Visual upgrade for Bethesda's Action RPG Fallout 3

Fallout 3: Better graphics with ini Tuning - comparative screenshots

Regardless of the contaminated environment the terrain offers a lot of visual details. Those who aren't satisfied with the in-game settings can upgrade the visual appearance by editing the ini file. We show how it is done and what to expect.
Fallout 3: Better graphics with ini Tuning - comparative screenshots
[Source: view picture gallery]
Fallout 3: Better graphics with ini Tuning - Introduction
Bethesda's Fallout 3 is, like The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion on the Gamebryo Engine. On closer distances the engine is still able to deliver convincing graphics, but on long distances missing details and washy textures become obvious. You can change that in the "FALLOUT.ini”.

Fallout 3: Better graphics with ini Tuning - The FALLOUT.ini
You can find the configuration file in the following folders:
• Windows Vista: C:\Users\Username\Documents\My Games\Fallout3
• Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\Username\My Documents\My Games\Fallout3
Open the FALLOUT.ini with the Windows editor. The following lines are the interesting ones.
• uGridsToLoad=5 (A higher value increases the visibility range and the distance of object visualization)
• uNumDepthGrids=1 (Set value to 3 if uGridsToLoad is bigger than 9)
• iMinGrassSize=80 (A lower value makes the grass denser)
• fGrassFadeRange=6000.0 (Distance to which grass is displayed)
• bForceFullLOD=0 (1 improves the LOD display)
• iTreeClonesAllowed=1 (0 allows unique trees only)
• iShadowMapResolution=256 (2048 for best graphics)
• iShadowFilter=0 (2 for shadow edges)
• iActorShadowExtMax=10 (A higher value increases the number of shadows in outside levels)
• iActorShadowIntMax=10 (A higher value increases the number of shadows in inside levels)
• bShadowsOnGrass=0 (1 for shadows on grass)

For our screenshots we mainly increased the quality of LOD, objects and the gras density (uGridsToLoad=19 and iMinGrassSize=40 as well as fGrassFadeRange=120000). On our test system (E8500 @ 3.6 GHz, 4 GiB DDR2-800, HD 4870 1,024 MiB) the performance was drastically decreased at 1,920 x 1,200 with 4x FSAA/16:1 AF - it dropped noticeably below 20 fps in some parts. It's hard to give a general statement about the performance - just experiment yourself a little.

Attention: The comparative screenshots on the next pages only show excerpts of the screenshots we took. You can find the full sized screenshots in the picture gallery.

Author: Marc Sauter (Nov 12, 2008)

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