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Ewarre

LOD4 does not switch off in FarGrid & beyond

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I run Tropical Skyrim and have been experimenting with "lighter" tree mesh, full model and LOD mesh, to the point where I now have almost seamless transition on the near grid to full model on the worst 3 trees. But I have a problem, the LOD4 does not go to LOD8 in FarGrid nor billboard, it keeps going as far as the world is rendered.  :D

I had rules set up to use my feather light LOD8 models [still 3D] but the models never show nor does it give me 2D billboard if I put that in the rule for columns LOD8 & LOD16.

All other trees are shown correctly as std billboard LOD, and as I have replaced most of the overly heavy mesh on all common trees the game is stable and rarely drops below 40 fps unless in combat, even though I have this massive "dead weight " of extra LOD4  everywhere. Naturally this is not a desirable situation.

All trees except 3 are setup for std 2D BB and that is all fine...and I can easily make the "new" tree models be std 2D BB LOD as well by placing their BB entries in LODGen or I can make all trees static 2D BB via the INI switch. So it must see the passthru_LOD.nif for the LOD4 mesh to appear, but the passthru_lod_flat_2.nif  model never appears. Nor when I request BB in column LOD8 or LOD16 for the new models do I ever get any 2D BB for them, only when I force it via the first mentioned actions above.          

The only explanation I can think off is the actual LOD generation process is disconnected from what I do in the advanced rules panel. On re reading again your doco I note you say to place the DynDoLOD Standalone Folder outside of steamapps,   ....  I have mine placed in the Skyrim folder. Do you think this would explain the above ?

It was put there to solve another problem and until I started to play with LOD4 & 8 models my workaround solution was fine. I have made many successful generations of LOD, but always as std BB LOD. I have a special character in my steam name directory that is an upset to DynDoLOD, so just prior to generating LOD I rename the steam folder, then switch it back afterwards for in game testing. I am now committed to fixing this, but up to this point I had been deferring the job as I can see it being a real pain to reconnect everything.

In attempting to validate if the folder location was the reason for the "disconnect". I moved it out of steam and temporarily renamed the steam folder [minus the special character], but DynDoLOD.exe now stops with the error "..no plugins.." because its still sees "PathName" as the old name, and naturally because of my rename it is not there.

Where does it retrieve the PathName from and can I easily [/temporarily] alter this ?

Sorry for the word wall, and thanks for your time .    
 

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LOD 4, 8, 16 (and maybe 32) are static object LOD levels.

 

The dynamic LOD of DynDOLOD has a Near Grid, Far Grid and Neverfade which is independed of the object LOD levels.

 

Billboards are rendered textures. They usually are used by the tree LOD system, which only has one LOD Level 4.

DynDOLOD can also use the billboard textures in object LOD by automatically creating the typical X model for them.

 

I am assuming what you mean to say is, that the same LOD model for a 3D tree shows in LOD 4, 8 and 16, while you were hoping to have different 3D LOD models or even a billboard in the higher levels?

 

You need to make sure the different nif files are named correctly with 4 = *_lod_0.nif, 8 = *_lod_1.nif, 16 = *_lod_2.nif

A *_lod.nif applies to all levels, if no specific files for a level exists. If a specific file for a level exists *_lod.nif applies to all lower levels if possible.

 

If a level is set to Billboard, it will create a billboard X for that LOD level if the billboard texture exists - regardless of any nif files.

 

To set different 3D models for LOD level 4 and 8, I suggest to name the nif files specifically to *passthru_lod_0.nif and *passthru_lod_1.nif

 

Then creating a mesh rule for that tree (or group pf trees) that sets Static LOD4 | Static LOD 8 | Billboard | Yes | Far LOD should work as intended.

 

I suggest to remove all passthru_lod_flat_2.nif files. They are not needed anymore and also removed from latest DynDOLOD Resources.

They were used before billboard textures could be used directly by setting Billboard for a LOD level, but now they are not needed anymore.

They react wrong to lighting in the game because of their normals/tangents.

 

"The only explanation I can think off is the actual LOD generation process is disconnected from what I do in the advanced rules panel."

 

All settings done in the DynDOLOD option windows define directly how tree, object and dynamic LOD is generated in the current session.

Make sure to save the mesh rules as well, so they can be loaded again later.

 

Different folder locations for the standalone do not cause different LOD generation results. The recommendations are because of file and folder permission and to avoid accidentally overwriting existing files.

The mesh rules, selections in the options windows and settings in the config files control how LOD is generated.

 

So not sure what kind of problems you made yourself by installing things contrary to the manual and then by moving/renaming things. I suggest to simply install DynDOLOD into its own dedicated folder as recommended.

Best to never use any special characters for files and folders.

 

xEdit/DynDOLOD gets the games installation path from the registry. It may work to start the launcher once after renaming the games path to update that.

In the long run you may want to consider to rename the folder structure.

Edited by sheson

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Thank you for your prompt response, but still no joy at this end.

Fixed my poorly named STEAM folder. So thanks for that tip, though I must confess I did run Steam verify before launcher.

Tried the new names *passthru_lod_0  &  *passthru_lod_1  but it made no difference.
Then just for my 3 new trees I removed their overrides from the TropicalSkyrim ESP so the game could use instead the vanilla models and your new hybrid passthru NIFs [just those 3], still no joy, I just had your hybrids all the way to worlds end, they do look good. For this test I had the catch all tree rule as LOD4/BB/BB.

Next I set up a brand new vanilla game folder with nothing but TS and DynDoLOD [sKSE &  PapyrusUtil3.3] ... same result, and I would assume by now some one has used the advanced rules set in Windows 10 so I can rule that out too ? But I might just throw it at Win7 to see if have better luck.

Is it possible that TS does not play well with the advanced part of DynDoLOD wrt using LOD4 or LOD8 in the rules ? ?
I only ask this because one of the trees I am working on, the anvil_palm_trunk which is used to override 3 vanilla trees, [18A02, 5C071, B8A74] has only one of the 3 records placed in the DynDoLOD esp and gets the "has distant lod" flag set, the other 2 records are not in the ESP - the flag was not set.

 

There are over a dozen occurrences where TS uses the same model to replace more than one vanilla tree, ie a many to one match, regards Base records to NIFs.
Other than that I am at a loss as to what it could be !
 

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It would help if you specifically state what result you excepted and what happened. "No joy" does not tell me anything really as it could mean any number of things.

 

If you generated with the vanilla hybrids and LOD4/BB/BB, but see the LOD4 3D model all the way to the worlds end then I have to assume the LOD4 distance is set very high in the SkyrimPrefs.INI / DynDOLOD MCM Settings.

 

Verify if the higher LOD level BTO really contain 3D trees instead of billboards.

 

A Meshes\Terrain\Tamriel\Objects\Tamriel.4.*.*.bto should look like this in nifskope

 

59721-1-1491382726.jpg

 

A Meshes\Terrain\Tamriel\Objects\Tamriel.16.*.*.bto with Billboards should look like this in nifskope

 

59721-0-1491382726.jpg

 

 

If there indeed are unexpected 3D trees instead of Billboards in the higher LOD level files, make sure there are no mesh rules higher up in the list that accidentally match the mesh path/filename of the full model trees before your intended mesh rule..

 

 

Check DynDOLOD\Edit Scripts\Export\LODGen_TES5_Tamriel.txt for the lines for the trees.

 

For example, I tested *lod_0.nif / *lod_1.nif filenames with a LOD4/LOD8/BB mesh rule with a EVT 3D LOD tree and get the expected output in the last 3 tab columns (LOD 4/8/16) for LODGen.exe in the TAB separated export file DynDOLOD\Edit Scripts\Export\LODGen_TES5_Tamriel.txt:

 

00012E18    00000000    23954.832031    -41983.386719    -152.900131    0.0000    0.0000    0.0000    0.800000    TreePineForest01    00000001        meshes\landscape\trees\srg_treepineforest01.nif    meshes\dyndolod\lod\trees\srg_treepineforest01_2148710epassthru_lod_0.nif    meshes\dyndolod\lod\trees\srg_treepineforest01_2148710epassthru_lod_1.nif    textures\terrain\lodgen\skyrim.esm\srg_treepineforest01_0001306d.dds

 

 

 

Are there any log message in DynDOLOD\Logs\LODGen_TES5_Tamriel_log.txt about the replaced trees and their CRC32? If the CRC32 filenames are correct, there should be no mention in the log.

 

If no matching LOD files can be found for updated trees with completely new full model names, then there can be no LOD created for it and consequently there is no need to update the base record.

 

 

Just make sure all files are named correctly and the rules match as desired.

 

To verify billboard names, generate 2D tree LOD and check the LOD for the found / not found messages.

Edited by sheson

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Many many many apologies sheson, it was working, I just did not know !

I was working on the mistaken belief that as I use TFC , what I saw was what was setup from where I started to TFC from, ie my real location,

but in fact TFC must keep throwing up fresh LOD4 as the camera approaches, hence me thinking it was all LOD4.

But the BTOs tell the story, Tamriel.16.16,-16 contains only BB tree LOD and that area at Fort Amol is full of the  big trees I have new models for.  

 
Thanks again, you will have pics when I stop tinkering, and when I learn how to do video that as well, TS will look very impressive with static 3D no pop LOD !

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That is great that it is working! 

 

Looking forward to the screens. Any plans for uploading those trees as a mod, then let me know so I can add it to the list.

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Yes there will be a mod bringing new premade LOD for TS, ..... about a month off.
Initially just the standard 2D BB type, and at that time the BBs will be released too.

I am still tinkering with the new 3D LOD models and will hold back any "3D LOD mod" till I'm happy, plus on deeper inspection of the BTOs there is something that makes me want to play around a bit more when I have time. If I do return later with more questions it will be with a truck load of pictures, logs & stuff. I recognize it's just too easy to waste your time with out all the back up information readily at hand. You have been most helpful, and as always I learn a lot from your comments.

There are a couple of things on my mind ....
1/ My mod will probably have something to say on LOD INI settings and the compromise users need to make between visuals and performance. Your doco and S.T.E.P. have some great pieces on this and how LOD works, and I will reference this, but I would also like to quote some of this too if I may.

2/ At this stage I plan to release the TS BB LOD mod with out turning on dynamic LOD to keep things simple, ... I would be interested in your opinion of this.

3/ The 3D LOD mod I had also intended to release [when ready] as pre made LOD, and from tests it should be around a 1Gb download when compressed. However Im not sure I want to release the LOD models and possibly precipitate extra "forum activity" here at STEP after I have been run over at my end, ..... so to speak, .... any thoughts ?
What I mean is if your up for it then I will probably release them once I am certain they work as intended .

This mod would be stand apart from the other BB LOD mod and aimed more at the experienced user with good hardware and come with full warnings and like.
 

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1/ Quote away as much as you need, no worries.

 

2/ If you plan to release a mod with pre-made DynDOLOD included, see the DynDOLOD_Mod_Authors.html. As it explains it is best to not include any dynamic LOD, so users will have no problems generating their own LOD later.

In case of 3D tree LOD, I suggest to leave the Grid column empty for the tree rules.

 

3/ Just in case, I am always happy to include files into DynDOLOD Resources directly. Otherwise just upload to Nexus and I will add links etc to description/manual.

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