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Huge problems with VG248QE on rhythm games

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.

Huge problems with VG248QE on rhythm games

Postby Makimoke » 12 Feb 2019, 14:34

Hello, I have some problems with vertical "artifacts" and blur on the VG248QE, no matter if I use 144Hz, 120 w/ StrobeLight, 60 w/ Scanline Sync, or anything else. It's really troublesome as the "notes" just multiply thus I can't see at all where to hit precisely, and I just can't find any solution for it, nothing is on reddit, nor on Blur Busters about this issue.

I may have missed some other websites, but I really hope not so that I don't pass as a total idiot(which may or may not happen with this post, no guarantees).

[Edit] : Whoopsies, forgot the specs, here they are :

i7-3770
GTX 970 Windforce
12GB RAM (one of my 4GB RAMs sticks died)
OS on Samsung 850 Evo, game on WD Green 2 To. [/Edit]

I'll put some images for comparison. The example comes from osu!mania with my custom skin, resolution is 1920x1080 on the VG248QE, but windowed in game to 1280x1024 in order to take the screens. It also happens in higher resolutions, so it can't come from that either. Here's what I'm supposed to have:

https://i.imgur.com/CsDxQId.png

Game renders the objects correctly, no problems to be had there.

And here's some pictures taken with my OnePlus 5T, to get a somewhat clear view as to what's happening on the screen. All things here are clearly seen throughout each frame the notes are on screen, hence pictures and not videos.

Strobelight, 1920x1080 @ 120 Hz:

https://i.imgur.com/lkaJ5gv.jpg

Strobelight off, 1920x1080 @ 144 Hz:

https://i.imgur.com/hHPkVyi.jpg

Strobelight off, 1920x1080 @ 144 Hz, Scanline Sync /2 on the game :

https://i.imgur.com/s2xCtYR.jpg

Strobelight on, 1920x1080 @ 120 Hz, Scanline Sync/2 on the game :

https://i.imgur.com/VIqZbk3.jpg

Last but not least, 1920x1080 @ 144 Hz, normal Scanline Sync on the game :

https://i.imgur.com/ylnCZDq.jpg

The funny thing is that this happens only on vertical scrolling. The horizontal scrolling is really fine, as I've never had problems on osu!Taiko before, where the horizontal scrolling can get really fast, and I can see clearly the UFOs on the horizontal Motion Blur test. But when I fire up the vertical scrolling on the text, it gets all blurry like in these pictures.

Here are the resolutions I have in CRU :

https://i.imgur.com/FnPUrGq.png

And the details on the Strobe 120Hz:

https://i.imgur.com/PEmCMx1.png

As well as the normal 144Hz:

https://i.imgur.com/2Qf3pLE.png

So I have a couple ideas/hypothesis to help with that, but they're all either pretty bad, or I don't have the knowledge to help with this:

1. Idea: I actually just flip the screen vertically and use my VG248QE as a vertical screen to play, as the horizontal motion blur isn't a problem.
Problems: Video cable is too short for me to do that. Also, no guarantees that it'll work either if I work through the hassle of modifying my cable management.

2. Idea: Modifying my verticals, like in the 60 Hz ULMB post.
Problems: Already tried fiddling with those, it didn't work, as expected. Maybe if I knew what to gun for, I'd try to change that value?

3. Idea: Modifying the screen with a G-Sync mod?
Problems: Those kits are discontinued, and even if I could find one, those ain't cheap. I would rather buy a true G-Sync screen.

So I've ran out of options, and with lots of shame due to my ignorance, came here to ask for help. Does anyone have any idea of what's happening here? Because I'm at a loss. I'll try even the most basic stuff, and if that doesn't work, well... I think I'm going to sell this screen to get myself a better one. But at least I want to try finding some solutions before this old chap 'o mine gets sold.
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Re: Huge problems with VG248QE on rhythm games

Postby Chief Blur Buster » 13 Feb 2019, 14:48

Makimoke wrote:It's really troublesome as the "notes" just multiply thus I can't see at all where to hit precisely, and I just can't find any solution for it, nothing is on reddit, nor on Blur Busters about this issue.

You've come to the right place! I know this.

Easy. That's because your frame rate is not matching refresh rate.

Image

Your game is only running at 60 frames per second for vertical motion.

It's the exact same problem as 30fps@60Hz on a CRT or plasma.

No 60Hz hardware strobe hack is available for your monitor.
Also, the old VG248QE GSYNC kit does not support the 60Hz ULMB hack, so that is not an option either.

To fix this, you need ONE of the following four options:

  1. Fix your game's vertical frame rate to match 100fps at 100Hz or 120fps at 120Hz. Try your hardest to fix your game's frame rate. You'd rather have 120fps at 120Hz if possible, since the other options below will flicker more for blur-free 60Hz.
    You must have framerate = refreshrate = stroberate. All three must match exactly to avoid duplicate images.

  2. Or add black frame insertion if your software has that option. Some software has a hidden option (e.g. WinUAE, MAME, xash3d, etc). What this does is to convert 120Hz strobing into 60Hz strobing simply by using a black frame to block those duplicate strobes for 60fps material. Goodbye, duplicate image!
    Watch testufo.com/blackframes animation with LightBoost or ULMB enabled and you'll understand why.

  3. Or wait a few months for the upcoming Blur Busters black frame insertion software that works with any video games (which may fix your problem, although degrade color quality on 6-bit TN panels, and this software layer may add half a frame of input lag in exchange for eliminating that duplicate image).
    It can give you single-strobe "60Hz LightBoost" for 120Hz LightBoost monitors!

  4. Or buy a new monitor with true 60Hz single-strobe support such as the BenQ XL2411P and use Blur Busters Strobe Utility with it.
    Yes, this is expensive. But you can buy the monitor today here on Amazon (and support Blur Busters -- thank you!)

Hope this helps!
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Re: Huge problems with VG248QE on rhythm games

Postby RealNC » 13 Feb 2019, 15:28

Try setting the brightness of the monitor to 100% to disable the backlight's PWM. This monitor is not "flicker-free" at less than 100% brightness. Also make sure strobelight is off. Does that fix it?
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Re: Huge problems with VG248QE on rhythm games

Postby Makimoke » 14 Feb 2019, 13:27

Thanks to you two for the answers, I'll be testing this, and taking screens for each and every solution you posted (all tests are in 1920x1080, max brightness on non strobelight tests):

1.a 120Hz w/ Strobelight 100%, Setting game FPS to 120, using osu!'s own limiter :

https://i.imgur.com/vX3IMsK.jpg

1.b 120Hz w/ Strobelight 10%, same settings ingame :

https://i.imgur.com/YCpnVZh.jpg

1.c 144Hz without Strobelight (can't get it to 120Hz without it for some reason), same settings ingame :

https://i.imgur.com/EvzKHtY.jpg

Test 1 : Results indicate that indeed the solution feels better when FPS are restrained to 120FPS in game, but then I have stutters nonstop, plus the problem's not entirely fixed either, which results in a way worse experience.

2.a 120Hz w/Strobelight 100%, Unlimited(Gameplay) FPS in osu!, but 120 FPS limit with RTSS :

https://i.imgur.com/AO7Nmp4.jpg

2.b 120Hz w/ Strobelight 10%, same settings overall:

https://i.imgur.com/VWYriRx.jpg

2.c 144 Hz without Strobelight, RTSS limiter set to 144 FPS to match refreshrate:

https://i.imgur.com/p0gVgqG.jpg

Test 2: Results overall are worse than the ingame limiter one, the only exception being test 2.c, but it also brings a lot more stutter which makes the whole thing unreadable.

I tried one last test, doing a 120 Hz non strobed (by removing temporarily the settings put by Strobelight, then adding my own parameters @120Hz, then putting them back on once the test is done) on the 120 FPS limiter in game, I didn't get any success with it either.

So the results are that I can get close to the results needed, but it's still too far to be considered playable at higher levels of play in osu!mania. Even setting the brightness to max on nonstrobed does not help either.
The only thing I don't know how to calibrate properly is the stroberate. Can you modify it in some way using CRU and Strobelight? If you can't, I'm afraid that's as far as I can seem to get for solution 1.

Solution 2 unfortunately, osu! doesn't seem to have options for black frame insertion, so it wouldn't work either, unless there's a way to add it in in one way or another.

Solution 3 is intriguing for that reason. Half a frame is almost nothing compared to the delay I'm used to on other monitors (even more so on 120 FPS), and it could help me in this case. Do you have any links as to where I could see the progress on the program?

Solution 4 is, well... the very last thing if all else fails. Although, I am in Europe (France, more particularly), so this very link at least costs me 150$ just to get the screen across the seas, so paying 380$ for a 230$ screen isn't really my thing.
I did consider a BenQ screen, though. I'm looking at screens around 250-300€ (new or used, it doesn't really matter to me), but I still want to give my very first 144Hz screen a last chance before replacing it.

Still thanks for the answers! If you have any other ideas or solutions, I'll test them as soon as I see them, and post the tests for those that may or may not have the same issues as I do. Let's hope that I can get them to work before I find myself forced to sell this one.
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Re: Huge problems with VG248QE on rhythm games

Postby RealNC » 14 Feb 2019, 15:19

Don't use your camera for this. Use your eyes. Your camera will always pick up multiple frames because of exposure time.

When disabling strobing and using max brightness, do you SEE multiple images?
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Re: Huge problems with VG248QE on rhythm games

Postby Makimoke » 14 Feb 2019, 16:56

Yes, I do, else I wouldn't be taking screens of it, nor having problems with it. Hence why I'm trying to test things and show where it goes wrong each time. Heck, I wouldn't even have made this post if it solved the problem!

But I understand that only taking pictures could be a problem, however I don't know how I could show it better than this, as I don't have a 120 FPS+ camera at hand.

Edit: I checked back on this post and thought it could have a pretty aggressive meaning, which was absolutely not my intention. I'm sorry if it ever could be percieved as offensive in any way, as I'm just trying to find solutions to my problems and you kind people are willing enough to help me.
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