LightBoost turned off by some games [solved]

Ask about motion blur reduction in gaming monitors. Includes ULMB (Ultra Low Motion Blur), NVIDIA LightBoost, ASUS ELMB, BenQ/Zowie DyAc, Turbo240, ToastyX Strobelight, etc.
User avatar
SisterBob
Posts: 27
Joined: 23 Dec 2013, 13:45

LightBoost turned off by some games [solved]

Post by SisterBob » 23 Dec 2013, 13:57

I just happened to get an Asus VG248QE a little early for Christmas - right around the time Blur Busters gets its forums up and running. Great stuff!

Anyway, one of the first things I did was get LightBoost up and running using the ToastyX Strobelight app and it works beautifully - and I mean beautifully - for most games, but there have been some outliers - most notably Sleeping Dogs and Dark Souls.

In both cases, my VG248QE would be set back to non-strobing 144Hz as soon as the game fired up into fullscreen. Hitting CTRL ALT + does at least attempt to turn strobing back on, but after a few seconds of black screen, it always comes back non-strobing. I did try windowed mode with Sleeping Dogs, which allowed strobing to stay on, but the game was then capped at 60fps which, as you can imagine, is a bit of a bummer.

I didn't play around with Dark Souls too much, but I'm assuming the situation would be the same. In this case, it wouldn't be that big of a deal since the fps fix I'm using for that game caps out at 60fps anyway.

Either way, I haven't even found anybody mentioning such issues online - in fact, I've come across a couple threads on other forums of people saying they've been able to play Sleeping Dogs strobed - so I thought I'd check in here to see if the experts could shed some light on the situation.

User avatar
Chief Blur Buster
Site Admin
Posts: 7877
Joined: 05 Dec 2013, 15:44
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: LightBoost turned off by some games

Post by Chief Blur Buster » 23 Dec 2013, 14:18

SisterBob wrote:I just happened to get an Asus VG248QE a little early for Christmas - right around the time Blur Busters gets its forums up and running. Great stuff!
Thanks for the compliemnts, and welcome aboard to our forums!
SisterBob wrote:Anyway, one of the first things I did was get LightBoost up and running using the ToastyX Strobelight app and it works beautifully - and I mean beautifully - for most games, but there have been some outliers - most notably Sleeping Dogs and Dark Souls.

In both cases, my VG248QE would be set back to non-strobing 144Hz as soon as the game fired up into fullscreen. Hitting CTRL ALT + does at least attempt to turn strobing back on, but after a few seconds of black screen, it always comes back non-strobing. I did try windowed mode with Sleeping Dogs, which allowed strobing to stay on, but the game was then capped at 60fps which, as you can imagine, is a bit of a bummer.
This reminds me of the Sky Rim issues running strobed. Sky Rim doesn't often want to run at 120fps @ 120Hz, which would make it look best strobed (or "LightBoosted" as some say). However, your situation is a bit different in that LightBoost is automatically being turned off.

First, generic fix (which works for other games): Try going through the game menus and see if you can change between "120Hz" and "121Hz". One of these modes are strobed, and the other mode is not strobed. What you want to do, is make sure the game runs at the strobed refresh rate. This will usually fix things.

If you cannot do that, can you temporarily do an experiment with ToastyX Strobelight:
1. Re-run "strobelight-setup.exe" and install only strobed mode
2. Reboot.
3. Your system will be stuck into LightBoost (cannot be turned off)
4. Run the game.
5. See what happens.

This technique is used to force LightBoost enabled in certain games such as Battlefield 3 which sometimes likes to turn off LightBoost when starting up. If you want to turn off LightBoost again, re-rerun strobelight-setup.exe and install both strobed and non-strobed modes (and reboot again). Your hotkeys will come back, as before.

(Alternate overkill method of turning OFF LightBoost: simply unplug your monitor for a few seconds. You'll need to reinitialize your monitors via the Strobelight menu, to re-enable LightBoost again. This is overkill, but this additional tip is mentioned, just in case people accidentally get LightBoost stuck enabled and cannot be turned off. Fortunately, new sequels to LightBoost, and next-generation strobe backlights, will not be as much of a hassle to turn ON/OFF)

Hope this helps!
Head of Blur Busters - BlurBusters.com | TestUFO.com | Follow @BlurBusters on Twitter

       To support Blur Busters:
       • Official List of Best Gaming Monitors
       • List of G-SYNC Monitors
       • List of FreeSync Monitors
       • List of Ultrawide Monitors

User avatar
Ahigh
Posts: 95
Joined: 17 Dec 2013, 19:22

Re: LightBoost turned off by some games

Post by Ahigh » 23 Dec 2013, 14:26

It's really a shame that so many hoops have to be jumped through for all this stuff to work. It would be awesome if more games recognized the display and somehow had a way to make a game option to turn on/off backlight strobing from the game menus. All this hackery is hopefully short lived and it is handled in the future by game programmers and display driver programmers at NVidia.

User avatar
SisterBob
Posts: 27
Joined: 23 Dec 2013, 13:45

Re: LightBoost turned off by some games

Post by SisterBob » 23 Dec 2013, 14:28

Chief Blur Buster wrote:Thanks for the compliemnts, and welcome aboard to our forums!
Thanks!
Chief Blur Buster wrote:First, generic fix (which works for other games): Try going through the game menus and see if you can change between "120Hz" and "121Hz". One of these modes are strobed, and the other mode is not strobed. What you want to do, is make sure the game runs at the strobed refresh rate. This will usually fix things.
Unfortunately, in the case of Sleeping Dogs, it's only showing 144Hz as an option while Dark Souls, being the barebones console port that it is, doesn't offer anything remotely close to advanced settings. Although it occurs to me now that I can easily run Dark Souls in fullscreen windowed mode thanks to the Durante fix, so I'll give that a try later and report back, but I don't anticipate any issues.
Chief Blur Buster wrote:If you cannot do that, can you temporarily do an experiment:
1. Re-run "strobelight-setup.exe" and install only strobed mode
2. Reboot.
3. Your system will be stuck into LightBoost (cannot be turned off)
4. Run the game.
5. See what happens.

This technique is used to force LightBoost enabled in certain games such as Battlefield 3 which sometimes likes to turn off LightBoost when starting up. If you want to turn off LightBoost again, re-rerun strobelight-setup.exe and install both strobed and non-strobed modes (and reboot again). Your hotkeys will come back, as before.
I will try this tonight after work, although it's not an ideal solution for me. My gaming machine is also my work machine at the moment and I prefer to switch back to the cool, bright shelter of non-strobed computing when dealing with a word processor. Then again, if it does work, maybe I'll just stick to playing these games on the weekend haha!

Thanks for your help. I'll check in with results later.

User avatar
SisterBob
Posts: 27
Joined: 23 Dec 2013, 13:45

Re: LightBoost turned off by some games

Post by SisterBob » 23 Dec 2013, 14:30

Ahigh wrote:It's really a shame that so many hoops have to be jumped through for all this stuff to work. It would be awesome if more games recognized the display and somehow had a way to make a game option to turn on/off backlight strobing from the game menus. All this hackery is hopefully short lived and it is handled in the future by game programmers and display driver programmers at NVidia.
I hear you! Although, I've gotta say, there's a part of me that relishes this kind of hackery.

User avatar
Chief Blur Buster
Site Admin
Posts: 7877
Joined: 05 Dec 2013, 15:44
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: LightBoost turned off by some games

Post by Chief Blur Buster » 23 Dec 2013, 14:30

Ahigh wrote:It's really a shame that so many hoops have to be jumped through for all this stuff to work. It would be awesome if more games recognized the display and somehow had a way to make a game option to turn on/off backlight strobing from the game menus. All this hackery is hopefully short lived and it is handled in the future by game programmers and display driver programmers at NVidia.
The good news is that it's becoming easier in newer monitor models:

EIZO FG2421 Turbo240 -- easy as pressing button on monitor
BENQ XL2720Z Blur Reduction -- easy as pressing button on monitor
Strobe mode on G-SYNC monitors revealed by John Carmack -- easy as pressing button on monitor
etc.

These are official strobe backlights designed for 2D. (second-generation post-LightBoost-era). LightBoost was original invented for 3D Vision (see LightBoost FAQ) so it's a bit hacky to use it for 2D usage. The major vendors noticed this over the last few months (thanks in no small part to Blur Busters!) and are starting to build easy strobing natively into new 120Hz monitors.
SisterBob wrote:Unfortunately, in the case of Sleeping Dogs, it's only showing 144Hz as an option while Dark Souls, being the barebones console port that it is, doesn't offer anything remotely close to advanced settings. Although it occurs to me now that I can easily run Dark Souls in fullscreen windowed mode thanks to the Durante fix, so I'll give that a try later and report back, but I don't anticipate any issues.
That's a tough thing. Yes, try the tip for full screen windowed mode. Also try Aero ON and Aero OFF too (if you are using Windows 7). Certain apps work better in one or the other -- for example, the Chrome web browser runs http://www.testufo.com at 60fps in Aero OFF, but runs at 144fps in Aero ON. Also, it is best to turn VSYNC OFF when you use windowed mode (if Aero is ON, then it will look like VSYNC ON because of the windows compositing), so that window mode behaves sort of like triple buffering (less lag) instead of double buffering (more lag), as windowed mode (even borderless) sometimes adds a bit of latency.
Head of Blur Busters - BlurBusters.com | TestUFO.com | Follow @BlurBusters on Twitter

       To support Blur Busters:
       • Official List of Best Gaming Monitors
       • List of G-SYNC Monitors
       • List of FreeSync Monitors
       • List of Ultrawide Monitors

User avatar
SisterBob
Posts: 27
Joined: 23 Dec 2013, 13:45

Re: LightBoost turned off by some games

Post by SisterBob » 23 Dec 2013, 19:22

Ok, I've done my best and managed to get results, some good and some bad. I'll start with the good (and will bold the relevant bits for anyone searching for a solution to the same problems I encountered).

Dark Souls is actually quite easy to get running with lightboost. Whether or not you're using the fps tweaker option in the Durante fix - but let's be honest, if you're on this forum, it's likely you are - you simply need to modify the Dark Souls ini file (located in C:\Users\[YourUserName]\AppData\Local\NBGI\DarkSouls\DarkSouls.ini). In particular, you want to modify the 13th line from RefreshRate = 30 to, you guessed it, RefreshRate = 120.

This allowed me to run the game with strobing on. However, even when modifying this value and changing DSfix.ini to run the game at a max of 120fps as well, it capped out at 60fps for me, except on the main menu. This may be because it's not the best-optimized port and my card just can't push more than 60-61 frames, but it felt more like it was capped there regardless of the values I entered. This is fine, though, as lightboost really helps to make playing Dark Souls at 60fps the experience I'd hoped it would be on PC.

As for Sleeping Dogs, well, like I said, there's still some bad news. To be fair it's not terrible news, just not what I was hoping for. In short, Sleeping Dogs will run strobed, but only if, as the Chief suggested (is it cool if I call you Chief? :lol:) you run strobelight-setup.exe and select just 120Hz (strobed) - or, I suppose, any strobed value.

The reason this is bad news is that you can freely modify the game's displaysettings.xml, found in the SleepingDogs\Data directory, but it completely ignores when you modify the relevant RefreshRateNumerator value. I find it real frustrating that this is the case; I'm so close to a simple solution! But it seems to relate to a problem people were having closer to the game's release where the game was picking seemingly arbitrary refresh rates, often outside of their monitor's range. A patch has since fixed the issue, but I suspect it has made the game much more stringent when picking out a refresh rate.

I guess I shouldn't complain too much, though, as I can still play it strobed with a little extra effort. Anyway, sorry for the wall of text. Thanks for the help, Chief!

User avatar
Chief Blur Buster
Site Admin
Posts: 7877
Joined: 05 Dec 2013, 15:44
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: LightBoost turned off by some games

Post by Chief Blur Buster » 23 Dec 2013, 21:44

SisterBob wrote:As for Sleeping Dogs, well, like I said, there's still some bad news. To be fair it's not terrible news, just not what I was hoping for. In short, Sleeping Dogs will run strobed, but only if, as the Chief suggested (is it cool if I call you Chief? :lol:) you run strobelight-setup.exe and select just 120Hz (strobed) - or, I suppose, any strobed value.

The reason this is bad news is that you can freely modify the game's displaysettings.xml, found in the SleepingDogs\Data directory, but it completely ignores when you modify the relevant RefreshRateNumerator value. I find it real frustrating that this is the case; I'm so close to a simple solution! But it seems to relate to a problem people were having closer to the game's release where the game was picking seemingly arbitrary refresh rates, often outside of their monitor's range. A patch has since fixed the issue, but I suspect it has made the game much more stringent when picking out a refresh rate.
Good testing -- thanks for the tips!

There's an alternative solution available, but it requires an unorthodox use of the much-harder-to-use ToastyX Custom Resolution Utility (CRU) instead of the usual ToastyX Strobelight. (NVIDIA Custom Resolution might work too). You can keep using Strobelight for your other games. However, for the troublesome games, you use ToastyX CRU to add an additional LightBoost compatible 1920x1079 (yes, 1079 -- one pixel short of full height).

Using ToastyX Custom Resolution Utility, or NVIDIA Custom Resoution, create this resolution, using "Custom" instead of "Automatic" timings:
1920x1079 @ 120Hz ONLY -- LightBoost mode -- Vertical Total of 1147.

Having a different resoution, off by one or two pixels, allows you to use a game's resolution selection method, instead of the refresh rate selection method. Most games are more reliable at letting you choose a resolution, than choosing a refresh rate. You keep using Strobelight for Desktop and all your other games. But for those troublesome games such as Sleeping Dogs -- have an extra resolution that's LightBoost-only, for the specific troublesome game that otherwise refuses to run LightBoosted.

Let me know if this works for you.
Head of Blur Busters - BlurBusters.com | TestUFO.com | Follow @BlurBusters on Twitter

       To support Blur Busters:
       • Official List of Best Gaming Monitors
       • List of G-SYNC Monitors
       • List of FreeSync Monitors
       • List of Ultrawide Monitors

User avatar
SisterBob
Posts: 27
Joined: 23 Dec 2013, 13:45

Re: LightBoost turned off by some games

Post by SisterBob » 24 Dec 2013, 10:38

Wow, Chief, that works perfectly!

I actually didn't even need to download the other ToastyX program; I used Nvidia's Custom Resolution options and it worked with no trouble. This is brilliant because if I come across another game like this in the future, I'll already have that custom resolution queued up and ready for it.

Thanks again for your help!

User avatar
Chief Blur Buster
Site Admin
Posts: 7877
Joined: 05 Dec 2013, 15:44
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: LightBoost turned off by some games

Post by Chief Blur Buster » 24 Dec 2013, 12:46

SisterBob wrote:Wow, Chief, that works perfectly!
[...]
Thanks again for your help!
Glad to be of help!

P.S. Feel free to tell your gaming friends about Blur Busters Forums!
P.P.S. There is now a LightBoost Topic area, so I'm moving this thread to the better place (hope you don't mind)
Head of Blur Busters - BlurBusters.com | TestUFO.com | Follow @BlurBusters on Twitter

       To support Blur Busters:
       • Official List of Best Gaming Monitors
       • List of G-SYNC Monitors
       • List of FreeSync Monitors
       • List of Ultrawide Monitors

Post Reply