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TechAngel85

Just Ice (by SparrowPrince)

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In working with terrain LOD compares and Cathedral Landscapes (CL), I noticed just how bad SSE snow and ice are, even using tweaks as recommended by the STEP Guide (0.3.0b). It bothers me that ice sticks out like a sore, bluish, shiny thumb against the ashy CL snow landscapes. In testing a bunch of snow and ice replacers, I discovered that Just Ice --and any other ice replacer that is not CL-- is the culprit. While these are great ice textures that probably work well with vanilla and certain landscape replacers, I don't think they work well at all with CL and the current STEP setup. I think we should drop this mod until we have a better option for CL or another landscape replacer (which would be a big job to mess with).

 

The simplest solution is to trade the marginal improvements to ice for the major improvement to all snowy landscapes with ice. The problem exists whether ice is close up (full textures) or far away (LOD), and it is exacerbated in LOD, which is really most of what we have in the FOV outdoors. Judge for yourself and please chime in ... also, try deactivating Just Ice in your own build to test (keep in mind that LOD will be off if you don't regen object LOD and properly update DynDOLOD in your save games ... PITA):

 

STEP 0.3.0b without Just Ice (CL provides most ice)  >>  STEP 0.3.0b with Just Ice

 

I7HGtxbr_o.png uuTSf33q_o.png KLV6qx0x_o.png b0wWPMQl_o.png KsRmAGoN_o.png wcqOYNOz_o.png b4XiTF7T_o.png bm4nd8hR_o.png nnMjEdEV_o.png PkPUsAm9_o.png

 

Note that even close-up, the Just Ice texture looks like shiny paint on some of the rocks. On others, it is just competely out of place. It does look good on some rocks where the entire rock is covered by ice. The CL ice textures blend much better and still have specularity. I have no issues with the CL ice in these shots. Also, ice is usually darker or more colorful than surrounding snow, because if is more/less transparent than snow. In these shots, the ice is all much brighter and shinier, which just isn't realistic, IMO.

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I wonder if you guys have taken a serious look at the landscape textures included with majestic mountains.  There's a couple textures in the forest valleys where the coloration isn't quite right (at least for my taste), but overall his are my absolute favorite and I've really spent a lot of time checking out differing landscape texture packs - specifically I find his ice and snow textures, along with Glorious Glaciers are the absolute best for overall, and of course I believe they've been developed specifically with majestic mountains in mind.

 

Sorry I don't have compares, but here's a screenshot from my game; enb active, not STEP

 

https://imgur.com/gallery/9nQCzYa

 

https://imgur.com/gallery/KYP7dCT

9nQCzYa

9nQCzYa

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Based exclusively on your screenshots, I agree that Just Ice seems to be too bright/shiny and does not mesh well with Cathedral Landscapes.

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I wonder if you guys have taken a serious look at the landscape textures included with majestic mountains.  There's a couple textures in the forest valleys where the coloration isn't quite right (at least for my taste), but overall his are my absolute favorite and I've really spent a lot of time checking out differing landscape texture packs - specifically I find his ice and snow textures, along with Glorious Glaciers are the absolute best for overall, and of course I believe they've been developed specifically with majestic mountains in mind.

 

Sorry I don't have compares, but here's a screenshot from my game; enb active, not STEP

 

https://imgur.com/gallery/9nQCzYa[/size]

 

https://imgur.com/gallery/KYP7dCT[/size]

9nQCzYa

9nQCzYa

I can't access those images ...

 

I discussed the same topic with Tech a few days ago, because I had the same question (been away from modding since 2013, so still playing catch-up). I noticed that four of the MM optional landscape textures (mostly dirt cliffs) would be contributed by this mod. This is what he told me:

 

No, it's a pack that is supposed to be used stand-alone and is not "for MM". T4 has been saying he needs to remove it and put it up on its own page because it confuses users. He's actually working on a redo of the entire pack.

 

It's just alternative landscape textures. You can't mix and match landscape textures very well because you'll always end up with blending issues.

His dirtcliffs look great in them, but they are meant to blend with his dirt textures, which ours is from CL. I'm not a fan of his tundra.

 

Based exclusively on your screenshots, I agree that Just Ice seems to be too bright/shiny and does not mesh well with Cathedral Landscapes.

My screens are STEP build, so they should look same for anyone else using the current guide. In fact, they are probably worse for most. I am generating terrain with a bit more brightness and gamma specifically to deal with the 'ashy' snow of CL, so they should be even more stark for others. You can check yourself anywhere in the N/NE or on N Solstheim.

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 I never really noticed up close besides ice being quite blue. I think I got used to it from using Just Ice for so long. But for the lod...huh, yeah I always wondered what was wrong with the lod and blamed something on my end setup wise. I was about to rerun lods and everything. I will check it out before I do and then after without Just Ice.

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It's not that we can't use MM's Landscape, but if we do, it's very likely we'll have to drop Cathedral Landscapes. It's also providing the grass, so that too would have to be compared and changed. Then there is Cathedral Weathers that is built to work very well with Cathedral Landscapes...then the Patches have to be updated... There is a lot a things connected and I already warned Z we was going down a rabbit hole of changes and issues to address for a "simple change". There's nothing simple about it unless we simply drop Just Ice and use Cathedral.

 

I also want to be very clear... If the landscape is changed, I'll have nothing to do with the process. I've already put far too much work into the Guide and making it work well together. I've also been wanting a break, but have not cut down one bit since Z started working on the Guide again because it's one thing after another. ...if you can't tell, I'm on the edge of burn-out...

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I agree that we should leave CL/MM/CW alone. There are waay too many interdependencies, and these mods together provide a 'good' overhaul to the outdoors. Avoiding any specific snow/ice replacers is the simplest way to maintain consistency, IMO.

 

Besides, if CL is ever updated, it may simplify things if they figure out grass-terrain blending without darkening the terrain noise map so much.

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I agree that the current combo should stay. It is the nicest combo I have played with so far in regards to STEP.  There may be a better one, but it requires way too much work for minor issues. For me, Cathedral weather is so much less of a compatibility pain compared to the other popular options. Some of which I have tried and not enjoyed as much.

 

Having tried out only using the CL ice the transitions and lods appear better and less out of place.

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Before anything is decided there needs to be a complete set of compares because this affects more than just LOD and glaciers: frozen lake ice from Dawnguard, ice floes, frozen marsh ice, icebergs...

Basically we need to know what we're losing (or gaining) from the dropping of Just Ice.

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I wonder if you guys have taken a serious look at the landscape textures included with majestic mountains.  There's a couple textures in the forest valleys where the coloration isn't quite right (at least for my taste), but overall his are my absolute favorite and I've really spent a lot of time checking out differing landscape texture packs - specifically I find his ice and snow textures, along with Glorious Glaciers are the absolute best for overall, and of course I believe they've been developed specifically with majestic mountains in mind.

 

Sorry I don't have compares, but here's a screenshot from my game; enb active, not STEP

 

https://imgur.com/gallery/9nQCzYa[/size]

 

https://imgur.com/gallery/KYP7dCT[/size]

 

GhVHQVB.jpg

 

zjJwL9j.jpg

Again, the images are not accessible ...

 

I haven't looked at Glorious Glaciers, but if they alter ice textures, I can pretty confidently guarantee that they will not be compatible with CL and STEP

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Sounded like you guys had decided to stay with the current set-up, and the pictures are not in any way representative of STEP, it's my own thing I've been working on (off and on) for years now, so it seemed irrelevant to fix them... unfortunately I don't have a good place to host screenshots apparently and I'm really not sure what I'm doing wrong posting those images...

 

GhVHQVB.jpeg

 

zjJwL9j.jpeg

 

...I think that did it.  One way or another, I find T4G's landscape textures to be the best overall, and they work very well together, with the exception of a dirt road texture (apologies i don't know the name of exact texture) that has a slightly cooler color to it than I'd like, but it's a pretty small compromise.  I spent a REALLY long time looking at snow / ice textures and for my tastes, these are the best.

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Again, the images are not accessible ...

 

I haven't looked at Glorious Glaciers, but if they alter ice textures, I can pretty confidently guarantee that they will not be compatible with CL and STEP

Fixed that for you.

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Sorry for format.  These are shots with and without enb, generally the brighter ones are without.  Double apologies for lack of consistency.  Not super savvy with this whole process.

FQJSQ27.jpeg

 

po4GSOL.jpeg

 

cWISiuA.jpeg

 

p3R354Q.jpeg

 

0txJWUv.jpeg

 

ZrvpB7Q.jpg

 

... didn't think to do enb on/off for this last one

za3dyuQ.jpeg

Edited by baronaatista

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Those are good examples of snow and ice ... but they are not Just Ice vs vanilla, correct?

 

Are those examples of Glorious Glaciers?

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