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Thread: Tutorial: How to Get Awesome Graphics in Medieval II

  1. #1

    Icon12 Tutorial: How to Get Awesome Graphics in Medieval II

    Hello everyone! Over the past few months I've had a handful of people ask me how to get better visual effects in Medieval 2, so I went ahead and made a comprehensive video tutorial to explain how to configure the game for maximum visual effects, including installing and setting up a post processor (ReShade).

    >> Link to Video Guide <<

    Here are some screens from the video:



    Vanilla M2TW:











    From the popular Europa Barbarorum 2 mod:










    From 1648:






    M2TW may have been released many years ago, but with a few tweaks like these you can really make the game look almost brand new! Happy gaming.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Tutorial: How to Get Awesome Graphics in Medieval II

    I think providing a copy of the CFG file you are showcasing will go a long way. Won't unit details on highest be a mayor hit on frame rate as it disables the use of sprites?

    Being a real time tool is great - usually it's a trial and error (and tons of loading) with other graphic enhancement tools.




  3. #3
    Frunk's Avatar Form Follows Function
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    Default Re: Tutorial: How to Get Awesome Graphics in Medieval II

    This is awesome, HaHawk! +rep

    I'm moving this to the Workshop, and leaving a long term redirect. I've also copied the thread to the M2TW Tech section, and added an announcement here.

    Thread moved from Medieval II: Total War General Discussion. Thread marked as a [Tutorial].
    Last edited by Frunk; August 04, 2017 at 09:17 AM.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Tutorial: How to Get Awesome Graphics in Medieval II

    Yes, just a question... What is the impact on the game in terms of performance and FPS??

    It looks astonishing though!! :O


    I remember I used ReShade in some First-Shooters games like STALKER and Half Life, but I had heavy lagging (although the machine I used was kinda old at that time)... No heavy impact on the fluidity in-game?
    Last edited by rafmc1989; August 03, 2017 at 11:26 PM.


  5. #5

    Default Re: Tutorial: How to Get Awesome Graphics in Medieval II

    Ah moreover, HaHawk, are those ReShade settings somewhat based on the GEM graphics enhancement? Or is it a complete new configuration?

    No, because I think you did something similar in Rome II, I remember your tweaks for it... and I used some of those configurations about environment and units...

    any hint about this new ReShade settings and how much they weight in-game? No seriously, I'm interested!!


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Tutorial: How to Get Awesome Graphics in Medieval II

    Pictures look fantastic, can't wait to try it out! Given you a little tweet on the official TWC twitter to help spread the word.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Tutorial: How to Get Awesome Graphics in Medieval II

    is this also working for kingdoms and it's mods?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Tutorial: How to Get Awesome Graphics in Medieval II

    To work it works, applicable to any game... I'd just like to know its graphics impact on performance...


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Tutorial: How to Get Awesome Graphics in Medieval II

    Quote Originally Posted by killiat_thegreat View Post
    is this also working for kingdoms and it's mods?
    Yes. Some of the screenshots in the first post are from mods 1648 and Europa Barbarorum II.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Tutorial: How to Get Awesome Graphics in Medieval II

    Quote Originally Posted by Frunk View Post
    This is awesome, HaHawk! +rep I'm moving this to the Workshop, and leaving a long term redirect. I've also copied the thread to the M2TW Tech section, and added an announcement here.
    Thread moved from Medieval II: Total War General Discussion. Thread marked as a [Tutorial].
    Hey, thanks man! I'm hoping that the tut helps everyone get more enjoyment out of M2TW while we wait for the Creative Assembly to release Medieval 3 (whenever that'll ever be!).

    Quote Originally Posted by Shankbot de Bodemloze View Post
    Pictures look fantastic, can't wait to try it out! Given you a little tweet on the official TWC twitter to help spread the word.
    Cool, I appreciate it! Gotta get the word out that M2 still has some tricks up its sleeves.


    Quote Originally Posted by rafmc1989 View Post
    Are those ReShade settings somewhat based on the GEM graphics enhancement? Or is it a complete new configuration? I think you did something similar in Rome II, I remember your tweaks for it...
    I think you're thinking of Lucifer Hawk, one of the creators of GEM (based on SweetFX). This tutorial focuses on ReShade because it offers better visuals and better performance options (at the expense of native antialiasing, though, I may add).

    Quote Originally Posted by rafmc1989 View Post
    Any hint about this new ReShade settings and how much they weight in-game? No seriously, I'm interested!!
    I may try to consolidate a few of the settings and upload them for others to try out / experiment. On my rig, the post processor has a very little (maybe <5 fps) performance hit. The biggest impact is caused by rendering all units in full 3D vs using sprites (which is accomplished by specifying "highest" for the unit detail). If you have low FPS issues, I would recommend starting by lowering your unit and terrain graphics settings and then reducing unit size, then remove more intensive effects from ReShade such as depth of field (DOF) if necessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantus View Post
    I think providing a copy of the CFG file you are showcasing will go a long way. Won't unit details on highest be a mayor hit on frame rate as it disables the use of sprites? Being a real time tool is great - usually it's a trial and error (and tons of loading) with other graphic enhancement tools.

    Here is the one I used for the video (for anyone watching, remember to change the resolution to match your own and keep your own settings for other things like sound volume etc.):

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Code:
    [io]
    file_first = true
    
    [audio]
    enable = 1
    master_vol = 100
    music_vol = 62
    provider = Miles Fast 2D Positional Audio
    sfx_vol = 100
    speech_enable = 1
    speech_vol = 70
    sub_faction_accents = 1
    
    [camera]
    default_in_battle = default
    move = 1
    restrict = 0
    rotate = 12
    [controls]
    campaign_scroll_max_zoom = 30
    campaign_scroll_min_zoom = 30
    keyset = 1
    
    [game]
    advanced_stats_always = 0
    advisor_verbosity = 0
    ai_factions = follow
    allusers = 1
    auto_save = 1
    blind_advisor = 0
    campaign_map_game_speed = 99
    campaign_map_speed_up = 0
    campaign_num_time_play = 7
    chat_msg_duration = 10000
    disable_arrow_markers = 1
    disable_events = 0
    english = 0
    event_cutscenes = 0
    fatigue = 1
    first_time_play = 0
    gamespy_save_passwrd = 1
    label_characters = 0
    label_settlements = 0
    micromanage_all_settlements = 1
    morale = 1
    mute_advisor = 0
    no_campaign_battle_time_limit = 1
    pref_factions_played = 1050624
    tutorial_battle_played = 0
    tutorial_path = norman_prologue/battle_of_hastings
    unit_size = huge
    unlimited_men_on_battlefield = 1
    use_quickchat = 0
    
    [hotseat]
    autoresolve_battles = 1
    disable_console = 1
    disable_papal_elections = 1
    passwords = 1
    save_prefs = 1
    update_ai_camera = 0
    validate_diplomacy = 1
    
    [network]
    use_ip = 
    use_port = 27750
    
    [ui]
    SA_cards = hide
    buttons = hide
    full_battle_HUD = 0
    radar = hide
    show_tooltips = 1
    unit_cards = hide
    
    [video]
    windowed = 1
    borderless_window = 1
    anisotropic_level = 0
    anti_alias_mode = off
    antialiasing = 0
    assassination_movies = 1
    autodetect = 0
    battle_resolution = 1920 1080
    bloom = 0
    building_detail = high
    campaign_resolution = 1920 1080
    depth_shadows = 2
    depth_shadows_resolution = 3
    effect_quality = highest
    event_movies = 1
    gamma = 119
    grass_distance = 512
    ground_buffers_per_node = 4
    ground_cover_buffers_per_node = 4
    infiltration_movies = 0
    model_buffers_per_node = 4
    no_background_fmv = 1
    reflection = 1
    sabotage_movies = 0
    shader = 2
    show_banners = 0
    show_package_litter = 1
    skip_mip_levels = 0
    splashes = 1
    sprite_buffers_per_node = 4
    stencil_shadows = 1
    subtitles = 0
    terrain_quality = custom
    texture_filtering = 2
    unit_detail = highest
    vegetation = 1
    vegetation_quality = high
    vsync = 1
    water_buffers_per_node = 4
    widescreen = 1
    



    And yes, rendering all units in full 3D heavily impacts performance. The shader on the other hand, depending on what configuration you've decided upon, can have very little effect on FPS. Also, I was going for pure visuals with the tutorial over performance (to squeeze out the best graphics the game could offer). To regain performance, I would start with setting unit detail back to medium or high and also experimenting with unit size (small/large/huge) depending on your hardware setup, and strike a balance between quality vs performance.

    It took me a while to put the video and materials together for the tutorial so I'm glad for the positive response, good to hear it's helpful.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Tutorial: How to Get Awesome Graphics in Medieval II

    Ah yes, you're right, it was Lucifer Hawk, then, posting the SweetFX settings for RomeII!

    Great, your current settings can be a good base for testing and finding new parameters according to the machine in use...
    So, mhm, lowering the unit numbers and the graphics in-game should be a good compromise while using the above ReShade settings. Ok, gonna try and see what could be the best balance then!!

    Thanks a lot for these suggestions (and hehe, Medieval III I think not btw, but we can make MII like that with this tool)


  12. #12

    Default Re: Tutorial: How to Get Awesome Graphics in Medieval II

    Mhm, HaHawk... just a rapid question...

    I tried the setting posted by you above, but as I was guessing, I had consistent drops in FPS/performance (a better result by lowering settings in-game)... just to know and save a bit of time testing the settings, do you have other pre-sets to use to test them too?

    Btw, it's a fabolous asset, this one!!


  13. #13
    Gigantus's Avatar I am thinking more about running away now then I did as a kid, but by the time I put my teeth in, my glasses on and find my car keys I forget why I am going.
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    Default Re: Tutorial: How to Get Awesome Graphics in Medieval II

    The unit_detail setting at highest will do you in - reduce it to high, that way sprites get activated again. 'Highest' always uses 3D models which hits your graphic processor pretty bad when you zoom out.




  14. #14

    Default Re: Tutorial: How to Get Awesome Graphics in Medieval II

    mmh, yep, Gig, I already lowered to medium too to preserve any sprites...

    The tool is superb, but I need to find the good settings to avoid drops. But, thanks as always, eh!!


  15. #15
    Gigantus's Avatar I am thinking more about running away now then I did as a kid, but by the time I put my teeth in, my glasses on and find my car keys I forget why I am going.
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    Default Re: Tutorial: How to Get Awesome Graphics in Medieval II

    bloom, effects and grass are the other bogeymen.




  16. #16

    Default Re: Tutorial: How to Get Awesome Graphics in Medieval II

    I really want to get this to work, but I just can't seem to figure it out.

    I bought a new computer and assembled it myself just a few months ago primarily just to play Medieval II on the highest possible settings. My computer has an i7 cpu and 1070 gpu along with 16 gigabytes of RAM.

    I am using the Medieval2preferences.cfg file that HaHawk posted above as the one he used in his video, and I am setting it to read only. The only difference is that I have to set the windowed and borderless windowed to 0 or the file won't work for me.

    I have tried using the Medieval II, the Kingdoms, and the Stainless Steel exe in the Mediator, but I always get a crash to desktop with the following message: A fatal graphics error has occurred and the game will now shut down. This is normally caused by having your game graphics options set too high. Please try running the game again and lowering your graphics setting before entering a battle.

    Needless to say, I never entered a battle as the game does not load. I have tried using the stock cfg. I have tried using a cfg. with minimal settings. I have set the medieval2 and kingdoms exe in my NVIDEA control panel to the settings HaHawk had in his video, and I have also reset them both back to stock values, but all to no avail.

    If I clear the d3d9.dll in my Medieval 2 folder, my game will load again, but without the Mediator running.

    I followed the instructions in HaHawks video, but I wonder if maybe I have somehow set the Mediator up incorrectly.

    I load the Medieval2 exe, which I have already added in Mediator, and update it in the box on the left. Then I update it in the second box on the right. Then I click the orange "Permanent Push to Application" box at the bottom. Then I try to launch my game and it crashes. So then I load the Kingdoms exe, which I have also already added to Mediator, and try the above steps again, and it too crashes. Then I load the Stainless Steel exe in the same manner, and it too crashes.

    Could anyone please help me? Thanks!
    Last edited by Kilgore Trout; September 21, 2017 at 01:15 PM.
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Tutorial: How to Get Awesome Graphics in Medieval II

    Quote Originally Posted by bigdogbluesky View Post
    I really want to get this to work, but I just can't seem to figure it out.
    [...]
    Then I try to launch my game and it crashes.
    My game after applying "Mediator" was also crashing after launching (some windows Error "Ok" box), but I've found a fix.
    I've got Windows 10 Enterprise, MSI laptop with G Force GTX 970, M2TW Steam version.

    Crash was caused by compatibility mode (Windows 7). After turing off compatibility mode the "Mediator" & its post-processing is working.
    SSHIP mini-mods :

  18. #18

    Default Re: Tutorial: How to Get Awesome Graphics in Medieval II

    Thank you tmodelsk, but I checked, and none of my exes are set to run in compatibility mode.
    Pleasant it is, when over a great sea the winds trouble the waters, to gaze from shore upon another's tribulation: not because any man's troubles are a delectable joy, but because to perceive from what ills you are free yourself is pleasant - Lucretius

  19. #19

    Default Re: Tutorial: How to Get Awesome Graphics in Medieval II

    Problem solved. The latest version, ReShade 3.0.8, works for me!
    Pleasant it is, when over a great sea the winds trouble the waters, to gaze from shore upon another's tribulation: not because any man's troubles are a delectable joy, but because to perceive from what ills you are free yourself is pleasant - Lucretius

  20. #20

    Default Re: Tutorial: How to Get Awesome Graphics in Medieval II

    Nice results. Thanks for sharing!
    Last edited by lekseus; October 08, 2017 at 01:09 AM.

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