap fix in the first version of the mod.  Now the armor and face will not shimmer in game but will look blurry in the character create menu only.  In the rest of the game, all menus etc... the textures render properly.  When/if ME3Explorer gets a fix for the issue I will update the mod.

If you still have problems post them here and we will work them out.  With the infinite number of hardware configurations out there we are bound to need to fix a few things to get it running on every configuration.

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M.E.U.I.T.M. Readme and Troubleshooting
Post comment Comments
CDAMJC
CDAMJC Mar 23 2014, 1:10pm says:

I just uploaded fixed versions of the new mod, apparently the chairs on the normandy had the black texture glitch and I missed it on in my initial testing. Now I have corrected the issue by compiling a new mod with a newer version of MEExplorer to which also helped with stability issues.

Also one setting in the bioengine.ini that really helped hitching is:

[TextureStreaming]
PoolSize=2048

Also ultimate shadow settings which may hurt performance (I didn't notice a hit, but my rig is overkill):

ShadowFilterRadius=5
DepthBias=.008
MinShadowResolution=16
MaxShadowResolution=4096

ShadowFilterQualityBias=4 (can go up to 8 but I couldn't notice a difference after 4)

So I played with the values and explored what other games were doing, particularly Batman Arkham City where the "16" came from
also the last setting makes the best difference to smooth out shadows.

Remember to clear shader cache after installing the mod to remove the "dot" shadow effect.

So feel free to play with these settings but this is what I am currently using and find it a good compromise between realistic shadows and "glitchy shadows"

+1 vote     reply to comment
starlightpl
starlightpl Jun 1 2014, 8:55pm says:

Is there a setting which will disable the black vignette effect around the screen? It is ultra annoying to me and throws me off quite a bit. I've searched and found if you disable all postprocessing the vignetting goes away, but that's too much sacrifice.

+1 vote     reply to comment
johnparsons932
johnparsons932 Jun 29 2014, 5:37am says:

Really great mod!

However I do seem to experience frequent crashes which is very annoying. I can play the game for a short time then it crashes and I get the following message:

"Message
Rendering thread exception:
General protection fault!
History: GMatrix2D::Swap() Address = 0x10bb5c66 (filename not found) [in E:\SteamLibrary \steamapps \common \MassEffect \Binaries \MassEffect.exe]"

I'm sure that I installed everything correctly as I read the installation instructions very carefully. It would be great if someone has a solution on this.

Thank you

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johnparsons932
johnparsons932 Aug 7 2014, 6:55am replied:

Thank you so much! This works for me. Cheers!

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BlazingRunway76
BlazingRunway76 Aug 10 2014, 8:33pm says:

Ive just downloaded this mod and i love it, its nice to see Mass effect have more modern graphics and textures. It has been working great for me until i reached Liara's mission on therum where you first recruit her. when i click to start the mission the load screen comes up and then stops as a messages comes up saying "First 4 bytes read is zero from ...\Biogame\CookedPC\Maps\LAV\PLC\ BIOA_LAV60_01_PLC.SFM." idk know if this is exactly an error from the mod itself or from the game. any help would be much appreciated.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Platform
Windows
Developed By
CDAMJC
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Official Page
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Release Date
Released Jul 29, 2013
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MD5 Hash
1042667dac7fc6f1cc118404809ce7a6
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