A fix for Red colors/text/textures in Shadow! Interesting technical implications too.

  • 28 June 2020
  • 3 replies
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I’m not sure how many people notice, but as great a service as Shadow is, it is pretty weak when it comes to the color red. Encoding red seems to be a technical limitation, so a lot of the time reds will appear blurrier or look off both as game object/textures/etc and as just text. Even looking at screenshots with clear red text turn blurry sometimes in Shadow running at 1080p. This is not an issue associated with your internet speed or associated bandwidth. 

For example, this is how the global chat in Path of Exile looks naturally in Shadow: 
 

 

Now a lot of people wrote this off as just a technical limitation that should be lived with, and sure that’s a fine approach, but I did some tinkering. I found a fix, and the result was perfect:
 

(Just a note, if you’re looking at this screenshot on your shadow, it may still look a tad bit blurry, but if you’re on your physical pc or phone/device it should look perfect)

 

The fix?

Change your shadow’s resolution but don’t change your game’s resolution.
Make your shadow run at a custom resolution of 3840x2160p (if your shadow won’t let you use this 4k res, type 3840x2160@144 and it should force the resolution to change). 

I suggest you make your windows text zoom by 200% (so it’s like the same size as 1080p) to make things much more readable. Now if you use your shadow as a desktop, you’ll notice some added latency in desktop tasks. This is a pretty big tradeoff and may not be worth it for you. 

BUT, if you just play games, this is no loss. Now that your shadow is running at 3840x2160p, force your games to remain running at 1080p, do this by changing the game’s setting or overriding it via Nvidia Geforce Experience.

So with the combination of Shadow Running its desktop at 3840x2160p and your games on shadow running at 1080p, you should have absolutely NO performance loss and your reds should look perfect now. That screenshot of PoE’s chat looking clear is run in 1080p as a game to clarify. 

I feel like this might have some powerful technical implications that could help make reds look better over native resolutions, but I doubt devs care to look at this thread and look into why this fix works and if it’s scalable to make shadow absolutely indistinguishable from a physical pc. 


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3 replies

Userlevel 6
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Just saying, from what I’ve heard. Shadow doesn't like when things run at a resolution that is not the native resolution. Plus you're going to be taxing resources even more since you will be running them at a higher resolution. But neat find! That is interesting. 

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Interesting idea!

I do notice reds are pretty crummy looking. I’m running a 1440p ultrawide (3440 x 1440), how would this fix apply to that? I can’t run it at 3840 x 2160 because that’s not the right aspect ratio. I tried a custom resolution of 5120 x 2160 in Nvidia Control Panel and it said the resolution wasn’t supported by my monitor.

Userlevel 6
Badge +5

Interesting idea!

I do notice reds are pretty crummy looking. I’m running a 1440p ultrawide (3440 x 1440), how would this fix apply to that? I can’t run it at 3840 x 2160 because that’s not the right aspect ratio. I tried a custom resolution of 5120 x 2160 in Nvidia Control Panel and it said the resolution wasn’t supported by my monitor.

Please see my message above, and also reds and colors that derive from it, like purple. Look that way due to modern encoding technology.