Strange problems in Skyrim

#1 Edited by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -

Over the course of the last week, I've reignited my interest in Skyrim once more. However, I've noticed some strange and annoying graphical problems that I don't remember being present when I last played the game. I've tried EVERYTHING to remedy these issues, including uninstalling / reinstalling the game. I will post some in-game screenshots to show you guys what's up. Any suggestions or help would be much appreciated. Anyway, most of the problems seem to be associated with the rendering of distant terrain, specifically bodies of water.

If it helps, here are my computers basic specs:

  • Intel Core i7 2630QM
  • 8GB RAM
  • AMD Radeon HD 6990M
#2 Edited by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -

One of the pictures didn't upload correctly, here it is:

#3 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

That looks like the texture issue the game shipped with. 

#4 Posted by Grimhild (721 posts) -

Just a shot in the dark, but are you running any ENB's or other large graphic mods? Some of them conflict with the official texture update.

#5 Edited by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -

@Grimhild:

I'm running a "Realistic Lighting Mod" and a mod called "WATER" I think. I also run some official high res texture packs too. I've tried disabling all of the graphical mods but the issues persist.

It does look as if the games water textures are conflicting somehow though:

What's odd is that these issues didn't appear all at once, I've noticed them sort of.. piling up on each other with each play through. It's like the game is slowly decaying, each time I play I run into a graphical problem that wasn't previously there.

#6 Posted by Grimhild (721 posts) -

@SathingtonWaltz:

Hmm, yeah I'm not gonna blow smoke and claim to know what the exact issue is. That's one problem with Skyrim being as moddable as it is, since it's hard to know what files may have gotten shuffled around in the process. I know that most of the graphic mods will over-write the core files, so it's essentially "always on" once you install it. But it's clearly something getting fudged with the LOD rendering. Not sure duder :( I'd say verify your game on steam to see if it fixes some random broken file. Other than that, just the basic "make sure your video drivers are up to date" kind of thing.

I noticed that water tearing issue with the WATER mod too, so I just got rid of it. Check your save game file and make sure it's some where around 3-15 mb. My game started hitching all weird on one particular character save, and I found out it was because that save file was bloated to 99mb because of the "Project Reality" and "Sounds of Skyrim" mods having a huge memory leak for some reason. Once I got rid of those it went back to normal.

#7 Posted by buft (3303 posts) -

I had some weird graphics bugs in skyrim at the start too, turns out my AMD catalyst control had custom settings to override in game graphics settings when i switched it to application controlled the problems went away

#8 Posted by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -

@Grimhild said:

@SathingtonWaltz:

Hmm, yeah I'm not gonna blow smoke and claim to know what the exact issue is. That's one problem with Skyrim being as moddable as it is, since it's hard to know what files may have gotten shuffled around in the process. I know that most of the graphic mods will over-write the core files, so it's essentially "always on" once you install it. But it's clearly something getting fudged with the LOD rendering. Not sure duder :( I'd say verify your game on steam to see if it fixes some random broken file. Other than that, just the basic "make sure your video drivers are up to date" kind of thing.

I noticed that water tearing issue with the WATER mod too, so I just got rid of it. Check your save game file and make sure it's some where around 3-15 mb. My game started hitching all weird on one particular character save, and I found out it was because that save file was bloated to 99mb because of the "Project Reality" and "Sounds of Skyrim" mods having a huge memory leak for some reason. Once I got rid of those it went back to normal.

None of my save files are much larger than 5mb. I do in fact have two "Sounds of Skyrim" mods. I will disable them and see if it helps at all. I'm still really surprised that re-installing the game didn't help at all though.

#9 Edited by Grimhild (721 posts) -

@SathingtonWaltz:

I guess if you get desperate or can't find a solution, you can try to alter the display setting .ini file manually, or at least make sure that it has the proper settings and see if that works. Here's what the default "Very High" settings should look like (VeryHigh.ini in your SteamApps/common/skyrim folder) :

[Display]
iMultiSample=16
iWaterMultisamples=4
iMaxAnisotropy=16
iTexMipMapSkip=0
iTexMipMapMinimum=4
fDecalLOD1=500.0000
fDecalLOD2=1000.0000
iActorShadowCountInt=6
iActorShadowCountExt=6
fSpecularLODStartFade=2000.0000
fLightLODStartFade=3500.0000
iShadowMapResolution=4096
fShadowBiasScale=0.15
iShadowMaskQuarter=4
iBlurDeferredShadowMask=3
bFXAAEnabled=0
fMeshLODLevel2FadeDist=9999999.0000
fMeshLODLevel1FadeDist=9999999.0000
fTreesMidLODSwitchDist=9999999.0000
fShadowDistance=8000.0000
iMaxDecalsPerFrame=100
iMaxSkinDecalsPerFrame=25


[LOD]
fLODFadeOutMultActors=15.0000
fLODFadeOutMultObjects=15.0000
fLODFadeOutMultItems=15.0000

[TerrainManager]
fTreeLoadDistance=75000.0000
fBlockMaximumDistance=250000.0000
fBlockLevel1Distance=70000.0000
fBlockLevel0Distance=35000.0000
fSplitDistanceMult=1.5000

[Grass]
b30GrassVS=1
fGrassStartFadeDistance=7000.0000

[Imagespace]
iRadialBlurLevel=2

[Water]
bReflectLODLand=1
bReflectLODObjects=1
bReflectLODTrees=1
bReflectSky=1

[BlurShaderHDR]
bDoHighDynamicRange=1

[Decals]
bDecals=1
bSkinnedDecals=1
uMaxDecals=1000
uMaxSkinDecals=100
uMaxSkinDecalPerActor=60

EDIT: I'd also look into what Buft said if you haven't, since I'm running a nVidia and not AMD. So I don't really know about the settings for it.

#10 Edited by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -

@Grimhild: Disabling "Sounds of Skyrim" didn't resolve anything. I'm going to try validating the game cache through Steam, and then unsubscribing / disabling every mod. I know that I have to use Nexus Mod Manager in addition to Steam Workshop for some of the mods to work correctly (Namely Sky UI), so maybe there are some conflicts going on there too.

#11 Posted by Grimhild (721 posts) -

@SathingtonWaltz:

Yeah, I didn't think disabling the SoS mod would help with the graphical issue in your case. I was just using it as an example for why my save game was getting bloated and suffering from shotty performance. Hope you get it resolved =\

#12 Posted by ShockD (2393 posts) -

It looks like a GPU cache issue to me. Probably something Radeon related, they've proven to not work well with a handful of games. I remember having similar issues in GTA IV and even playing it at the lowest settings didn't help the game fill itself with ugly textures. I've been searching troughout the net for a solution and the only one that worked was getting a new video card with more cache memory.
 
Then again it used to work well before on your machine so...

#13 Edited by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -

@antikorper said:

It looks like a GPU cache issue to me. Probably something Radeon related, they've proven to not work well with a handful of games. I remember having similar issues in GTA IV and even playing it at the lowest settings didn't help the game fill itself with ugly textures. I've been searching troughout the net for a solution and the only one that worked was getting a new video card with more cache memory. Then again it used to work well before on your machine so...

I appreciate the suggestion, but I'm convinced that it's an issue with the application itself. This is the only game I have issues with, and it's never had these problems before. I've played around 200+ hours of Skyrim and only now it's having these problems. To remain on topic I still haven't resolved any of these issues and ideas would be greatly appreciated. I'm so surprised that re-installing the game didn't resolve anything and I can't seem to find anyone else who's had these same problems.

#14 Posted by Grimhild (721 posts) -

@SathingtonWaltz:

Hey, so I was digging around for a second after checking this thread when I got home, and a lot of people that are having Radeon issues are saying that downgrading your Catalyst to 12.1 resolves some graphical issues. I don't know if this is new information for you, but I figured I'd just throw it out there. Seems like it might be a possible solution since your game worked before, but not now after a newer version of Catalyst was released.

#15 Edited by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -

I resolved the conflicting water texture issue, but the rendering of distant graphics is still out of whack a bit. I'm currently running Catalyst 12.4, and funny enough the last time I played Skyrim I was running 12.1. I will report back after I try rolling back to the older set of drivers.

Edit: I just noticed there is an update for driver version 12.8. I will try updating to those and if that doesn't work then trying 12.1 again.

#16 Edited by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -

I was mistaken, the water issue has only been partially resolved. It seems to render fine except at long distances, and details in general seem to pop in noticeably closer than what I remember. Updating to Catalyst 12.8 resolved no issues nor did I notice any performance improvements. I'm going to roll back to version 12.1, as that was the version I played Skyrim on previously.

Edit: Playing around with the display drivers has proven to be a huge waste of time, nothing was resolved. Things just seem out of whack graphically. The game looks fantastic as long as I don't have a long distance view of anything, in forests it looks stunning. It's just that I don't remember the game looking this consistently bad, maybe I'm just tripping out or something. Pic related, shit up close looks fine but distant objects are awful looking.

#17 Posted by Example1013 (4834 posts) -

ah, PC games.

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