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Tatanko

Explaining Video Settings (in DayZ)

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I'm looking to expand the "Video Settings" section of my Guide to Screenshots, and I'd like to include at least a basic description of what each setting means in the context of DayZ's menus. While I know full well how tweak things for myself, explaining it can be a challenge, especially because the names given to certain options in DayZ's settings menu can be a little misleading or specific versus what a term might mean in a more universal sense. I'm going to post below what I already have written up, and I'd like the experts in here to tear it apart and tell me what to fix :)

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General Settings
This is the first thing you'll see when looking at the Video settings and is used for making high-level changes to your graphics.
-Overall Quality: Changing this will adjust all other settings to fit preset levels. "Custom" is recommended and is automatically assigned when you make changes to any other setting.
-Rendering Resolution: This will scale the resolution the game is displayed at as a percentage of your display's native resolution. Ideally you would play at 100% to avoid any unwanted pixelation. Setting this below 100% will stretch the image to fit your display, and setting it above 100% is a rudimentary method of "supersampling" which would shrink the image to fit your display. Ambitious picture-takers might want to try 200%, but beware it will likely have a huge effect on your PC's performance.
-Brightness: This will exaggerate all existing colors towards either dark or light extremes in a uniform manner, including black and white. This brightens and dims everything on your display.
-Gamma: Turning up the gamma will lessen the difference between the darkest and lightest parts of the display, meaning less contrast. This results in extremely light/dark images with less color.
-VSync: Short for the term "vertical sync." By enabling this setting, the game does its best to match the framerate (FPS) to the refresh rate of your monitor (i.e. 60Hz). This can mean a perceived reduction in performance, but the idea is to eliminate visual artifacts from your display. In practice, due to the unoptimized state of the game, VSync has little to no benefit. It is recommended that you leave this setting disabled.
 
User Interface
This smaller group is for making alterations to how the game is shown in the context of your specific display.
-Resolution: This determines the amount of screen space covered by the entire UI of the game, independent of the resolution that the game itself is rendered at. If you set this smaller than the game's resolution, elements of the UI may not display in their intended place on the screen, so set this to match your Rendering Resolution.
-Size: This changes the size of text, buttons, and other elements of the UI relative to the resolution. This has no effect on what the game looks like, it is purely to adjust things so they can be seen easier by you the player.
-Aspect Ratio: This adjusts the game to fit a particular shape (ratio) of display. ALWAYS set this to match the aspect ratio of your display, otherwise the game will appear stretched or squished when compared to reality. If you are using a common widescreen display such as 720p or 1080p, your aspect ratio would be 16:9. Older monitors running resolutions such as 1024x768 would be 4:3. Less common newer displays such as ultra-widescreen (21:9) as well as multiple monitors may require special configuration which I won't cover here.
 
Quality
Changes made to this group affect how terrain, sky, and objects are rendered.
-Objects: Changes the level of detail for things like buildings, trees, etc.
-Terrain: Alters the level of detail for ground textures.
-Clouds: Modifies the level of detail for clouds in the sky (mostly density).
-Shadows: Adjusts the level of detail for shadows.
 
Textures
These options are for fine-tuning how object and terrain textures are rendered.
-Video Memory: Use this to tell DayZ how much of your video card's memory it is allowed to use. It is recommended you leave this on "Auto."
-Texture Detail: As its name implies, this is a master setting to change the resolution at which textures are rendered. This will mostly affect the clarity of textures up close.
-Texture Filtering: Brings clarity to textures (especially ground textures) which are viewed at an angle. Where a given pixel on a texture (2D) doesn't correspond neatly to a pixel on a model (3D), this samples the pixels around it to determine color much like antialiasing. Filtering primarily affects how you view things at a distance.
 
Rendering
The most advanced settings available in-menu, these are for tweaking the various visual "tricks" employed by the renderer for smoothness, color, etc.
-Antialiasing: Refers to a specific kind of antialiasing: MSAA. Smooths jagged edges by by supersampling nearby pixels, but ignores most large surfaces to minimize performance loss.
-Alpha to Coverage: This is the density at which the game renders grass, small plants, and tree foliage.
-Edge Smoothing: A different kind of antialiasing FXAA. This is an edge smoothing technique applied after the game is rendered, rather than before like MSAA.
-HDR Quality: Attempts to balance the amount of light in a picture so that all areas, both light and dark, are displayed in equal detail.
-Ambient Occlusion: This attempts to simulate the effect of ambient light on objects for more advanced shading, resulting in softer shadows. Using this requires the Postprocess Quality setting to be on at least "Low."
-Postprocess Quality: A master setting that effects several others, such as bloom and AO. This adds a softer tone to the entire display and also allows for things like screen blur when your character is low on health.
-Bloom: This settings simulates the how bright light sources can seem to "spill" over the edges of objects.
-Rotation Blur: Exactly what it sounds like; this blurs the edges of your screen when you move.

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Thanks for the beans fellas. Anyone have any feedback for me, though? Surely it can't be perfect already, I'm only talking out my ass here.;)

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