How can I overcome color bleeding issues in cutscenes?

  • I finally managed to sit down and play some XCOM Enemy Unknown, and everything works brilliantly save one strange graphic issue. In the game's various segments that have more of a cutscene look, usually when talking to someone in the base during the tutorial, I am seeing strange color bleed issues that appear to be related to lighting in some way: Glitch

    And here are a couple of closeups on the issue:

    Closeup1 Closeup2

    While this isn't horrible, and doesn't happen most of the time (on a mission, or when viewing the base), I find the issue terribly annoying. I have an ATI 5750 card with the latest driver, and any suggestions are more than welcome.

    I'll just mention that this did not happen while I was playing the demo (I recall that my graphic setting were lower on the demo, so while I might "solve" the issue by turning off some bells and whistles, I am looking for a solution that will not force me to sacrifice the graphic fidelity of the game).

  • I have encountered the same problem. As far as I can tell, it has to do with how the game engine renders the 1080p cutscenes, shifting the color (chroma) part of the videos vertically.

    As the game engine is EPIC's Unreal engine, it may be related to this bug, which seems to produce the same color offset issues. This might have been the reason Firaxis had disabled the 1080p videos, until a patch just before release enabled them as default.

    Short term solution

    As you noted by comparing it to the Demo, a short term alternative/hack would be to force the game to use the lower resolution movies (720p), which are correctly rendered. You can do this by moving all the files beginning with "1080_" in the folder "/steamapps/common/XCom-Enemy-Unknown/XComGame/Movies" to a separate directory, for instance a new folder called '1080' in the same Movies folder.

    Hopefully Firaxis will find a solution for us few out there that have problems with the 1080p movies.

    Actual solution

    I followed the advice in the bug report mentioned above, and re-encoded a 1080p X-COM cutscene file using a height that is a multiple of 16, namely 1088. I replaced the existing 1080 movie file with the changed version.

    The color offset/bleed problem is gone.

    So one way for Firaxis to solve this problem is to re-encode their videos with a height of 1088 pixels. The game has no problem chopping off the extra 8 (blank) pixels at the bottom.

    Hardware/Software specs:

    • Intel i5 2.67GHz.
    • Ati Radeon 5850, Catalyst 12.8, default settings.
    • Primary monitor 1980x1080, with second monitor 1280x1024.

    X-COM settings:

    • All X-COM settings at default, High.
    • It does not matter if I run windowed/borderless or in other resolutions and/or secondary monitor disabled.

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